Toronto FC came into their season opener against the Vancouver Whitecaps with a lot of questions being asked. What would their roster look like? Who would be in starting eleven? How would coach Ryan Nelsen react in his first game in charge?
Whether all those and many more questions got answered is up to the club’s executive but one thing the fans found out is that the club has done well for itself. Coach Nelsen seemed to get the tactics right and made substitutions at all the right times.
Newly signed Robert Earnshaw was a revelation as his play was a thorn in the side of the Whitecaps back four. He lasted 85 minutes and fans can’t wait to see more of his play. The same can be said of Hogan Ephraim who played the entire game. He and Earnshaw should be on every lineup card Nelsen puts out from here on in.
Another welcome sight was the play of the back four. They all played the entire 90 minutes and it was easy to see that Danny Califf and Darren O’Dea will make a formidable center-half partnership. Richard Eckersley had his hands full with speedy youngster Kekuta Manneh but he managed to keep him in check. Ashtone Morgan continues his improvement and adds speed to the back line.
A pleasant surprise was the play of Kyle Bekker who didn’t look out of place. General manager Kevin Payne did not waste his draft pick on the youngster.
All that begin said the club lost its first game. The days leading up to the weekend were full of upheaval and uncertainty. The squad needs to be settled for the next week. Once again the game ended without a TFC goal. Kurtis Larsun, Toronto Sun columnist, reminded fans:
“TFC is three games away from matching Real Salt Lake’s winless run of eighteen games and TFC also holds the goal drought of 824 minutes and losses to start a season record at twelve in 2012.”
So again, even after a semi good result, the truth is that TFC was the worst team last season in the MLS. Fans know not to get too excited or even mildly happy about any result. We need to let coach Nelsen get his ideas and thoughts into the players’ heads. A formation needs to be found that best compliments the squad. Health is of up most importance.
This year can’t be as worse as last year. The club is doing something, anything to change the atmosphere that surrounding BMO Field for the past few campaigns. Yes, we can take some positives out of Saturday’s result but always remember in the world of TFC everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
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