Well that was fun wasn't it. In my preview, I called for TFC to go for broke, take it to New York and see what happens, and that's pretty much what they did. For the first 20 minutes or so, TFC had some decent possession, Joao Plata was on fire and they got a few shots off, giving as good as they got as the teams traded attacks and chances. But with Alan Gordon and Maicon Santos not playing, all we had up front were the three wingers, and not even wingers like Dane Richards and Joel Lindpere who are a threat to score, so despite the promise, Soolsma, Martina and Plata were never really going to score were they?
The longer it went without TFC taking advantage of their chances, the more inevitable it became that New York would score. Ty Harden was back, but all that meant was we had out 4th choice Centre Back and a Right Back in the middle, and Dan Gargan and Danleigh Borman at Full Back. There was only so many times you could hear "Henry going up against Gargan" or "Lindpere takes on Gargan" before it was going to go wrong. To be fair to Gargan, he actually did ok, it was the rest of the defence that eventually broke down. Thus, like a professional wrestling match where they let the jobber get a few hits in on the heel to get the crowd going, eventually the bad guy got a big punch in and it was all over.
First, Eckersley chased the ball, thus leaving Henry wide open in front of goal. Then the left side of midfield allowed the Red Bulls Right Back to very casually wander to the edge of the box, before crossing to Rodgers who volleyed in a fantastic shot. 2-0 at half time, the go for broke plan failed, a brave effort that didn't work, but all in all, not a half to be ashamed of, given the difference in talent level. The third goal came on a quick break after we hit the post, the 4th saw Juan Agudelo easily win a header from a corner, and the 5th followed Ty Harden conveniently giving the ball away in the penalty box.
Basically, what we learned is that while we are slightly better then the worst team in MLS, we're a long way away from competing with one of the best teams, especially with so many injured/not yet eligible players. The real test of where we stand will be when we play a team at the level TFC can legitimately aspire to this season, mid table mediocrity, and that's Houston this Saturday. Then we get a week and a half off, before TFC 2011 2.0 with all their new signings (please be more than just the 2 we know about) gets to play.
So, last night's game is no reason to feel down, it tells us as much about the team as the wins against Vancouver did, the players that were out there did about as well as they could have been expected to, that one was all about the quality and depth of players, and TFC have a long long way to go in that regard.