TFC 2010 | TFC 2011 | Week#6

No Hesmer No Cry

An image that's hard to erase...

Trillium Shmillium, We Still Need To Beat The Crew

Toronto FC have never beaten the Crew. Odds are this won’t be the match that ends the streak. I’d like to see the Reds bounce back from the DC debacle with a stronger match. I’m praying we won’t see another goal scored by the Columbus goalkeeper, William Hesmer. Even though it was after the season had to be written off last year, his extra time goal stole that first TFC win between these clubs and had to be the absolute nadir of the 2010 bummer.

It will be interesting to see if the slow and steady progress will continue under the new system. Much has been made of TFC’s lazy starts and early goal deficits, not to mention the lethal giveaways from the back line that keep ending up spinning in the twine behind Stefan Frei. Not nearly as many are talking about the current scoring drought – now at 243 minutes. In my eyes, and after last weekend’s dreary aftermath, any notable improvement Saturday in any one of these problem areas would have to be seen as a major accomplishment.

The match’s gossip point for TFC fans has to be whether we’ll get to see the new fullback of Manchester United pedigree. Richard Eckersley has had a week to train with TFC, which is more than many of the other newcomers were given before being dropped into starting roles. Given the issues thus far filling that position for the Reds, I would be shocking if Eckersley didn’t make an appearance in at least a substitute role.

Alen Stevanovic really didn’t look healthy by the end of the DC game. It would be nice to see him rested and someone else given the chance to work the left flank. For all Stevanovic’s obvious skill on the ball, his inclinations also seem selfish. Perhaps Oscar Cordon will return as a starter, and Peterson freed from duties as a defender this week. Word has it that Alan Gordon will be back and that could mean the twin towers will be at work down the middle. All in all, the Reds have some appealing options for tomorrow’s starting 11.

Columbus haven’t been scored on in the past four matches. Chances are, it is going to be hard to crack them on Saturday. Realistically, TFC should be content with a draw in this contest. Given the rivalry that has developed between the teams and the supporters, the fans at BMO won’t be sharing that opinion. It would be a huge coup to beat Columbus, better yet to do it at home. A win would also be a huge morale boost for a team that needs to keep their spirits high.

The coming weeks are going to be a grind, with the Canadian Championships overlapping with a dense part of Toronto FC’s MLS schedule. Another NCC title seems very far-fetched at the moment, with the Whitecaps playing much better football than the Reds. The best case scenario as I see it is that TFC escape without major injuries and use the surplus of match time to get their game in order. A strong performance at home against the Crew would be a great way to start this next stretch of the season.


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