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TFC 2011 | Week#3

Scapegoats

Goal of the Week(#2)

Goat of the Week

 

Toronto FC  vs  Chivas USA

 

With the controversial news about Dwayne De Rosario’s trade, there’s probably little point to digging into the minutae of today’s match between the Reds and the Goats. Nobody’s really going to be talking about the game.

De Rosario’s departure will divide fans. Today, Toronto FC will play without him. Discussion boards are boiling. Twitter’s a flitter. And, wait a second… DeRo’s an unfortunate scapegoat for frustrations, but there’s still a game at BMO Saturday afternoon.

I had plans to talk about how DeRo and last week’s newcomer Alen Stevanovic might find harmony and integration on the pitch together this week. Winter surprised me by subbing in Stevanovic for the second half against Portland. More surprising yet, Stevanovic showed some remarkable liveliness and gumption for someone who had been in town such a short spell. I mean the guy probably didn’t even know all of his teammates names last weekend.

Maybe we should have seen this DeRo move coming.

Stevanovic is one piece of a big picture puzzle Mariner and Winter are assembling. DeRo’s old baggage, and they must have seen a need to balance the team’s reliance on his playmaking. The off-field dramas of late certainly haven’t helped.

Stevanovic, the loaner from Torino FC, made an impression on me. He is strong on the ball, bold going forward and will probably spark lots of opportunity around him. With more options rolling up-front, he could be a worthy provider. But he’s young, and new to the MLS, so hauling off the veterans seems a bit abrupt. In the short time they played together, it did seem like Stevanovic and DeRo were stepping on each other from time to time. Surely there could have been some useful harmony and overlap for these guys.

With or without DeRo, the Reds have a great opportunity today. Chivas are suffering from injuries, international call-ups and consecutive losses – including a 2-0 loss to Portland on Tuesday that eliminated them from the US Open cup race.

Toronto FC can capitalize on home advantage and their diminished opponents to snare some early points and boost their own confidence. The DeRo debacle proves it. The management’s focus is long-term. I really feel that few more wins out of the gate for this team and the vast majority of fans would be solidly back on side.

Here’s hoping that no matter the 11 we field, we come out ahead. C’mon you Reds.

 

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