Apologies for the late posting, but my daughter's party ran long last night, so I had to catch this one on the MLSNet feed this morning. So what do we take away from this? Are we pleased that this team has the guts to fight back for results, something they were sorely lacking last year? Or are we massively, hugely, distressingly disappointed that every chance Toronto seemed to create ended up in the net? I'll give you a moment to try and guess which end of that spectrum I'm on...
* How did Emilio and Gomez finish this match still on the pitch? Is that Tommy with the Nowak disease thinking he can't get it done offensively without his veteran, big money stars? Gomez continues to be a shadow of his former self, while Emilio was well-nigh invisible. Time for these guys to ride the pine for a bit. Any surprise that Moreno and Pontius were key in our fight back, while Gomez and Emilio watched on?
* Jakovic showed, both for the good and the bad, how he differs from Janicki. I'm still going to give him the nod as my man of the match, because he was cutting out every dangerous TFC situation in the first half, and his ability to take the ball forward and prompt the attack is outstanding for what should be a team that dominates possession (more on that in a moment). However, Janicki probably wouldn't have taken the chance on shielding the ball that DeRo poked home for TFC's opener. I'm going to lay the blame on Kocic for that one. He either needs to come earlier or tell Jakovic to get rid of that bouncing ball. In the long term, I'm still hopeful that Tommy will play Janicki and Jakovic together in a back four.
* Wallace is going to come in for some censure here. For my money, it's his blown mark on Serioux that lets in Toronto's second. Likewise, he should have taken a foul against Wynne at the beginning of the breakout for their third. It's not like he normally has a problem committing fouls, so it's hard to see how he can fail to do so if he recognizes TFC is breaking out with numbers. In other areas that need sharpening up, I'd like to see somebody working on crosses with him, as I saw way too many wasted ones, though it's not like we were in danger of winning any offensive headers after N'Silu went off. Still, I like his energy and runs. I might fault him for holding the ball too long in the first half, leading to Gomez being offside, but it was his commitment to win the ball in the first place that put him in that situation.
* Despite all of the rotation, we still looked a tired team, or perhaps a heartless one, in the long, barren patch from about the 15th minute to the 70th. Too often this season we've been on top of a team and either failed to get a goal or failed to pad a lead. Add another tick to this box. After the goal, we slowly faded until TFC were pretty much controlling possession. In our house. Even when we had the ball in attacking positions, nobody was able to find the final pass to spring somebody for a chance. At that point, there needed to be a change. Something to take the pressure off our defense and put it back on TFC. Moreno, Pontius, and Quaranta were the subs I was urging from about the half-hour mark, but they didn't come on early enough for my money. Nor did they come on for the right people. That falls on Tommy. As does the team not coming out in the second half looking for blood. We had one early foray, but then sat back and let Toronto have possession. Unacceptable. DC United and catanaccio do not mix.
* Namoff needs to go hard on DeRo at the end there. Class finish nonetheless.
* Kocic looked much stronger than in previous games. Now he just needs to work on the decisions and communication.
* N'Silu gives us a little something different. I'd like to see more. Probably in place of the slumping Emilio.
* Toledo had timekeeping issues. How do you have a goal, yet only 10 seconds or so of stoppage time in the first? Then you indicate four minutes in the second only to have a penalty kick and a scrum, yet still only 15 seconds or so get tacked on the four minutes?
* Moreno still classy (duh!). Great dummy for the Pontius strike and a nicely taken PK.
* Pontius looked to be leaning back on the goal, and I thought, "here we go again," but he kept it under the bar. Good trust by Jaime to leave it for the kid.
* McTavish was solid enough to calm my depth fears in central midfield, though he and Simms coughed up possession far too much, particularly in that long barren stretch in the middle when we seemed to be ceding the game to the visitors.
* What's with all the early, low crosses that have no chance of creating any sort of danger? That needs to stop.
So...two points left on the table. It's encouraging that we had the heart to fight back twice and to keep the unbeaten streak alive. But we're drawing too many games that we should be winning, and we have a frustrating inability to put our hands around the throat of the opposition. Cry "fixture congestion" all you want, but TFC were facing similar minutes on fewer legs, so we should have been able to run them into the ground. Still...