MLS: A Look Back

TFC 0, KC 0: A Look Back


      Photo By Nick Turchiaro/ISIPhotos.com 


Playing a man up for nearly a half-hour against an already flat and sluggish Toronto side, Kansas City looked all but assured to take three points and break TFC's home unbeaten run Saturday at BMO Field. To the surprise of many however, Kansas City continued to sit back in a defensive set-up pushing only a handful of players forward and not producing any real scoring opportunities. 

The defensive and ineffective tactics deployed by Wizards head coach Peter Vermes left something to be desired and made it look as though TFC would salvage a win playing with just 10 men. The shot totals may have been equal, but the quality of chances and offensive possession wasn't close to comparable. Head coach Preki's post-game comments summed up the game in a word:

"I take this as a loss."

Already playing without the services of arguably their most dynamic and only box-to-box player (Davy Arnaud), Kansas City needed individuals to step up and take hold of the game. It seemed like an opportunity for KC's Ryan Smith to get back on track playing a man-up with less defensive responsibility following Nick Garcia's dismissal. However, Kansas City failed to find the English winger for long sequences denying their only real play-maker any possibility of taking hold of the game. 

"If we'd had the man advantage for the duration, I think we would have gotten forward and created a lot more," Vermes told reporters. "We came here with a point, so we came with the idea not to give away that point."

Vermes' mindset is quite telling and may be the source of some of Kansas City's problems. It's understandable to come in and not want to concede early, but when TFC went down a man early in the match, it was a mistake for Vermes not to push the issue and throw men forward. It goes to show how little confidence he has in his ever changing back four.

"We have Philadelphia at home (this week), and they are feeling good after they just won in Houston," Kansas City veteran Jimmy Conrad said. "But we know what we have to do. These are valuable points and hopefully this is the start of a run."

For Toronto FC, Preki's post-game comments and visible disappointment really display what this team has become. Gone are the days when a point at home against anyone is viewed as a good result. TFC's new acquisitions and the team's new coach have created a mindset that the Reds can get maximum points against any and every opponent in the league. 

"I'm disappointed because we were going out to get the three points and finish off on a high," TFC defender Adrian Cann said. "But we managed to keep a clean sheet and come away with a point, we'll take it from there."

Lost points aside, TFC has to be concerned with the play of designated player Julian de Guzman. Team sources will blame a reoccurring hamstring injury, but the team's most high caliber and big money name didn't show up on the weekend. His wayward passes and golden scoring opportunities saw him miss-direct balls and sky open looks over the bar. TFC may begin to hear whisperings in and around BMO Field once again of blown money on a big name player that was supposed to come in and take hold of games.

Although slightly disappointed, Toronto heads into the World Cup recess on a high. Unbeaten in eight they are in a good spot and have a real opportunity to be the first team to take down Los Angeles at home should the Galaxy get past RSL Wednesday night.

It's as close to a must win as you can get for Kansas City against Philly Thursday night. Three points will take them within striking distance of fourth place Chicago in the east. A win would go a long way in restoring the confidence we saw Kansas City play with through the opening games of the season. However, we've seen what Philly can do on the road and they've been in each of their last three games leading up to the World Cup break.

Of Note: After sending off Nick Garcia and Craig Rocastle, referee Baldomero Toledo has issued 41 red cards in just 96 MLS appearances.

  • David Bailey

    Something the author has not mentioned is that de Guzman should not have been on the field after the 70 or so minute mark have re-injured his hamstring during the match.

    He had to gut it out as Preki had already used TFC’s three substitutions.

    As for the performance of Julian de Guzman, he is not an offensive threat and has never been an offensive threat. He is however probably the best holding mid-fielder in MLS. The fact that he was involved in the attack on Saturday was somewhat of a revelation and may in fact be an indication of what we can expect in the future. I’d love to see it.

    One doesn’t have to be clairvoyent to see the quality he brings to the pitch.

    Anybody silly enough to whisper about the value of JDG really doesn’t have a clue.



  • SBIGuy

    De Guzman gave away just about every pass he attempted in the midfiled, missed on a virtual breakaway and skied a potential game winner over the box. I think people are justified in saying he hasn’t produced this season. Schelotto, Angel and Ljundberg don’t have those kind of games. De Rosario is a much more valuable player to TFC and he is paid less than half of what de Guzman makes. I think David Bailey is referring to Julian de Guzman a few years ago. But now..he’s nowhere near worth his salary.


  • Myles B

    “Kansas City looked all but assured to take three points and break TFC’s home unbeaten run Saturday at BMO Field”

    What game were you watching? They were still garbage even when we were down a man!

    JDG wasn’t brought in to be a goalscoring machine, he’s more of an organizer/distributor of the play. For the most part, he’s fit this to a tee so far this season. I hope the break will help him get past the hamstring injury, as he had to limp around the pitch for the last 20 minutes since we were out of substitutes.


  • KC Guy

    It was a good acting job put on by JDG to save face at the end of the game. He was terrible and most likely had a “hamstring” injury flare up because of how terrible he was playing.

    If KC would have been up a man for the rest of the game I’m confident they would have scored on a 10-man TFC that were pretty underwhelming as well.

    TFC looked okay through the first 10 minutes…after that it was anyone’s game.


  • The Problem

    The problem TFC fans don’t realize is that sure…de guzman was brought in to “organize and distribute,” but you don’t need a DP to do that. You can get a guy like Alonso (Seattle) or Ferrera (Dallas). You don’t need to pay a guy 1.5 mill to “organize”


  • Myles B

    Outside of Ryan Smith’s shot, which was excellent, KC never threatened, man advantage or not.


  • The Problem

    And on JDG don’t you think TFC could find an “organizer and distributor” and not make him the highest paid player in the league? I can tell you Columbus, Seattle and RSL have gone out and gotten guys for under 400k that are better than JDG right now. You shouldn’t use DP money on a distributor? They are a dime a dozen….


  • Seeing Red!

    Referee Baldomero Toledo is terrible!

    His red card/game ratio is ridiculous. He thinks he is the center of the attention and lets his “machismno” get in the way. People don’t pay to see him, they pay to watch soccer which he often interferes with while on the field. MLS needs to sit this guy down.


  • alex

    Well, don’t throw us all in one basket. I think a lot of TFC fans would consider themselves less than happy with his performance.

    Mo Johnston (as usual) just constructed this move without thought. If he scouted Julian well enough he would have realized his abilities are mainly defensive although he has a bit of attack in his game.

    Ferreira is an Attacking mid btw, definitely not a holder.


  • Red card Ralph

    Agreed. That is such a good stat and is so telling. Toledo must be stopped. The Garcia Red Card was debatable, and Rocastle did deserve a second yellow. But, there is no way anyone should show Red Cards in 50 percent of their games.


  • DeepM

    “If KC would have been up a man for the rest of the game I’m confident they would have scored on a 10-man TFC that were pretty underwhelming as well.”

    I hope you are joking.

    Garcia was sent off at the 26 minute mark. That left 64 minutes + stoppage time for KC to score. Rocaste was sent off for his own bad tackles. KC could have easily scored between the time Garcia was sent off and Rocastle was sent off.

    Just b/c Rocastle was sent off doesn’t make it an excuse as to why KC couldn’t score.


  • Will

    This game aside, I’m still glad they have DeGuzman. His year on the whole has been good under Preki’s coaching.


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