One of my daughters is currently visiting from the old country. When she was last here in September she purchased a TFC replica jersey for her boyfriend. She's now returned with the jersey and the boyfriend and at the weekend they proudly displayed their colours at BMO Field as Toronto attempted to repay the fans for the inept display which accompanied the home opener.
On the ride home there were some general points of agreement. Dwayne de Rosario is a good player, Stefan Frei is a promising goalkeeper, the atmosphere was exciting and Toronto FC created enough chances to win the game by half-time. That they didn't is, in my opinion, a cause for mild concern. Again.
I've been fortunate enough to visit the "Thundering Waters" on many occasions but never tire of the chance to witness Mother Nature at work. The sheer, unrelenting force and volume of water crashing over the Horseshoe Falls never fails to impress and, to me at least, possesses almost mesmerizing qualities. I'm sure the boyfriend, who will see it for the first time, will have an opportunity to try out his latest Canadian catchphrase: "Awesome!"
Neither he, an Everton fan, nor my daughter would have used such a word to describe the level of entertainment on Saturday afternoon.
Agreed - it was an improvement on the Seattle performance but that's hardly a glowing endorsement. 'DeRo' was allowed to roam, Kenny Cooper hardly got a sniff, Sam Cronin and Fuad Ibrahim showed good industry on the flanks and Frei's handling and distribution was sound.
I'm beginning to feel for Chad Barrett but can't decide exactly what it is I'm feeling.
It's somewhere between "give him one more chance, the law of averages means he's bound to hit the target next time", to "there's nothing more we can do for the patient - let's put him out of his misery." Head coach John Carver told me before kick-off he "has faith" in Barrett - the question is does Barrett have faith in himself? The evidence would suggest self-belief is currently an issue for the young American striker.
The Dallas goal, when it came, should have been no more than a consolation but Toronto's inability to stretch their advantage combined with their inability to effectively close out the game is a trend we saw all too often in 2008. Reinforcements, I understand, are on the way.
Carver confided he and GM Mo Johnston are aiming to recruit another defender before the midweek transfer deadline. If the deal is done it will add extra experience at the back and increase competition for places - a scenario for any coach to relish.
Carver wants a settled team - one which will produce results week in, week out - but he's also aware some of his starters will start to disappear when the Gold Cup rears its ugly head in mid-season. By then he needs satisfactory replacements in all departments. The Chivas 'experiment' from last September must not be allowed to recur.
Like Canada's most famous tourist attraction, Toronto FC needs consistency and power, driven unerringly in a single direction with a built-in reliability factor. Until that becomes a reality we'll all be peering into the mist trying to spot the rainbow.
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