It was like the MLS Cup final all over again for Waking the Red FC at the Football for Good charity tournament on Sunday. After making it all the way to the consolation bracket finale, WTRFC fell on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
The good news is that we did better at fundraising than on the pitch. With your help, Waking the Red was able to contribute a grand total of $1,185 to Football for Good. This came both as a result of tournament fees and your generous donations.
Waking the Red was in the giving spirit as well early on in tournament play, losing their first two matches of the tournament by a combined [redacted]-0. This included a stunning bicycle-kick goal during which WTR’s two defenders were doing what the site does best: analyzing the play from a safe distance.
Joshua Kloke of The Athletic was our man of the match through the first two games in net. Unfortunately, Waking the Red’s backline didn’t put up a very good paywall... er, wall in front of him.
But the soccer gods, otherwise known as the tournament organizers, were kind enough to bless Waking the Red before their final group match. With two of our players leaving (possibly as a result of the locker-room mutiny that broke out after manager James Grossi was unceremoniously sacked), one of the organizers loaned us his son, Sean.
This new signing played no small part in Waking the Red FC’s historic 4-3 victory. The club also acquired the services of ex-Toronto FC fan favourite Terry Dunfield for the match. Dunfield scored the winning goal, undoubtedly the biggest of his career. Michael Veenstra, despite a hamstring injury, made a huge save to deny Steven Caldwell.
The win meant Waking the Red qualified for the consolation bracket. Their semi-final game was highlighted by a first: a goal scored by someone who actually wrote for Waking the Red, as Dave Rowaan got on the scoresheet. Mitchell Tierney could have taken the glory as the ball slowly rolled towards the goal line, but decided against it after what Rowaan said he would do to him if he touched the ball.
By the time Waking the Red reached the consolation final, they had about seven-and-a-half pairs of legs that actually still worked and only two of those legs with any real skill. They did, however, play good enough Floroball to keep the match tied at 0-0. A tense penalty shootout followed, but once again the Reds came up just short.
Nonetheless, it was a great day of soccer. Thank you all again for your continued support of the site, your donations and making things like this possible.