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Notes from the Stands – Toronto FC v Sporting KC

A forum for sharing observations from the match day experience, as TFC and Sporting KC played to a 1-2 result, kicking off the conversation with a few notes.

Who's your father? Who's your father? Who's your father, referee?
Who's your father? Who's your father? Who's your father, referee?
Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend, another match at BMO Field as Toronto lost a heartbreaker 1-2 to Kansas City on Saturday – much has been said about the on-field action – the good play, the poor finishing, the wonky referee, but what about off the pitch?

Waking the Red has it covered.

Rowdy Crowd

The stands can be a weird place sometimes and Toronto fans are difficult to pin down. Whether it is the irregular crowd of spectacle seekers, the weight of nearly a decade of frustration, or the stifling heat of early kickoff times, one is never sure what sort of crowd is going to turn out.

Sometimes aloof, sometimes impressive, TFC supporters are a fickle bunch, but they were lively on Saturday.

Little brings a disparate crowd together like a common sense of being hard done by and there were plenty of reasons to feel slighted on Saturday. The adversity of not only playing one of the best teams in the league, but also combating a troubled official, contributed to one of the more rambunctious atmospheres of the season.

And as the campaign climaxes over the remaining three months of the regular season it was hopefully a sign of things to come.

There was one particularly animated fellow a row ahead who took out his frustration with a variety of entertaining verbal tirades towards the official while holding a toothbrush in a menacing fashion – it may have ‘entered’ into his colourful descriptions of the various ‘motivations’ he proffered to spur the ref into doing better.

Graphic and dark, but enjoyable all the same; the idea of some mild-mannered midweeker going hulk in the stands on the weekend is a comforting image for those nostalgic for simpler days.

Scottish Approval

There was an elderly Scottish fellow sitting alongside this observer, who was raving all night about Nick Hagglund, who in his eyes should have been the man of the match for his complete erasure of Graham Zusi.

Too often exceptional defensive performances are overlooked for the flashier exploits on the pitch, but Hagglund deserves all the praise he gets for shutting down Zusi – to the extent that KC’s newly-minted designated player swapped flanks in the second half in hopes of ditching Hagglund’s shackles.

His marking of the American International was impressive, closing him down at every instance – giving him just enough space to breathe before eating it all up when necessary.

The gentlemen also thought highly of KC’s Igor Juliao, which led one to suspect he had a certain affinity for the full-back, perhaps he was one back in the day.

But indeed, both put in exceptional performances, exhibiting the two sides of the game required in the modern full-back – picking spots to get up-field and knowing how to shutdown the opponents danger-men out wide.

A doff of the cap to each.

Peterson Drinks in the Hate

Jacob Peterson’s time here in Toronto has become a bit of a meme since he left, as the quintessential American who cannot wrap his head around the concept of Canada; let alone stomach having to play for a Canadian team in America League Soccer.

Well, he definitely got the last laugh on Saturday and made sure the fans knew it was him that scored the winner.

As one of the calmer variety (usually), such visceral outpourings in celebration should be encouraged, promoting the drama and the rivalry, but there is a fine line between cool and too far. Peterson walked that line well, but celebrating in front of the opposition’s most hardcore of fans is a recipe for trouble – or, at least, the launching of beers. Thankfully, none of that occurred.

But at least fans were treated to a decent, tasty popsicle-type thing at the end.

Please share your observations from match day in the comments section below: spot any rare kits? Any other fans losing their minds while warding off the scourge of gingivitis? Jacob Peterson – Great American or Greatest American?