TFC 2010 | Week#6

TFC Flop In Salt Lake

2 – 1

Another Week Another Road Loss

Resting De Rosario, de Guzman and White and tasking the bench with carrying the first half of the game probably was a wise coaching choice from a roster management perspective. With the Voyageur Cup bringing extra matches this month, Toronto FC needs to keep that bigger picture in mind. Sadly, the decision made the opening half of this game a dull and uninspiring affair. The Reds ultimately failed in their strategy of hanging back and holding their ground. Real Salt Lake dominated possession, seemed to pick apart the midfield and found their way in on goal far too often.

Though we had two good chances on the few times we kept the ball in the RSL half, they were saved without much trouble by RSL’s keeper. Chad Barrett’s thirty yard shot had low chance of success, but Joseph Nane’s header on a nicely played cross was a goal in the making. If there’s one word to describe TFC’s performance through the first 45 minutes, it would have to be ‘impotent’. The defending failed to hold off RSL’s patient and persistent advance, and the offensive effort was largely accidental. The Reds seemed uncommitted at both ends. This gave RSL lots of time and space to set up and play their own game. For the most part, they had Toronto FC’s number from the start. At the half, RSL was two goals up and it could have been four.

Second Wind

Putting De Rosario, de Guzman and White on for the second half initially seemed to give the Reds a jolt of energy and intensity that had been lacking. Tragically, this fizzled after 10-15 minutes and RSL adjusted to the changes and handily threw TFC back into their initial rut. The bulk of the second half played out like the first, with RSL controlling possession in the midfield. Toronto FC tightened up on defense, but gave away their chances in possession before any real threat could be created going forward. It was a sad display – the kind of effort that makes you question aloud the worthiness of our stars, our coaches and whatever strategy was supposed to be at work.

To the team’s credit, they kept pushing despite the two goal deficit. De Rosario, Barrett and White struggled to find cracks in the RSL back line, and O’Brian White looked like a hero when his header beat RSL’s keeper. It was just bad luck that it caught the cross bar and bounced back out. Ultimately, De Ro got through for a run and his cross into the area struck a defender’s hand. The penalty shot in the 88th minute gave him his sixth goal of the season, and lit some fire again in TFC’s play as the waning minutes offered a surprising chance to even the game. It was not to be, and the game ended as it seemed destined from early on. Toronto FC never really showed up to play, and RSL earned three points.

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