The South Stand Report : Toronto v Montreal

Montreal Impact as the Manic

Montreal Impact as the Manic

Well that was a bit of a letdown last week.  Thought Toronto had them, but alas, like an elbow to the back of the neck, they went down.

Now we’re playing the pathetically abysmal Montreal Impa… whuh? 17 pts you say? 5-5-2?  SINCE F’ING WHEN?!!?!

Full disclosure : I don’t care about Montreal win-or-lose, I think Piatti is fun and lethal, I think their defense is atrocious and I am cheering on that loveable triumvirate of Jack, Mack and Ernie to get their crap together and resume the service that won them Rookie(s) of the Year not so long ago.  I hate Sporting KC more than anyone else and it will take some underhanded gamesmanship in a crucial match to make me change opinions.

Toronto is coming off of a loss that would’ve made a fantastic candidate to institute a multiple referee policy, but one official for 22 infants players somehow still makes sense.  Surely that’s a hiccup.

On to the match :

19′ –  GOAL –  Piatti cuts down the wing and Oyongo Bitolo takes a half volley and goes low and left, beating Konopka

23′ – Creavalle has a run down the right, cuts in and a deflected ball finds Morrow who has a go but fires just wide.

24′ – Perquis beautiful long pass through to Giovinco who puts a ball across  the face of goal and can’t get to Altidore.  Fancy stuff.

27′ – GOAL – Giovinco gets another one down the right side, cuts in, pokes a pass to Bradley and buries it past Bush.  See what happens when you stop thinking about it…

35′ – Jack, Mack &  Ernie all got on the end of a cross but couldn’t collectively redirect it past Konopka

57′ – GOAL – Bradley spot on long pass to Altidore takes it off his chest, one bounce and slots it low and far like a pro.  Damn.

59′ – beautiful counter finds Bradley dinks a pretty ball through to Giovinco who hits the post.  Tragedy.

63′ – SUB – Findley comes on for Altidore

78′ – SUB – Delgado comes off for Chapman

81′ – PENALTY –  Giovinco gets hauled down on the right side of the box

82′ – GOAL – Bush guesses the right way but can’t get to Giovinco’s rocket

88′ – SUB – Jackson comes on for Giovinco, who rightly receives a standing ovation

3 mins of extra time

90+1′ – Jackson dances into the box, beats his defender and gets it to Osorio who can’t put his foot on it.

Full Time : Toronto 3, Montreal 1

Man of the Match : As much as I’ve been largely unimpressed with him, this was an amazing performance from Michael Bradley.  Some brilliant passes and a quality goal.  And Giovinco was almost in God-mode again.

Goat of the Game : Jonathan Osorio.  It pains me, and it wasn’t that he was bad, but looked like he had the wrong idea every time.

Ref Rating : 3 out of 5.  Started out with some questionable calls, but calmed the game down after that.

Kit Spotting : I’m going to give it to myself for the smashing Hamilton Academical kit I had made (I’d have bought it, but no one responded to my emails).  Saw a Spartak Moscow one and the kids from Mississauga Croatia had some sweet sweet kits too.

I Am Not The Gaffer But… : I would’ve considered removing Delgado earlier.  Not that he was bad, but invisible for most of the first half.

Incase You PVR’d It : Watch it all.  Good drama all around and (spoiler alert!) the home team wins

The curious case of Jon Osorio is very puzzling.  As a part-time student of the game (via correspondence from a TV advertisement only seen at 3:30am, naturally), Osorio has gone from prodigal son returning home with an entire arsenal of new weapons and using them correctly, to spending large portions of time wondering where he’s supposed to be.  He’s like the replacement bassist in your Metallica cover band –  sure he’s got the chops, but sometimes he’s getting a little too funky during the bridge in Unforgiven and it’s just wrong.

I do believe in him and his talents.  I do believe that he can be a stalwart for Canada for the years to come.  I do believe that he should be one of the better midfielders in MLS without question, but no matter how you try to turn him, he never seems to fit into the current version of Toronto FC.

Because I want better for him, for his development, for his confidence and for the rest of the league to see what I believe, I feel that he needs to play elsewhere.  It could be Montreal.  It could be Cerezo Osaka.  I believe he can flourish anywhere but here, as the current system stands.  I may be alone on that belief, but watching him be frustrated for 90 minutes can’t be good for anyone’s development or standing as a pro and he had at least half a dozen meaningful opportunities in the middle of the park and in front of goal tonight.

But I am certainly not the gaffer.

Player Rating : Konopka 6, Morrow 6.5, Zavaleta 6, Perquis 7.5, Creavalle 6.5, Warner 6, Osorio 6, Delgado 6.5 (Chapman N/A), Bradley 9, Altidore 7 (Findley N/A), Giovinco 8 (Jackson N/A)

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. Osorio didn’t look great, but I’d have to give the goat to the right side of TFC.

    At least twice I remember the Impact breaking forward, Creavalle nowhere to be found on defense, and Warner tucked in far too tight! Leaving an Impact player wide open. Thankfully they couldn’t capitalise on those chances

    Post a Reply
    • yeah, the counter attack defending did look a bit shaky at times, obviously they scored on one such occasion, could have happened a few other times as well. given the amount of replacements I’ll give it a pass, given how good they looked going forward, and how Montreal are very much a counter attacky team. Thought Creavalle did a lot of good things last night, first half especially, delgado and warner should between them be covering his spot when he got forward, that broke down a few too many times.

      but anyway, no team’s going to be great at both sides of the pitch all game, especially not tfc, so whatever, that game was a lot of fun. some nice moves, some great long passes/through balls, some fancy passing around the box, a lot of (perhaps too much?) giovinco dribbling and shooting, a couple of very well taken goals, a dodgyish penalty call in our favour, konopka drinking beer, and all against the impact. lovely stuff.

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  2. For me, the difference between this game and Sunday’s, was that Bradley (and others) were able to move unencumbered through the central midfield, and that was from box-to-box. That led to more shots at the goal and on the goal. While the Reds did so much from so little through the early part of the season, teams are keying on their offensive patterns and so TFC needs to be more technical and more consistent in their play. I thought they were offensively consistent for the entire game last night.

    The Issey for Warner trade is paying dividends for Toronto. While Montreal is watching Issey’s Malaysian career, right now.

    I thought Perquis had one of his better games, wonder if others agree?

    Post a Reply
    • he definitely had a good offensive game spraying good long passes all over. taking over a bit of cheyrou’s role?

      agree, not all that impressed with montreals’ defending, lot of room in fairly advanced midfield positions for tfc to play some nice passes around. Giovinco going wide often, and to both sides as he saw fit definitely helped with that, draws people out from the middle, allowing bradly, ororio whoever to move into that space, as seen most obviously on the first goal.

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  3. An exciting game all around – I really enjoyed it. The thing that I notice a lot now is that TFC are a much better passing team than in years’ past. They are good at short passes through the midfield when clear space for an attack doesn’t open up, and guys like Perquis and even Zavaleta are looking for long ball opportunities because they know Giovinco and Altidore are ready to make tricky runs when the long ball comes in. There is an overall level of confidence in the passing that is great to see.

    I also think that TFC is getting better at winning balls, or cutting out the other team’s passes. I’m not sure what the overall possession stats were last night, but it seemed when TFC had the ball, it was very difficult for Montreal to get it back, or TFC would manage to get a leg on an Impact pass and win it back.

    I’m not sure why everyone is down on Osorio, other than that he can’t finish. I think he is a great passer, he gets into decent positions to receive passes in the midfield, and he is creative in looking for attacking chances. He just shouldn’t plan to get forward into the attack – I actually think he looks better a little deeper in the midfield, maybe where Cheyrou / Warner would play. I feel that Osorio is a big part of TFC’s midfield success, because all 4 midfielders seem to have good vision and passing ability right now. Just my 2 cents!

    One last thing – Justin Morrow is a machine. He slots back into LB for the first time in months and doesn’t miss a beat. He’s not always pretty, but what an athlete. Love to watch him play.

    Post a Reply
    • the passing is very much better for sure, throughout the team, and to move on to another point, Osorio’s part of that. he’s very tidy in possession, good technical skills, it feels like he’s not as decisive and attention grabby as in his 2013 season, not entirely sure why, but right now, that’s not really what the team needs from him. it’s about being defensively responsible so the full backs can bomb forward , and keep the ball moving safely and quickly enough that it can get to the stars in dangerous positions, (preposterous comparison alert) kind of like xavi or iniesta for barcelona over the years, a big part of their job is to get the ball to the likes of messi or whoever in positions where they can do the eye catching stuff, and I think Osorio’s time in Uruguay has really helped him be ideal for that kind of role, he’s good at receiving the ball, keeping it and finding a teammate, the simple but very necessary stuff.

      don’t feel like this was Morrow’s best game by any means, which is understandable really, not super involved going forward like Morgan has been last few games, but he was solid enough.

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