So much “good” that I had to insert an intermission...
The Good (part 1)
Playing patient football. Although the defence was a little too deep at times, and a little too slow at others, the overall strategy was absolutely spot-on... good job by TSN on the pre-game hype... the return of Auro Jr... Tata Martino benching Ezequiel Barco for his poor behaviour. No one is above the team... the “Kings of the South” banner. An ode to our Kings in the North?... the missing scoreline graphic for parts of the game. I’m quite sure that it was due to yet another mistake at The Network, but I enjoyed the match sans the strip in the top left hand corner, especially since that massive scoreboard directly in-line with the centre-field camera was constantly in view... great work by Alex Bono to stand his ground on Miguel Almiron in the 23rd minute. His stance, and the fact that he did not commit, forced the shot to go wide... Terry Dunfield looked better than Don Cherry. A pocket square, a lapel pin and a vest! The vest needs to be his signature. Own it, Terry!... Bono heading the ball outside the box to deny Almiron a chance in the 27th minute... the thoroughbred race between Mavinga and Villalba... THE SAVE (part 1): Bono vs. Josef Martinez in the first half... the “Mbappe interview” with Alphonso Davies at halftime. That was cute.
The Good (part 2)
The set-up to Sebastian Giovinco’s goal was beautiful. TFC had 11 passes in a row off the throw-in just to get the ball to the middle of Atlanta’s half. Then, Jozy Altidore and Auro put on a clinical display. Nice touch by Seba to boot. Just pure “quality”... speaking of Steven Caldwell, the “quality” drinking game tally was seven... TFC’s move to start the second half was also impressive: 13 consecutive passes that almost sprung Justin Morrow down the left... THE SAVE (part 2): Bono vs. Almiron in the second half... watching Martinez leave the pitch in the 80th minute... RICKETTS! I am so happy for him. Hope his success off the bench continues... Seba’s “Victor Vazquez-esque” pass to Oso that set up the tying goal... Caldwell did a nice job explaining the offside rules on Oso’s pass to Tos... let’s face it, Atlanta plays sexy football... THE SAVE (part 3): Bono corralling the 93rd-minute cross that was destined for the back of the net... taking two points away from Atlanta may save TFC’s single season, 69-points record... we already know what the score will be on October 28th, but I can’t wait to watch it!
TSN still lists Liam Fraser’s number as “63.” Obviously, no one in the graphics department reads this column... that Pebbles cereal ad on the electronic boards: 30 seconds of mind-tripping, psychedelic waterfalls... Justin Morrow’s cross to no one late in the first half. That was wasteful... by the 65th minute, Toronto’s defence looked exhausted... aside from drawing two yellow cards from Atlanta, VV was invisible... the gaping holes through the middle that allowed too many chances for Atlanta, including Martinez’s second goal... no way through Atlanta’s defence for most of the first half. Seba and Auro can’t dribble through the entire team... the formation change at halftime almost backfired. I understand that Greg Vanney did it to address the lack of offence, but just stick to patient football... the coach does not have another holding midfielder to insert into the lineup. Marky Delgado for Auro was not the right exchange... this time, no beer for Seba!
That pitch. Just bush-league... Josef Martinez’s right eyebrow... that terrible penalty call. Martinez should have received a yellow for his Swan Lake performance. (By the way, did you read Bono’s lips? Hint: rhymes with “sucking source pit”)... Hector Villalba’s field goal from five yards out. Was he aiming for the floodlights?... why did TSN announce that there were five minutes of added time? Remember that giant scoreboard at centre field? It clearly said four. Even one of my daughters spotted that... the red card to Mavinga at the end. But I love the passion and the anger! They have been missing for way too long.