“CAW!” vs “Hoooonk” – Preseason In Full Flight As Reds Face HB Koge
Nothing like a tasty bit of Danish on a Saturday afternoon! Eat around the swan. Around the swan.
Yes, preseason is fully underway and if TFC wants to get their hands on the illustrious IMG Sucoast Pro Classic trophy (“The Succo” to its friends) then they will need to show more energy than they did against, er, Energy. Standing in TFC’s way (Saturday 12 PM EST) are Danish 1st Division bad boys HB Koge. Don’t let the flapping swan on their badge fool you, this isn’t just a club – this is a Boldklub! More about the “Svaneme” in a bit though, first a quick look at the still “swanning about” TFC.
“BUT IT’S ONNNNNLY PRESEASON!!!” I know. I can hear your screams from here and agree that preseason friendlies have about as much relevance to the regular season as a Mo Johnston scouting trip. Even if The Reds lose every match before “First Kick” (Ugh, I feel branded and dirty) it does not mean they won’t be a different animal by then. However, to say things have been so far underwhelming is fair. Let’s be honest – we all kind of wanted to see a little more oomph against Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, but hey.
Admittedly, these matches aren’t about winning (although pounding on inferior sides is a preseason feel-good tradition) but more about integrating new players, finding fitness and learning the tactics to be implemented going into the season. So what to expect from TFC going into this match? Probably not too much different than the last one really.
The feeling that prevailed after the match against Energy FC was that the starting eleven put out by Greg Vanney may very well be the one he wants to go with when the season starts. Looking further to the wholesale subs in the second half and you could very clearly see the way Vanney’s mental depth chart is beginning to take shape. Despite a bunch of new faces, it looks like there will be few surprises going in to the season unless injury or TFC-esque hilarity ensues.
There are a few questions and things to look out for though as The Reds take the pitch at the historic “Field 1” at IMG Academy. Is Steven Caldwell really the second-teamer to Nick Hagglund at centreback? Can the offense learn to harness their most potent weapon in “Seba” Giovinco? Can Giovinco find the space to not look like Expensive Stevanovic? Wasn’t the addition of Benoit Cheyrou meant to stop Michael Bradley from dropping back to the sweeper role?! Is Ashtone Morgan “back”? And, who will be the first to genuinely tweet #VanneyOut?
All this and more… if there is an online feed. At press time (Snort. Press) it is unclear if there will be a feed on the Toronto FC site but follow us on the Twitter and we will try to get the details out as soon as we know them. No word if it will be “windy” and if the announcer on the possible feed will be obsessed with meteorology.
Before we close out on the “Race for The Succo – Matchday 2” preview we must take a quick look at our exotic Scandinavian opponents – HB Koge. Once again The Vocal Minority Department of Other Teams Department is on the case and has dug up these facts* about the boys from Herfolge, Denmark.
- With players including Bruninho, Philip Zinckernagel, Delphin Tshiembe, Sylvester Seeger-Hansen, Sami Kamel and Alpha Ba, HB Koge has been named UEFA’s Most Fun Team to Announce 2014-15. Good work funny named fellas.
- With their proud swan badge with its blue hues, HB Koge is lovingly referred to as “the Wycombe Wanderers of Scandinavia”. High praise.
- Club chairman Henrik Andersen oversees the club from an administrative and financial standpoint while manager Henrik Pedersen takes care of football operations. Only men named “Henrik” are legally allowed to work in the club’s front office. Fact*.
- The current structure of the club came about after a merger of two clubs in 2009. Even if it has been awful since then, their supporters have suffered for two less years than us.
- The club’s hometown of Herfolge is a suburb of the greater Koge Municipality which is in the Zealand Region of Denmark. Yes, Zealand. Ryan Nelsen was ahead of his time.
- The placid Koge Municipality area has a proud sporting tradition with former club Herfolge Boldklub winning the Danish National Championship in 2000. The area has thriving industries and is a worldwide exporter of Danishes, blondes and Danish blondes.
- Ironically, HB Koge’s ground, SEAS-NVE Park, is protected from pesky Harris Hawks by an attack swan perched on top of the stadium named “Bjitche den Svanen”
- Danish Celebrity supporters of HB Koge may or may not include: Casino Royale villain Mads Mikkelsen, Ivan Drago’s ex-wife Brigitte Nielsen and Claire Danes.
- The club’s shirt sponsor is “Danish Danishes Bakeries”. We assume.
So there you have it, sit back, grab a pastry and a Carlsberg and enjoy what will be the greatest battle between Canadians and Danes prior to The Great Greenland War of 2075. Apparently it starts because of a dodgy Internet feed.