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Toronto FC 1-0 Columbus Crew: The good, the bad & the ugly

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The MLS Cup final is coming back to Canada.

Columbus Crew SC v Toronto FC - Eastern Conference Finals - Leg 2 Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Good

A nervous start led to a nerve-racking finish. But, man, that was exciting!… TSN’s pre-game show. The Seba/Jozy odd-couple montage was cute… speaking of Seba and Jozy, let’s talk about ‘the goal’: Seba’s strength on the ball, his little move to the right to free up space for Altidore, and his back heel pass were truly sublime… Michael Bradley’s best Road Runner impersonation, stopping Justin Meram at the last possible moment… Ismail Elfath did a great job refereeing the match. Far cry from last season. Guess he finally got his optical prescription filled… Fox Sports’ television feed. Our friends in the U.S. were treated to a better sensory experience. The camera angles were great and the sound was amazing. Not sure why the difference. Take notes, TSN… Gregg Berhalter’s surprise formation and aggressive tactics to start the match. He threw Toronto off-balance and almost nicked a result. Well done… Vanney’s formation change in the second half and the introduction of Marky Delgado… the camaraderie and sportsmanship shown in the tunnel, especially between Meram and a few of the Reds. Remember what happened in the tunnel last game?… Steven Beitashour’s cross in the forty-fourth minute. It created TFC’s best scoring chance from open play in the first half… Zack Steffen’s ability to stop penalties. (Note: if TFC had lost, this would have been in the ‘bad’ section, for sure)… okay. Let’s get this over with. Armando Cooper did an admirable job. I thought that Vanney’s scarf had cut off all circulation to his brain. But, bringing Cooper on was the right play. That’s why Greg (one ‘g’) is Coach of the Year, and all I do is sit in front of a computer… the north-end seats. They need to be expanded, and they need to be a permanent (re)addition to BMO… Bradley’s defensive skills were on display throughout the game. He was my man of the match… Ola Kamara’s five-hole. If his wickets were together, we would be talking about what a great season it ‘was’. As the saying goes, karma can be a b*tch (see below).

The Bad

Kamara violating the unwritten sportsmanship rule and intentionally firing the ball into the net despite the offside whistle. Clearly, the footy gods were not amused by his insolence… the coin flip. The honourary flipper dropped it. Technically, wasn’t that the flip?… Jonathan Osorio’s dive. He’s fortunate not to have seen yellow for his act of hyperbole… Chris Mavinga going for a stroll in the 20th minute - a poor decision that caused confusion and resulted in Meram’s chance in the first half… the wall that was set up to block Seba’s ninth-minute free-kick. There is no way that it was ten yards back… Steven Caldwell informing all of us that Berhalter took a drink of water on the sidelines. Thanks for the insight… Seattle is confident and excited to play TFC. They have outscored their opponents 17-2 over their past eight games and aren’t afraid of anyone. Now, I’m afraid… the pulsating Pizza Pizza sign on the electronic advertising boards. “I’ll have a large pepperoni with a side of epileptic shock, please”.

The Ugly

There is only one ugly: the ‘Welcome ATX’ banner in the south end of BMO. That sign, welcoming Austin, Texas to MLS, was not clever or humorous. It was insulting, embarrassing and classless. A note to Columbus fans: please don’t colour all TFC supporters with the same crayon that this bonehead used to draw his sign. #SaveTheCrew.