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Toronto FC 2-2 Chicago Fire: The good, the bad & the ugly

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Chances for a Supporters’ Shield are slim, and the refereeing is shady. Would the real TFC please stand up!

MLS: Chicago Fire at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Obviously, Toronto FC’s start to the match. That’s the team we know and love... Jonathan Osorio’s CCL goalscoring continuing into the MLS season. Quick note: in the past three seasons he has only scored a combined five goals. He should surpass that aggregate total this year alone... Seba’s hustle and relentless press... Nicolas Hasler’s rejuvenated form. More than the tears, it was the look on his face after the loss in Guadalajara that told me all that I needed to know. (Who was that bonehead who likened him to Armando Cooper?)... Victor Vazquez back in the lineup. The goal was luck, but his passing is pure skill... Seba doing double-duty as the sole forward and as a pseudo-number 10. His tenacity and strength on/off the ball are better than at any other time in his TFC career... Michael Bradley is a great option at centre-back (but, see “bad,” below)... the soccer gods kept everything in balance (again): Alex Bono’s save on Basti’s penalty was sweet, poetic justice... Greg Vanney’s visible disgust after the tying goal was scored. Glad that he showed his anger. Those water bottles never stood a chance... Bono’s dive to try to save the open net volley by Jon Bakero. Alex threw all caution to the wind and almost collided head-first with the goal post. That’s commitment!... Vanney apologizing to everyone within a 2 km radius of the water bottles. Is there anything more Canadian?!

MLS: Chicago Fire at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Bad

Playing Bradley at the back robs TFC of its Transition General. Without him in midfield, the Reds’ conversion from defence to offence is slower and less coordinated. Can you say, “long ball clearances?”... Ricketts needs to run!... Auro Jr. is repeatedly finding himself in poor defensive positions at critical times (see Jon Bakero as ‘exhibit A’)... this one is really ‘strange’: the ‘ancient one’ (Alan Gordon) scored again at BMO. I’ve had enough of this 2011 time-loop... the schedule maker vs. Mother Nature: all three MLS home matches have been immediately followed by better weather the next day... these bloody injuries. Hope that Bono is okay... the traffic getting into BMO. I understand the reasons for it, but it was still bad... kissing the Supporters’ Shield goodbye in April.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Ugly

TFC’s collapse in the last twenty minutes. What team was that?!... I am sick of hearing about “fatigue.” There is absolutely no excuse. Champions find a way to win... the Fire’s smoke-grey kits. They should stick with those recycled plastic duds instead... Nemanja Nikolic’s theatrics to draw the penalty. What a farce!... the penalty call, itself. VAR is truly “vulgar and repulsive”... Basti’s goal was offside. Nikolic was behind the line and made a play towards the ball that could reasonably be assumed to have distracted/impacted Bono. Where was “vulgar and repulsive” on that one? Just inconsistent crap!

Author’s Note: I received a few messages inquiring about the missing G, B & U for the CCL Final. Cup finals are special. They are intimate; a link between supporter and team that provides individual experiences and emotions that should be personally treasured. For this reason, my opinion doesn’t matter. I did not comment on last year’s Voyageurs’ Cup, nor did I comment on the MLS Cup final. But, for all other matches, it is my civic duty to force my opinion on everyone that I meet. (Seriously, though, thank you for allowing me the privilege of sharing some thoughts after each game.)