TFC -V- Columbus : Same **** different day
Another week goes by and TFC suffer another defeat. Are we really surprised? My truthful answer to this has to be no, I am not surprised. Frustrated, Yes! Disappointed, Yes! but surprised … nope, nothing about TFC ever seems to surprise most fans these days.
[singlepic id=11670 w=320 h=240 float=left]If there was any surprise on Saturday it was the manner in which we laid down and seemed to accept defeat rather than battling hard and trying to win as we had in most games under Nelsen to this point. Its disappointing and frustrating to lose out on 2 or all 3 points due to late equalising or winning goals from our opposition, but at least when that happens you can dissect the game later and point to encouraging signs or a determined attitude, as well as moments where we just didn’t get the rub of the green. However, to create virtually nothing and lose without appearing to have the motivation to reverse the scoreline is far worse and just not acceptable.
The stats will show we dropped another game by a single goal rather than some of the hammerings we have taken in past seasons, but the truth of the matter is we could have played all through Saturday [singlepic id=11690 w=320 h=240 float=right]and into Sunday and probably still failed to score. the fact it was against Columbus just rubs our noses in it !
Facing reality, we all (should) know this is yet another rebuilding year for TFC, the same mantra that gets trotted out every season to long suffering supporters but the question has to be asked about just how many steps backward we need to take before we start going forward? Lets get this straight, I am not calling for the head of Kevin Payne or Ryan Nelsen on a stick, that lack of managerial stability has been part of the TFC problem for several seasons, and I firmly believe that Nelsen will come good .. in time. The question is when and how? Having said that, I also thought Johnston, Carver, Cummins, Preki, Winter and Mariner would come good so perhaps my optimism is skewed by my TFC tinted spectacles.
[singlepic id=11705 w=320 h=240 float=left]There was a discussion on the U-Sector boards last week about loan signings, and I nailed my colours to the mast stating I thought it was a good idea as we did not commit and could get rid of players who perhaps didnt work out. After this weekend I am not so sure …. I looked back at the TFC rosters from 2007-2013 and perhaps those who argued their corner in the discussion that roster turnover could be a problem got it right? Its not just the loans, but all the other potential moves as well ….
So far this year, TFC have had 33 players listed on the roster that have either made appearances or at the very least got into the matchday squad. Of those 33 players, 4 are no longer with the club (Bennett, Cesar, T.Morgan, Stinson) and a further 5 are here on either short-term or loan deals that may or may not turn into longer contracts (Bostock, Brockie, Caldwell, Earnshaw, Ephraim). Of those 5, maybe only Caldwell and perhaps Earnshaw will stay beyond mid-season so that will be 3 more players out the door with probably 3 more in to replace them. With speculation over the futures of Frei & Califf who may be ‘trade bait’, and fan comments questioning the perceived quality of the likes of Wiedeman, Richter, Russell and others, we could yet see significant further turnover in the roster …. [singlepic id=11707 w=320 h=240 float=right]Its no big leap to think that we could yet hit 40 players in the 2013 roster and that cant be good. By comparison, our complete roster in previous seasons was: 2012=35, 2011=42, 2010=34, 2009=29, 2008=38, 2007=39 … and it perhaps not a surprise that the manager with the best record was Chris Cummins in 2009, the season with the lowest turnover !
Anyhow, enough ranting, and onto some stats from Saturdays game …. Lets start with the referee ! Kevin Payne opined last week that TFC were viewed as “lab rats” for new refs and he is right !!! The figures are in the article link, but if any confirmation were needed, then Peter Walton, GM of the Pro Referees Organisation seemed to provide it when stating that Payne’s comments were valid. so who did we get Saturday? We got Jose Carlos Rivero, a veteran of 12 previous MLS games – with 2 of those games involving TFC.
[singlepic id=11723 w=320 h=240 float=left]In 2012 he refereed 8 MLS games, issuing 30 yellow cards and 4 reds. In 2013 he has now refereed 5 games and issued 15 yellows and 1 red. MLS stats indicate he calls an average of 26 fouls per game (it was 34 this past weekend) and has awarded 5 penalties in his 13 games.
Rivero first refereed TFC last year in a 1-1 away tie with Dallas. He booked 3 TFC players (Ecks, Johnson, Frings) but none from the home side. His other two TFC games were at BMO in October 2012 in a 0-0 tie against Montreal where he booked 3 Impact players and 1 TFC player (Dunfield), and this past weekend where he again booked 3 away players (see a pattern yet?), but just 1 TFC player (Laba).
[singlepic id=11725 w=320 h=240 float=right]Although he was garbage, TFC dont get off the hook by blaming the ref, we did not deserve anything from this game, but a little anger is warranted as the only goal of the game came from a blown call that allowed Oduro in to score. He made plenty of other blunders but they were frustrating for both sides rather than game changing. He waved play on on a number of occasions where most refs would have called a foul, yet blew up for fouls when there was little or no contact. All in all, a very inexperienced display, and one which solidifies Kevin Payne’s recent assertions.
Games V Columbus
- It does not make pretty reading. We have played Columbus 17 times in MLS with only 1 win
- At BMO it is 0 wins, 5 draws and 3 losses with 6 goals scored and 9 conceded
- At Crew Stadium, it is 1 win, 2 draws and 6 losses with 11 scored and 18 conceded
- TFC now has 5 consecutive losses (all games) – 1 shy of the record of 6 set last season (Mar 31 – Apr 28th 2012)
- Streak of 4 consecutive losses (MLS) – well short of the 9 suffered at the start of the 2012 season (Mar 17 – May 19, 2012)
- TFC is now 9 games without a win in (MLS) – again well short of the record of 14 to end the 2012 season plus 1st game of 2013 (July 28/12 – Mar 2/13)
- 3 players made debuts for TFC this week.
- Steven Caldwell made his starting debut for TFC and also his MLS debut
- Jeremy Brockie made his debut as a sub for TFC and also bagged his first MLS minutes.
- Bobby Convey made his debut as a TFC sub. This was his 184th MLS game (168 starts). He previously made 80 starts + 9 sub appearances for DC United (2000-2004), 72+3 for San Jose (2009-2011) and 16+3 for Kansas City (2012-2013).
- No player has appeared in all games this season (MLS + Voyageurs Cup)
- 2 players have made 12 appearances (all 11 MLS games + 1 Voyageurs Cup) – Earnshaw, Lambe
- 5 players have appeared in all 11 MLS games this season – Bendik, Earnshaw, Hall, Lambe, O’Dea
- Jonathan Osorio has made most sub appearances this season – 9 (all MLS)
- Doneil Henry made his 51st appearance for TFC on Saturday. It breaks down as 32 MLS, 8 Voyageurs Cup, 11 Concacaf (MLS – 19 starts, 13 sub, Voyageurs – 7 starts, 1 sub, Concacaf – 7 starts, 4 sub)
- Reggie Lambe will make his 50th appearance for TFC in the next game he plays. He has had 33 MLS starts + 5 sub, 5 Voyageurs starts, and 4 starts in Concacaf + 2 sub.
- Luis Silva will make his 50th appearance for TFC in the next game he plays. He has had 28 MLS starts + 10 sub, 4 sub appearances in Voyageurs Cup and 6 starts + 1 sub in Concacaf.
- Darren O’Dea made his 20th MLS appearance on Saturday (all starts)
Gallery from the game: HERE