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TFC 2010 | Week#6

Strong Start Toward Voyageurs Cup

Toronto FC 2 – 0 Montreal Impact

April Fools uniform choices: Pink vs Gray

Best Atmosphere At BMO Yet

It was an odd match on the pitch, starting with the unexpected choices in uniforms from both sides. With more cards flying around than Canada Post at Christmas, the game got rough and ugly at times. Nevertheless, last night’s victory over the Impact was a great night to be in the stands. It was a cool one out there, to be sure, but even before we pulled ahead the supporters’ sections were buoyant and the atmosphere reflected it. The fans at BMO traded misdemeanor shenanigans for enthusiastic support, and they played out a cleaner match than the one on the field. For those of us with faith in Chad Barrett, it was heartening to see both his first goal of 2010 and also the rousing standing ovation it earned him.

(Barrett’s goal is at 4:25 in the clip)

Ultimate Fighting in Cleats

This match was a chippy one from both sides from the start, including a few cheap and pointless fouls from our side to open the proceedings. Toronto FC earned four yellow cards in total, counting one at game’s end to Frei for wasting time before a goal kick, and Montreal had two yellows and a red. The ejection occurred late in the 1st half when Montreal striker Roberto Brown took his position’s title literally and seemed to knock out Nick Garcia in a scuffle away from the play. Garcia left the game counting the spinning birdies and Montreal checked out of the match offensively for the rest of the night.

There was more gladiatorial drama on the field last night too. Dwayne De Rosario’s goal in the 12th minute came out of a ball bouncing freely in front of the Montreal goal. As the Impact goalkeeper, Matt Jordan, lunged out to make a play for the ball, Toronto FC defender Ty Harden also threw himself into the mix. The end result was a bone-deep gash to the leg of Harden, who later required 22 stitches to close the wound. After the incident Harden got up and returned to the Toronto FC end for the kick-off after the goal, then flopped onto the pitch and calmly waited as medical staff deliberated before fetching a vehicle to carry him away. The referee ended up adding 9 minutes to the 1st half to make up for this protracted delay – hardly an inspiring performance from the EMS team.

Great Start

A two-goal home opener is just the way Toronto FC needed to begin the Canadian Championship. They will be under much less pressure for the next match in Montreal as a result. Vancouver Whitecaps will surely be watching the tape of this game. Toronto FC had a few vulnerable moments, requiring solid goalkeeping from Stefan Frei, but otherwise showed its class. Even without Preki’s favoured starting 11, the team showed some consistency and moxy in defending while also putting some creativity into attack. It wasn’t a stellar performance, considering the Impact played most of the game with 10 men, but it was good enough for a win and that counts for something.

The team was in decent form last night, even though Preki offered starts for many players who had been held as substitutes for many of the league games up to now. Cronin, Gala, Garcia, Harden and Peterson all got the chance to play and it seemed like they all fared quite well.  Jacob Peterson was working hard and showing lots of promise in the midfield, and Gabe Gala put in a spirited performance that certainly suggests he could be seeing more playing time than Preki’s shown him until now. Sam Cronin’s night wasn’t one to remember, and it calls into question how well he fits the format Preki is offering him. Last season, Cronin started often and earned it on the field each match. Clearly young and inexperienced, he still had remarkable poise with the ball, a good work ethic and some talent to spare. It’s baffling to me that he can’t seem to find that form on Preki’s Toronto FC. I’m hoping that story changes soon, because he’s underused and underappreciated at the moment.

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