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NCC 2011 | TFC 2011 | Week#7

Soundering Alarm

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Toronto FC’s past ten days have been illustrative of the team’s current condition. It also shouldn’t be taken as a sign of the apocalypse.

The match in Seattle last Saturday was dreadful. Some are comparing it to the 5-0 bitch slapping the Red Bulls laid on the Reds in the final week of the regular season two years ago that knocked TFC out of the playoffs. Perhaps fair, as a measure of sucking, the comparison can’t capture the context of either game accurately. The Red Bulls, then basement dwelling, rose up and eviscerated a team that was going to scrape into the post-season with anything but a loss.

Last weekend, TFC came out lame and never got it together. The 3-0 drubbing the Sounders gave us was deserved, and probably less harsh than it could have been.

The two NutCan games that flanked the misery in Seattle illustrated, at minimum, the technical floor the Reds are playing at right now. They’re not bad enough to roll over to any NASL team that comes along. We’re probably lucky, however, that we didn’t have to test that theory against the Montreal Impact in the first round. Let’s just call it a fortunate break that we drew Edmonton.

In Winter We Trust

Toronto FC is playing very inconsistently. Players are still new to each other. The system is testing some players knowledge, ability and instinct, and allowing only a few to shine on all those fronts. It will be a while before this team will find a groove together. This is exactly what we should be expecting from them at this point in the season.

Things could be much better. TFC squandered points during a home-heavy stretch the past weeks. They will struggle to overcome that later this season.

Things could also be much worse. TFC managed to pick up some draws and collect some points in the early going. We’re less than a third of the way into a year where the house has been cleaned and the management reset.

Sure, keeping DeRo around would have given us a shot at some more offense. He was always good for heroics, our best hope for prying a win out of a tight draw. Maybe he’d be there sneaking a draw out of a potential loss. Probably, however, it wouldn’t have made any difference overall.

The gist of 2011 is don’t get your hopes too high for the short-run. Toronto FC are going to get their share of spankings this season, especially on the road.

A fair measure for Winter’s efforts this year will be how the Reds are playing in the final third of the season. Not only will he have to succeed in schooling the team on tactics, but he’s going to have to get lucky in keeping players healthy. Most importantly, Aron Winter will have to be masterful in keeping the Reds’ morale from swirling down the drain.

Two wins over Edmonton are proof the situation isn’t hopeless. Seattle reminded us that it’s going to be a long season.

 

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