I spent Saturday afternoon gorging myself on football. I began by watching a bit of the England-Slovakia friendly, and finished by taking in the end of the satisfying 0-0 draw between Portugal and Sweden that pushed the Portuguese to the brink of failure to qualify for South Africa.
In between, I was hoping to find some online stream to follow Toronto FC and Columbus. When that failed to materialize, I decided instead to follow the Holland-Scotland qualifier online.
Needless to say, it was awesome.
However, I still found myself interested in the TFC result, which was a somewhat encouraging 1-1 draw at the defending MLS champions Columbus Crew, thanks to a late own goal.
The same 4 Canadian starters as last week also played in this one. Adrian Serioux, Kevin Harmse, Dwayne De Rosario and Jim Brennan all played 90 minutes. In addition, Greg Sutton came off the bench at halftime to replace an injured Stefan Frei.
I know I probably care more than anybody else about how much run out the Canadians are getting for TFC, but the implications of yesterday's Canadian content are interesting.
- TFC takes a narrow lead in the Canadian content standings over Montreal, each team having played 2 matches in '09 (detailed table // summary)
- Not only that, but the 405 Canadian minutes is the high-water mark for this season, and also exceeds the Canadian participation of all but 1 of Toronto's matches in 2008.
A quick look at the Canadians that played in those other matches shows how much the quality of Canadian content has improved since the team's first year:
|08/06/07||vs Los Angeles|
|Total Mins||990||Cdn Mins||540|
|08/12/07||at New York|
|Total Mins||965||Cdn Mins||556|
|Total Mins||990||Cdn Mins||450|
|10/13/07||at Los Angeles|
|Total Mins||954||Cdn Mins||504|
|Total Mins||990||Cdn Mins||430|
I don't want to denigrate some of the previous Canadian employees of Toronto FC, but let's just say that there's a bit of a step up from Joey Melo and Andrea Lombardo to Dwayne De Rosario. You could play a fun game of where-are-they-now? with Lombardo (university?), Rosenlund and Canizalez (who knows?!)
It remains to be seen if the younger Canadians in the TFC's stable will get a decent run out this year (apart from Sutton, the only Canadian on the bench for last night's match was Gabe Gala), but with a core of solid Canadian content, 2009 is likely to go down as Toronto's "most Canadian" year ever.
That it is also the most successful (warning: EXTREMELY SMALL SAMPLE SIZE!) to date is a nice bonus.
I honestly wouldn't be surprised if, at the end of the year, Toronto had a higher percentage of Canadian content than Montreal. Vancouver, though, will likely finish well ahead of both eastern teams.