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Toronto FC 1-3 Houston Dynamo: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Yet again, Toronto couldn’t do squat against Western opposition.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Toronto FC Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

The rain held off. (Given the result, maybe this should be in the “bad” section)... Patrick Mullins’ blue boots are snazzy... congrats to Justin Morrow on his 200th TFC appearance... the turf. The ball rolled like it was on a putting green (reference to The Open done on purpose)... Liam Fraser’s nifty turn in the 18th minute... Steven Caldwell describing Mauro Manotas’ assist as “foxy”. That’s a clever adjective... Quentin Westberg’s save in the 33rd... Jacob Shaffelburg turning AJ Delagarza into a pretzel and then setting up both Altidore and DeLeon (one of them needed to bury it)... “good” section really short because this is not a creative writing exercise.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Toronto FC Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

The Bad

The line-up. Not the players’ fault. Since when is it okay to play Tsubasa Endoh on the left, Patrick Mullins alone up front and Eriq Zavaleta as the centre-back that has to cover for Auro on the right? The Coach’s strategy of starting the game “with as much energy as possible” is not sound when that energy is misplaced and misguided... the severity of Pozuelo’s injury (enough for him to miss a game), yet no discipline for the savage hack from Etienne Jr. that put Alejandro in this position... speaking of non-calls, why was the referee’s whistle silent when Auro was mauled in the 52nd?... Quentin Westberg looked horribly flat-footed on that first Dynamo goal... forget the salary cap and all that legalese. Paying Alex Bono close to $400K to ride the pine while Richie Laryea gets the League minimum is a crime... no answer for Houston’s parked bus. Looks like we’re back to our old tricks (or lack of tricks)... no stoppage time in the first half (maybe that was a ‘good’ thing)... Caldwell describing a deflection as having gone off Matias Vera’s “outstretched right arm”. It was his foot. Back to Anatomy 101... references to Steven Caldwell’s playing career: 3. Better than the last game. But that’s still three too many... outside of his one shot on target, Osorio disappeared in the second half. The MLS salary list dictates that he has at least 775K reasons to do better.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Toronto FC Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

The Ugly

Gifting three points to Houston for the second year in a row. Does Greg Vanney not think the Dynamo worthy of his best effort? Ever?... Houston’s chest stripe — an ode to the 1980’s Astros, perhaps? Whatever the inspiration, it certainly doesn't do their kit sponsor any favours... only one win against Western opponents this year. Time to figure out how to go over the bus... Houston’s third goal. Apparently, in Toronto, pylons aren’t just orange. Some of them wear red... those concrete blocks (literally) in the South end. What’s going on at BMO?... Vanney’s post-game comment that Michael Bradley “got in a training session, if nothing else” (referring to the Captain’s 32 minutes of playing time). I may be taking the comment out of context, but I never want to hear a coach of any professional team (especially this team) refer to any part of any game as a “training session”. Games are for winning. Practices are for training. If this is not true, then refund me the cost of my tickets.