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Chicago Fire 1-3 Toronto FC: The good, the bad & the ugly

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A committed couch potato’s view of a season-defining win.

MLS: Toronto FC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Handing Chicago their first loss of the season at Toyota Park… similar to the tactics used at Orlando (also a 3-1 win), Greg Vanney had the boys playing more defensively, with an eye to hitting on the counter… Victor Vazquez’s ball to Justin Morrow that led to the corner in the ninth minute (warning: this will be a theme)… Jozy Altidore playing high up the field and posting up against Chicago’s defence. That’s the right way to use his size and strength… Vazquez’s ball to Morrow just before TFC’s first goal… Sebastian Giovinco’s ball to Morrow just before the first goal... Kristian Jack’s half-time analysis of Bastian Schweinsteiger’s positional play… Nicolas Hasler’s first MLS goal. In his own words, that was the first time that he has scored with his head during a professional match… Vazquez’s sublime, almost deity-like, ball to Hasler. It landed on his head like a butterfly with sore feet… Steven Beitashour’s return. Glad to see him on the pitch. No need to rush him back, though. His health comes first… the away fans. Even with TSN’s poor audio, you could still hear them and feel the energy through the screen… Seba’s celebration after the third goal… Vazquez’s long ball to Seba that led to a free-kick… Mr. Tuktoyaktuk reneging on his promise. All of Detroit and southern Ontario thank you (see our Prediction League comments)… Hasler’s modesty when interviewed after the game… Toronto’s final goal was all Giovinco. He drew the foul, he called for the quick free-kick, he made a great deflection-pass to Ricketts at full speed, and he put the ball in the back of the ol’ onion bag… Vanney needs to start his own clothing line. It would have only one SKU, though: the ‘victory shirt’…the name ‘Schweinsteiger’ means pig-climber. Neither a ‘good’ nor a ‘bad’. Just thought that it was an interesting Cliff Clavin little-known-fact.

MLS: Toronto FC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bad

Toronto’s momentary lapses in concentration that bracketed half-time… Michael Bradley’s yellow. He was forced into taking it after Chris Mavinga’s giveaway high up the pitch. Now the captain is needlessly closer to another one-game suspension… Alex Bono’s whiff outside the box. Lucky that Nemanja Nikolic did not capitalize… Altidore’s weak attempt off his left foot late in the first half… Bradley playing with the ball across his own box, leading to a chance for David Accam. That sort of thing gives coaches ulcers. Just clear it up the field... Patrick Vieira conceding the Supporters’ Shield to Toronto. Nice try. Lulling us into a false sense of over-confidence is not going to work.

The Ugly

TSN’s broadcast. Sorry, I have to do this. Saturday’s game was particularly ugly… Vic Rauter and Steven Caldwell as a broadcasting duo. It’s as if the audience is interrupting two acquaintances chatting at a pub… Rauter referring to Ignacio Piatti as the “Nacho-Nacho Man”. Does anyone else remember the Simpsons episode where Flanders buys Homer a tortilla hat?... Rauter crediting Hasler with an assist on Marky Delgado’s goal... Caldwell and Rauter stepping all over each other when talking about Eriq Zavaleta and Bono. Were their headphones turned off?... Rauter referring to Michael de Leeuw’s Dutch nationality five times during the match… the poor audio… the poor camera angles. It was really difficult to see the action on the far side of the pitch. Were the zoom-lenses turned off, too?... did you know Michael de Leeuw is a Dutchman?... Rauter repeatedly calling Schweini “Sebastian” (or was that the poor audio?)… Caldwell: “(Christian Dean) did really well to keep his body between himself, Altidore and the goal.” Not physically possible. Unless Dean was experiencing some type of freaky, Zen-like transformation... does anyone know Michael de Leeuw’s nationality?... the 20th anniversary numbers on Chicago’s jerseys. They need to consult Vanney for fashion tips.