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Toronto FC 2-2 Chicago Fire: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

The Wizard of Poz looked a little more human.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Toronto FC Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Footy at 3pm on a Saturday. The English may have had it right all along!... Richie Laryea’s debut. He created three scoring chances and drew a penalty. Welcome home, lad!... Jozy seems to like the “lone striker” role... Luke Wileman’s comment, emphasizing Toronto’s dominant possession in the first half: “Chicago need another ball to play with”... the part in Justin Morrow’s hair is absolutely perfect. Does his styling regimen include a laser?... a stat to support Wileman’s comment: 782 passes for the good guys, with 92% accuracy... the game-within-a-game: as evidenced by his seven clearances and seven recoveries, Schweini is not too old to play defense. He and Altidore fought like gloved gladiators all afternoon long... the sun playing on the East side stands. It gave us that warm, tingly, goose-bumpy feeling... Steven Caldwell was spot-on when he described the folly of having Michael Bradley play too deep. I always said that Stevey should stick to being an analyst... David Ousted’s save on Altidore in the 47th minute was a masterful work of thievery... Bradley’s tenacity in dispossessing Katai in the 70th minute... Altidore’s assist on Osorio’s goal. Other than his podiatrist, who knew that a beast could have such soft feet?... DeLeon was lionesque, yet again... the hearty handshake between captains... the strategic placement of the 60 foot Budweiser can on the opposite side the Gardiner Expressway. It’s fully visible from BMO... who says that Caldwell and Wileman don’t read WTR? Both the “Pozuelo” and the “quality” counts were lower (77 and 8, respectively), and there was absolutely no mention of Caldwell’s playing career. Now, that’s good!

MLS: Chicago Fire at Toronto FC Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Bad

The “transformation of formation”. TFC started in a tidy 4-2-3-1, which quickly morphed into a strange 3-6-1, with Bradley playing centre back and Poz roaming the pitch in search of any open space. Laryea tried to come back several times, but was ordered to stay high, against the touchline, by Moor. It was weird to watch... they need to add a fragrance to all that smoke at BMO. The “lit-birthday candle” aroma is an olfactory irritant... that off-side call on Laryea’s penalty... TFC went to sleep in the first 15 minutes of the second half — again!... The Wizard of Poz’s poor efforts on his late game corner and his late game free kick, both from the south-east side of the field. Maybe it’s the smoke... sloppy midfield giveaways leading to messy goals (Drew x 2)... all this talk of Arjen Robben coming to TFC. I liked him in his prime and fully respect his achievements. But he is too old and too injury-prone to blow significant TAM on. As for him taking a DP spot at this late stage — that’s plain ugly!

MLS: Chicago Fire at Toronto FC Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Ugly

Here’s a new title for J.K. Rowling: Alex Bono and the Mystery of the Lost Goalkeeper. Ever since that wind-aided free kick against Chivas, he has been ten shades darker than crap... the siren that keeps going off in the Supporters’ Section. It sucks!... TSN’s audio didn’t do justice to the atmosphere in the stadium. It was the best in a long time... Morrow’s laughable left-foot miss in the 78th minute. That’s his second “balloon-ball” (said like Super Dave Osborne) in the past two games... the refereeing. It was comedic at times, including Dave Gantar’s inability to work an electronic board with only four digits on it... interrupting the Red City Ramblers yet again!... the way my man boobs poke out of the free t-shirt they gave away at BMO. Maybe it’s time I took this weight-loss thing a bit more seriously.