I’m sorry to say that I was unable to watch this match due to the fact that I was camping in Vermont coupled with various cable/DVR issues (plus Comcast Sports Network never seems to replay the games I DIDN’T see, but somehow is always replaying the ones I did.. go figure). SO, that being said, this segment will have a bit of a different spin than it normally does (and will also likely be much shorter).
From what I gathered, the first half in this one pretty much sucked. I watched the highlights and have to say that Toronto’s goals were largely at the fault of A.J. Soares who I heard did not have a very good game. That is quite disappointing, but, hey, the dude can’t play out of his mind every game. The way I see it, Soares was basically due for an off-game. Do I still see him playing for the US National Team in the near future? Yes, absolutely. Do I think he deserves to play in the MLS All Star Game next month? Damn straight (go vote for him if you haven't already). So, I’m not really sweating this one. Still, it is a bit disappointing.
On the flip side, I gathered from my colleagues’ player ratings that Stephen McCarthy had what sounds like his best performance yet, or at least one of his best. Lately, it seems that the more he plays, the better he gets. By the end of the season, I bet we’ll all be calling Jay Heaps a quiet genius for what he’s done with McCarthy. I sure hope that he can keep this up.
And then there’s Chris Tierney, who has his fair share of criticism this season. By most accounts, Tierney had a truly solid outing. He had an absolutely outstanding passing rating (along with his left-sided partner Lee Nguyen) and it sounds like his service on free kicks was finally all there. If his game keeps improving this way, then the Revolution back-line will just be that much better. Here's hoping that Saturday wasn't any kind of fluke or anything.
It’s a shame to hear about Kevin Alston’s injury, as I was really sort of starting to warm up to the guy this season. But, as you all surely know, I have been calling for Heaps to switch things up at right back for some time. It sounds like Florian Lechner truly seized his opportunity in this one. I’ve read a lot of tweets and blog posts since the match and just about all point to Flo as one of the key components in the Revs turning this game around.
I had been feeling that it was a real shame that the last action we saw from Flo was a disappointing outing against FC Dallas. Shortly after that game he got injured and so that was kind of the lasting impression he had left for a while. So, I'm just really stoked on him shaking that game finally and making a huge impact when he was needed. As of this writing it doesn’t sound like anyone really knows the extent of Kevin’s injury, but if he misses any significant time then Lechner has a great chance to show Heaps just what he can bring to the table, aside from what he already showed off on Saturday.
Along the same lines, it is great to hear that Blake Brettschneider was able to pull it together and put in a solid outing—he has kind of been needing one of those. For me, Blake is a project that will take some time and patience to finally pay off. But in the end, I think that it will. He has a great skill set and a great work rate. I won’t be too surprised if we start seeing more games like this one out of him.
I don’t really want to say too much else because I can’t exactly make very informed opinions about the match, just analyze what I’ve heard of it. I will say, however, that Benny Feilhaber NEEDS to remain in the center of the midfield (do I sound like a broken record yet) from now on. And hopefully Clyde Simms can hold off being injured again for a very long time--very glad to have him back in the lineup. Taking only a point from Toronto FC is a bit of a disappointment, but, hey, at least we didn’t lose, right?