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Toronto FC 4-1 Portland Timbers: The good, the bad & the ugly

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A committed couch potato’s view of another big win at BMO Field.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Toronto FC Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

The ‘Gregfather’ banner. It served as a jovial talking point all the way through the match and even into the coach’s press conference… Justin Morrow’s passionate celebration after his first goal… the improved confidence of Nicolas HaslerSebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore confusing the Timbers by alternating in the No. 8 role (see ‘Bad’ below)… Marky Delgado’s through ball to Seba in the second half… Seba’s cross to Victor Vazquez… Vazquez’s celebration after his goal. Between the slide and hug of Giovinco, and the heart symbol shown to his family, it’s clear that V. V. has a lot of XO’s to give out… the other banner: ‘Bono: The Sweetest Thing’. Nice U2 reference… Delgado’s goal. He needs to strike it with his left foot more often… the weather. It was a great evening for a great game… Giovinco’s early free-kick. Almost recorded his 11th set-piece goal… the Portland fans. A small contingent. They were respectful and friendly, cheering to the very end despite being thrashed… Vanney’s shirt is back!... the Vazquez-Altidore corner attempt in the second half. It didn’t result in a goal, but it was purposeful… Steven Caldwell’s suit jacket. Is it new? It fit well, and he looked sharp… TFC’s goal differential is now a league-topping +22... a Canadian thing: this is the third time since October that Portland has lost 4 -1 when playing north of the 49th… Chicago lost to a Higuain-less Columbus side. The gap is now six points, with the showdown set for Saturday.

The Bad

Kiss of death (part 1): Luke Wileman stating that it was good to see Jake Gleeson as the Timbers’ No. 1 goalkeeper after being “in MLS a while”. Minutes later, Gleeson was out of the game… Eriq Zavaleta’s foul on Darren Mattocks. Eriq is a lucky boy… in response to a reporter’s question, Michael Bradley’s exasperated post-game comment that “everybody just needs to relax after the D.C. game”. No, Mr. Captain. No. The D.C. game was a travesty. Mistakes like that cannot happen again if this team is to win the Supporters’ Shield and, hopefully, the MLS Cup… kiss of death (part 2): Wileman and Caldwell signing off on TFC’s clean sheet in the 89th minute. These guys need to start knocking on wood… Giovinco and Altidore having to play a pseudo-No. 8 role in order to contribute offensively. Like Villa, Nikolic, and Wright-Phillips, I want my strikers to strike… Nick Hagglund’s injury. When it happened, I thought that his season was done… Wileman and Caldwell rambling several times during the match, and squabbling over Caldwell’s alleged 2014 own-goal. I understand that it was a long day for them, what with the start of the EPL and all. But, still.

The Ugly

The momentary lapse of defensive reason that led to Diego Valeri’s goal. Giving up a clean sheet in the 89th minute borders on criminal… Altidore’s miss in the second half… Vazquez still being referred to as “the former Barcelona man”… Lawrence Olum’s miss from three yards out. It was even worse than David Guzman’s field goal… TSN’s terrible camera angles. It was especially difficult to see the play in the north end (first half). I also grew sick and tired of the goal netting being used as a backdrop for TSN’s statistical graphics. Must have been a summer intern at the helm. Again.