I was going to make the title “Making Canada our bitch” but it’s a bit too long of a title. So generic title you get.
Result – Union 6!!!!! TFC – 2
Where has this team been? That’s all I have to ask. Where in God’s name has this team been? Everything went right, except for Le Toux’s touch. There’s so much elation I don’t know where to begin…
The 300 pound gorilla in the room …
Carlos Ruiz was benched and sat for this game. I know plenty of people are rejoicing on this, and are making a statement that because he was not there, this opened up the center channel for our attack. I would have to reiterate that until recently, with or without Ruiz, we HAD no attack. And if we did, it wasn’t a very good one anyway.
Clearly with Ruiz going to be gone due to national duties during the Gold Cup, Nowak wanted the team to have confidence to play without him. What better of a team to do that with than the beaten stepchild of TFC – bottom of the table, most shots against on goal, just…terrible. And they are canadians. The one way to work on this is clearly to change the strategy of the bucket defense, and create an attacking soccer mentality in a 4-1-3-2 formation with Carroll being the only defensive midfielder. This clearly worked as our midfielders were the ones scoring (not even our strikers!). Why can’t they do that even if Ruiz was there?
I’ve been asking all season, before and after his injury – where is Justin Mapp. He answered with a flash of genius in Dallas, then proved that he is actually awake when playing Chicago, and suddenly he breaks out saying “Shut up bitch” by getting 2 amazing goals from distance. Key word – from distance. Most everything about his, and the team’s play was brilliant.
Not only that, someone else who has taken a liking of not shooting when he needs to also scored from distance, Naka-naka-nakazawa. He started to shoot a bit last week, I’m sure it was in spite of the YSA podcast saying ‘he has a deer in headlights mentality to an open lane shot’ (a collaborative “your welcome” on behalf of Union Dues) and this week he puts a beauty in on goal. About time is all I have to say.
The Wonder Twins
No real critique, I just wanted to say the wonder twins. A week after M gets a goal, G comes up with his own in the first 2 minutes of play. That’s right, 2 minutes. For those that missed the first few minutes due to grilling or getting a beer, you have poor timing.
Strikers – lack there of
I don’t know about you, but when a team is able to decimate a team (worthy of decimating) by playing attacking soccer, and the first 4 goals scored in open play are with midfielders and not strikers, that’s saying something. Le Toux, the 400 pound gorilla (bigger than Ruiz) is still loved, and dare I critique him, be it either the pressure of not scoring, the pressure of defense (that I don’t see at all), or just a fluke of a year with the club (work rate aside) he should probably have also sat this game, or at least be subbed out. With a chance to exclamate our route over TFC he cleared the ball point blank over the post in the final seconds of the 1st half.
On points brought up – there seems as though there is a lot of pressure for him to score. About last year being a fluke, 11 games in and his only goal is a PK, he can’t (nor hardly ever) get a set piece on frame. His personal pressure must be so tough that he’s rushing an open sided net goal that he should have just tapped in and makes it soar.
Is he a defensive mark for other teams – well, considering last year he should be. Considering his first touch this year, he should be more so as represented by the terrible giveaway that lead to TFC’s 2nd goal in the 2nd half. His workrate and freedom to move around the field the main defense against him as he runs all the way to the backline, and when on an offensive counter has to double time to get up to a playable position for the ball, which by that time in most other games, gets dribbled into a failed attempt, or goes out for a goal kick. He did however have a brilliant start for the play that lead to the Kyle Nakazawa goal, but all in all he is just amounting himself to be the favorite son of Philly, and that’s that in my view. All in all, I have no problems with Mwanga not “sharing” a practical open net goal to Le Toux, I have a feeling he would have aired it over the net.
I got nothing. TFC is a terrible team, and anytime there isn’t a primary focus and ’decent’ analysis by me on the defense the better, which means we controlled the game for the most part. 2 main breaks – beginning of the 2nd half:
What was Mondragon doing? That was the worst decision he’s made. Yes he may have been beat if he stayed in goal since the team seemed to feel great about the lead and let that ball get through, but when a goalie goes out that far outside the box, he has to make damn sure he gets the ball. He really hung himself out to dry there in the end.
2nd goal – giveaway by Le Toux – you really can’t blame the defense on this one. Le toux just gave it up and that caused everyone to become flatfooted with no time to recover to make a good attempt at their impersonation of the iron curtain.
What to take away from this game
We can score.
We’re a good enough team to know that the games we should win, against the lower rankings, we can with force.
We can play attacking soccer.
We can score. Oh lordy we can score.