Saturday, May 17, 2008

Toronto FC v Columbus Crew live blog

It's Victoria Day long weekend. I should be out, enjoying the beautiful weather, camping and drinking. This weekend, though, I'll be doing my drinking in the city, not elsewhere.

This all means I'll be around to watch another TFC broadcast on CBC. This post will serve as a placeholder until the match gets under way this afternoon.

Some details

TORONTO FC (3-1-2) vs COLUMBUS CREW (6-0-1)
@ BMO Field, Toronto, ON

4 pm ET / 3 pm CT / 2 pm MT / 1 pm PT
Match previews: CBC | MLS

We're also looking forward to the debut of Stade Saputo on Monday. With SRC broadcasting the match, a second Victoria Day long weekend live blog is likely.

Word to the wise: today's hockey game between Dallas and Detroit will likely run past the start time this match even if it doesn't go to overtime, so be prepared to tune into CBC bold (formerly CBC Country Canada) to catch the first minutes of the match. Or if you're like me and don't subscribe to that flakier set of cable channels, the web stream will have to do.

Why, sir, what beer are you enjoying as you watch this footy match?

Thanks for asking. It's Brahma, a Brazilian brew. I've got Brazil on the mind lately, and I'm sure many of our national teamers do as well. And thanks to the awesomeness of Queen Victoria and her long weekend, it's perfectly acceptable for me to be drinking in the afternoon, alone.

Speaking of Brazil, they announced their squad for the May 31st friendly. It's not a 100% full-sided Brazil team, but it is still pants-shitting-ly good.

Kickoff approaches. With over 7 minutes to go in a close Dallas-Detroit game, you'll need to find something other than the primary CBC channel to catch the first few minutes of TFC-Columbus. And let's not even think about overtime.

MLSnet has the lineups. For Toronto FC, no changes from the last few matches. Jason De Vos will be in the booth with Nigel Reed, instead of Bob Lenarduzzi. De Vos announced his retirement from football a few weeks ago, intending to move into a media career full time. Here it begins.

Dallas-Detroit is over (Dallas won), so barring an extended post game show, CBC TV should turn to BMO Field by the kickoff or shortly after.

Two Canadians (Brennan, Sutton) on the pitch for TFC and one on the bench (Harmse). Canadian content factor: 17-18%, depending on how you look at it.

2nd minute: CBC television joins the game in progress. It looks rather windy, which seems to be a theme at BMO Field. Too bad as, even more than the pitch, it has a huge effect on the quality of play. As always, if you're reading, give a shout in the comments so I don't feel that I'm talking to myself.

4th: Dichio had half a chance, and now the first corner of the match to Toronto.

5th: Dichio does his thing again, bodying defenders off the ball, and Guevara gets a good chance. A 2nd corner to Toronto, blown way over by Guevara.

7th: Two brutal giveaways, straight to Columbus, by Tyrone Marshall (fast becoming the worst TFC starter now that Velez has improved a bit) lead to some pressure by the Crew. No harm done. Now another corner to TFC.

13th: After an early bit of pressure, Toronto has continued to own the ball, but has done little with it. I like was Jason De Vos has to offer as a commentator so far.

16th: Brennan does some good work, then Robert makes a great run and provides a chance to Guevara, who blasts wide.

My thoughts turn to dinner: pototaoes, and pork steak on the barbecue.

Schelotto, for Columbus, makes a rather silly looking dive. I don't know the man personally, but the Argentine does seem like one of the bigger assholes I've seen in MLS so far. (Not quite in Landon Donovan territory though).

24th: Nigel promos the 2nd annual Soccer Day in Canada event on May 31st. No mention if coverage will include the Brazil friendly (depends likely on Stanley Cup Playoffs happenings) but I'm hopeful.

In the meantime, Marshall clears off the line on a shot from "Rocket" Robbie Rogers, the first chance of any consequence for Columbus. Edu is down after, as De Vos explains, kicking an opponent as he attempted to shoot.

30th: Brennan is fouled and a free kick is given in a dangerous position at the side edge of the area for TFC. Robert takes, and the rebound is put way over by Edu.

37th: Ezra Hendrickson, Columbus defender, looks ridiculous as always with a black skull-cap/do-rag and his first name on the back of his jersey.

Hejduk looks perhaps even more ridiculous, with his flowing greasy hair. Amado Guevara's faux-hawk/flat-top is equally deserving of ridicule. Three straight corners for Toronto.

40th: Tyrone Marshall is down and looks hurt, for real. A chance to see first-round draft choice Julius James, perhaps? Nope, he's back on.

Half time: Observations:
  • Schelotto is exactly the kind of player that gives soccer a bad name.
  • Laurent Robert is really lazy.
  • Jason De Vos does a good job staying out of the way, and only chiming in when needed. Nigel Reed could do with a little more verbal restraint.
  • According to my stats, I've had exactly zero pageviews since the beginning of the match. This may seriously affect my motivation for second-half blogging.
63rd: Still no readers so far. Dichio is off for Cunningham. The lack of updates indicates low blogger morale and a match that has lacked for quality because of the wind. Robert did have a chance off the post, but other than that it has been rather choppy.

82nd: This game looks likely to end 0-0. Toronto has been better, but not good enough to produce a goal in these conditions. Kevin Harmse is on for Maurice Edu. Can a red card be far off?

89th: Schelotto gets a yellow for being a diving piece of shit. This ref has been rather excellent.

0-0 FINAL. This has been the least successful, and least interesting, live blog yet. Let's hope Monday is better. I, for one, am excited to see what Stade Saputo looks like in action, with a bevvy of French Canadians in full voice.

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