When is a win not a win?
Last night is the answer to the question posed in the headline ! Whilst the record books will show this as a win for TFC only the foolhardy – or those in charge of BMO Field end-game fireworks – would view it as such.
We shot ourselves in the foot last week by fielding a weakened team in the first leg in Montreal, something we have done before, and something that seems to suggest, not for the first time, that TFC management don’t take this competition as seriously as the fans. [note to management. When Toronto are playing Montreal at ANY sport we want to win. it matters!]
This meant that going into this week’s second leg TFC needed to win by two clear goals or maybe hope that Montreal did not score and eke the game out to extra-time with a 1-0 victory. Neither happened and this year’s competition is now history for the Reds.
I have heard some argue that if you are going faceplant in this competition then this is the year to do it. Wrong ! Due to the scheduling there is no CONCACAF Champions League berth for this year’s Canadian Champions in the forthcoming competition, Vancouver are already qualified by virtue of being the highest ranked Canadian team at the end of last season’s MLS competition. However, this year’s Canadian Champion, which will be decided in August will represent Canada in the 2016/17 Champions League so last night’s result ensured that TFC will not compete in the CCL again until at least 2017 (the 2017/18 competition – should we win next year’s Canadian Championship).
Its not all doom and gloom though, lets focus on a few positives ! TFC scored three times last night – a new club record for a home tie in the Canadian Championship. We did concede two goals though and that is also the highest we have conceded at home in the Voyageurs Cup.
Our three goalscorers last night also make it into the “Top 25” goalscorers one way or another ! Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco and Benoit Cheyrou all touch down in equal 10th place in the Voyageurs Cup socring charts alongside Bradley, Defoe, Edu, Harden, Harmse, Plata, Velez, Wiedeman and Yourassowsky who have also scored a single Voyageurs Cup goal. DeRo is our top scorer in this competition with 4 goals but no current player has more than 1. DeRo also tops our MLS scoring charts (28) but even this early in the season Altidore and Giovinco already make it into our top 25 of all time ! With 4 goals, Giovinco sits in 18th spot, tied with the likes of Jim Brennan, Terry Dunfield and Collin Samuel whilst with one more MLS goal, Altidore is equal with Edu, Jackson and Luis Silva. The highest on the list of the current squad is Jonathan Osorio with 8 goals who makes it into the top ten at #9. I have a feeling that both Altidore and Giovinco will surpass Jermain Defoe’s total of 11 before the season is out and maybe even Danny Koeverman’s 17 goals … but the team will need to perform better to get them there.
In terms of appearances Ashtone Morgan is now king. Last night was his 102nd appearance for TFC and eclipses the 99 made by Frei, DeRo’s 98 and the 93 made by Brennan, DeGuzman and Henry. Jim Brennan still holds the highest MLS appearance number with 84 but Morgan – with 76 – is closing in. Next nearest is Joe Bendik with 66 then Osorio with 61. DeRo and Doneil Henry are our top appearance makers in the Voyageurs Cup with 12 with Ashton down in 5th spot here on 9. Still .. who would have bet on Ashtone Morgan to be the first to go over one hundred appearances, or that after more or less a complete season where he was seemingly out of favour he would come back into the side early this season and put in some solid performances when those around him are under-performing.
- Debut: 19/10/10 Vs Arabe Unido (starter)
- MLS Debut: 26/03/11 Vs Portland (sub)
- MLS Starting Debut: 30/07/11 @Portland
- Voyageurs Debut: 02/05/12 @Montreal (starter)
- CCL Debut: 19/10/10 Vs Arabe Unido (starter)
- MLS appearances: 76 – 64 starts, 12 sub (32 unused sub)
- Voyageurs appearances: 9 – 9 starts, 0 sub (3 unused sub)
- CCL appearances: 17 – 14 starts, 3 sub (0 unused sub)
- Goals: 0
- Yellow Cards: 16 – 12MLS, 3 Voyageurs, 1 CCL
- Red Cards: 2 – both MLS, both @Philadelphia (13/04/13 & 03/09/14)
Finally – My three takeaways from the match experience last night ….
- Banners / Security: On Sunday Tim Leiwieke walked down to the Inebriatti behind the goal and apparently asked nicely for their ‘no Argos @ BMO’ banner to be taken down. He did this with a posse of security and armed police so ‘no’ was not really an option. Last night the banner was back and instead security decided to swarm around a few long-time supporters in 113 who were holding up a “FreeHarol” sign and a Harol facemask respectively. there were no profanities and no bad behaviour yet security surrounded them, brought the police down and escorted them down into the concourse. They were allowed back a few minutes later but this was very heavy handed.
- Camera Policy: Looks like (once again) that the gate you enter by determines policy. For this game I entered through the new gate 4 and security was almost pleasant. There was no third degree about the camera, no lens envy just a quick look inside the bag and a comment to enjoy the game.
- Fireworks: We won the game but lost the series and went OUT of the Canadian Championship. This seemed to have been lost on someone who could have saved the club a few hundred dollars in victory fireworks ! Most fans saw no reason to celebrate this “victory”.
Gallery from this game : HERE
Michael Bradley after the game