The South Couch Report: Toronto vs Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Union as the Atoms

The Part I Write Before The Match :

South Couch report? Again? Goddamn do you guys ever go to the home games any more?  Not really no, this time, the ex is on and it’s an 8pm start and it’d take forever to get there and get home and is the difference between live and on tv big enough to warrant all that nonsense?  Nah, not so much. I’m lazy, and though the supporter shield/greatest team ever hype is ratcheting up the importance slightly, it’s not enough yet. Part. Time. Supporter.

On the other hand, I’ve paid for a ticket, AND I’m boosting the TV ratings which means I’m a goddamn superstar doing my bit for the next time TFC want to make it rain on some as yet unknown fancy player.  You’re all welcome.

The good news is when I don’t  go to home games, TFC usually do well. The bad news is I put Giovinco (and Vazquez and Morrow) into my fantasy team and this year, whenever I’ve done that, he’s played like shit, so who really knows what to expect? Speaking of; predictions.

  1. TFC win by at least 3 goals.
  2. Actually, after seeing the lineup, no, no they won’t. There’ll be plenty of possession and control, but frustratingly few chances and a 1-0 win.
  3. Giovinco gets himself a petulant yellow card.

Here’s the teams, and it looks like TFC are 4-4-2-ing it tonight.


Oooh, fancy.

To get topical, some store in the Eaton Centre, Uniqlo, tried to unionise and got crushed. Generally speaking, that’s a sad thing, but hopefully a good omen for tonight.

Onto the Match :

Ooh, it’s Vic rauter!  Delightful.  Crowd looking a bit sparse to start off, security apparently an overzealous shitshow.

3′ Quick free kick into the box to Giovinco, he could shoot, instead tries a fancy backheel across the box, whiffs on it, goal kick. Nice to see something different from a free kick though.

5′ Not much happening yet, but Bradley almost seems to be playing as a centre back, so maybe a 5-3-2 anyway.

7′ Giovinco gets a shot off. Andre Blake saves it.

9′ Giovinco dribbles across the box, then flops. Free kick just outside the box. Probably too close, he’ll hit it into the wall.

Goal: 10′ Giovinco takes it, Blake shuffles over a bit to the wall side, cos obviously that’s where Seba’s going to kick it, he always does. But Seba actually does something different and goes to the other side, and it’s right into the top corner.  Lovely. If he’s going to score them this regularly, then go ahead and take all of them. TFC 1-0 Union.

16′ Altidore cross across the box, Hasler shoots, well wide, in fact right back to Altidore who scores, but he’s offside, no arguments at all on that one.

19′ Medunjanin tries to chip Bono from about 45 yards, and is only just over the bar with the effort. Philly coming closer now.

24′ TFC win another free kick, about 30 yards out this one. He’ll take it wall side, just wide of the post.  And that’s exactly what happened. I’ve still got it.

Yellow Card. 28′ Altidore through, pulled back, foul, only a yellow card to Fabinho. I predicted over the wall and Blake to save, but it was into the wall.

Goal: 30′ From the corner, Vazquez to Hasler at about the penalty spot and he heads it just under the crossbar at the far post Lovely stuff. Dude can head a ball apparently. TFC 2-0 Union

36′ Down the left, cross comes in, Altidore flicks it to the near post, just goes wide.

45′ Free kick into the box from Bradley, Moor has a bit of a free header, but whiffs on it, goal kick.

Halftime Mood : Loving it. 2-0 TFC and well worth it. Lot of possession and control, but with a lot of attacking intent as well, and with the full backs still getting forward a lot even with fewer centre backs behind them. Thoroughly dominant

50′ Bit more pressure from Philly to start, they get a header here that drifts wide, almost dangerous-ish.

52′ Delgado with a dangerous cross right to Seba, but Elliott gets a touch to just knock it out.

55′ Bedoya heads it wide after a Philly move started by a Vazquez giveaway.

Goal: 57′ Lovely quick passing from Osorio, Vazquez and others, ball comes to Altidore who makes no mistake with a delicate little dink over Blake and inside the far post. TFC 3-0 Union. 

62′ Ilsinho lets a rocket go, Bono dives and gets a touch on it to push it on to the crossbar. #SweetestThing

Sub 62′ Pontius on for Fafa Picault.  And sadly that’s the first time I can remember Vic saying that name. shame.

63′ Philly come very close from a corner, good save from Bono, then a scramble, then come close with another header from another corner.

66′ End to end stuff right now, Giovinco came closeish, now Ilsinho comes close again.  Wheeeeeee.

Yellow Card: 67′ Nicolas Hasler for something.

Sub: 68′ Hernadez in for Delgado. Presumably back to the old 5-3-2. Hernandez decides to wake himself up by repeatedly slapping his own face/head.

71′ The crowd tentatively breaks out the ole’s in a nice TFC move that comes to nothing.

Sub: 72 Sapong off, Simpson on

Sub: 72 Hasler off, Beitashour on.

73′ Beitashour comes this close to scoring, but Blake sticks out a leg and just stops what was in fairness a pretty weak shot, actually watching the replay and I think it might have been an attempted cross.

Sub: 78′ Vazquez off, Chapman on.

Sub: 79′ Creavalle on, Bedoya off.

83′ Giovionco through, falls over under pressure, ref doesn’t call a foul, though also doesn’t book him for diving. Odd.

2 mins of extra time

Full Time: Toronto 3-0 Philadelphia 

Man of the Match : So many candidates, but I think I’ll go with Hasler. Got another goal and was very involved. Beitashour automatically back into the lineup when fully fit no longer feels like it should be automatic. 

Goat of the Game : None of them. 

Ref Rating : 4 out of 5. No complaints here.

I Am Not the Gaffer, But… : Again, no complaints. Formation change was a surprise but it went smoothly as all hell and everything felt fully under control the whole time

In Case You PVR’d It : Watch the first half very intently. Keep the second half on in the background while you do something else as TFC cruise home.


1: Nailed it

2: Failed it, should have stuck with prediction 1 you dummy

3: Failed it, Seba seemed into the game the whole time, the early goal obviously helps the mood, and even when denied a free kick late in the game, wasn’t overly petulant about it as he would have been a month or more ago.

Well fuck, that was a very very good game. The first half TFC were fully in control, passing the ball around but not in a lazy careful way, in a very attacking and incisive and accurate way. Philly aren’t a great team, and TFC played a very good game against a poor team for once and thus it looked really really good. First half perhaps the most impressive I’ve seen them in perhaps ever, second half a very comfortable cruise home. Hasler again looked very good, Osorio did well in his surprise appearance, Bono, Mavinga had notably impressive moments when needed, everyone else did pretty much what you’d expect them to at their best.  Up to 53 points now, need 16 from 8 to beat the Galaxy’s record. I still don’t think they’ll do it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

Player Ratings : Bono 7, Hasler 8.5 (Beitashour N/A) Mavinga 7, Moor 7, Morrow 7, Bradley 8, Vazquez 8.5 (Chapman N/A), Delgado 7.5 (Hernandez 6), Osorio 8, Giovinco 7.5, Altidore 7.

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. Tweren’t ever in doubt. Not sure there is a static relationship beteeen TFC and retail shop unions, but ok.

    I feel very comfortable with Bradley dropping out of the mid and kick in when needed. I was also happy to have Oso get his start.

    What is interesting is with NYCFC nipping at the Red’s heels, Vieira is reportedly “conceding” first and the Shield. I can see the a large number of vikings and knights popping into BMO in the coming weeks.

    Post a Reply
    • I’d say the shield thing is a great idea for a tifo, that is until the nazis went all larp with the shields in charlotteville and now I kind of associate dumb pretend shields with nazis, so maybe not.
      stupid nazis.

      Post a Reply
  2. “I hate Illinois Nazis.”
    “You got any white bread?”
    “I’ll have some toasted white bread please”

    Post a Reply
    • How about if I dress up as Hoplite?

      Post a Reply
      • everyone loves a good greek reference. Not sure a spear would get through security though.

        Post a Reply

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