At the end of the day, it just wasn't enough. (CREDIT: Kyle Rivas, Getty Images)
| SPORTING KC
2 – 1
||SHOTS ON GOAL||2
All I needed was a friend to lend a guiding hand,
But you turned into a lover, and mother what a lover -- you wore me out!
All you did was wreck my bed, and in the morning kick me in the head.
Oh Maggie, I couldn't have tried anymore.
You lured me away from home, 'cause you didn't want to be alone,
You stole my heart I couldn't leave you if I tried.
- "Maggie May", Rod Stewart
What seemed like another draw, in another game where we had no business drawing -- and mother, how much a draw against those teams would have meant for our collective psyche? -- gone down the tubes, by conceding another late goal.
What seemed like a steady performance against the Eastern Conference leaders was garnished by a less-than-stellar performance from Kei Kamara, who couldn't hit the side of a barn. It was then left to unlikely hero (and former Red) Paulo Nagamura and former Barcelona B-man Oriol Rosell to overcome Ryan Johnson's near-halftime opener. The stats do flatter Sporting, and doesn't really show the whole picture.
That picture, was of stout work for about 85 minutes. On the few chances they had, they made it count -- but it still wasn't enough. It's a sad time to be watching, but few tears need to be shed, especially from us as supporters.
Given the fact that Ashtone Morgan and Torsten Frings were absent (the latter potentially out for the rest of the season with a hip injury, of which word wasn't released until after the game had actually started) and both Eric Avila and Milos Kocic stapled to the bench due to front office drama leaking into the on-field product, it's definitely not the lack of effort that is being begrudged. What this writer begrudges is the fact that a clearly inferior keeper is being used because of the aforementioned front office drama.
Richard Eckersley's delivery to Ryan Johnson for the opening goal was lovely, and shows that, despite some of his blunders, Eckersley will likely be around next season. Darren O'Dea's arrival in the back line has given that area so much more stability than we're used to seeing -- save for the late goals, of course. The chances were far and few in between, and perhaps the defence was helped out by an uncharacteristic Kamara off-night; but it all seemed to work out. Freddy Hall certainly didn't help his own case by giving up the winner to Rosell.
Would things have been different if we actually had the best players available? Perhaps. With nothing to play for, it's admittedly difficult to get any motivation. Perhaps it would have been much worse -- we shall never know. But what we saw tonight (the lack of information, the late release of Frings' condition) was more of what is a shambolic situation, and of a coach that has seemingly lost the plot, or have simply given up, or for some other reason still unknown.
All of this shows that this TFC is simply not a very good team, a painful truth that most supporters probably know already. It's not ideal for us supporters, and some of them are voting with their feet in reaction to this. Meanwhile, the debate will rage on for days as to what TFC needs to do, and what new direction is needed. (One thing's for sure -- the off-field drama generated by the front office spilling into game day, has to stop.) Sporting perhaps rightfully stole the three points at the end, but for TFC to put them to the sword and come up with nothing -- it really stings at the soul.
WAKING THE RED'S GOLDEN TROPHIES/KICKS TO THE GROIN
|A golden trophy to...Darren O'Dea.||Really is proving his worth.|
|A kick to the groin to...Freddy Hall.||YOU SAVE GOALS. Not let in soft winners.|
|A kick to the groin to...Kei Kamara.||Come on, who in the league doesn't want it?|
|A golden trophy to...Ryan Johnson.||Who knew he can actually make a difference, by scoring?|
|A kick in the groin to...TFC front office.||Hello? If Frings is out, no need to hide it.|