Listen. I know we are all still stewing about Saturday night.
That point does very, very little for Toronto FC in their playoff race. That performance will do even less. By my calculation Toronto can only afford to drop nine points in their final 10 matches. Likely can't afford to drop any against Eastern opponents. #TFCLive— Mitchell Tierney (@mitchelltierney) August 19, 2018
One point. One sad little pity point. A draw against the worst team in the league.
We’re getting very used to this, but let’s parade out the excuses — fixture congestion. Injuries. We never win at Avaya Stadium. Chris Wondowloski is the west coast Alan Gordon, Greg Vanney is the antichrist, blah blah frigging blah.
To me, there are but two excuses that really matter, and they have names: Chris Mavinga and Jozy Altidore. Off the back of two seperate lapses into undisciplined, bone-headed stupidity, Toronto FC went to the ‘best coast’ missing two key pieces in attack and defence.
The buck stops there. Despite their woeful record, it’s unfair to call out San Jose, or any other team (besides, possibly, us) as the “Worst Team in the League.” That’s the thing about our precious parity — any team can beat any other on the day. Further, and I’m paraphrasing an old comment by one of you: Losing teams inevitably find ways to win here and there — it’s all part of the beautiful game.
But wait! Didn’t Jozy redeem himself with that hat-trick performance on Wednesday? I’ll argue that this redemption narrative is clickbait trash, a myopic view of performance that ignores one lapse, or worse, celebrates it, so we can play “square peg, round hole” and construct neat little closed loops of story, all the while ignoring the bigger picture.
In short, we are polishing deck chairs on the Titanic.
But it’s not easy to stay focused on what matters in the raging inferno of content that is the 24-hour sports-news cycle. Want proof? Look no further than the furor whipped up by the gang at ESPN, following Jozy’s ‘redemption’-level performance on Wednesday. Oh yes, suddenly, there be transfer rumours. Forget about the facts — transfer windows have closed and/or are closing soon — dude got a hat-trick. Europe is calling Toronto long-distance.
Jozy has already been to Europe, in a move celebrated as much, if not more, in its time than the recent Alphonso Davies move to Bayern Munich, and while he did enjoy some success over there, he most certainly endured some hardships — his spell at Sunderland surely comes to mind. He’s perhaps the most vocal “TFC 4 Life”-er on the squad. He’s become the face of the team and a passionate advocate for the city. He’s expressed, a thousand different times in a thousand different ways, that playing for Toronto has made him a man, and that playing out his career here is his unquestioned desire. He’s fostered a very special relationship with the supporters, both casual and hardcore.
My first hat trick in red was a memorable one pic.twitter.com/gztV6ddVH9— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) August 16, 2018
Toronto FC are a very different side without the big man up front. Last night’s match was yet another example of this. He raises every other player’s game. He creates the spaces necessary for Sebastian Giovinco to work his magic. We need him. He needs us.
I think it’s pretty obvious that I assign no value to these transfer rumours, and that I don’t think Jozy’s going anywhere, but I’ve been wrong before.
What do we think? Is ‘Goal-Zy Always-Scores’ destined to become ‘Oh-No-Zy Out-The-Door’?
Are these transfer rumours something to get wound up about, or ignored as background hum?
You know where to go if you want some magic... scroll down to Comment-ville: population you.
THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST:
Because nobody should have to follow Mic Mac 77. Because I had a whale of a time doing the Oso-specific playlist a few weeks back. I figure it’s high time to give Number 17 his due; today’s salvo is “All-About-Idore” (heheh).
Starting off this one with the double-associative value of the lead-off track, Spoon’s “Don’t Make Me A Target” (He’s a target man, he’s the target of transfer rumours, get it?) and then you get 16 more tracks of clever-clever allusions to everyone’s favourite Jozy; the man who named this very column during a hilariously ‘Alti-Dorable’ (heheheh) speech at a certain victory parade.
Some of these tracks are suggestions from other WTR-staffers, which brings us a step closer to getting Charlie to take on a playlist!