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D.C. United 1-1 Toronto FC: The good, the bad & the ugly

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A committed couch potato’s view of a disappointing draw.

MLS: Toronto FC at D.C. United Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

The game is over. That was an awfully frustrating match to watch… D.C. United’s defensive display - give credit where credit is due… Michael Bradley’s performance. Some great passes and through balls. Not to mention the fact that most of his teammates looked to him to quarterback almost every forward movement (see ‘Bad’ below)… Chris Mavinga’s cross-field sprint to stop D.C. from breaking down the right side… Eriq Zavaleta’s solid play at the back. Nothing flashy. Just effective... Greg Vanney’s aggressive substitutions. The coach went for it by bringing on Edwards and Ricketts and changed the formation multiple times. He also kept one man back for most of the second half. Pity the boys couldn’t deliver… the fact that I didn’t make the nine-hour drive to D.C.

The Bad

The fact that it was my wife who convinced me not to make the nine-hour drive to D.C…. field goals by Nicolas Hasler and Bradley and a missed field goal (wide right) by Sebastian Giovinco… the red card shown to Lloyd Sam. A yellow for sure. The red was harsh… Toronto had 14 shots, only two of which were on target… Toronto had 40 crosses. Forty! At what point do you realize that coming down the wings and passing into a crowded box isn’t working? After 90 minutes is over, I guess… TFC’s slow play. Again, a 4-2-3-1 stopped the Reds cold in the first half. Quick, decisive passing is the best way through a clogged midfield… Mavinga being spread wide by Luciano Acosta early in the first half, resulting in a D.C. chance on goal… the fact that Bradley’s teammates looked to him to quarterback almost every forward movement (see ‘Good’ above)… Patrick Doody (defender) with three assists for Chicago against New England. Don’t look now, but the Fire are three points back, with a game in hand. And yes, his name is Doody… Jozy Altidore’s inability to create space through the middle. Despite his size and skill, his impact was negligible, and he didn’t tally a single shot. This isn’t the first time. He MUST find a way!

The Ugly

TFC’s flat start to the match. Starting the game like day-old cola cost the Reds dearly… the pitch at RFK Stadium. What a mess… Steve Birnbaum’s own goal. Although it went TFC’s way, it was an ugly and unfortunate turn for a deserving D.C. United squad… TFC’s inability to score against the worst team in the league. This, despite having the extra man for 45+ minutes. I know that I gave D.C. credit for playing well defensively, but it would still have been a strong defensive display if Toronto had scored one goal. Just one, stinking, measly goal!