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Mar. 27 - TFC vs. Columbus Crew (R) (Webstream)


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Garcia usually gets singled out but so far Attakora, Cronin and Gala are struggling big time in this game and JDG doesn't look like a DP player. Compare and contrast with Schelleto. Three or four weeks from now there will probably be a significantly different starting lineup and there are enough signs of life up front to suggest that there are better days coming.

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Garcia usually gets singled out but so far Attakora, Cronin and Gala are struggling big time in this game and JDG doesn't look like a DP player. Compare and contrast with Schelleto. Three or four weeks from now there will probably be a significantly different starting lineup and there are enough signs of life up front to suggest that there are better days coming.

The whole defence is shaky but Garcia has made some brutal giveaways and gotten badly beaten only to be saved by offsides or by Frei. I forgot JDG was on the pitch he was so poor. You are right though that they did have some dangerous counterattacks. However, if they are going to have any success this year playing like this they are going to need to score on a high percentage of such chances because they are few and far between. The scary thing for TFC fans is that they are losing almost every battle for the ball. Once TFC gets possession of the ball Columbus seems to be able to take it back at will and are also winning all the 50/50 balls.

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LaBrocca probably should have started. Much better after he came on and they could easily have got at least one goal in the second half. They need to replace Attakora at right back. He had a nightmare. Second goal was just a matter of time based on a break down that wing even if it should have been called back for studs up. Hopefully Gargan is good enough to start regularly. Team looks much fitter this season. Preki's "over-training" is probably better than Paul Winsper's methods.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard
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Reds got screwed on that so called 50/50 challenge on a goalie where he got zero ball and all Frei.

BS...now to the part of the game the Reds handed to the Crew, Harden and Garcia what a terrible combination in the middle Garcia should never be allowed to back pass for one and for second needs to learn to clear the ball not directly up.

JDG needs to be more consistent, he had 2 really good passes and a couple dribble sequences of skill. JDG had the game tying goal on his foot in the like 83rd minute and buried into the defener 3 feet in front of him. DeRo also had a good chance a little earlier but decided from a terrible angle that he was gonna try and drive the shot through Hesmer which was never gonna happen. Not a great start by Preki, not sure why Gala started either seemed LaBrocca would of been a better guy to have start.

This score could of been a lot worse, the Crew let more than a handful of gimme's go to waste.

Edited by TheKottonmouthed
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Much better after he came on and they could easily have got at least one goal in the second half.

Yes but Columbus could have easily potted 5 or 6 goals in the second half. With good finishers on both side this game probably would have ended up something like 10-2.

Edited by Grizzly
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Poor game by most TFC players. Losing the ball easily in all part of the field, JDG, Saric, Garcia, Harden, Cronin. Nana didn't have his best game and struggled with Rogers.

That second goal should've been called back for a foul on Frei. I don't know how the ref missed that.

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Man oh man. Watch Preki's news conference. I think that is an audition for Soviet minister of propaganda. What game was he watching? I thought this guy was supposed to be a straight-shooter not a complete BSer. They are completely dominated and according to Preki it is an unfair result, Columbus apparently had no opportunities in 1st half other than a couple of corners and set pieces. I do agree with his assessment that without the Columbus keeper TFC wins the game, ie. if Columbus had played with no keeper TFC might have won the game. :)

I don't think there is anything to build on from this game other than they had a few dangerous opportunities. OBW looked good though and Frei and DeRo had good games. Everyone else really sucked. How can a guy with an afro like JDG be so invisible on field, especially since he is not only supposed to be TFC's best player but Canada's also? I do agree that the ref missed the handball in the box. The 2nd goal was a foul but I don't think it is as obvious as people are saying. It is a 50/50 ball between Frei and O'Rourke and if O'Rourke had not lifted his leg as he goes in to Frei the contact would have been fine as both were going for a ball with an equal chance of getting it. O'Rourke lifting his leg was really only apparent on the replay from a certain angle so it is understandable that the ref missed it from a distance on the run. Nevertheless, it was a massive defensive breakdown that led to the play and then Garcia (who else) with no attacker near him, panics and kicks the ball uncontrolled leading to the goal. On the other hand one has to say this ref was crap the whole game for both teams and as the constant attacking team Columbus also had a lot of calls go against them. Columbus played strong but their finishing was horrible, the strikers were very selfish and didn't pass to open men and when they were alone on Frei it almost seemed as if they were afraid to try and score in case they failed. I think they had a case of Chad Barrett syndrome. :) Due to the ineptitude of the Columbus strikers, had these two calls gone different TFC could have come out with a completely undeserved tie.

All in all though I really enjoyed this game! :)

Edited by Grizzly
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For me the second goal summed up the game. Goalie came way out (why? because he can't trust either of his CBs to get to the ball and clear it), get the ball, gets kicked (bad non-call ref), then Garcia blasts the ball off Frei's back and it bounces to Schellotto and he kicks it in. Lovely. Garcia can't even kick the ball out of bounds.

I thought Nana looked good. Considering who he was covering he did good. CBs? Find another 2, quickly! Brennan good. Saric didn't impress. JDG was very poor in the first half but got much better in the second. The forwards played much better in the second half.

Once TFC started moving Nana forward you could see the Columbus plan. Play the ball over Nana because they knew Garcia will be covering the forward.

If Garcia or Harden start another game TFC are doomed. Sorry but both are slow and not very good. Very poor start to the season. Can't score, can't defend. Gonna be a long season if this keeps up.

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Nana had a pretty good first half, decent second half until he got burned badly a few times. The Rogers breakaway was due to one of the CB's playing Rogers onside because TFC were using the offside trap. Overall he was not the problem, it was Garcia and the constant turnovers from the midfield. We need Garica on the bench, Nana at CB and shuffle someone (Gargan? Cronin?) into the RB spot.

edit: I called the offside trap the neutral zone trap!

Edited by jpg75
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Nana had a pretty good first half, decent second half until he got burned badly a few times. The Rogers breakaway was due to one of the CB's playing Rogers onside because TFC were using the neutral zone trap. Overall he was not the problem, it was Garcia and the constant turnovers from the midfield. We need Garica on the bench, Nana at CB and shuffle someone (Gargan? Cronin?) into the RB spot.

I would also prefer to see Attakora as a CB.

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Well that was pretty much as expected. Not much in the way of offense created, and they dont' have the personnel at the back to be tight defensively. Poor marking (or lack thereof) from White on the first goal but a totally unnecessary foul by Brennan that gave them the chance in the first place. But difficult to be hard on Brennan when his mistake is easily outshone in the mistake department by Garcia and Harden. Not a CB partnership that inspires me with confidence. Another back-pass special from Garica in the first half that he was lucky didn't finish in the back of the net, Harden caught in possession as the last man back, and yes, the second goal obviously shouldn't have been allowed, but how the fuck did Garcia manage to hit Frei in the back with the attempted clearance? Although the whistle should have blown, you have to play to the whistle, so his poor giveaway is not something I'm ready to excuse. I lost count of the number of times Frei had to come racing well outside of the 18 yard box to play the ball because his central defenders were nowhere to be found and too slow to get back there - De Vos was criticizing Frei for coming so far out of the net, but I don't see what alternative he had other than let Columbus score on a breakaway.

Nana looked like he was getting a bit tired from constantly running up and down the entire length of the field in the 2nd half as they pushed him forward and expected him to cover at the back for the two slow-pokes he was playing beside - I think that's why Rogers started to get the better of him in the 2nd half after Nana pretty much owned him in the first.

De Guzman only seemed effective when passing to DeRo - but he probably doesn't know who half of the rest of his teammates are, so maybe that's not a surprise. Overall though, not much in the way of creativity from what isn't all that of a creative midfield

The one positive for me out of this game was the play of Gala - can't really understand why they chose to sub him out - why not switch him to the left where he actually belongs and take off Cronin, who was totally invisible (albeit playing on the wrong side of the field). Toronto's only offense in the first half was created out of some excellent work by Gala and he took an excellent corner (I think the only one we got) early in the 2nd. While he needs to watch out for the rash challenges, for a player I thought wasn't even going to be back this year given his lack of progress it was good to see a promising debut start.

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I would also prefer to see Attakora as a CB.

The positives in defence yesterday were that Frei and Brennan looked surprisingly good relative to their form in the second half of last season and Harden did OK for the most part. The issues were mainly with the other half of the back four. Having Attakora at centre back worked reasonably well in a Carver/Cummins type tactical system (i.e. when in doubt launch it long in the general direction of the centre forward) but I'm not sure he is comfortable enough in possession at this point in his career to fit easily into Preki's preferred possession oriented style of play (bear in mind his postgame comments about too many long balls in the first half). Given the roster is still fairly thin on numbers with a lot of players probably making on or close to the league minimum against the cap (e.g. Gargan, Conway, Gomez, Attakora, Harden, Sanyang) I suspect there is still scope for adding another defender even without managing to free up space based on some sort of contract buyout for Ali Gerba (I suspect that might be more second DP related if it happens). Hope so anyway.

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Having Attakora at centre back worked reasonably well in a Carver/Cummins type tactical system (i.e. when in doubt launch it long in the general direction of the centre forward) but I'm not sure he is comfortable enough in possession at this point in his career to fit easily into Preki's preferred possession oriented style of play (bear in mind his postgame comments about too many long balls in the first half).

I always thought that the fullbacks needed the better ball playing skills then the CBs simply because they see more of the ball offensively, but as you say it depends on the system (i.e. Hainault playing RB at Houston). I think Preki's just playing his current hand in the best way possible at the moment: better to have Attakora at fullback than Harden or Garcia (yikes!). Everything is a work in progress.

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