The South Couch Report: Toronto vs New York City

NYCFC as the Generals

Another South Couch report for a home game? I’m afraid so, it’s a poor showing from the vocal minority as other commitments means a lonely afternoon for full time supporter Kristin. Your humble correspondent relaxes on the air conditioned couch and so it’s on to the report.

The Part I Write Before The Match :

Well I wrote an entire article that you’ve no doubt already read, the tl;dr … TFC will be more or less at full strength, but they won’t quite fully get it together and the pizza rats will do what they usually do at BMO Field, try and foul and disrupt their way through the game and it’ll end in a frustrating tie.

Bold Predictions :

  1. Andrea Pirlo will do one or two nice things, sure, but also have some hilariously lazy and pedestrian moments, overall a negative. #GrazieMaestro
  2. David Villa will score
  3. Despite his Gold Cup free kick scoring exploits, Jozy Altidore will have to watch as Seba takes (and wastes) all the free kicks.

Here’s the teams.


Pretty, pretty strong lineup, Alseth at right back? alright then.


Tommy McNamara starting worries me, he’s a good player, makes things happen. Pirlo starting doesn’t worry me.

On to the Match, and Ooh, it’s apparently on ESPN:

8′ A Vazquez corner falls to Zavaleta who gets a very ugly attempt off that goes way over the bar. Lots of possession and passing but not much in the way of chances/shots yet.

11′ Bit of a breakaway for TFC, but Seba ruins it by trying to dribble rather than passing.

14′ Giovinco dribbles past Pirlo, gets a shot off but it’s wide.

15′ Sub: Alseth off, Edwards on. Alseth injured himself kicking a random pizza rat a few minutes back.

20′ Edwards nicks the ball off Pirlo, starts a break, but it comes to nothing.

21′ Mavinga goes over the advertising boards, but he’s OK.

23′ Morrow gets the ball on edge of the box, has a go, bit of a deflection, corner.

32′ Ring takes a shot from about 25 yards out, straight at Bono.  Not much really happening at all here so far.

33′ Goal. Never mind, that was gorgeous. TFC work the ball down the right, Giovinco gets the ball about 30 yards out, Pirlo ambles towards him but is no threat, and Seba curls it into the far top corner.  Robins 1:0 Pizza Rats. 

37′ Nice move down the right, fancy backheel in the box from Altidore, ball comes to Seba, can’t quite get a good shot off and easily saved.

39′ Half hearted penalty appeals for handball, would have been ridiculous. not given.

43′ Handball called against Drew Moor, who full heartedly and disbelievingly protests, but is was very much handball, free kick 25 yards out. Pirlo takes it, slow, low, wide of the wall, wide of the post, all in all pretty crap.

Half Time Mood: Meh really. Neither team looks particularly threatening, but Giovinco has occasionally found space by dropping back to where there’s usually a tenacious defensive midfielder in the way but instead there’s Pirlo and he really made it count that one time.

Dad of friend of the blog Don Pratley getting plenty of camera time as the players come out for the second half.

50′ Another possessiony dull first few minutes. Vazquez eventually has a go from 30 yards out. Not a full on De Guzman, but easily over the bar.

53′ Corner goes deep to Giovinco at the back post, tries a volley, doesn’t get it right, well wide.

54′ David Villa tries to catch Bono off his line from about 40 yards out. If it had been on target it would have been interesting, but it wasn’t.

56: Villa gets the ball wide right, cuts inside, comes into the box, eventually loses the ball and runs right into Drew Moor and understandably falls down. No foul or even an appeal for a foul. After a thoroughly anonymous first half, Villa much more involved now, which is worrisome.

60′ Villa on the right gets a hard shot off but from a narrow angle, Bono saves it with his knee and the rebound comes to nothing.

61′ Moralez put through at the top of the box, Mavinga comes from nowhere to cleanly tackle him. Huge.  I don’t like this 2nd half so far.

62′ Sub: Lewis on, McNamara off.

64′ Sub: Morrow, injured, off for Hagglund. Not sure how that’s going to work formation wise. Looks like Edwards out to the left, Hagglund now the right wing back.

67′ Goal: Seba fouled. Free kick about 25 yards out which is ideal distance for him.

Nailed it, aside from the saved part, flew in the top corner. Lovely stuff. His 50th MLS goal apparently. Robins 2:0 Pizza rats

68′ Sub. Pirlo off, Okoli on. Thanks for coming Andrea, you were crap.

74′ Penalty, yellow card to Callens. Edwards does really well, then Giovinco gets the ball to Altidore in the box who maybe gets pulled down, I’m not convinced, but the ref gives it.

75′ Goal: Seba gave the ball to Altidore, buries it right in the top left corner. Robins 3:0 Pizza Rats

77′ Sub Altidore off, Chapman on.

78′ Sub Villa off, somebody else on. whatever.

80′ Yellow card to Edwards. Not sure what for.

81′ Ball comes to hagglund wide right, I think he was trying to cross it, but he almost scored.

82′ Goal: Raheem fucking Edwards!!!! Giovinco with a lovely chip over the defence into space, Edwards chests it down to himself, then buries it low far post. Good for him, he’s had a great game, lots of very good defensive work. Robins 4:0 Pizza Rats.

Tweet of the game (h/t to Rob Ditta for the retweet)


93′ Delgado handles a cross into the box. Full on flappy arm Steven Caldwell special. Penalty. Maxi Moralez hits it over the bar!  chuckle.

Full Time : 4:0!!!  

Man of the Match : I’m going to go with Edwards for the all round game, though it’s very harsh on Seba really.

Goat of the Game : Bono.  Kept a clean sheet, didn’t have much to do but he did it, but good god there was some  unnecessary adventuring out there. Stop it.

Ref Rating : 3 out of 5. Didn’t really notice him, but I imagine he’d want that Altidore penalty decision back.

I Am Not The Gaffer, But… : 0 complaints. Had 2 injuries to deal with and everything went very smoothly.

In Case You PVR’d It : watch the goal from the first half, watch all the 2nd.

Kit Spotting : I imagine there was someone there in a Juventus shirt.

Bold Predictions Results :

  1. Nailed it. He was everything I thought he would be, it was a great advert for Yangel Herrera. Grazie Maestro.
  2. Failed it. looked dangerous in the 2nd half, but didn’t score.
  3. Nailed and failed it. Seba took them all (to be fair, only one) but he certainly didn’t waste it.

Woof.  That was a very emphatic second half. Great game from Edwards and Bradley, some fantastic moments from Giovinco, lot of good stuff all round really. New York looked good to start the 2nd half, but once the 2nd went in, they seemed to just give up on the game and it got quite fun from there really didn’t it.  Against one of the best teams in the league, and a potential supporters shield contender that’s a hell of a result. Hopefully Morrow isn’t badly injured (and on a humanitarian level, Alseth as well, but he’s not really as important team wise), but aside from that, there’s really no negatives to this game, especially when you consider the heat would have made it very easy to be a slow desultory game.


Player Ratings : Bono 6, Zavaleta 6, Moor 6, Mavinga 7, Alseth N/A (Edwards 9), Morrow, 6.5 (Hagglund 6), Bradley 8, Vazquez 6.5, Delgado 6.5, Giovinco 9, Altidore 7 (Chapman N/A)

Unused Substitutions : Irwin, Osorio, Cooper, Ricketts.


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

Share This Post On


  1. Yeah many have come to MLS to retire and Pirlo (lovely shot there peering around the wall) wants scare them with his name and past lore.

    All of a sudden there is a trend happening and it is not good for Patrick Vieira. This was a game I expected the New Yorkers to show up with revenge in their eyes, but Patrick’s team wilted in that hot northern heat.

    Seba showed up all 100% of him and it was a great performance. Mavinga was equally excellent.

    Now the big challenge for Vanney is how to keep all (or as many as he can) on the squad happy. Lots of talent and only 11 slots on the pitch to fill. Clint Irwin needs a run, doesn’t he?

    Post a Reply
    • Nice to see the game and result has sparked a ideological debate over at the MLS site.

      Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *