Groundhog Day.

And Wiarton Willie did not see his shadow. This means according to albino rodent legend that we will have an early spring and that the end of winter is around the corner. And after seeing video from Toronto FC today of the Reds playing an exhibition match in Turkey against Balkan powerhouse Partizan Belgrade, one can’t help but to think that spring is indeed a bit closer than we might think.

If you have not seen the video yet here are some highlights (sans colour commentary) of the match from early Wednesday in Turkey, the first exhibition match of the pre-season for Toronto FC.

courtesy TFC TV

Partizan BelgradeThe match ended in a one-one draw with Centre Back Nana Attakora scoring a nice cheeky goal early on with a high flick over the Partizan keeper off of a corner. From the video it looked like Dutch triallist Javier Martina looked quite lively and pacey. Dwayne De Rosario according to the live Twitter updates during the match also missed a penalty ringing it off the post.

The comments at the end of the video from Assistant Coach Bob De Klerk, where he reiterated the point that the club in his eyes (particularly in the first half)  “…played football..” I think speaks to the work the team has been doing over the past few days in training camp and also to the 4-3-3 possession style the team is going to try and play in this upcoming season. It also means that him and Aron Winter must have watched a lot of the 2010 footage of Toronto FC and appear to be more convinced than ever that an on the carpet possession style of football is what they are keen to implement here in comparison to “Preki-Ball”.

There are no Toronto media in Turkey with the club so it is hard from afar to get a true grasp on what is really happening other than what we are seeing courtesy of the club. And we won’t see much of significant substance until we see who returns with the team in the next ten days to Toronto before the club heads south for part two of the pre-season. Speculating from afar with only a few videos to go on is a fools errand in my eyes. Me thinks the full game video we’ll get from the Carolina Challenge Cup that TFC will once again be taking part in later this pre-season will be the first real chance we have to see what kind of club this is going to be for 2011 with some full game action to judge them upon.

There is one or maybe two more exhibition matches on the docket in Europe before TFC comes home. In eight days time TFC will play CroTraining in Turkeyatian powerhouse side Dinamo Zagreb. There are also unconfirmed rumours on Wednesday that the Reds might also be picking up another match on February 6th against Serbian side Red Star Belgrade. TFC has not confirmed this as of yet.

in Toronto today it was cold. There was a lot of snow to shovel. And winter looked to be well in control. I don’t buy it. Winter is in ots last legs people! The rodent did not see it’s shadow (a good thing). January is  now done and gone. And Toronto FC kicked some exhibition balls in anger against a top European side.

Stay warm everybody. First Kick in Vancouver is in forty five days. That will be upon us sooner than you know it.


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