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Toronto FC 0-3 Real Salt Lake: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

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It’s time for our Sleeping Beauties to emerge from their fog and face Real-ity.

MLS: Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Toronto FC only visits Rio Tinto Stadium once every two years... TSN’s new studio looks like the inside of a Transformer. I like it!... nice five-pass move by TFC in the 50th minute. It didn’t result in a goal, but it showed that the lads still know which net to attack. (For a while, I was beginning to wonder.)... speaking of wonder, hats off to Wondolowski... does anyone else think that Salt Lake’s coach looks a bit like Ryan Eggold?... TFC’s attack actually appeared more organized with Pozuelo in the dressing room... seven teams in each conference make the MLS playoffs. So, despite this recent spate of shite, TFC still has a realistic chance of finishing above the cut line (see ‘Bad’, below)... the “Mike Freakin Petke” banner. In Toronto’s case it’s “Freakin Greg Vanney”.

MLS: Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Bad

Vanney’s line-up. The thin mountain air must be the reason for the gaffer’s latest gaff. In what crazy, bizzaro universe is it ever safe to have Zavaleta and Morgan playing together in a back three? Drew Moor is good. But, he’s not that good. In fact, no one is... this week’s excuses: the altitude and multiple games in quick succession. Just be honest — the current team, playing under the current system, is relegation fodder (if we had relegation)... Quentin Westberg is getting a little too cocky dribbling the ball... a reality check: if only six teams made the playoffs, TFC would have to average approximately 1.55 points per game over their remaining 22 matches just to squeak into the postseason (based on the standings over the past two years)... Michael Bradley’s anticlimactic free kick in the 22nd minute. After a big build-up and lots of positioning down-field, he passed it three yards — behind him!... the way Steven Caldwell says “Ut-AH”... meaningless corners... Westberg’s ‘no-man’s land stroll’ in the 47th minute. Either he lost his senses or he was auditioning for the part of Alex Bono in the upcoming TFC musical, “Sleeping Beauties” (see ‘Ugly’, below)... Bradley’s field goal from 18 yards out. Hit the net, Man!... the Wizard seems to have run out of tricks... another reality check: this team has only scored once in its past four games, and that was off a set piece. Seven goals against have been allowed in that same timespan. Given that mid-July is the earliest that a new saviour (or two) can arrive, this team must change its system. Now!

MLS: Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Ugly

What would an ‘Ugly’ section be without several TSN entries? So, here goes: the audio engineer needs to be sacked. The sound bleeding off the American network feed was absolute bush-league broadcasting at its worst; Caldwell nattering over the American colour commentary. I actually found the American feed more informative; Vic Rauter still doesn’t know what an “over-lapping run” is; Rauterisms — “a little give, a little go” (said twice), and “the Wall of Wasatch” (he flogged that Nick Rimando reference four times and each time he had to explain it); getting the ‘Chapman-for-Auro’ substitution graphic all wrong; the banter about Joao Plata being too expensive for TFC. If that’s true, then who cares about the secondary transfer window?... the refereeing. I completely disagree with Caldwell and K.J. That first yellow card to Pozuelo was harsh. Far worse went unpunished throughout the match (in other words, be consistent!). Furthermore, after making sure that he took his shot, Rusnak performed a ‘Greg Louganis special’... more auditions for “Sleeping Beauties” (now a comedic musical): Zavaleta and Auro on the first goal. Auro even tried to impress with a useless, high, leg raise (showing off those Brazilian dance moves); the entire on-field TFC squad caught day-dreaming during Salt Lake’s quick free kick in 58th minute; Justin Morrow napping on the third goal (see picture); Westberg, right at the end on the match. How did that dribbler even hit the post?... remember that ‘tight leash’ that Greg Vanney was on after last year’s fiasco? That leash is now the length of a bendy straw. The sad thing is that he has a smart football mind. He really does. Just wish he’d stop auditioning for the same musical as his players. After all, he’s no Ryan Eggold.