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4 hours ago, Gian-Luca said:

My answer may depend on tonight’s results. Not looking promising for TFC as Mavinga and Moor don’t appear to be dressed for tonight’s match, leaving the killer combo of Zavaleta and Hagglund to deal with Ibrahimovitch. And by killer, I mean TFC killer.....

Wow. Now what. Considering we play the 3 teams immediately above us, and I think Mtl plays DC and a tie would be massive for us.  Since there is still a chance I think we need to field a TFC 2 based team against Tigres and go for the playoffs if there is still a chance.

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8 minutes ago, Gian-Luca said:

Sitting in the stands tonight chatting to a fan sitting behind me I actually  predicted a 5-3 win for TFC tonight's game. Incredible that it came true even after a 3-0 TFC lead. Although given that neither team can defend maybe it isn't that incredible. 

I appreciated Moor but did not give him enough credit. His presence has been missed greatly. And Mavinga after that horrible start when he arrived has been our most dynamic defender when he has played.  If we had either of those guys healthy all year we are probably in the playoffs right now.

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Despite some people thinking The Zlatan has a bit of an ego (quite the understatement, eh?), I absolutely loved seeing him lecture Bradley and Bradley backing away from the official. I hate the way Bradley seems to almost always run to the ref to get an opponent carded, so seeing him back off with The Zlatan in his face was enjoyable. Although, for TFC fans, I expect they were laughing as the fifth goal was scored while the lecture continued.

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Taking a closer look at the schedule, the teams above us all play a majority of their last games against higher table opponents.  If things go according to that metric and we win out or close to it, while beating those immediate above, we still have a chance. Slim but better than none.  Need Moor or Mavinga too.

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9 hours ago, RickC said:

Despite some people thinking The Zlatan has a bit of an ego (quite the understatement, eh?), I absolutely loved seeing him lecture Bradley and Bradley backing away from the official. I hate the way Bradley seems to almost always run to the ref to get an opponent carded, so seeing him back off with The Zlatan in his face was enjoyable. Although, for TFC fans, I expect they were laughing as the fifth goal was scored while the lecture continued.

Although I agree that Bradley goes charging after the officials way too often and needlessly, in fairness to him on this point, having re-watched the game I don't see that he backed away from anyone, the official or Zlatan. Ibrahimovic inserts himself in between Bradley and the Ref and then Boateng starts to push Bradley away. You can see the whole thing here at the bottom of this Matt Doyle article (where they point out that Ibrahimovic doesn't in fact have more goals than Bradley has played games):

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2018/09/16/armchair-analyst-zlatans-taekwongolazo-cant-save-la-more-week-29

Its actually the fact that Bradley doesn't back down which appears to have enraged Ibrahimovic so much that he spouted the " He should follow my rules!" stuff after the game. Still, I think you have to give the "Who is the more arrogant player?" award to Ibrahimovic in this case, which is saying a lot since we're talking about Bradley. ;)

I was reading the BBC report on this match and the comments section to the article is overwhelmingly negative to Ibrahimovic's comment about the pride of making Toronto his "500th victim" since everyone is pointing that he hasn't scored on 500 different opponents and the "victims" won the game. I can't imagine how much more negative the Brits will be if the saw "he should follow my rules!" comment and knew that in fact it was Ibrahimovic's own crappy pass which ultimately led to the game-winning goal for Toronto. Still, I have to say that I find all of his antics and comments enjoyable even if they are arrogant - so much more pleasingly so than say, Cristiano Ronaldo in that regard.

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On 9/15/2018 at 11:48 PM, Club Linesman said:

Wow. Now what. Considering we play the 3 teams immediately above us, and I think Mtl plays DC and a tie would be massive for us.  Since there is still a chance I think we need to field a TFC 2 based team against Tigres and go for the playoffs if there is still a chance.

While that would be my preference, I did hear (not sure if its true or not) that the agreement in place between MLS & Liga MX and whoever the corporate sponsors are that the teams are required to play their first teams/best players. Also, that the appearance fees for playing in this game are higher than the bonuses MLS gives players for appearing in MLS Cup. If true this suggests that we will see a largely first choice side for TFC, although first choice still usually means first choice minus whichever handful of players are injured. Same with Tigres of course who are now in the middle of their latest season and probably won't be thrilled about the travel to get here.

Otherwise, I'd rather see Jordan Hamilton & Ayo Akinola up top with Fraser and maybe even Endoh in midfield, etc. Not just because I want to give the regular first teamers a rest prior to the most important game of the season next weekend (a must win against NYRB in Red Bull Arena) but also because I'd like to see the likes of Hamilton & Fraser get tested against Liga MX opposition rather than USL (and really hope that next year, unless it is for game fitness, we don't see either player being loaned down to play for TFC2 in Division 3).

I'm also hearing that ticket sales for this game aren't the greatest so far, which isn't a huge surprise. A competition with no history behind it, little fanfare for it and on a weeknight in the middle of the crucial regular season matches.

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Here are the available rosters for the Campeones Cup:

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2018/09/18/full-strength-tigres-toronto-fc-release-campeones-cup-squads

For TFC, no Moor and no Mavinga yet again (although Auro is listed). Other than those two, the only other senior team player who has seen significant minutes not listed is Jordan Hamilton (not sure if he's picked up an injury now as well - his USL form has been very strong recently, moreso than Bakero or Akinola who are listed).

They can only dress a roster of 18 anyway though, and 22 names are listed here, so this doens't meant that everyone listed will be dressed.

If Auro is listed and can start, I wonder if they might move Van Der Wiel into the middle. Either way, I think there will be a lack of leadership at the back as there has been the whole year without M+M. Tigres is bringing a full strength roster as well.

There is no VAR for this match and if it is tied it goes straight to a PK shoot-out, where hopefully Bradley will be physically restrained from taking one.

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5 hours ago, Gian-Luca said:

If Auro is listed and can start, I wonder if they might move Van Der Wiel into the middle. Either way, I think there will be a lack of leadership at the back as there has been the whole year without M+M. Tigres is bringing a full strength roster as well.

Captain Obvious statement alert:  this club is in the market for a top notch CB come the off season.

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4 hours ago, BearcatSA said:

Captain Obvious statement alert:  this club is in the market for a top notch CB come the off season.

Probably two. Although team management didn’t seem to think it was that obvious this summer!

As it turns out, for tonight only squad rotation is Vazquez to the bench, replaced by Chapman. Auro makes the bench as well, which is a change to the full roster (in place of Telfer)

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I would agree with most of these ratings for last night's match:

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2018/09/20/campeones-cup-ratings-rough-marks-color-toronto-fc-vs-tigres

but maybe switch the Delgado and Morrow marks as I thought Morrow had a worse night and really was most at fault for that own-goal by Zavaleta.

As much as the MLS was really hyping this match, it was difficult to shake off the "glorified friendly" feeling the whole night between the Argos-like crowd size, Vazquez sitting on the bench (often literally - ie. not even warming up, despite Vanney saying after the match that he's perfectly healthy), Giovinco pulling himself out of the game in the first half, taking a 50 yard shot and then pulling himself out of the game again, and Altidore being yanked when the team was down a goal early in the 2nd.

In truth though, the margins of victory against a team like Tigres were always going to be tight and without M+M in the back (these two did play against them in the CCL) I was pretty much expecting this kind of a scoreline.

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Well at least they are honest and fully cognizant of their defensive woes:

“Even if we score six, we might give up seven,” quipped Altidore. Vanney stressed that defending would be key.

In their last two matches, New York has conceded six, leading Toronto defender Eriq Zavaleta to state, “They're more vulnerable now than in weeks past, we're going to try to beat them on the other end.”*

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2018/09/20/toronto-fc-look-bounce-back-quickly-new-york-red-bulls-showdown

*because there obviously no hope of him stopping them at our end. ;)

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I don’t know how many changes there will be.  Injuries are the culprit for this year. If either Mavinga or Moor are healthy each game we are in the playoffs and the narrative is much different.  The interesting aspect of the roster are the dp’s. They are older and are starting to slow down and I wonder if they will need to sign at a lower rate?

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Like usual, we're so screwed today if Mavinga and Moor aren't playing.

10 hours ago, Blackjack15 said:

I can’t imagine the off-season having a lot of changes coming 

GM Tim Betchazenko will be a busy guy 

expect to see various players options declined and loans returned 

who do you keep? Who do you let go? 

Hernandez and nephew 100% out.

Irwin's making too much to be a backup and like Bono, has been pretty bad this year.

Ricketts to CPL, maybe Hamilton and Chapman will follow.

I'd keep Hagglund as a backup but we really need some competent CBs. Delgado has been shit this year, I wouldn't care if he was a bench player next year but for the love of god, Vanney needs to stop starting him. Bono has been awful as well, I dunno if we should hope he bounces back next year or if we need to get a new starting goalie as well.

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Dealing with oft-injured but good players is the hardest part of squad management in some ways. For Toronto, Vazquez, Moor, Mavinga and Altidore all fit that bill. Moor is an easy cut, he's just too old, and Altidore is unlikely to go anywhere on that salary, plus he's still one of the best strikers in North America when he's on his game. I would give Vazquez and Mavinga one more year but those two have to stay on the pitch to actually be positive contributors. If Vazquez is out-of-contract this year they can probably live with Jansen, Osorio and Chapman in some combination.

They need to sign two starting-quality CBs and I would take a run at David Ousted to give Bono competition. I would also think about selling high on Morrow, he's 30 and the injuries are starting to take a toll. CM is fine with Bradley, Fraser, Osorio, Delgado and Chapman.

For me, the most difficult decision for Toronto is that number 9 position. Altidore is hurt too much but Hamilton and Ricketts didn't take their chances this year as starters. Do you sign another striker DP and tie up half of your payroll in one position? Do you hope Hamilton gets better (I don't really see it)? 

Out:

Moor

Zavaleta

Irvin

Maybe Out:

Vazquez

Hamilton

Ricketts

Morrow

Domestic Targets In:

Endoh (a real talisman for the treble team)

Ousted (TAM player but TFC can afford him)

Jackson-Hamel (a better version of Hamilton and just hitting his peak years)

One domestic CB 

Raheem Edwards if Morrow goes (Chicago should be ripe for pillaging this year)

 

 

Edited by Dub Narcotic
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