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Red Shots. Monday 18 April.

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Welcome to Red Shots, a regular feature where I take stories or links from the last few days that amuse me, or are interesting but not really interesting enough for a full post, or that I just don't have time to write about, and half-arsedly throw them together into one post. Expect to see this once or twice a week depending on how busy things are.

Today, De Ro's happy to not have to be a selfish formation wrecker anymore, a look at how possession and three central midfielders can be better than how TFC makes it look, a review of the Bmo Field experience, and a new expansion team to be jealous of, at least it's not all Whitecaps anymore.

All that and more! (well, not really) after the jump.

Dwayne de Rosario features in this article from goal.com where he talks about how happy he is to be playing with some more talented players with the Red Bulls. A bit of a fluff article really, and they don't even spell his name right, but this quote made me angry, and then sad.

“It’s nice to be able to focus on just keeping the ball flowing and pick my moments. In Toronto, I felt like I had to go and contribute [scoring] to the team,” said De Rosario exclusively to Goal.com.

“Don’t get me wrong, there will be times where I still make my runs, but now I can be more focused on my position and not take away space from the forwards. Stick to my position, the attacking midfield role, and be patient. Let them make the runs and feed off of it.“

Maybe Dwayne, just maybe, if you had focussed on your position, been patient, kept the ball flowing and not taken space away from the forwards while you were at TFC (your words not mine), things might have eventually worked out better. Good of you to acknowledge what we all knew about your lack of ability to play to a system though, thanks for that!

On the other side though, TFC's last two games have been crying out for a talented, determined and selfish guy to eventually just say fuck it and try to do something on his own haven't they? Sigh.

Next up, an interesting analysis of how a possession based 4-3-3 can work well, and how the central midfielders can make it work, looking at Barcelona, as well as realistically copyable models at FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake. Interesting stuff, and could give TFC fans a bit of hope, at least until it comes to this sentence near the end.

The downside to these tactics, of course, is that it takes several years of practice and familiarity to achieve the level of cohesion RSL display. Most teams, and most fanbases, don’t have that kind of patience.

Hands up who thinks TFC and their supporters can be more patient than 'most teams and fanbases'. Me neither.

Next up, you may have previously stumbled upon the blog stadiumjourney, basically going to a bunch of different stadiums in North America and rating them on a bunch of different factors, food, atmosphere, accessibility etc etc. Well the author got to Bmo Field for the April 2nd game against Chivas, and here's what he thinks. A bit more enthusiastic and positive than I would be, though I fully agree with the endorsement of the poutine wagon, and I'm not sure all the positive talk about the great fans is really applicable any more, but he more or less gets it right, especially with this line.

The only negative that the Toronto fans have is that they are late arriving and don't normally make it to their seats for the beginning of the match.


Lastly, Portland Timbers finally have their stadium upgrades finished and played two home games over the weekend, winning them both, 4-2 and 3-2, check out video of the games and the supporters here. The stadium and supporters look like another excellent addition to MLS, and despite being the only team to lose to TFC so far, they look likely to be another expansion team that could well finish above us this year. Ah well, at least Vancouver are no longer MLS flavour of the month.