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TFC 2013

Inspirado

The Tie that was a Victory

Last week’s thrilling finish against FC Dallas lasted me most of the week. The odds seemed so bleak for TFC, after more than 80 minutes of listless and discombobulated play. Dallas just seemed to have the upper hand for most of the match. Though I wouldn’t say FCD were giving great game either.

Nevertheless, TFC rising from a 2-0 deficit with a late rally to tie was nearly too good to be true. We rejoiced. And Darel Russell’s goal was watched a few more times online too. DeRuss really should have had Goal of the Week honours, but that’s another contest.

Now that the rush has fizzled out, another match looms tomorrow. In the wake of last week’s heroics, it should be said that there is a lot to admire in a team that gets it done. Pretty or not, TFC netted two goals when they needed it and probably didn’t really deserve them for most of the game. It’s a quality the team has lacked for most of its existence. In the absence of great stars or a beautiful system, it would be a fantastic bonus if Ryan Nelsen’s Reds found some of that dirty, get it doneness this season.

Creativity, where are you?

Grinders are great. And they are the force that keeps a team in games. Luis Silva has shown, however, that TFC still need a crafty and creative force to actually score goals. I’m not taking anything from Justin Braun’s big guy in the right place/time opener last week. But when it comes to breaking down well-organized defensive systems, a little inspirado is in order.

This week, Philly host the Reds. An away victory seems like a lot to ask against this year’s Union. That said, the two teams are cheek to jowl in the East. And compared to the string of opponents TFC have faced so far, Philly seems much more beatable.

Much is being made of the Danny Califf v Conor Casey head to head and Califf’s return to his old grounds. For me, the significant issue will be at the other end of the contest. Toronto FC must keep up their gritty grinding, but they have to improve their transition.

Seems like Luis Silva may get a start this week. And his spark will be crucial if TFC are to find some creative movement in attack mode. I’m feeling pitched defensive battle will be the tone of the contest. Flash and flair will take a back seat to some belligerence and bellicosity. I have a feeling Casey/McInerney are good for a goal. And based on the past few weeks, I think TFC can find one too.

Prediction

Philadelphia Union  1  –  1  Toronto FC

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