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Morning After Analysis: FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC

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Jake Payne breaks down five hours of Toronto FC, lightning and yet another loss.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to stay upbeat about this team right now. With so much hype and money going into Toronto FC before the season started, the results have not lived up to what everyone thought the team would be. Ninth in the conference, 19th in the league with one more game played than the team in last, the Montreal Impact? That's not good. Unfortunately, in this game, Toronto played like their position in the standings.

Dallas Scorers Club

So this is fine I guess. Nick Hagglund both knows where his man is and he sees the ball. He is all seeing right now, but unfortunately he also doesn’t realize that things aren’t going to go how he thinks. You should watch the video to see the exact moment he messes this all up. The ball goes not to Castillo like he thought, it goes in between Hagglund and Damien Perquis. This completely messes up Hagglund who doesn’t and can’t make an effort to catch the ball or Castillo who puts on a burst of speed and makes a great shot to put it in the net. He got outpaced and he also committed to a scenario in his head with no awareness to other possibilities. It’s a dumb goal to give up and it’s really dumb how soon this happened.

You’d think right now that Toronto has this situation on lockdown. Dallas has two people offside and they are completely overcompensating for the right side of the field, which should probably warn you that somethings up. Fast forward a few seconds.

Oh dear. This is oddly reminiscent to the Shaun Maloney goal two weeks ago where you probably thought I photoshopped someone in. In fact, all the same problems are present in this. The person on the far side is caught ball watching and Toronto had a lot of people on one side, but they weren’t really contributing. They haven’t changed at all during the bye week, which is concerning. The defensive awareness of Toronto is the exact reason they are so low on the table, they can’t keep doing this and expect to win games. The thought needs to pop up if you are Nick Hagglund "Why am I all alone right now, is there anyone I should be keeping an eye on" because right now he is essentially a spectator with the best seat in the house. I would say that Hagglund should be on the bench, but there’s really nobody who can replace him right now anyway with all the injuries. So until the day the injury list shrinks, the Toronto defenders should be more aware of who’s around them.

That honestly wasn’t the worst goal though.

You should watch the third goal and at the end, play the losing horn from The Price Is Right. I honestly don’t know how this could happen. Damien Perquis and Colleen Warner have a derp moment and miscommunicate who is going to control the ball while Blas Perez and Ryan Hollingshead look at each other and figure out who is going to score the upcoming goal. Not much analyzing you can do with this one, this would be funnier if Toronto wasn’t already down by two 20 minutes into the match.

2 for you Giovinvo, you go Giovinco

The only bright spot for the night was Giovinco who realized that he is a designated player and he should play like one. Looking at him on the field, he made a lot of off the ball movement and he also made a great effort to push the ball where it needs to be in the position that it needs to be in. For example this.

These are all spots where he passed the ball, so if you look at where he passed, it’s up near the opponents final third. The body language of Giovinco this game also showed his willingness and frustration with the rest of his team who generally had less than adequate performances. Him scoring two goals to make this game close is totally indicative of how this season is going, I feel like he this becoming the heart and soul of this team and he is Toronto’s best designated player as of right now. He’s a threat on set pieces, on the counter and a threat to the team height average.

And none for you Toronto FC

You know whose fault this is? Greg Vanney, and there’s no way you can say it’s not his fault. Yes, the players need to step up their game, but Vanney’s tactics have been pretty subpar. The quote goes "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results", and that would be a great way to describe Toronto’s tactic changes so far.

If Toronto wants to turn this season around, they need to change things. If they don’t, they can just keep doing what they’re doing. Simple as that.

To Conclude This Like A Thunderstorm

That last section sounded like a doom prophecy, but I’m a big fan of a soccer team that’s been relegated; I can see the signs of a long and depressing season. Nothing would turn around the attitude of the players, fans and organization like a turnaround win at Orlando next week. If not that, they play Philadelphia the week after that in what should be an easy game. Really any kind of win would suffice considering they haven’t won since the first week of the season, I’m guessing fans can’t be picky. Bottom line is that the results are indicative of the lack of tactics, not the lack of talent. Only when Vanney realizes his system isn’t working will things change. Unless that happens, it’s going to be a Maple Leafs like season this year.