Thursday, April 23, 2009

A high and a low for TFC

Last night's 1-0 victory for Toronto FC over league-leaders Chivas USA was simultaneously the best of times and the worst of times for the franchise. On the pitch, it was a tremendous success. Despite the absence of Dwayne De Rosario, the team turned in a solid performance and gave Chivas their first loss of the season. That's pretty stunning, considering that Ives had Chivas at the top and TFC 14th in his most recent power rankings. It was also the first home win of the season for Toronto and an impressive showing from many of their players. Amado Guevara, Adrian Serioux and Danny Dichio were particularly effective.

Even that success came with caveats, though. For one thing, Chivas was missing several of their stars thanks to injury, including Ante Razov and Maykel Galindo. For another, Guevara's impressive performance appeared largely due to him having more room to operate with De Rosario out. That's good news for the moment, as De Rosario is expected to miss at least one more game with a hamstring injury, but it raises questions of if the two of them can co-exist in the midfield upon his return. Their previous performances together would suggest that it will be difficult.

The low point of the evening came from the stands, though. The Canadian Press is reporting that two Toronto fans are facing serious charges, including possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm and mischief under $5,000, for launching flares. One flare hit a female fan and burned her thigh, while another did $2,000 worth of damage to the turf.

There's never a good time for this sort of thing to happen, but the current timing is particularly bad, considering the recent concerns raised over the Columbus trip and the spectre of "hooliganism". It looked like the furor from those incidents was about to die down, but you can bet that this will give it new life; flares are especially bad compared to much of what's come before, and someone's been significantly hurt as a result. These are very serious charges, and it won't be easy to sweep them under the rug.

As Duane's written before, the vast majority of Toronto fans are great and wouldn't do anything that might result in injury to anyone. However, you can bet that they're all going to be tarred with the same brush now that someone's been hurt. Subtlety and distinctions tend to be lost in cases like this, which is unfortunate for all the great fans out there who passionately support their team without injuring anyone. However, the childhood cliché tends to hold true in real life, particularly when it comes to media coverage and popular perceptions; it really is all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

[Cross-posted to The 24th Minute].


  1. I don't want to talk about douchebag fans.

    My boy was at the game. He said, and I've read, that Guevara was much better b/c DeRo was out of the lineup. Amado had more room, and wasn't fighting DeRo for space. I thought that was interesting.

    Your thoughts, Andrew?

  2. Yeah, I agree absolutely. Guevara and DeRo are basically the same player, and they just get in each other's way. They're both highly-priced as well, and the team can't afford them both when they're in desperate need of more depth at striker, on the wings and on defence. DeRo's been announced as the new saviour, so I think they'll trade Guevara when he comes back.

  3. I was looking forward to seeing what the two of them can do together. Your point in your email about Lampaard and Gerrard is an interesting one.

    I like Guevara. I think he's been solid. But DeRo is the new face of the franchise, so if one of them has to go, it's def. Guevara.

    Should be interesting to see what will happen.