Breakdown: Fire at Toronto

Michael Bradley owned the ball (torontosun.com)

Michael Bradley owned the ball (torontosun.com)

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.

(replygif.net)

(replygif.net)

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.

(replygif.net)

(replygif.net)

While the Toronto faithful followed the lead of Canadian legend William Shatner.

(replygif.net)

(replygif.net)

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.

 (squawka.com)

Zero for overall performance, but a point in the standings.(squawka.com)

For starters, Michael Bradley owned the center of the park.

The USMNT could have used this Michael Bradley (squawka.com)

The USMNT could have used this Michael Bradley (squawka.com)

His output alone rivaled the Fire’s central pairing of Watson and Cocis.

Bradley on the left, Watson & Cocis on the right (squawka.com)

Bradley earned his pay (squawka.com)

As for the Fire, they were lead with typical strong performances by Lovel Palmer and Jeff Larentowicz in back.

A couple of bright spots in a "meh" season (squawka.com)

A couple of bright spots in a “meh” season (squawka.com)

Razven Cocis continues to make a larger impact every time he steps on the field for the Men In Red.

The future is bright for this one (squawka.com)

The future is bright for this one (squawka.com)

Frank Yallop struck gold with each of his substitutes.

Maybe they should get 90 minutes next time.(squakwa.com)

Maybe they should get 90 minutes next time.(squakwa.com)

In fact, when Grant Ward was announced as a replacement for Harry Shipp, I had forgotten Young Harry was even on the field.

This game will not be on Shipp's highlight reel (squawka.com)

This game will not be on Shipp’s highlight reel (squawka.com)

This is the heat map I expected to see for Harry after watching the match.

Harry Shipp or Mike Magee (squawka.com)

Harry Shipp or Mike Magee? (squawka.com)

As for the reigning league MVP, he apparently needed a day off.

If the shoe fits...(mlssoccer.com)

If the shoe fits…(mlssoccer.com)

And that brings me to the madness that is Bakary Soumare. Every time you think he has bottomed out, he lowers the bar further.

Soumare playing Limbo with Sqauwka (squakwa.com)

Soumare playing Limbo with Sqauwka (squakwa.com)

However, this does keep me on my toes to find appropriate heat maps for him.

Baky's performance.

Baky’s performance. (@footballjester)

With this strike in the opening minutes, he laid his claim to be Toronto’s Man of the Match.

Excellent first-touch volley into the net by Baky (mlssoccer.com)

Excellent first-touch volley at a difficult angle by Soumare (mlssoccer.com)

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.

(replygif.net)

(replygif.net)

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.

Bill Lambeer would have been proud of this defense (mlssoccer.com)

Bill Lambeer would have been proud of this defense (mlssoccer.com)

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.

Gilberto Uh oh 1

(mlssoccer.com)

This left him in a out of position and flatfooted to close off the passing lane between Moore and Gilberto.

Gilberto Uh oh 2

(mlssoccer.com)

He got outrun by an attacker dribbling the ball.

(mlssoccer.com)

(mlssoccer.com)

And showed no heart or recovery speed.

(mlssoccer.com)

(mlssoccer.com)

Thus he could not potentially aid team captain, Jeff Larentowicz or goalie, Sean Johnson when Gilberto pushed it around the Fire net minder.

Gilberto Uh oh 5

(mlssoccer.com)

Bringing the Fire’s season closer to its inevitable conclusion.

(replygif.net)

(replygif.net)

****

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

One thought on “Breakdown: Fire at Toronto

  1. Very informative way to say “this team sucks”. I think we should conserve our energy and funnel it into something constructive … like energizing a movement to draft Rocky Wirtz to buy the team and save us from this cheap owner. He has a good track record of doing just that.

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