Sunday, May 13, 2007

Toronto Puts Out the Fire

Toronto FC 3 - 1 Chicago Fire

So, this weekend I got to see not only Toronto FC's first goal, but also their second, and their third. (And, just as a bonus, their first sending-off. Oh, and a streaker, although he didn't quite make it o to the pitch. An exciting game all around.)

The club's historic first goal came from the big centre-forward Danny Dichio -- not, as you might have expected, from a header, but a cutback across the six-yard box from Edson Buttle for Dichio to tap in. And yes, that was an important goal, but I have to question the decision to make Dichio man of the match, considering that he was also sent off before half-time, after some hand-bags in the goal-mouth that saw Chicago midfielder Diego Gutierrez red-carded as well.

Chicago had equalized by that point, after a corner where the ball had pinged around the 18-yard box, with keeper Greg Sutton caught off his line and out of position on Chris Rolfe's shot. Toronto kept pressing, though, and took the lead again early in the second half with a goal from defender Kevin Goldthwaite -- prompting chants of "We want three!" from the fans.

And they got three, with a goal scored by #1 draft pick Maurice Edu and set up by Andrea Lombardo -- who'd played all 90 minutes against Argentina the night before, but was still full of energy and fighting for every ball when he came on as a sub for the last quarter of the game. (It was funny, though, to see how much smaller he looked against the Chicago centre-backs than he had against Argentina.)

Finally, kudos to whoever had the bright idea of giving out commemorative seat cushions to everyone at the game. Flat, round, seat cushions. In other words, they basically handed out 20,000 frisbees. And this is what happened:

They kept making announcements reminding people that they'd be removed from the stadium for throwing things on the pitch, but it didn't stop anyone. If they'd enforced it, they would have had to throw out half of the fans, anyway. So the seat cushions just kept coming -- to celebrate a goal, to express disagreement with the referee, or occasionally in an attempt to bean one of the substitutes. So much for that Canadian reputation for politeness.

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