Well that wasn't all that surprising really was it. Two poor teams completely out of the playoff picture, with nothing to play for. San Jose Earthquakes came into the game second bottom of the Western Conference, ahead of only Vancouver, and riding a 12 game winless streak. Toronto FC of course were bottom of the Eastern Conference, they have improved recently, but had played 1 1/2 games in midweek, and this was their 5 1/2th game in 15 days.
Two bad teams playing each other can often lead to an entertaining, if sloppy and mistake filled, game, but that wasn't what we got yesterday. Nope, things went exactly as you'd expect from that first paragraph, crap + crap really did end up equalling crap. The one thing that might have made this one a bit more interesting, the return of so many ex-reds. turned into a non event as there were 0 former TFC players in the Earthquakes starting XI, with only Jacob Peterson making it into the game as a substitute.
It wasn't quite as bad as the Kansas City squirrel game, there were a few good moments here and there, but overall, there was a massive lack of quality throughout this game. Sloppy passing, poor decision making, wayward finishing were all on display and both teams were just bad enough to cancel each other out.
The refereeing wasn't much better, Terry Vaughan calling a very petty and officious game that ruined any kind of flow that might have got going, and the one big decision that had to be made, the linesman got wrong, calling Joao Plata offside to negate one of the few good moments, a perfectly timed through ball from Ryan Johnson, allowing Plata to run behind the defence, round the goalie and slot it into an empty net. That would have made it 2-0 and it would have been game over, instead it stayed 1-0 until some criminal marking from TFC allowed the Earthquakes to equalise.
Until then, the disastrous sounding Centre Back combo of Ty Harden and Andy Iro had held things together, bending without breaking and keeping San Jose to half chances from goalmouth scrambles in the first half, or wayward shots from distance in the second. Iro in particular did well and made a great tackle to deny Jacob Peterson a scoring chance late on. Then in the 87th minute, a long throw was headed on at the near post and fell into TFC's 6 yard box. Aron Winter had just brought Eddy Viator on, so there was now 5 defenders out there, San Jose have pretty much just the one goal threat, Chris Wondolowski, so you'd think one of the five would have thought to mark him as tight as they can. But you'd be wrong, Viator was the main culprit as the reigning MLS Golden Boot winner was left alone in the 6 yard box and smashed the ball past Milos Kocic.
That was the 49th league goal conceded this year, equalling the record set by the comedy stylings of Mo Johnston's expansion club, and given we've reached that mark in 28 games, 2 fewer than that side needed, that should tell you all you need to know about the season as a whole.
That sloppy equaliser denied TFC fans the solace of at least a win to paper over the poor showing, and denied Eric Avila the game winning goal on what was a very nice finish in the 32nd minute. Peri Marosevic tried to dribble through three defenders and unsurprisingly failed but the ball fell nicely to Avila, who took the ball into the right side of the penalty area and he went back across the goalie, tucking it just inside the far post. Aside from that, the Plata 'offside' goal, and a good chance for Torsten Frings, TFC really didn't create much, so the 1-1 draw was probably about all they deserved. It does at least move us ahead of New England at the bottom of the East, so that's something I suppose.
A poor, nothing kind of a game then, from two poor teams with nothing to play for, at least the weather was nice. Meh!