The Full Monty, TFC Style.
Ok the Full Monty relates to leaving yourself exposed, thanks to pop movie culture. But for Toronto FC, without playing the full 90-minutes again, they left themselves "Full Monty'd" if you will. Exposed at a worst possible moment.
As was the case in a 1-0 Champions League loss to FC Dallas earlier in the week, or rather, just hours prior to hosting San Jose Saturday night, an unmarked man off of a throw in, a common set piece of all things, right in front of the goal, buried TFC's hopes of a celebratory post game quote.
On Saturday, TFC had done very well at defending Chris Wondolowski of the Earthquakes. Sure Toronto's general sporting landscape is saying "Chris who?". Well this MLS goal scoring king of a season ago is a dangerous and clever player. Tireless in how he works for a look at goal. This season Chris has nine goals, after he scored 18 last season to win the MLS "Golden Boot" Wondolowski's decrease in goals scored is not for his lack of effort and determination. Ask anyone who has worked with Chris, coached or coaches Chris, and they will speak of what a great student of the game he is and how determined he is to be better.
It was the current US National Team call ups determination Saturday at BMO field that should have taught TFC's youngsters how you play the game. Dialed in for the full ride. People can slag MLS all they want for it not being EPL or Serie "A" etc etc. But if you take a moment off during a game at this professional level, you will be schooled.
Wondolowski found himself facing an open net in the 87th minute with not one red shirt in his way. An easy tip in and a 1-1 final is salvaged by a team that is now winless in 13. In another Wondo-moment after he scored to tie the game, Morgan was on the right side of the ball and denied number 8 a chance at stunning the BMO faithful anymore than he already had.
Any sporting event, like all walks of life, is made up of moments. Toronto FC had some good moments vs. San Jose. Eric Avila's first goal in a Reds uniform for instance. A quality strike to the far post in the 32nd minute to give Toronto a lead. MIlos Kocic again with big saves to preserve the lead. Torsten Frings is simply quality like Toronto soccer fans have not seen in a long time, if at all. Certainly not in a TFC uniform. For all the hard knocks he has taken and deserved at times, Andy Iro played a better game for Toronto as well. Ty Harden was solid in the back as well as Richard Eckersley. The latter has become a big fan favorite for how he plays the game with a fearless energy.
All of those moments are worth building on for TFC. What has to happen next is the equivalent of what the Blue Jays are trying to work out with their bullpen. Find a way to be sharp for the entire game, and seal the deal. Oh what a difference that could make when it comes to booking playoff flights in MLS.