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TFC 2011 | Week#24

Better, You Bet

Will Koevermans return tonight?

Early on Thursday, Toronto FC returned to BMO and fell 1-0 to Dallas FC for the third time this season. Can the same rate of defeat obscure the Reds improvements on the pitch? You bet.

The Last Match

They were ultimately beaten by a mental lapse in defense that cost them a goal. To be fair, they conceded a penalty shot as well. And Dallas missed it. So, one might argue the score was about right. Or you might say it should have been 2-0. This would, of course, ignore the possibility that one or more of the chances saved or missed at the other end might not have played out otherwise.

Either way, the Reds played a solid match against FCD and probably feel a bit burned by the loss. Toronto FC were unfortunate not to convert their chances. They had many. They also had a lot of possession and more shots than Dallas. TFC played a very different game than they did in the other two contests against this opponent.

Two truths of the Winter Reds hold true for the match. First, the defense has a lot of trouble holding firm for a full match. And second, the 4-3-3 (or 3-4-3) really benefits from a tall target man up-front. Be it Gordon or Koevermans, the team has the most offensive might and best results with that position filled. Ryan Johnson, nor the other forwards have proven to be adequate back up in their absence.

On a positive note, Winter has been spreading around the playing time lately. Matt Stinson, Ashtone Morgan and Doneil Henry have all shown themselves capable. From my vantage, I think this has been a great stretch for the younger players rising into the ranks. If only there were a tall target guy in this group.

Can They Blow Away San Jose?

Tonight’s contest against the San Jose Earthquakes will likely illustrate these points further. A clean sheet would be a very positive achievement. TFC has to show some improvement in that regard, especially against other lower ranked teams.

Danny Koevermans’ return to the line-up, if it happens, should give the Reds a chance to turn around their offensive impotence. He’s not the only one who can score, obviously, but his presence opens up opponents defenders and he holds the ball up better than anyone else.

San Jose are coming to town hungry to reverse a terrible slide in their performance. Add in two former TFC players potentially in their line-up and the visitors should present themselves as lively. I’m guessing this will be a chippy, hard-fought match.

Prediction:

TFC  2 – 1  SJE

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