Game 8 – Crew 0 – Toronto FC 0
We can’t win them all, but at least we tied. The wind, the plastic grass, and the rough Toronto play assured that the Crew would not find any offensive flow. On the positive end, the defense stepped up and really constricted the Toronto offense. The end result is a 0 – 0 tie, and the most boring and frustrating game I have seen in a long time.
Toronto started strong and held quite a bit of the early possession. The Crew’s plan on the road this season is to soak up the pressure, and then counterattack. Unfortunately, the counterattack sputtered early on and the Crew had little opportunity to break the Toronto offensive pressure. For all of the possession, Toronto really did not have many great attacking opportunities. The best one came in the first five minutes of the game with Amado Guevara putting a shot on goal that William Hesmer handled. The Crew’s best shot came midway through the first half. Rogers recieved the ball on the wing and broke free. His shot passed by the Toronto ‘keeper Greg Sutton, but was saved off the line by Greg Sutton. I was pleased to see a drab first half draw to a close with the score at 0-0.
The second half had even less flow as both teams sputtered and had problem keeping possession. Despite the lack of continuity, Toronto did had several more opportunities. However, Ricketts, Robert, and Guevara did not cause any problems for Hesmer with their shots. The Crew offense was unable to break the pressure as the team started bunkering more and more as the half went on.
The physical play escalated throughout the second half as fouls went uncalled on both sides and hard fouls that may have been yellow cards by a more competent official really brought down the level of play. I think back to the awful cleat on ankle challenge on Frankie Hejduk by Jim Brennan or Brennan’s tackle from behind on Gaven, after which Brennan then kicks the ball right under a still kneeling Gaven. Schelotto drew the only yellow card of the game for simulation in the 90th minute. He was so dejected by the course of the game and refereeing, he immediately signaled for a substitution and left minutes later.
I was glad I took in the game at Ruby Tuesday. Watching this game without the aid of two dollar pints would have been unbearable. Toronto has some skill, but they do resort to a physical game far too often. It also appears that MLS referees will let rough play go at BMO field. They did this yesterday and they did the same when New York was in town two weeks ago. It is frustrating to watch a poor imitation of League One soccer being played in MLS. Well the Crew get out with a point an extend their lead to three points due to Chicago’s home loss to Houston. Not a bad day in the end, but I hope they get three points next time they head north of the border.