South Couch Report. Orlando City SC vs Toronto FC

Orlando City meets Miami Gatos

The Part I Write Before :

First game I’ve watched in ages this one, life and stuff keeps happening so I’ve been limited to highlights and lowlights, so to me it seems like TFC games are relentless roller coasters. I’m intrigued to see how they look in all the slow bits in between, cos what I’m hearing and reading doesn’t sound too positive.  Time is clearly running out for the playoff run to get going, hopefully injured players start coming back, and for the love of god hopefully we can beat an Orlando team that’s in full on Aron Winter-esque 9 game losing streak meltdown mode. Joe Bendik’s been dropped to the bench, that’s a shame.

Here’s the lineup:

Looks like a 4-4-2, but who the hell knows really.  I’m willing to go with all of Mark’s predictions from last week’s game.

Bold Predictions :

  1. Toronto concedes within the first ten minutes, as is tradition
  2. Toronto scores late within last five minutes of the first half or the first five minutes of the second half, as is tradition
  3. Toronto will lose.

On to the Match :

1′ – TSN having depth problems of their own here, what with all that world cup stuff, so this game and Vancouver v DC get to share a studio analysis team, and then it’s Vic Rauter along with ironman Steven Caldwell, who apparently never rests.

5′ Osorio trips over the ref. Going by the first 5 minutes, slapstick might be the best entertainment we get here.

yellow card 6′ – Schuler for fouling Morrow. Giovinco lets Bradley take the free kick, that’s nice.  It’s swung in, but right at Edwards.

11′ – Zavaleta seemingly overhits a pass to Giovinco. Seba stops to wave his hands frustratedly at Zavalata. Meanwhile the ball totally spun and slowed down and if he’d just kept running he could have easily caught up before it went out.

16′- TFC passing the ball around the back, ball rolled fairly slowly to Hagglund who tries to hoof it, completely misses it, falls over and it’s out for a throw. Slapstick having a strong game so far. It may be the world cup talking, but this has been desperately crap and sloppy so far.

20′- Hamilton behind the defence lobs the goalie, but also the bar.  He was offside anyway, but hey that was (not technically) a shot in the general direction of goal! Progress.

21′ Yotun with a loooooooooong shot, Bono had to scramble to clear it.

24′- Telfer gives it away, Orlando come right at TFC, get it to Mueller who doesn’t do all that well and balloons it over the bar.

25′- Morrow with a lovely move. Couple of passes later and Giovinco from the top of the box pulls it just wide.

28′- Seba with a nice move to get some space, lets fly from about 25 yards out, wide.

Goal 34′ Quick free kick catches TFC out, gives Dwyer a chance to take a shot from about 30 yards. Bono saves it, but very uglily, and TFC are still scrambling and Chris Schuler is all alone to head in the rebound.

Shitshow City SC 1-0 Shitshow FC.

41′ Orlando with a shitload of pressure, quite a few corners, then it all ends with a cross into the box, middle of the goal, about 10 yards out, no defenders but headed over the bar. Super sloppy, lucky to not concede again.

44′- Absolute comedy of fucking errors from TFC  at the back, get lucky with a block, and then a miss and escape again.

45+2′ Bradley swings in a free kick, someone heads it, but just wide as 4 Orlando players fall over each other in the middle of the box.

Half time thoughts: Good god, this team’s absolutely fucking awful.  So sloppy and disjointed, they look like they’ve never played together before.  We had the odd chance, but gave so many up, and mainly just never in any way looked like ever getting anything going in any kind of planned methodical way.  Shockingly bad.  They’re lucky TSN is talking more about DC v Vancouver at half time.

2nd Half:

Sub: Chapman for Telfer. Telfer did fuck all, not like anyone did, let’s see if Chapman can inspire something.

Goal: 48′- Klejstan to Dwyer, in way too much space at the top of the box, no DM there, the CB’s standing off, rifles it home. Way too easy. Shitshow City SC 2-0 Shitshow FC. 

Yellow Card: 54′ Chapman slides in two footed, studs up, from behind on someone and somehow only gets a yellow.

Meanwhile DC’s new stadium is kind of falling apart, bits of metal raining down on people (I exagerate a bit as it’s only 2 from what I can tell on twitter, but still).

58′- TFC attack broken up, but Chapman beats a sleepy Orlando defence to the rebound and gets a shot off, sadly straight at Edwards.

59′ Giovinco put through, Edwards saves it with his face, Hamilton doesn’t get the follow up on target. Suddenly  awake, that’s  nice.

61′ Lot of passing around, move the ball from side to side, ends with a chance for Chapman, but a weak shot. Not sure exactly what’s clicked, maybe Orlando making a sub has made it easier, or maybe just they’re on a 9 game losing streak and all of a sudden have something to protect and sphincters are tightening, but all of a sudden TFC look dangerous.

63′ Giovinco slices through the defence, pushed down by Schuler who isn’t given his 2nd yellow. Free kick, central, 25 yards out. Over the wall, and over the bar. Close but nope.

65′ Giovinco lets fly again, and again is off target, but this has been a decent 10 minutes.

Yellow Card, and Sub: 67′- Bradley hauls down Dwyer to stop a counter, gets a yellow, and then gets subbed off, didn’t look injured. Fraser on, Bradley apparently not all that happy.

68′- Chapman clumsily makes his way past a defender and gets a mediocre shot off that Edwards saves.

73′ Dwyer put through a few yards ahead, but Hasler races back and catches up and tackles him.  Never thought of Hasler as fast. Mr Leroux must be shit, or injured, or tired.

Sub 75′ Dwyer off, Pinho on.

Sub: Actually cancel that, Dwyer for Pinho didn’t happen, and it’s Will Johnson off for Donny Toia.

Sub: Ricketts for Hasler

Goal: 90+ 3: Giovinco free kick to the back post, Hagglund meets it on the volley and knocks it in the far post, ruining Edwards clean sheet. Shitshow City SC 2:1 Shitshow FC

Final whistle goes almost immediately after and so it’s

Full Time : Shitshow City SC 2:1 Shitshow FC

Man of the Match :  Jay Chapman. We looked ok for about 15 minutes in the second half, he was a big part of that, even if he can’t finish.
Goat of the Game : So many options, but I’m nominating the whole fucking team.
Ref Rating : 4 out of 5. No real issues.
I Am Not The Gaffer, But… : Can you maybe motivate these guys to play an even remotely competent game. Injuries, sure, but this was absolutely fucking terrible. The situation is desperate, but there’s fuck all urgency out there, they look like they don’t care and have never fucking played together before. Organised defending is coachable, they defence was absolutely horrible.
In Case You PVR’d It :

Bold Predictions Results :

  1. Failed it. Conceded first, but I wouldn’t call it early.
  2. Failed it. Nope, not even.
  3. Nailed it.

Absolutely fucking awful. Maybe missing the last few games means I’ve missed a steady decline, but aside from about 15 minutes, that was remarkably bad. That doesn’t look like a team anywhere close to turning it around and making a run. Ottawa have got to be fancying their chances on Wednesday.

Player Ratings: Bono 5, Zavaleta 4, Hagglund 4, Morrow 6, Hasler 6 (Rickets n/a), Bradley 5 (Fraser n/a), Delgado 5.5 , Osorio 6, Telfer 4 (Chapman 6.5) Giovinco 6, Hamilton 5

Unused Substitutions: Irwin, Altidore!!! Akinola, somebody else I don’t care about.

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. Little harsh on Ashtone Morgan at the end there.

    Post a Reply
    • was Morgan the other sub? good for him.
      should be ‘someone else I don’t remember and can’t be bothered enough to look up right now’.
      I care about Ashtone Morgan.

      Post a Reply
  2. It is wonderful. I have resigned myself to all of this ugly play from the Reds a few weeks ago and now I don’t even yell at the TV. I experienced a bit of shock after the 2nd goal but there was no irrational response from me. It is fantastic.

    Despite the wreck of a team psychology going on, this team can still score as long as they believe they can. So I am waiting for some defensive help to return, like Mavinga.

    I wonder how the relationship between Bradley and Vanney will play out this week?

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