South Couch Report : Columbus v Toronto

Columbus Crew as the Cleveland Stokers

I can tell you my brilliant idea of squad rotation of Giovinco in/Altidore resting didn’t happen. I was sure I had nailed it. To be fair, I’m on with it as Altidore is on fire. This is still good.

Bono and Chapman enter the mix with healthy equivalents on the bench, so there’s optimism in the depth and, to be fair, has been a goal-fest shy of brilliant.

Bold Predictions :

  1. Kamara or Higuain will score
  2. Toronto will win by 2 or more
  3. Vazquez gets 2 assists

On to the Match :

26’ – Morrow in the left corner floats a ball at the keeper.  Why hasn’t​ anything exciting happened yet?!?

27’ – PENALTY – Shit. (Why say anything at all? ~ Ed.) Zavaleta grabs a hold of fake Kamara in the 6 yard box. No arguments here.

28’ – GOALHiguain cheekily chips a ball past a dived Bono gone the wrong way.

31’ – There’s a supporters banner for the “Crew Union”. Does Philly have a banner for the “Union Crew”? #hardHittingJournalism

35’ – free kick finds its way back to Abu and fires it at Bono.

37’ – PENALTY – Ball gets floated over, poorly handled by a defender, Altidore runs on to it and gets taken down by Zach Steffen.

38’ – SAVED – Steffen guesses correctly, denying Altidore

40’ – SUB – Mavinga off for Ricketts. Huh. Ok Mr. Greg, let’s see how this plays out. Also #altitts *hey*

Halftime Mood : that escalated quickly…

50’ – Will Trapp has a long distance go forcing Bono to make a leaping save. Ensuing corner Bono denies Crognale header from clearing the goal line.

53’ – SUB – Cheyrou on for Osorio. I appreciate that Vanney isn’t waiting.

55’ – if you’re a regular listener, yes, I do yell “hello” whenever the commentators say Kamara’s first name. Wife thinks I’m broken.

66’ – I don’t feel like putting every non-event just to fill space. (So don’t. ~Ed.)

69’ – Vazquez free kick! Into the wall… Experiment likely over.

74’ – Oh Chappers… When Cheyrou sends you a ball, you play it like it’s amazing and will win you the game.

76’ – Meram threads a ball through to  Findley, but his first touch gets away from him as Hagglund cleans it up.

78’ – SUB – Edwards will come on for Chapman

79’ – Meram pokes a ball to beat Zavaleta and fires just wide of the far post.

81’ – GOAL – Vazquez​ lays a ball off to Edwards, and his cute cross finds Ricketts’ noggin and pots it in. Point stolen!

84’ – Altidore rolls a low ball into the path of Ricketts but just out of reach #altitts

90’ – GOAL – HOLY HELL! Edwards from the other side of the pitch, Vazquez with a wee touch and Ricketts buries it. THREE POINTS?!?! #Editts *hey*

4 minutes of extra time

90+3’ – ohhhh squeaky bum time…

Final Score : Columbus 1, Toronto 2


Man of the Match : Raheem Edwards. Wow. Not to take a thing away from Ricketts’ brace from the bench, but I think there wouldn’t have been a brace if it weren’t for Edwards.

Goat of the Game : Ummm… I’ve kinda forgotten how unnotable the first 75 minutes were.  Chapman didn’t have a stellar outing, but not really Goat-worthy

Ref Rating : 4 out of 5

I Am Not the Gaffer, But… : if you could give a standing ovation to a manager, I’d give one and applaud until Vanney left the pitch.

In Case You PVR’d It : watch the last half of the first half, and then the last 15 mins of the second.

Bold Predictions Results :

  1. Nailed it. Yeah, real stretch.
  2. Failed it. By halftime, I questioned if they could score one, so there’s that.
  3. Nailed it. Boom son.

There couldn’t have been a single person watching that thought Toronto deserved a point out of this, regardless of their capacity to steal one, after 70 minutes.  To take all the points is just greedy.  Full marks for that fight back.  I don’t even know what else to put in here.  I’m in shock, as you should be too.  Absolute bananas.  Columbus had all the momentum and seemingly had Toronto’s attack figured out.  Nothing was happening on that touch-before-the-final-touch part of the build-up.

Then the substitutions happened.  And to be honest, I was more surprised at the willingness to move earlier, as that doesn’t feel like something he was capable historically.

If you had Vazquez, Edwards and Ricketts as the solution to the problem, you too are a genius.

Player Ratings : Bono 6, Zavaleta 6, Mavinga 6.5 (Ricketts 8), Hagglund 6, Beitashour 6, Morrow 6.5, Bradley 6, Osorio 5.5 (Cheyrou 7), Vazquez 6.5, Chapman 5.5 (Edwards 8), Altidore 6.5

Unused Substitutes : Irwin, Delgado, Cooper, Hernandez

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. In 1996 the LA Galaxy set an MLS single season record for wins in a row at 12. The Galaxy also have the all-star time consecutive win record , done over 2 seasons, which is 15. So TFC only have 8 consecutive wins to go to set a new single season league record.

    We could argue this quite a bit. is it actually depth or flexibility that is the Reds’ secret sauce? Is it that the team have a lot of high functioning players that can be rolled out into the line up? Or is it the technical staff’s ability to diagnose issues and the team has the tactical experience to morph into different tactical sets and play them well? Someone please tell me.

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    • My guess is that its all of those things, with a little bit of good luck thrown in on the side. It was interesting to see Vanney recognize that things weren’t working right and start to make changes so early in the game. He usually sounds pretty smart when discussing the tactical part of the game, but I often wondered if that’s hindsight after playing a good match so its easier to sound smart. But to see him adjust things on the fly and tweak his formation to suit certain situations…maybe he really is a smart tactician!

      But I also think the skill of the players affords Vanney the chance to make changes like that. Columbus was pressing a lot but TFC’s defense didn’t break – so it felt like they could come back with a chance or two when they could control the ball for a few moments. I think Cheyrou helped to settle things a bit, and then Edwards was the spark that they needed to fire up the attack. Ricketts got to the right places, and there you go!

      So fun to watch this team right now.

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    • You sir are a legend. Thanks for the tip for the tacky footwear. I mean, you’d have to LOVE the triangles to want that on your feet. Also, socks would be better.

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