The Next Three Games
If you are here reading this instead hoping to see my usual post game video rant about yet another shambolic Toronto FC performance, don’t hold your breath ‘cause it is not happening.
Frankly I am getting sick to death of trying to talk about this team in a relatively calm fashion and not having an ulcer burst in my stomach as a consequence. Unfortunately I know what that actually feels like and I don’t want to feel that way again. Sometimes a bit of of a break is the only cure.
We lost in typical lamb to the slaughter fashion last Saturday against a mediocre MLS opponent from Columbus who played without their star centre back Chad Marshall, and who were at best a decent road side on the day, nothing more. Toronto managed a total of three shots on goal against the Crew, none of them remotely threatening other than one sitter flubbed from Justin Braun ( fast becoming Chad Barrett redux). TFC played without width, urgency and passion AGAIN and are now if you can believe it on a string of only one single solitary victory in the last twenty five matches in the league dating back to last summer.
I can’t in retrospect put a finger on why I feel the way I do about this team right now other than to say for me at least I can’t remember feeling much lower than I felt leaving the ground last Saturday. Why its taken me so long is perhaps a fair question too I guess.
Maybe it was the fact that the revolving door on the dressing room seems to be speeding up rather than slowing down. Maybe it is what I see as a possible over-reliance on the loan system for Kevin Payne that feels like putting short term band aids on what instead needs to be a truly long term solution. Maybe its the gnawing feeling I am getting that Kevin Payne is making some desperate moves as of late in advance of the official start of new MLSE head honcho Tim Leiwicki possibly placing his short term job security ahead of what might be more sensible long tern decisions. Maybe it is the fact that I have only experienced one single League victory as a supporter of this club since last summer, and that is a hell of a long time!
If you do want to read more about the match check out the TFC Pics review of the game which is an excellent summary. It can be found here:http://viewfromthesouthstands.com/tfc-v-columbus-same-different-day/
The Voyageurs Cup is gone. Champions League is a fading memory, and overcoming Montreal or Vancouver any time soon to make it back to CONCACAF makes the Cruz Azul win and the Galaxy game at the Rogers Centre feel like distant stars in the night sky.
All there is left for us this season is the league. And dare I say it all there is left for the Reds to salvage any semblance of respectability this season are the next three games.
- New England away this weekend.
- Philadelphia at home a week hence.
- And DeRo and company, the bottom feeding DC United, away the week after.
All three games are winnable.
New England, FieldTurf notwithstanding, is far from an intimidating place to play. There has been a 20% drop already this season in home game attendance in Foxboro, averaging 11,250 paying patrons in 2013. This season the Revs have earned only five of a total fifteen home points securing a win, two draws and two losses.
Philly is a better side than New England no doubt. They have been road warriors to date this season winning four games away from their nasty Philly suburb out of a total of five wins from 12 matches. Last time Toronto played them at Philly earlier in the season the result was a decent (by TFC road standards!) draw. The Philly game might also see the return of striker Danny Koevermans to regular season play which might turn out to be a huge lift it all goes well. Koevermans is the best striker (on a per game average) this club has ever had.
Beyond that the Reds march on Washington DC to play a shambolic DC United side at RFK who are bottom of the table and who have scored just six goals in eleven games to date, conceding a TFC 2012-like 20 goals so far in this campaign. Other than the obligatory DeRo motivation to screw Toronto at every turn this again looks like a game that the Reds can get something from.
Toronto FC has had arguably the toughest schedule of just about anybody so far in MLS to date. Toronto has already faced the top six clubs in the Eastern Conference and three of the top five from the West.
Finally the schedule is giving the Reds three winnable matches in a row. At last the schedule makers give TFC a stretch of sensible matches to try and build some momentum from. If they can’t beat these guys who can they beat? If they can’t get results now when will they come???
If results start coming now a corner might have been turned. If they do not the season is over.
Another season over by July might be a wound even this club might have difficulty recovering from