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Posts Tagged ‘Major League Soccer’

Was it that bad? Really?

March 20, 2011 1 comment

Ok so TFC lost to the Whitecaps in the 2011 season opener 4-2 and I’m sensing from what I’ve been reading online that, “TFC is a disgrace”. A disgrace – really? They scored 2 goals on the road! They did this ONLY 3 times last year – against San Jose (May 29th W 3-1), Houston (Sept 18th W 2-1) and Seattle (Oct 2nd L 3-2).  Can we chill out a bit there please? Not only that, last year, if the team put together 3  consecutive passes it was a shock. They had 60% of the possession against the Whitecaps – 60 PERCENT!! That alone is a sign that things will be different to me.

Ya sure they lost to an expansion team in front of a national audience but to make it seem as though they are the same or worse than last year is completely ridiculous. Last year we played the expansion Philadelphia Union 3 matches into the season, at home and barely and I mean barely squeaked out 3 points. I would say that beating an expansion team that played with only 10 men from the 33rd minute 2-1; when the game winning goal was a penalty kick in the 81st minute is far worse than losing to a team that is indeed new to the MLS but has been in existence since 1970.

Aron Winter has had to teach basic fundamentals like passing and moving into space since he’s been in charge. He has had to start pretty much from scratch with just about everything with this team and he’s only had about 6 weeks to do it so far. To have a newly formed team that had to be taught the things one would assume were taught to players at age 10, maintain possession 60% of the time against professional opposition is absolutely estounding – yes I said it. TFC’s performance was astounding.

Lets not call in the firing squad just yet people. I know it’s frustrating being a Toronto sports fan in general but try not to let your frustrations overlap. If TFC continues to show improvement like they did against the Cap’s, they will be good – really good……someday!

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Ugly finale to MLS season

November 23, 2010 2 comments

Major League Soccer

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I had to comment on the MLS Cup finale which to me was a display of some truly ugly soccer. I consider myself to be a soccer fan and I will often watch soccer regardless of who is playing. Most of the MLS games I watched this year involved TFC and I was happy to say that TFC improved drastically over the course of the year but ended up finishing like they started and missing the play-offs again.

When I watched the final MLS game this year I was quite unfamiliar with Colorado and Dallas but it seemed that these two teams must have made it to the final not by beating the other teams but by beating up the other teams. It was one of the ugliest games I have seen in a long time and for this to be the marquee match to the end season with supposedly the 2 best teams in MLS was a shame and a mockery and a horrible way to showcase the MLS as a league trying to gain credibility. The lack of skill displayed by both teams was very apparent has it seemed like neither team was able to string together a collection of passes. The defence on both teams seemed like they were told to kick the ball as hard as they could anytime it came near them and the rest of the players must have been told to kick the other team anytime they came anywhere near them. At one point I thought I was watching Sockey and I think Brian Burke should try to draft Connor Casey as he tried to take down everything within sight. I saw a mild glimmer of hope on the first Dallas goal which was a rare moment of skill and a truly nice goal. But the game remained chippy and was capped off by 2 ugly Colorado goals which gave a fitting end to a crappy game. I was hoping for penalties as this would have been more fitting as neither team deserved to win in my eyes. Perhaps a good referee would have helped the game as this ref seemed happy to watch players kick the crap out of each other for 90 mins. And this was a ref who supposedly had a history of giving cards out like a pimp at a night club.

In the end, Colorado wins on the basis of 2 ugly goals to 1 nice goal and gives a whole new meaning to the term winning ugly!

Vancouver WhiteCaps – The Realists!

November 9, 2010 1 comment

Vancouver Whitecaps Residency

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The Vancouver Whitecaps have made some headlines recently with the announcement of Dutchman Richard Grootscholten as technical director and head coach of their full-time residency program with the aim of developing players for Major League Soccer. To me, this is a very big move for the club and the MLS itself. MLS or even Dutch clubs will never be on the same level as clubs from the larger European Leagues and the sooner the MLS comes to terms with this idea, the better.

The Dutch have realized this and now they are one of the best countries at developing young talent. On a club level, the Dutch are not able to compete because of high player salaries created by the billion dollar clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United. When was the last time teams like Ajax, PSV or Feyenoord were successful in the Europa or Champions League? This is simply because these Dutch teams develop young players and as soon as the players are good enough, it’s off to Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Man U etc for a healthy transfer fee. Also, didn’t the Dutch make the World Cup final? The players may be leaving the Netherlands but no matter where they go, they still remain Dutch. So when the World cup rolls around they are all in Oranje.

Even players who were not born in the Netherlands but were developed there come back and become naturalized. See Jonathan DeGuzman!! Oh how that hurts!

If all of the teams in the MLS foster this idea then it will be a win win situation for everybody involved. Young players will have a place to develop outside of the pressure and spotlight of the large clubs in a place where all of the attention is not on the beautiful game. They would also be able to develop in a country (Canada or US) where the standard of living is quite high and the educational system is good. The MLS would benefit from the regular revenue stream of selling young players as well as having players of high technical ability on display (instead of domestic “filler” type players) in the league. In addition, graduates of the system who have been sold to large clubs would be more likely to come back to the MLS to re-gain lost form or to even end their careers where it all started. The MLS would not be looked at as an inferior league but a league that is good at nurturing and developing players. Also, the CSA and USSF would benefit because our home grown talent would have better players to develop with making for better national teams.

I think Toronto FC is also on the right track with their academy but they need to have someone in charge that has experience with this type of a mentality. I like Jason Bent as head coach of the senior academy team but I pick Grootscholten to run my player development every time!