Toronto FC vs NY Red Bulls: When Is It Time To Start Worrying?

HARRISON, NJ - Friday June 27, 2014: The New York Red Bulls tie Toronto FC 2-2 with a late equalizer from Bradley Wright-Phillips at Red Bull Arena in regular season MLS play.

*Action Jackson*

Toronto are coming off a difficult loss, highlighted by a poor defensive effort that is becoming all too familiar, coupled with a lack of finish and creativity. This has resulted in a Toronto FC that over the past few weeks have been doing their best to emulate Dickens.  Of late there’s been very little of just ‘OK times’, with either dramatic wins or overwhelming losses the story of the day.  Yes there have been unexpected player absences due to injury or suspension which causes issue with team chemistry and consistent play; however they are not the only team that suffers in this regard and need to find a way to overcome such issues.

Toronto FC have a solid team and should make the playoffs this year – past that though this isn’t their year, this team has too much growing together still to do for them to achieve much more this season.  However if they can retain the majority of the roster and actually spend time playing and learning together next season could be (and should be) vastly different.  The next hurdle to any success is today’s match (7pm, Red Bull Arena, TSN2) against the New York Red Bulls.

In a bit of a surprising turnaround from the beginning of the season, the Red Bulls have evolved into a very good team.  They’re on a great run of form,  they’re excellent at home – where Toronto has only won once – and one of the best defensive teams in the league.  Oh goody, TFC get to play yet another high scoring, well organised, defensively sound team…and on the road!  Oh boy.

Toronto will have their hands full with the Wright-Phillips brothers, Sasha Kljestan and Dax McCarty – Benoit Cheyrou, Bradley, Morrow and Kantari (among others) will need to be communicating and being aware of any open spaces on the field.  At the other end they will be dealing with Luis Robles one of the top keepers in MLS and a defense that even without Perrinelle will be tough to beat.   With only Damien Perquis missing from the available players Vanney has an opportunity to field his strongest team in weeks.  Jozy Altidore is coming home and playing against his old team as is Asst. Coach Robin Fraser.  This is one of those games that will either go horribly wrong for Toronto or be one of those rare occasions where they rise up to the level of their competition and show us something good.


Things To Know:

1. Damien Perquis is hurt and not playing – likely for the best, give him time to get his head on straight for the back half of the season.

2. Benoit Cheyrou is back and will play – this is possibly the most important difference – his absence was very noticeable on the weekend.

3. Justin Morrow will play – second most important difference – his presence at the back is needed to solidify the defence.

4. Marky Delgado is likely to be the odd man out in the midfield today.

5. Herculez Gomez is available to play today – expect him on the bench.

6. Damien Perrinelle is suspended for being a naughty boy.  Which is good news as he’s been very influential at the back for NY.

7. Bradley Wright-Phillips has once again been very good this year and leads the energy drinks in offensive categories

8. Dax McCarty vs Michael Bradley should be the matchup of the day.

9. Seba and Jozy will need to contribute to the scoresheet if TFC are to have a chance to come away from Harrison with points.

10. It’s my birthday tomorrow so TFC owe me a win.  Or something.


All in all TFC need to start showing that all this talk of playoffs and success is more than just talk.  Those vaunted games in hand are rapidly evaporating and playing at home hasn’t yet been as kind to our Reds as they’ve hoped.  Fingers crossed people but hang on as this one’s likely going to be a bumpy ride.  Prediction: 3-1 Red Bulls.

*Note: The VMP crew will be out celebrating Kristin’s birthday – your South Couch Report will likely be posted tomorrow and well, twitter could be fun.  Or quiet, we can be restrained, honest.*


Author: Kristin Knowles

Raised on basketball and baseball, Kristin soon saw the error of her ways when enrolled in a local football league as a child. Geography dictated she choose TFC as her team and ten years later she's still yet to flee the city. Cynically optimistic, she now channels her inner hooligan by singing random pop songs and making poor puns in the stands. May contain adult content. Find me on the internet machine @kzknowles

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  1. Early happy birthday.

    While the the Bradley-McCarty could be a match-up to watch, it is likely the CBs will be a key factor in this game. Perquis is having to cool his heels, the underwhelming Kantari will be questioned be the RB attack. To me the central runs from the opposition have been the mark of TFC losses this year and in particular, bad losses. This will be a match-up of a good defense against a not so good defense.

    On the positive, the TFC first-line fullbacks have given a good account of themselves.

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  2. Happy Birthday Kristin! Sorry TFC didn’t give you a present. But your prediction was close at least.

    I think the time to start worrying is now.

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    • A good night out was had, but TFC certainly didn’t do their bit, except for those who were hoping for them to fail, and injured themselves celebrating, bigchaddiestyle.

      Just never got anything going at all really did we? I mean that’s kind of what new york do, just relentlessly press and hassle and not give you time and force you into mistakes, they’re much better at doing that consistently throughout a game than TFC are.
      Altidore did nothing, Giovinco seemed mainly interested in trying to draw fouls (not the worst tactic if the opposition’s all over you, agood way to get them to back off a bit) but toledo didn’t really play along all that often. Neither of them seemed all that interested in being the first line of defence, and hassling the red bull defenders.
      Bradley was giving the ball away a lot. Bendik really shouldn’t have let that 2nd goal in, there are a lot of people you can look at and point out flaws really.
      williams didn’t look terribly out of place, which is a good sign I guess.

      Overall, once again TFC show they’re not close to being able to compete with good teams, fortunately there’s plenty of poor teams for them to play against so I still think playoffs is very achievable, but they’ve got to find something else if they want to do anything when they get there.

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    • Thanks Mark! Agreed that everyone should be concerned. There’s losing having tried and then there’s just being not in the game.

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  3. TIme to start worrying is right now. Seba butt grabbing and staring more at the refs than the goal…. Jozy’s either too tired, too slow or too angry to think clearly about NOT getting sent off and General Bradley is more maxed out since injury than the box to box action man of June. Plus it’s August… when we traditionally fire the manager or fall apart.

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    • It was frustrating to watch so much underwhelming play, especially from the big money guys.

      If they don’t take three from Orlando this weekend…

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