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Toronto FC 4-2 New York Red Bulls: The good, the bad & the ugly

The Supporters’ Shield edition.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Toronto FC Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

A little thing called the ‘Supporters’ Shield’. Never thought that this day would come… not a commanding performance on the night, but champions find a way to win… the first MLS hat-trick by a defender since 1997. On hat-giveaway-day at BMO, no less… Victor Vazquez’s pass to Jozy Altidore, leading to Justin Morrow’s first goal… the leather-lunged fan who, in the 31st minute, yelled at the team to “wake up”. It must have worked. A minute later, the boys netted their first of the night… Chris Mavinga. The guy had his best game of the season to date. He was an absolute stud on the back line. It wasn’t a coincidence that Morrow was able to freely play so far upfield… the return of Benoit Cheyrou… Altidore’s strength and determination on the ball in the second half… Michael Bradley’s side-footed, curling long-ball to Tosaint Ricketts… Alex Bono’s snazzy new orange gloves… Vazquez’s penalty kick. I am so glad that he stuffed it down Luis Robles’ throat. There is history between these two. Remember the yelling-in-the-face incident at Red Bull Arena back in May?… Bradley’s shot off the post in the 45th minute. Thought that the captain had finally scored his first of the year… Mavinga’s victory lap around the pitch. He was the only player to thank all of the fans, in all four corners of the stadium. He did the same thing when TFC won the Canadian Championship… the game-within-a-game: watching TFC’s defence contend with Bradley Wright-Phillips. Through lots of communication and constant monitoring, the lads got the job done… being able to share the evening with my wife and two young daughters. It was their night too… watching Bradley’s little girl run the entire width of BMO after the on-field celebrations had concluded. She had her own little party going on.

The Bad

The gap between Drew Moor and whoever is playing right-back. This gap has been exploited by the opposition in each of the past three games… all the supporters were present, but the Shield was not. I understand the reason, but it was still a lunch-bag letdown… for a large chunk of the game, TFC seemed to suffer from ‘Cooperitis’. This is a chronic condition where players dally too long with the ball and fail to pass enough… it’s a cruel world: they raised the price of the spicy Italian sausage at BMO… Sebastian Giovinco’s black Nehru jacket.

The Ugly

Luis Robles. No need to elaborate… missed marketing opportunity: there wasn’t any Supporters’ Shield merchandise available after the game… just another day at the office for referee Allen Chapman: phantom calls and several, blatant, missed ones. This guy reminds me of Danny Davis (old WWF/WWE reference)… New York’s Liga MX-style jerseys… TSN’s coverage of the post-game celebrations (or lack, thereof). I understand that they had to get to the Vancouver game but for crying out loud, they have five channels!… Moor’s foul on Gonzalo Veron. That really could have spoiled the party… the fact that my leather-lungs still haven’t fully recovered.