South Stand Report : Toronto v Philadelphia (pre-season)

Philadelphia Union as the Atoms

Philadelphia Union as the Atoms

Welcome to the Rowdies Suncoast Invitational, live from beautiful, sunny and temperate St. Petersburg, Florida. When you’re a jet-setting millennial like myself with plenty of disposable income, you too can just fly out on a lark to watch exciting MLS pre-season action. Situated just a de Guzman free kick from the water, Al Lang Stadium is a converted baseball stadium, just down the street from the world famous Dali Museum (1 Dali Blvd). And the weather, is just perfect. I know. Because I’m there. I mean here.

I tried to do some research, but I was too busy grabbing a drink at the Green Bench Brewing Co. (1133 Baum Avenue N), about a kilometer or two west of the stadium. The Maximo Milk Stout was excellent. I missed the first few minutes of the game because I was too busy savoring my second pint! LOL!

Onto the match!

9’ – Endoh floats a pretty cross ball to Giovinco, who lays the ball off for Osorio who forces a save from the Philly keeper. Speaking of floats, word on the street that the best root beer floats can be had at Larry’s Olde Fashioned Ice Cream & Gelato (6595 Gulf Blvd). Kinda thirsty now because of the sun here.

14’ – I’m really happy I decided to take a walk around the Gizella Kopsic Arboretum (901 North Shore Drive NE), a few clicks north of the stadium, before I came here. Needed to stretch out after such an early flight.

33’ – YELLOW – Bradley gets booked for hacking down someone

34’ – Irwin comes up with a big save over a deflected shot, going right but palm save to the left and out. Crazy stuff.

38’ – YELLOW – Bloom comes in late on a tackle

41’ – You know what? These cajun crawfish pies from Vivian’s are fantastic. I managed to pick them up at the Saturday Morning Market (100 1st St SE), located in the stadium parking lot every saturday in St. Petersburg. Glad I could smuggle them in. Delish!

44’ – CJ Sapong slides in late to tap in a cross and a great opportunity on an open net.

Half-Time Mood : relaxed. Toronto looks good, the weather is beautiful and I’m trying to decide whether I go Jacks London Grill (1050 62nd Ave. N) for dinner, well north of the ground, or if I should just go shopping at the Tyrone Square Mall (6901 22nd Ave N) on the west side of the island. Oh the decisions.

45’ – SUB – Cheyrou off for Babouli

54’ – Fernandez attempts to draw a penalty by dragging his foot behind to catch Moor’s trailing leg, but the ref doesn’t buy it. I’m going to reward the ref with a taco from Taco Bus (2324 Central Avenue) just west of the stadium.

60’ – GOAL – Perquis gives up the ball with a blown pass right at a Philly midfielder, then slotted to CJ Sapong who takes a good run down the left side, slides it low and right. Johnson better not yell at him too much, or he’ll need to get a tea from the Mad Hatters Ethnobotanical Tea Bar (4685 28th St N) to soothe his throat.

63’ – SUB – Morrow off for Morgan

63’ – SUB – Perquis off for Josh WIlliams

63’ – SUB – Williams Sub Shop (3801 Tyrone Boulevard North)

64’ – Giovinco gets free at the top of the box and beats the keeper, but not the post.

68’ – SUB – Chapman on for Johnson. Couldn’t tell, the sun was in my eyes. #soBright

76’ – SUB – Hagglund on for Bloom.

78’ – SUB – Lovitz is in for Endoh

80’ – Philadelphia free kick from 20 yards out and de Guzman’s the shit outta that one.

1 minute of extra time (Old Northeast Jewelers (1131 4th St N))

90+1’ – Osorio has a chance 10 yards from goal, sets it and fires, but is blocked by defender.

FULL TIME : Toronto 0, Philadelphia 1

Man of the Match : Giovinco deserves it so get that man a steak at Rococo Steak (655 2nd Avenue South)

Goat of the Game : Perquis for the howler pass. Not unlike the goats you can find at the petting zoo found at The Pier Aquarium (800 Second Ave. NE, Suite 2001)

Ref Rating : 5 out of 5. It’s pre-season. Plus I’m buying him tacos from Taco Bus!

I Am Not The Gaffer, But… : I would go visit Kribys Mens Wear in Tampa (1707 S Dale Mabry Hwy) and ditch those pink shirts, and invest in some salmon as the hot new colour this season.

In Case You YouTube’d it : it’s pre-season. You didn’t miss anything.

Player Ratings : Irwin 7, Perquis 5.5 [Williams N/A], Bloom 6.5 [Hagglund N/A], Moor 6.5, Morrow 6 [Morgan N/A], Bradley 6.5, Cheyrou 6 [Babouli N/A], Johnson 6 [Chapman N/A], Endoh 6.5 [Lovitz N/A], Osorio 6.5, Giovinco 7

A special thanks to the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce for their sponsorship of this match report.  St. Pete’s Can’t Be BeatTM!

Author: Mark Hinkley

Mark is a full-time graphic designer, full-time smart ass and full-time logo, stadium and kit nerd. When he isn't writing ridiculous match reports or redesigning logos for his own amusement, he's salivating over the day that promotion and relegation occurs in MLS. You can follow him @kitnerdmark on the twitterz.

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  1. Perquis. jesus christ.

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    • Relax, he just needs time to settle and adjust to the league and possibly have someone beside him to make him look good. It’s impossible to come in and play well for the first 2 seasons. Also, it’s not like he’s eating up a huge chunk of the cap …………..

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        • Yes, not sure why it didn’t add my name

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      • I agree, bring the youngster along slowly. In another 2 or 3 seasons he will be ready.

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  2. Remember, preseason doesn’t count unless it leads into a losing regular season.

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