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Now here we stand with their blood on our hands
We fought so hard, now can we understand
I'll break the seal of this curse if I possibly can
For freedom of every man!
So far away we wait for the day
For the lives all so wasted and gone
We feel the pain of a lifetime lost in a thousand days
Through the fire and the flames we carry on!
- "Through the Fire and Flames", Dragonforce
After going pointless for the first nine league games of the season, TFC have now claimed nine points out of their past five games. It seemed so impossible just a few weeks ago, but with a coach that the players seem to be responding to, the Reds are slowly but surely coming through the fire and flames once more by coming back from an early deficit to claim a point against the 2nd placed team in the East.
For a few moments early in the game, It seemed as though the bad old days had returned, as sloppy marking from the defence allowed Jan Gunnar Solli converted a Brandon Barklage cross in the fourth minute. But a corner from Torsten Frings was headed in by Danny Koevermans for his eighth goal of the season less than two minutes later, to put an end to that for the time being.
While there were a number of chances across the board, it was the Reds who almost sealed the deal near the end; a stark contrast to the previous four games where near the end it was the opposition that was garnering most of the chances.
Giving up the first goal within the first five minutes may have given some of the TFC faithful a fright, but the speed of which the reply came back is a refreshing change. That it happened despite the fact that Julian de Guzman (the difference in the past few games in the midfield) started on the bench and didn't come into the match until the second half, should provide some positive thoughts.
New York, for its part, did its share of testing of the TFC backline, especially with the likes of Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper (both of which have scored numerous times against the Reds) on the pitch. However, the home side was able to generate a few glorious chances of their own, including a Reggie Lambe chance that forced New York's backline to do some scrambling to keep it from turning into a 2-1 Toronto advantage.
Meanwhile, Ashtone Morgan once again proved himself to be a difference in the backline -- after some stellar performances in the back against Montreal, he followed it up with another solid show with JDG resting on the bench, which is quickly earning him some cred across MLS. Meanwhile, New York's danger men in Cooper and Henry were largely kept quiet, save for some scattered chances.
Nevertheless, it is an improvement from earlier in the season -- and while some stellar finishing could have meant TFC fans would be celebrating Canada Day with three points, a point will feel like a win for the time being.
Meanwhile, the "new" Reds will take their roadshow to Texas on the Fourth of July against FC Dallas; Waking the Red will be hosing our WTR Live! commentary and chat that evening, starting with pre-game coverage at 8:30pm ET -- so do join us then.