Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Major League Snore

On top of watching a ton of football over the past week, I also watched an MLS game -- the season opener between Chivas and Toronto FC.

Toronto lost 2-0, but they held their own for most of the game. They even had a few decent chances to score in the first half, but I think they suffered for their inexperience in the end -- Chivas's first goal came from beating the offside trap, and their second was late in the game when Toronto had started to fade. Not the best way to start their inaugural season, but I don't expect them to get blown out of the water like a lot of expansion teams do.

The most notable thing to me was the slow pace of the game. Like David Hirshey said over at Deadspin, maybe it suffered in comparison to the Man Utd-Portsmouth game I'd watched just before. But probably not. The speed and the skill just weren't there. (Not even the bone-jarring tackles that you'd expect in a league that's, um, shall we say lacking in finesse.)

Commentators Gerry Dobson and Craig Forrest tried their utmost to convince me that it was a fast, exciting game, but... Suffice it to be said that David Beckham shouldn't worry about being able to hack it in America. Based on the evidence of this game, he's going to run circles around most of the other players.

other commentary highlights included banging on about some supposedly tricky winger, whose main trick seemed to be running straight at the defender, stopping and then having the ball taken away; counting the number of times Forrest referred to having played with so-and-so; and Dobson repeatedly referring to the expansion team as "Canada" rather than "Toronto."

Although maybe he was just confused by the red and white uniforms. I'm not a huge fan of those grey away jerseys -- mostly because they don't seem to match the red shorts, and it makes it look like their practice kit. But I do like that they chose red as the team colour, instead of going with blue and white like most of the other Toronto teams, because those are the colours of EVIL. (And/or rampant mediocrity, in the case of Man Citeh, the Maple Leafs, etc.)

I know I sound like I'm slagging off MLS in this post. And...yeah, ok, I kind of am. But nevertheless I've bought tickets and will be going to a bunch of Toronto FC games this season. Now I just have to learn the players names, so that I can swear shout at them properly.

Oh, and a couple of news bits, to finish things off:

  • Broadcast schedule for Toronto games, which will be shown on the CBC, The Score or Sportsnet.
  • A story about the food at the stadium concession stands. Scotch eggs? Really? That aranci thing sounds good, though.

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