Toronto FC has managed a two-game winning streak in MLS play for the first time all season and for a whopping 3rd time in the last 3 seasons. They’re playing better at times to give you the idea that there is hope after all, but still playing badly enough to get stuffed by the formerly awful Philadelphia Union. Well reality has set in that good things always come to an abrupt end for Toronto, as forward Danny Koevermans blew out his ACL in a 1-0 win in New England. He is out for the year, and with that, Toronto’s offense is sunk.
Toronto coach Paul Mariner had feared the worst, and that’s what he got Monday.
An MRI revealed that key striker Danny Koevermans, injured in a collision Saturday with New England defender A.J. Soares, has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
The 33-year-old Dutchman will be out the rest of the season and could miss a chunk of the next one given the normal lengthy recovery time for ACL surgery.
Koevermans is the only consistent goal-scorer and possibly one of the best attackers in Toronto FC history. At 33 with a serious knee injury, those days are essentially over. There is no depth at forward for TFC so I can’t see things improving from here. Koevermans is more or less responsible for the minor resurgence in the last few weeks, and now he’s gone for a long long long time.
I have no words. We are the MLS equivalent of the Cleveland Browns. What other team in this league has suffered a combination of bad luck, injuries, and dumbass management for an extended period of time? Only Toronto FC can make 6 years feel like 60.
Time to brace for impact as I can sense our annual summer meltdown coming now that there is absolutely no one who can fill Koevermans’ role, much less score 6 goals in 5 games like DK did.
After the incredible high of eliminating the Los Angeles Galaxy from the CONCACAF Champions League two weeks ago, Toronto FC has come crashing down to Earth quite quickly. With two league games gone, we’ve lost starting GK Stefan Frei, starting defensive midfielder/makeshift centerback Torsten Frings, and our opening matches by a combined score of 6-1.
The defense, something Aron Winter is either blatantly neglecting or doesn’t seem to know how to fix, is a complete shambles. Ty Harden should be nowhere near a starting lineup and yet he has found a home in ours and currently has an own goal to his name coupled with an embarrassing goal vs. Seattle in which he was turned around by Alvaro Fernandez. The rest of our backline includes Ashton Morgan, Miguel Aceval, and Richard Eckersley. Ouch. Aaron Maund also got a game in and he’s not even 23. That’s a ton of inexperience whether through youth or just playing for TFC in general combined with the disaster that is Harden. Unless Adrian Cann is competent after he returns from injury, this defense looks like a lost cause for a 6th season running.
Of course, this is also a plea to Santos Laguna, TFC’s next opponents in the semifinals of the CONCACAF CL, to please not kick our ass all over the place over these next two legs. The Mexican club decided to smash the Seattle Sounders’ face in 6-1 in the 2nd leg of their quarterfinal matchup, and won 7-3 on aggregate. Seattle is one of the best teams in MLS. Toronto FC is not. They might get a lucky draw on Wednesday as it’s at the Rogers Centre, but I’m not feeling confident beyond that.
So please Santos, we as TFC fans have suffered enough, the last thing we need is a reminder as to how terrible this club is run and how many more rebuilding projects we’ve had to endure.
Acceptable scorelines include 2-1, 2-0, 3-1, and even 4-2. Once we approach 5-0 or 6-0 then it’s gone too far. Ya got that? We can’t keep having reality hit us in the face so much.
With Fox Soccer’s MLS and USA Men’s NT rights shifting to NBC Sports, the Peacock has been forced to look for commentators and pundits who would not irritate the public like John Harkes did for many many years at ESPN. Well as much as I knock NBC for being terrible, this is a good start. Former voice of the Seattle Sounders and ex-BBC Radio commentator Arlo White.
NBC Sports announced today that it has hired Arlo White as the play-by-play voice of its MLS coverage starting in 2012. White had served as the voice of the Sounders the past two seasons.
His first broadcast with NBC Sports will be March 11 on opening weekend. White, who came to the Sounders from the BBC, will also call U.S. men’s national team games on the network.
“It is a tremendous honor for me to join the NBC Sports Group, an organization that I have revered from afar for many years,” said White in a news release. “I am extremely passionate about the future of Major League Soccer, and this partnership with NBC will provide a huge boost for the sport in the United States. I am very proud to have been called up to play a major role in it.
“I am indebted to the Seattle Sounders FC and the club’s wonderful fans,” White added in the release. “Joe Roth and Adrian Hanauer provided me with an opportunity for which I will always be grateful. It was a privilege to serve as the voice of the Sounders, and I thank the supporters for giving me such a warm welcome.”
Earlier this year, NBC and the NBC Sports Network signed a deal to televise about 50 soccer games, mostly MLS but also four USMNT matches. White’s fellow broadcasters will be announced at a later date.
The British invasion continues in MLS. Arlo White, Ian Darke, Adrian Healey, Callum Williams (Sporting Kansas City’s commentator), Luke Wileman (Toronto FC), Robbie Earle (Portland Timbers) are featuring prominently locally and occasionally on national television in North America. I like Arlo White even though he was a bit of a Sounders homer. He also does NFL games for the BBC including the Super Bowl two years ago so maybe we can get him to replace Al Michaels when he decides to hang it up.
No word on a co-commentator yet, but hopefully they don’t pick up John Harkes.
The two most annoying faces of MLS.
Well that sucked, didn’t it? My anti-Galaxy push has been met with a strong resistance in the form of… the Los Angeles Galaxy. The New York Red Bulls lost 3-1 on aggregate in the semifinals, meaning all hopes rested on Real Salt Lake. Unfortunately, RSL hit the woodwork one too many times and LA predictably finished their chances and won 3-1. Even worse, Landon Donovan got his usual penalty kick goals in both matches and David Beckham’s crosses are all taken advantage of by Mike Magee.
Houston Dynamo are without their best set-piece taker Brad Davis after suffering a gruesome leg injury in their 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Final. They’re on the road with the MLS Cup in Carson, CA, underdogs, shorthanded, and there’s nothing to suggest they can beat Los Angeles at full strength. The Dynamo have a win over the Galaxatives, a 3-1 season finale victory at Houston in a game where LA rested their star players. In the reverse fixture, Donovan scored a penalty in the 1st half to give them a 1-0 win.
There is nothing good that comes out of Los Angeles winning. On November 20th I want David to beat Goliath. If Japan’s women’s soccer team can pull off an upset, so can you!
So far, this MLS Cup playoffs has gone well. The Columbus Crew are out and the New York Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy dream final the MLS usually craves for is a semifinal. As mentioned before, LA must lose at all costs. This retarded new wild-card round hilariously backfired on MLS and now New York once again is playing in the Western Conference bracket. You see, in recent years the MLS experienced bizarre scenarios in which teams scraping by to make the post-season would be switching conferences. They tried to fix it by having the top 3 teams from each conference automatically qualify, with four wild cards regardless of conference making up the remainder of the field. The WCs would have a one-game playoffs in the “higher seeded” team’s home ground and the winners of those matches would play the top seeds of the West and East. New York beat Dallas and Colorado beat Columbus, so New York is in the Western Conference and Colorado is in the Eastern Conference. I can’t make this up.
Anyways, here’s the schedule with announcer assignments for the two-legged part of the playoffs. The formatting credit goes to this Union fan.
Eastern Conference Semifinals
#1 Sporting Kansas City vs. #4 Colorado Rapids
Leg 1: October 30: Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids 7:00 PM ET (FSC – JP Dellacamera and Kyle Martino)
Leg 2: November 2: Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City 8:00 PM ET (FSC – JP Dellacamera and Kyle Martino)
#2 Houston Dynamo vs. #3 Philadelphia Union
Leg 1: October 30: Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union 5:00 PM ET (ESPN2 – Rob Stone and Taylor Twellman)
Leg 2: November 3: Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo 8:30 PM ET (ESPN2 – Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman)
Western Conference Semifinals
#1 Los Angeles Galaxy vs. #4 New York Red Bulls
Leg 1: October 30: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. New York Red Bulls 3:00 PM ET (ESPN2 – Adrian Healey and John Harkes)
Leg 2: November 3: New York Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Galaxy 11:00 PM ET (ESPN2 – Ian Darke and John Harkes, SR: Rob Stone)
#2 Seattle Sounders vs. #3 Real Salt Lake
Leg 1: October 29: Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake 10:00 PM ET (FSC – JP Dellacamera and Kyle Martino)
Leg 2: November 2: Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders 10:00 PM ET (ESPN2 – Adrian Healey and John Harkes)
GO ANYONE BUT THE GALAXY!
Toronto FC isn’t in the MLS playoffs. Again. I’ve gotten used to it. So of course I’m forced to pick a team to root for to win the MLS Cup. Well this year I’m going to spread the love around instead of a Seattle Sounders cop-out answer. If you are in the playoffs and not named the Los Angeles Galaxy, you are my friend.