South Couch Report: Toronto FC vs DC United Nil
South Couch? But this is a home game, surely your intrepid reporter is in the South STAND, no? Well yes, your usual reporter, full time supporter Mark Hinkley is at the game. Duncan however is too goddamn lazy and is watching this game from home, having just finished a leisurely dinner and with a delicious glass of Rose in hand (Ladybug from Malivoire, available in any good LCBO) so to assuage guilt has taken on reporting duties.
I thought DC Nil would be good this year, they looked strong last year after picking up Patrick Mullins and I thought they’d keep it going and I actually predicted them as supporters shield winners. Yeah. not so much. They can’t win, they can’t score, they’re all round pretty hopeless really.
Should be an easy win then, but wait, Julius James just came all the way to my house to laugh at that particular narrative, so who really knows what’ll happen. I’ll stick with my 2-0 podcast prediction, fellow part time supporter Red Wine Roz is going for 2-1.
Here’s the lineup.
It’s good to be back.
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) June 17, 2017
That’s pretty much the first choice lineup these days, happy to see the Bradley Delgado Vazquez troika in midfield again, with Armando Cooper nowhere to be seen. Lovely. Though the complete absence of starting Canadians is a bit of a downer. Ah well, to the game.
Pre game Michael Bradley wankathon on TSN. Whatever.
3′ Vanney’s changed his shirt. Just a plain grey number now. Interesting. How will this affect the game?
8′ Giovinco plays in Altidore, who tries to give it back to Giovinco but it doesn’t quite work. This is the closest we’ve come to excitement so far. Slow start.
11′ Giovinco dribbles a bit, doesn’t work, ball squirts out to Morrow who hilariously flops but the ref gives just a free kick, not a penalty. Should have been a yellow really.
12′ Beitashour with a long shot but straight at Hamid. More happening now though so that’s nice.
14′ Giovinco almost plays Altidore in but doesn’t quite work. Then Vazquez almost gets a cross to someone in red but doesn’t. All TFC now.
15′ Ben Olsen looking fierce, not for any particular reason really.
21′ Giovinco runs into trouble, but somehow earns a foul. Giovinco let’s someone else take it. I kid, of course he doesn’t. Too close to the box, so of course he hits it into the wall.
26′ Vazquez plays Giovinco on, at top of box, right side, goes far corner, just wide, probably closest we’ve come so far.
27′ Yellow Card. Vazquez gets a yellow for a late trip on Lloyd Sam.
I see the ‘no argos at bmo’ sign is out behind the goal. Admirable sentiment but a bit late now fellas.
30′ Giovinco has a shot from outside the box. Not all that threatening but somehow troubles Bill Hamid who bobbles it and Altidore heads the rebound wide of the post.
Usher/friends dad Don Pratley makes a TV appearance behind a confused looking Ben Olsen after the ref calls a foul throw.
33′ DC attack, Acosta has a chance but declines to shoot, then they almost get another chance but they do nothing with it, looking like a team that can’t score in the proverbial brothel.
36′ TFC have possession outside of the box, but DC well set up, nothing on and Bradley just decides to shoot from about 25 yards out. It doesn’t go well.
38′ Morrow puts a cross over to the back post to Beitashour about 6 yards out. Heads it wide and into the side netting. Disappointing. Beitashour a bit injured but he’s ok.
40′ Yellow card. Giovinco chases a long ball, pulls the dc defender down so is free on goal. Ref calls a free kick. Tantrum time, Seba throws the ball in the general direction of the ref, though doesn’t hit him and gets a yellow for his trouble.
43, DC almost do something on the edge of the box, but it doesn’t quite come off for Sam and nothing comes of it.
44′ DC counter ends with a ball across the box, Lamar Neagle stretches for it but can’t quite get there.
45′ Vazquez with a chance at top of box, goes far post but easy enough for Hamid.
46′ Giovinco with a fancy turn at the tip of the box, goes down, ref says no foul and he seems to accept it without a tantrum, which is a nice sign of growth.
HalfTime mood: Meh. TFC have looked quite good, but it’s just not really coming together at the sharp end of things, DC defending well. This game needs some Raheem Edwards.
Victor Vazquez interview at halftime and I must have never heard him talk before as I’m delighted to discover he actually sounds like Manuel from Fawlty Towers, all high pitched and spanish. #HesFromBarcelona.
46′ 2nd half underway, no changes yet.
49′ Beitashour low cross, Morrow slides in, juuuuuust misses it. Morrow ends in the net, the ball doesn’t.
51′ Vazquez floats a free kick in, Moor almost gets to it to head it in, but he doesn’t.
54′ Giovinco almost has a chance but can’t quite get the space to get a shot off, Ball goes out to Delgado, his shot is blocked, then hits a DC arm, but no handball. Caldwell wants to be a TFC guy and say ‘yeah that’s a handball’, but also wants to absolve the defender of any fault for where his arm is, eventually awkwardly says it should have been a penalty.
56′ Nice passing on the top of the box, but the opening doesn’t quite come. Comes to Bradley who takes a shot from 25 yards out and de Guzman’s it very high and wide.
60′ Goal Bradley breaks up an attack, finds Giovinco out wide on the right who finds Altidore with a lovely pass, somehow unmarked close to the top of the box, finishes clinically. Lovely. Toronto 1-0 DC Nil
67′ Giovinco set free but DC defender catches up and the possible chance disappears.
68′ Yellow Card. Bradley gets a yellow for something, suspended for next game. He very politely confirms it with the ref, giving a thumbs up as he does it.
74′ Lovely move from Altidore, then passes to Giovinco top of the box, who makes a complete ballsup of it. Not his sharpest game really.
75′ Sub: Raheem Edwards on for Steven Beitashour. Edwards on right? Morrow right, Edwards left? Looks like Edwards on the right.
77′ Sub: Jordan Hamilton on for Jozy Altidore. Jozy gets a nice round of applause.
78′ Sub: Ortiz on for Nyarko, who doesn’t get a nice round of applause.
83′ Yellow Card: Harkes for a foul on delgado.
84′ Sub: Jonathan Osorio on for Marky Delagdo (not injured)
84′ Free kick just a bit too wide for Seba to shoot so he walks away, leaves it to Vazquez. Floats it in, Edwards get a header off, it’s under the bar, but Hamid tips it over.
85′ Sub Le Toux on for Lloyd Sam. apparently I missed another DC sub at some point as that was their last.
85′ Goal: Jordan Hamilton! Too many things are happening and I can’t type blindly, so I missed that, anyway, replay shows a corner to the near post, Hamilton gets the header, flicks it just inside the back post. Toronto 2-0 DC Nil. Caldwell says ‘securing the 3 points’. Presumptuous but DC don’t look like scoring so fair enough really.
90′ Ortiz nearly scores, but doesn’t.
90+2′. Lovely move to get it to Osorio, who takes forever at the top of the box and then puts a weak shot in that Hamid easily saves.
Ref Rating : 3 out of 5. Didn’t really notice him, so that’s good.
I Am Not the Gaffer But : No complaints about the starting lineup, the subs were maybe a bit late, but all in all a solid victory, if a bit plodding against a defensive team, so well done
In Case You PVR’d It : Delete it and watch the 20 minute highlights on MLS Live instead, that’ll seem like an alright game, the full 90 was a bit meh.
DC came to defend and generally did it well. TFC had plenty of possession and looked quite good until it came to that final pass, when things didn’t quite come together, partly DC’s good defending, partly Giovinco not on his game. The goals came from a set piece and one of the few times where DC was attacking and TFC could break. All in all, not a great game but 3 points so can’t complain really. Best bit is that I don’t have to bother with a bus or fighting traffic, I’m already home!
Player Ratings : Bono, 6 Mavinga 6, Moor 6, Zavaleta 6, Beitashour 6.5 (Edwards 6.5), Morrow 7, Bradley 6, Delgado, 7 (Osorio N/A), Vazquez 7, Giovinco 6, Altidore 7.5 (Hamilton 7)