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Notes from the Stands – Toronto FC v New England Revolution

Waking the Red's forum for discussing the off-field events from the latest Toronto FC home match - a disappointing affair against New England

Effort; it's the bare minimum
Effort; it's the bare minimum
Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

With action like that on the pitch, the less said about it the better, as such Waking the Red presents its forum for discussing the match day experience.

Given TFC’s relatively-solid position, the long weekend, and the final match under the festivites of the Ex, one may have attended in high spirits, expecting a jovial occasion; it was anything but, as heat, humidity, and a woeful display combined for a negative early evening at the park.


Toronto regularly has the worst-planned start times in the league (hyperbole, perhaps), but early afternoon in the baking sun throughout the summer, combined with the frustration of transportation during construction season – worsened by the CNE – made a 5 pm start time ludicrous in its application, leading to the ground being barely half-full for the anthems.

From then on, it only got worse; the stifling heat and New England’s early goal sucking the air out of the place, before culminating in a dejected crowd that booed and left early, for what felt like the first time this season.

The hardcore support did their best, but with the side failing to string passes together, there was very little to herald. It was a dour reminder of what a TFC match use to be – and hopefully, that is all that it was.

De Rosario Love

Perhaps the lone bright spot of the match was Ryan Nelsen responding (though correlation and causation may not necessarily match) to the Toronto fans requesting that hometown hero, Dwayne De Rosario, enter the match.

And boy did he ever. De Rosario was a spark of energy in a dejected side, leaving one to wonder why he has seen such little time this season. Some pundits have questioned Nelsen’s ability to safely experiment, using heavy schedules and late minutes to ensure that peripheral players get enough time that when they are needed, say during a horrible injury crunch, they have seen enough minutes to approach match-fitness and be useful.

The ten minutes De Rosario put in were his first in over a month – a span of six matches – and he was the only player that seemed interested. When a team is lacking in inspiration, it needs heroes to step up; if only it had been twenty minutes earlier.

Eclectic Kits

On any given match day one sees jerseys in abundance, usually the standard ones – Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, etc; even the occasional Juventus, Celtic, or Benfica – given the make-up of the crowd, heritage-wise, they are not surprises.

But one row outdid itself this week with an Atletico Madrid kit, an RC Lens kit, and a PAOK strip in close proximity. Well done.

Bonus: Bobby Shuttleworth stuck around on the pitch after the final whistle to come over and take a bunch of pictures with some folks in the crowd, which seemed a little odd.

Did any one else see De Rosario taking in the Ex with some friends and family after the match?

Please share any thoughts from a disappointing day at BMO Field in the comments section below. Spot any peculiar kits? Did anyone try the chocolate chicken? How weird did it feel to flash back to the dark days of disappointed crowds booing and leaving?