A man advantage for an hour against one of the worst teams in the league and we still can’t score. There’s no excuses to be made really, the moral victory of creating half-chances isn’t really cutting it anymore. Let’s get straight to the point: Collin Samuel is a disgrace for strikers everywhere. There’s no point analyzing all his mistakes, if we start doing that this post would reach the 10,000 word mark in no time. Suffice to say he doesn’t nearly test the goalie enough on any of the chances Dunivant or anyone else creates for him. If he thinks he can score from more than than 7 yards out he’s out of his mind because any shot he takes outside the area is either a) lacking velocity b) lacking accuracy c) lacking velocity and accuracy or d) isn’t even a shooting chance. Cunningham was half-healthy today and I’d rather see a one-legged polio-infested Cunningham than a healthy Collin Samuel any day.
I don’t buy this theory of goalies having their “game of the season” against us, we just don’t have good finishers who consider the goalies position before calculating where to shoot. Exhibit A is Collin Samuel and Exhibit B has to be Todd Dunivant. I mean when things go bad, they go really bad. Dunivant (who otherwise had a good game) missed a chance that I could score on. No, really. He missed a chance that I could score on. Andrea Lombardo and his lanky figure managed to beat a RSL defender and cross it in, all Dunivant had to do was strike the ball, he didn’t have to aim, just hit it and it’s going in. Instead he tried to control it which gave the goalie ample time to recover. It was at that point I knew we weren’t going to score. Let’s talk about Lombardo for a moment, he’s a hard worker who tries to play smart and attack the goal but lacks the speed needed to out-pace defenders and lacks the strength needed to overpower them. Once you recognize those two facts (and they are facts), anything on the pitch he does is commendable. But the script of this one was identical to most of the games during this despicable stretch: Toronto FC build some pressure, pass it to a wing player, wing player beats somebody, wing player delivers a half-decent cross, our strikers can’t do anything with the ball. Some of the headers Samuel missed today would’ve been at least legitimate shot-on-goal attempts if Dichio was in there. Playing Samuel and Cunningham at the same time makes no sense to me, they’re both identical types of players with Cunningham obviously being vastly superior. They don’t complement each other at all so when Mo Johnston took out Lombardo instead of Samuel for Cunningham I was scratching my head until drops of blood came out.
How old is Adam Braz? If his birthday says he was born in 1981 why does he run like a 50 year old man, he’s out of breath practically as soon as he comes in the game. He’s lucky RSL didn’t score after he was caught trailing a play where he should’ve been in front of the defender. Even Kenny S had a crack at him for that. Don’t we have any other backs on the bench other than Braz? Is this some sort of loyalty thing for Mo Johnston? Canizales got some playing time today and to me he should be starting instead of Chris Pozniak who has been brutal. He does nothing on the pitch. Nothing. Zero. Nada. Nil. I’m not even exaggerating, when he was taken out I was surprised he was even in the game. I thought Canizales was pretty decent in those early games and never really deserved to be eradicated from the lineup in favor of Pozniak or Welsh. In his brief moments on the field he’s shown me enough to give him consistent playing time to see what he can do for us. If we can give Welsh, Pozniak and Braz time, why not him?
Marvylle Wynne was taken out at halftime, he had a pretty mediocre first half where his true colors shone. I thought he had a pretty good game last week against Dallas but tonight he was bumbling about like the fullback that he is. But I think Wynne is a solid defensive player who can occasionally spawn a few offensive threads, let’s hope his hamstring injury is nothing serious. This also marked the return of Alecko Eskandarian to Toronto. Let me put it bluntly: I like Esk because he almost suffered a career-ending injury, it’s more pity/admiration of that rather than his skill that keeps me from saying that he’s an asshole. Wait, did I just say that? Oh well.
I have to talk about Nigel Reed again. You know how after a while of living in Canada you start to talk like a Canadian, I mean you sort of lose your British accent and you almost have to force yourself to sound “authentic”. I think Reed is reaching that point. He’s begging for more complex words to use but nothings coming back. Of course he used “confirmation” again a few times, after that he said something about “purchasing” a shot, there’s a lot more instances like these which I should probably write down on a piece of paper while watching the games but my wife might think I’m crazy. Maybe next game I’ll do that.
I hate giving out player ratings because they’re a bit of a cop out on the part of a writer. So I’m going to write a short sentence about each player which will tell you how I think they played:
- Kenny Stamatopoulos: He didn’t have to do much but what he did he did well.
- Andrew Boyens: Didn’t hear his name much (good for a defender).
- Todd Dunivant: Plenty of quality crosses which were wasted by Samuel but Todd should’ve scored on a sitter.
- Tyrone Marshall: Good.
- Jim Brennan: Good.
- Chris Pozniak: Didn’t realize he was in the game until he was taken out.
- Miguel Canizalez: In his brief appearance he looked to create space and setup teammates. Almost scored as soon as coming in.
- Maurice Edu: Had more mishaps than usual today, not his usual self. He’s my pick to score our next goal.
- Carl Robinson: Can’t really complain but I’d like to see him lob the ball more into the box than towards Dunivant on the left.
- Marvell Wynne: Not as good a game as Dallas. Had to be taken out as a precaution.
- Adam Braz: He’s brutal to watch, I’m sorry. He’s slow and has no skill. Offensively he’s not a threat and is a liability on defense.
- Andrea Lombardo: No pace or strength to do much against Pope. Created the chance that Dunivant should’ve scored on.
- Jeff Cunningham: Cameo. Can’t say much.
- Collin Samuel: Brutal, awful and what a waste of a striking position. His first, second and third touch all suck.
I don’t even remember how many games or minutes it’s been since we’ve scored. The match report will probably tell you that.