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Choking victims
April 20, 2009, 8:18 AM
Filed under: Toronto FC

Toronto FC did not lose the game in Dallas because Marvell Wynne handled the ball in the box and a penalty was awarded. It lost because the team on the field is simply incapable of reacting to the positives it creates.

With 16 wins in 65 total games it comes as no real surprise.

On Sunday night, Toronto played its best soccer after a 2-0 hole was dug and it was left with no option but to perform. The team got the bounces it needed to make the score 2-1 on the stroke of half before Chad Barrett, who shuffled his feet all week when forced to talk about scoring droughts, finally simplified and slowed the game down to execute for the first time all season.

Suddenly the score was 2-2 and the team looked around as if saying to one and other, ‘Now what?’ But before an answer could be decided it seemed to realize the weight of its accomplishment and opened the door for panic.

Unnecessary fouls. Blind passes. Audacious attempts on net. All before a booking for dissent. A 2-2 game that needed a collective voice of reason to see out the point got the opposite when Barrett coughed up all his brownie points by arguing with an official.

Dallas pounced on a team that looked both uneasy and uncertain; leading to the inevitable when Wynne made an honest mistake and the official – despite the harshness of the call – made a decision one can only hope will be made every time by every official.

A week ago TFC acted in the same manner against Dallas. Playing with an early lead, the back line conceded a step and panic followed in front of the net; both acts preventing a game-killing second goal.

There were even signs of it in the season-opening win over Kansas City when a missed penalty late in the game made for a frantic finish in a game that never should have seen its three-points threatened.

Toronto fields several character players on its roster; ones with international experience and the empirical knowledge that comes with longevity in the game. Until these players can demonstrate both traits on the field when the team needs it most the late look of panic will get very old.

POSITIVES: TFC has scored six goals away from BMO Field, trailing only Chicago in that category … Barrett scored (but got booked, you decide) … Kevin Harmse stood out for no reason, which is a good thing … Wynne was a professional in accepting his fate on the hand ball.

NEGATIVES: Why are MLS games are played at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday nights? Moreso, why are Sunday night games followed by Wednesday night games and then Saturday afternoon? It is the fifth week of the schedule, it such compression really necessary … The 90th minute substitution bewilders … After sitting for 90 it seems to be asking a lot to perform in the three which will follow …

Source: Click Here

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