South Couch Report: Toronto FC vs Club America

The Part I Write Before The Game:

I optimistically bought tickets for this one, but then stupidly went to Saturday’s game and it reminded me of how I don’t like standing out in the cold for hours, and then tonight’s weather forecast got all ‘special weather statement’ and so once again it’s a South Couch report. Kudos to all of you who went, but I’m too old for that shit.

Bloody hell, the semi finals, Club America, shit has definitely got real, and though Our Toronto Eff Cees are definitely underdogs, after beating Tigres it doesn’t seem like a completely implausible no hope kind of underdog. They could do this, and hopefully the stereotypical ‘Mexicans won’t like the cold/rain/wind/shitty pitch’ stuff will prove true and help. You’ve got to think if they are to win, TFC are going to have to be taking a lead in to the Azteca, but I guess we’ll see what happens.

Here’s the lineup, as brought to you by the fine folks at concacaf and helpfully screenshotted by Mr Tod.

Vanney at striker, Morgan at Centre Back, Moor at left back, Bradley out on the wing. Auro’s a ghost. perfect.

In actuality, Bradley and Moor  will be where you think they should be, Greg Vanney is actually Greg Van der Wiel and he’ll be at centre back, and Auro isn’t actually a ghost. The midfield and forwards look comforting, as for the defence, well, that could be shaky. I mean, yay, Ashtone Morgan, always nice to see him play, but also this.

and here’s how America are lining up.

Update: Concacaf has got the players right, if not the positions.

Bold Predictions :

  1. TFC’s defence has a tough tough evening.
  2. The attack does alright though, so TFC win!
  3. Miguel Herrera does something gif worthy.

On to the Match :

-1′ – It looks really fucking cold and rainy. Happy with my decision not to attend.  Seems like quite a few others made the same choice, but all in all, not a bad crowd for the conditions.

5′ – Not much happening really, Auro with a couple of giveaways, which led to this conversation.

RedWineRoz: Where’s Auro from?

Me: He’s Brazilian.

RedWineRoz: oh, well he should be used to this concacaf stuff then.

Me: ………?

8′ – Giovinco takes the ball down the left, dribbles into the box, draws a challenge, falls over the leg. Ref gives it. Concacaf!  and Seba’s going to take it, fuck.

Goal: 9′ – The keeper had done his homework and went low to his right, but hey, Seba actually changed things up and went down the middle, just getting it past the goalie’s feet.

Club Canada 1:0 Club America

13′ – Giovinco and a lovely back heel from Delgado almost set up Morgan but he hadn’t run far enough, chance gone.

14′  – Osorio fouled on edge of box, ref doesn’t give it. Concacaf!

Yellow Card: 14′ Someone goes down, Seba gives him/the ball a bit of a kick. A lot of America players come running in to swing their sacos de mano. Seba gets a yellow, which frankly is a bit lucky. This one’s feisty. Concacaf!

17′ – Ball goes out for a throw to America, Giovinco protests very vehemently and Italianly.

Goal 21′ – Well fuck, that was nice. Ibarguen dribbles round a bunch of people at the top of the box, perhaps a bit too tentative in the tackle, then hammers it past Bono.

Club Canada 1:1 Club America

Yellow card: Van der Wiel hauled down as he bombs down the right wing. Yellow to Uribe

28′ Lovely passing, then Giovinco tries to dribble through some people, probably looking for a free kick. Doesn’t get it. Stays down after as he might have caught a sneaky kick after the fact.

29′ He’s back up, and running at the defence again, gets tackled very well, knocked over in the process, again no foul, but no protestations this time which is good.

Yellow Card: 30′ America going down wing, Osorio tackles, ridiculously clumsy and catches Peralta on the shin, yellow.

33′ – Moor gives Bono a backpass under pressure. Tries to hammer it downfield, held up in the wind, Peralta tries to lob Bono, gets it wrong and it’s over the bar.

39′ – Sloppy few minutes for the defence here when trying to clear their lines, clearances constantly going to America players.

41′ – More sloppiness gives Ibarguen another chance. Zavaleta does well to hold him up a bit, then gets the shot off and it whistles just wide.

Goal: 43‘ Altidore nearly scores, then just a few seconds later it’s Giovinco to Altidore, he does that thing where he gets the ball in the middle, runs at the defence, cuts to the outside a bit, then goes back across goal to score in the far post. A thoroughly Jozy Altidore goal.

Club Canada 2:1 Club America

Halftime Mood : Concacaf!  Stunned, almost dizzy, this has been a lot of fun.  And now there’s a bit of a scuffle at the entrance to the tunnel. Seemed to be mainly subs/coaching staff going at each other, though Osorio got caught up in it as well. Hopefully another tunnel club rumble to hear about when tv comes back.

I have no idea what’s going to happen in the 2nd, TFC will have the wind behind them, there’s more goals and at least 1 red card left in this one.

No cards for the tunnel shoving apparently, so we’re on to the 2nd half. Still looks bloody miserable.

46′ – Good move from TFC, highlighted by another delightful back heel from Delgado doesn’t quite work out as Auro overhits the cross.

50′ Giovinco almost with a chance, but dribbles his way to nowhere and loses the ball.

51′ Quick ball to Giovinco, one on one with a defender, tries to shoot early, gets it all wrong, blocked for a corner.

51′ The corner’s crap, but TFC come back, and Delgado and Giovinco get the ball close to the net, but the cross is deflected. Delgado’s passing has been very fancy and very effective, it’s lovely.

Sub 54: somebody off, j-j-j-Jooooe Corona on.  So good he gets his name on the back of the shirt twice.

Goal: 58′ – Ashtone Morgan!  Hell of a goal, ball moved down the left, some lovely touches, out to the right, more loveliness, then Auro puts in a good cross, Altidore doesn’t quite get to it, but Morgan comes barreling in and knocks it in. Ashtone fucking Morgan!!!!

Club Canada 3:1 Club America

Yellow card: 69′ Rodriguez knocks Giovinco over, then picks up the ball and hurls it to the ground in disgust, gets himself a yellow.

Sub: 74′ – Delgado out, Hasler in. Delgado’s had a hell of a game.

76′ Ibarguen from outside the box, hammers it, over the bar, but pretty pretty close.

Sub: 79′– Henry Martin comes in for someone.

84′ – Bono!!!! Nice move from America, get a very good chance, try to slip it low past Bono, but he gets his feet in the way. Huge.

Sub 85′ – Altidore off, Ricketts on. #Altits

Sub 89′ – Ibarra on for someone.

Sub 90 + 2 Ricketts set free, a defender with him, Ricketts decides to go to the corner rather than try to slip it across to Hasler who’d have been wide open in the middle.  Good decision says Steven Caldwell, Booooooooooo say I.

Full Time : Club Canada 3:1 Club America

Well fuck, that was really really good. The game died off after TFC got their 3rd, but still that’s a bloody epic game and a fantastic result. Ashtone Morgan was absolutely fine, then scored a goal, Van der Wiel did alright, if anyone was a defensive weak link it was Auro.  Osorio and Delgado were fantastic, and all in all, that was a well deserved win.

Are TFC favourites now?  Probably, but it’s narrow at best. Down 2, America are going to have to go for it, and as we saw when Tigres had to go for it, Mexican teams are legitimately scary. We barely hung on then, can we hang on for a full game with America going at us? I doubt it, so I think we’ll need at least 1 goal there to be able to bring this home. Which is very possible.

Whatever happens though, another legendary night at BMO Field. Congratulations to those that went, you made the right decision.

Man of the Match : Preposterously Giovinco got it officially. Morgan’s goal is a great moment and he had a solid game, but has to be Marky Delgado. Did his usual good stuff, and added in all sorts of fanciness, flicks and backheels. Not superfluously fancy either, fancy with a purpose, and remarkably effective.  Osorio was good as well, how does Vazquez get back into this team unless it’s a 4 man midfield?

Goat of the Game : Not fucking applicable. Not here.
Ref Rating : 3/5 Game jind of got out of hand, but he just about kept it under control, without any outrageous decisions.
I Am Not The Gaffer, But… : Zero complaints. Without Morrow, Mavinga, Hagglund, Vazquez, the makeshift defence looked fine, and while the midfield shape seemed to leave Bradley isolated a bit too much, Osorio and Delgado were great going forward. All very nice.
In Case You PVR’d It : Watch the whole thing.  Then save it and watch it again next Tuesday before the 2nd leg.

Bold Predictions Results :

  1. Nailed it. Was a tough evening, they survived it though.
  2. Nailed it. Couple of great team goals, and certainly got the win.
  3. Nailed it. I haven’t actually seen a gif, but there were plenty of options.


Player Ratings: Bono 6.5, van der Wiel 7.5 Auro Jr. 5.5, Moor 6.5, Morgan 7.5, Zavaleta 7, Bradley 7, Delgado 8.5 (Hasler N/A), Osorio 8, Altidore 7 (Ricketts N/A), Giovinco 7

Unused Substitutions: Irwin, Morrow, Fraser, Chapman, Aketxe

Author: Duncan Fletcher

Blogging journeyman formerly of Cruel Geography and Waking the Red, also briefly with Sportsnet and every now and then with the Guardian. As a supporter of Darlington, TFC, England and Canada, football's been unfair and poking fun at Duncan for decades now, so it's only fair he does the same right back at it. Follow him on twitter @duncandfletcher

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  1. Ciudad de la Esperanza, truly, has to be true after last night. Club America will need all the hope and good fortune that city can muster to make America great again. Miguel Herrera seriously suffers from motor-mouth, he creates distractions with controversial and wildly controversial statements. And you see his personality bubbling up in the team’s on-pitch temperament. Club America was maddeningly argumentative on EVERY play in the game, to the point where the referee mobbings were detrimental to the performance of Club America. This is a seriously misbehaved football team, who matched their words with a storm on grabs, slaps and swings and that is on the pitch.

    The Reds had their shortcomings last night with player unavailable, some you-take-it-no-you-take-it and dealing with the high tempo pressure from America. Still, based on what I have seen so far, by this I mean what has happened in real on-pitch play through the SCCL and MLS play, Club America’s midfield and their defense are not as good as the Tigres, in fact it is not as good as the Columbus Crew’s.

    Fantastic work from Oso and Morgan, both could be splitting the #MOMSCCL The Reds DPs did show up to play and together with the rest of the Reds, exposed and exploited Club America’s many weaknesses. GVDW was so seamless integrated into the Reds central defence he was unnoticed.

    Yes Duncan it will be tough in Mexico City, but all those clutch and grabs and fists swings from America’s midfield and defense show they were just hanging on last night. There will be 3 or 4 calls just 6 or 8 yards off the America‘s box and you know at least one those will be put away by Seba. I see a TFC series win in the Mexico and Miguel explaining why his side is really the better team in the post-game pressers.

    Post a Reply
    • Are you suggesting your #MomsCCL likes a threesome?
      Also, how the hell have I not connected your #MomsCCL with DPs yet? We’ve all failed.

      Post a Reply
  2. Can’t believe you didn’t go to this one Dunc. Surely you’ve braved much worse in the Tin Shed for a first round tie in the Rumbelows cup…..

    Post a Reply
    • I know! Think of all the miserable days at crappy grounds throughout northern england, for pretty much nothing games.
      I’ve also dragged Roz to TFC games and insisted that no we’re not leaving cos ‘this is proper footie weather’. and now here I am. Old, lazy, and scared of a bit of rain/wind/cold. Oh well, maturity!

      Post a Reply
    • It can be, yes.
      all those ‘down there’ countries are pretty much all the same really.

      Post a Reply

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