Breakdown: Fire at Toronto
T.J. Zaremba breaks down the Fire’s snatching a draw from the jaws of defeat..
Timing is everything.
The last time the Fire and Toronto FC met, the Fire faithful left Toyota Park cold, wet and feeling like this.
Thanks to a late equalizer by Quincy Amarikwa, the few remaining Fire fans actually still watching this season reacted to the result initially like this.
While the Toronto faithful followed the lead of Canadian legend William Shatner.
Their reaction would be correct. When you take a look at this game in some detail, you realize the Fire were very lucky on this night.
For starters, Michael Bradley owned the center of the park.
His output alone rivaled the Fire’s central pairing of Watson and Cocis.
As for the Fire, they were lead with typical strong performances by Lovel Palmer and Jeff Larentowicz in back.
Razven Cocis continues to make a larger impact every time he steps on the field for the Men In Red.
Frank Yallop struck gold with each of his substitutes.
In fact, when Grant Ward was announced as a replacement for Harry Shipp, I had forgotten Young Harry was even on the field.
This is the heat map I expected to see for Harry after watching the match.
As for the reigning league MVP, he apparently needed a day off.
And that brings me to the madness that is Bakary Soumare. Every time you think he has bottomed out, he lowers the bar further.
However, this does keep me on my toes to find appropriate heat maps for him.
With this strike in the opening minutes, he laid his claim to be Toronto’s Man of the Match.
He took a simple catch of a cross for Sean Johnson and turned it into a 1-0 deficit. Leading to this type of a reaction from Sean.
I further believe Baky was embarrassed about needing an IV after the win against Red Bull, therefore, he was not going to tire himself. That’s the only plausible explanation for being this late and clumsy on a challenge against Dom Oduro.
And finally, his effort on Gilberto’s goal summed up his performance.
He started with a “I got him, no you get him” routine with Watson in defending Luke Moore.
This left him in a out of position and flatfooted to close off the passing lane between Moore and Gilberto.
He got outrun by an attacker dribbling the ball.
And showed no heart or recovery speed.
Thus he could not potentially aid team captain, Jeff Larentowicz or goalie, Sean Johnson when Gilberto pushed it around the Fire net minder.
Bringing the Fire’s season closer to its inevitable conclusion.
Follow OTF Soccer on Twitter @OTFSoccer
T.J. Zaremba was BarnBurner #110 and 1998 second-half season ticket holder in Section 8 of pre-mothership Soldier Field. After over a decade on walkabout, with a handful of guest appearances, he returned in 2011 and has been a regular (when his commitment to Uncle Sam allows it) at Toyota Park with his wife and the Hamster. Follow T.J. @TJZaremba
*infographics courtesy of mlssoccer.com and squwaka.com