October 23, 2016 MLS--Toronto FC vs Chicago Fire (by Rocket Robin)

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Toronto FC (all red, white names and numbers)

.................1 Clint Irwin
33 Steven Beitashour...15 Eric Zavaleta...3 Drew Moor...6 Nick Hagglund
31 Armando Cooper...21 Jonathan Osorio...4 Michael Bradley (cpt)...2 Justin Morrow
..........10 Sebastian Giovinco...17 Jozy Altidore

Subs:...25 Alex Bono (gk)...7 Will Johnson (mid)...8 Benoit Cheyrou (mid)...18 Marky Delgado (mid)
...23 Josh Williams (def)...28 Mark Bloom (def)...87 Tosaint Ricketts (fwd)
team officials:...head coach Greg Vanney

Chicago Fire (all white, navy names and numbers)

...............23 Patrick McLain
13 Rodrigo Ramos...16 Jonathan Campbell...66 Joao Meira...3 Brandon Vincent
8 Michael de Leeuw (cpt)...2 Matt Polster...19 Khaly Thiam...12 Artulo Alvarez
............11 David Accam...10 David Arshakyan

Subs:...28 Matt Lampson (gk)...6 Eric Gehrig (def)...7 John Goossens (mid)...15 Joey Calistri (mid)
...18 Drew Conner (mid)...22 Patrick Doody (def)...30 Razvan Cocis (mid)
team officials:...head coach Veljko Paunovic

Game officials:...referee Fotis Bazakos...referee's assistants Brian Poeschel and Daniel Belleau
...fourth official Sylviu Petrescu...(yellow shirts, black shorts and socks)

1st Half:...game starts 4:22pm...TFC defends south end on this cool, mostly overcast late afternoon.
1 min...TFC Giovinco 28 yard freekick down middle is just wide left of net.
3 min...TFC Giovinco taps pass at 25 yards too far forward for TFC Osorio and goalie picks up ball at 10 yards.
4 min...TFC Cooper taps ball past TFC Altidore and TFC Giovinco rolls ball at 20 yards too far forward for TFC Morrow as he tangles with defender on edge of box and goalie smothers at 8 yards.
5 min...TFC Bradley cornerkick from right is over players and TFC Altidore heads ball forward from 10 yards on left and CF Rodrigo clears at 7 yards on left edge of box with overhead kick keeping TFC Osorio from getting to ball.
6 min...TFC Bradley pass downfield from 45 yards down middle is too far forward for charging TFC Beitashour and bounces over end line.
7 min...TFC Giovinco chips 33 yard shot from right that goalie catches.
9 min...TFC goalie runs forward and left to smother ball before CF Accam can get it who trips over him at 12 yards.
9 min...TFC Cooper in middle at 25 yards taps ball forward and right for charging TFC Giovinco at 15 yards and he runs forward and slides to roll 12 yarder from right wide left of post.
11 min...CF Meira injures ankle of TFC Giovinco at CF 35 yard line with tackle from behind and TFC awarded freekick.
11 min...TFC Bradley rolls freekick forward from 35 yard line on right and TFC Giovinco shoots wide right from 22 yards on right.
13 min...CF Alvarez freekick from 45 yards on right has TFC Hagglund skyball clearance in crowd of players just inside edge of box.
17 min...CF Michael de Leeuw GOAL...CF Arturo Alvarez at 35 yards on right receives pass on right and cuts towards left edge of box and rolls pass forward to de Leeuw who charges diagonally in from left and gets ball at 7 yards on right and one-time shoots roller around TFC goalie Clint Irwin guarding right post and ball rolls into left corner of net.
18 min...CF goalie clears ball at 10 yards on right to keep TFC Altidore from getting to it.
19 min...TFC Altidore holds ball up at 25 yards on right and rolls ball further left and forward to charging TFC Beitashour who then sends low cross almost from end line from 15 yards to TFC Giovinco at 7 yards who takes quick shot from 7 yards that goalie saves on right post and ball deflects wide right for cornerkick.
20 min...TFC Bradley cornerkick from right has defender at 5 yards head ball down and TFC Moor at 7 yards slides and has shot blocked and ball pops forward for TFC Zavaleta head 6 yarder from right that goalie swats down and defender boots away from edge of 6 yard box.
21 min...CF Ramos cross from right near end line is through box along 8 yard line unplayed.
21 min...CF Polster rush down left and low cross is through 6 yard box unplayed.
22 min...TFC Giovinco is poked off ball by two defenders in charge for pass into box and can't win Penalty kick but cornerkick conceded.
23 min...TFC Giovinco cornerkick from left has goalie leap and punch ball forward in middle at 2 yards before TFC Hagglund could connect. TFC Bradley recovers and 25 yard low shot down middle has ball deflect off TFC Osorio at 10 yards and roll wide right of net.
24 min...CF Ramos low 35 yard shot down middle is wide left of net.
26 min...CF Alvarez is rolled pass back and 35 yard chip shot from right is over players and bounces wide left of net.
28 min...TFC Cooper cornerkick from left has TFC player at 8 yards on right pop header backwards. TFC Beitashour chips cross from 25 yards on right across box and goalie jumps over CF Campbell to try to catch at 6 yards but drops ball as they crash together and CF Meara clears from 8 yards. CF goalie is injured on play and needs trainer.
33 min...CF Accam stops ball before it rolls over left end line and chips cross from 12 yards and CF Alvarez as nearest of three players mid-air shot from 10 yards skies well high and wide left of net.
34 min...CF Polster is injured at center line in collision with TFC Morrow as both jumped for header and needs trainer to help him limp off field.
37 min...CF sub...Goossens replaces injured Polster.
37 min...CF Vincent is checked off ball on rush to edge of TFC box.
39 min...TFC Beitashour taps pass forward from 12 yard line on far right and TFC Giovinco crosses along end line from 22 yards drifts behind net.
40 min...CF Campbell pokes ball away from TFC Giovinco on edge of box in center of field.
40 min...CF Goossens long 70 yard run up left and cross from 20 yard line on left is into box and TFC Hagglund heads away from 6 yards in center. CF Alvarez recovers at 18 yards on right and taps pass to CF Accam on edge of box in middle and he has TFC Hagglund check him off ball at 10 yards and clear for throw-in on right.
41 min...TFC goalie catches 35 yard shot from right on bounce sent through crowd of players by CF Ramos after he'd knocked TFC Giovinco over to take possession at 40 yards.
43 min...TFC Morrow rush to left end line and cross from 18 yards has defender at 8 yards flick ball further into box and TFC Beitashour taps ball back and center from 15 yards on right. TFC Giovinco gets possession at 15 yards in middle with back to goal and is tripped up by CF Meira while Meira's hands were up but it was a foot that tripped him. Referee calls Penalty kick.
44 min...TFC Sebastian Giovinco GOAL...Giovinco takes low Penalty kick shot to left corner of net beyond diving goalie Patrick McLain.
46 min...TFC YELLOW card...Zavaleta earns it for holding CF Accam on left at TFC 30 yard line.
46 min...CF Accam 40 yard low freekick from left is partially cleared and CF Goossens blasts 35 yard roller from left well wide left of net.
48 min...TFC Giovinco cornerkick from right is over players in box and TFC Hagglund swing and miss kick at 18 yards on left and defenders clear.
49 min...half ends 5:11pm.

Halftime Entertainment: There's the usual Nestle Drumsticks ice cream giveaway which was in Section 108 but row 17. There was joke amongst us in the lower rows to crowd into the empty seats of those who'd left for intermission to claim their prizes but I'm sure we'd have to show our tickets. There was also the Tony from Pizza Pizza giveaway. There was a relay race between contestants holding up KIA car cardboard cutouts while bumping a beach ball into a mini-net using the cutout to bump the ball. The winner won two tickets to the playoffs and some swag. They also announced on the video board that the score at halftime in another game had NYCFC ahead of Columbus 1-0 which was bad news for TFC trying to finish in the top two spots in the East and avoid the Play-in game in the middle of the week.

2nd Half:...starts 5:28pm.
48 min...TFC Altidore at 35 yards on right rolls centering pass between defenders downfield and TFC Osorio receives it at 20 yards in middle, turns to face net and CF Meira kicks ball and drives it straight at own goalie to catch in cemter of net.
49 min...TFC Cooper rolls pass from 35 yards up middle too far forward and goalie smothers ahead of TFC Giovinco who jumps over him at 10 yards.
50 min...TFC Bradley cornerkick from left has CF Vincent head ball away in crowd of players at 6 yards.
51 min...TFC Giovinco eludes sliding defender on run down left and cross from 25 yards on right has TFC Moor head ball down but defender clears at 18 yards.
51 min...TFC Altidore low cross from 12 yards on right is ahead of sliding TFC Giovinco at 2 yards on left post but flag is up.
53 min...TFC Justin Morrow GOAL...TFC Michael Bradley chips ball on quick freekick downfield from 55 yards on right. TFC Sebastian Giovinco can't get full control on edge of box in center but chases bouncer over to left and turns on left edge of box at 5 yards line, and eluded CF Rodrigo Ramos and chips cross from 15 yards on left end line and CF Jonathan Campbell misses stopping with raised leg on left edge of 6 yard box and charging Morrow gets flying header connecting at 5 yards even with left post and puts it into right side of net with goalie jumping on left post.
55 min...CF Goossens chip from 30 yards from right has TFC Moor head away at 15 yards.
58 min...TFC Giovinco two attempts to chip from left edge of box are blocked.
59 min...CF Alvarez bends 35 yard shot from right that goalie catches at 8 yards.
60 min...TFC sub...Ricketts replaces Altidore.
61 min...TFC Cooper 25 yard shot down middle is between players and is caught by goalie on left post.
61 min...TFC Jonathan Osorio GOAL...TFC Armando Cooper rolls pass from 35 yards up middle that finds Osorio charging at 22 yards in middle. Osorio stops at 20 yards and eludes CF Jonathan Campbell on edge of box who runs by him from left. Osorio steps forward and pulls ball back from sliding goalie at 12 yards and steps around him and shoots 12 yarder from even with left post between three retreating defenders and into top right corner.
63 min...on the video board they show the score in the NYCFC is 1-1.
64 min...CF Thiam rolls pass from 25 yards that goalie picks up at 6 yards ahead of CF forward charging across box from right .
66 min...TFC sub...Cheyrou replaces Osorio.
.........TFC sub...Johnson replaces Cooper.
67 min...TFC Cheyrou chips ball from 40 yards down middle that has goalie dive at 12 yards on left to poke ball away from TFC Giovinco before he can get control of it. TFC Johnson gets to rebound and has 18 yard shot from left blocked by CF Thiam.
68 min...CF Accam receives pass on edge of box sent in from 30 yards on right side. Ball hits his feet and rolls forward and TFC Hagglund clears ball in box at 10 yards cutting in front of goalie to make play.
69 min...CF sub...Cocis replaces Arshakyan.
69 min...CF Vincent throw-in from 15 yard line on left is short to CF Goossens who taps him back pass and Vincent cross from 25 yards near left end line is into box and TFC Hagglund pops up header at 12 yards on left. Goosens recovers at on left edge of box and heads into center of box and TFC Moor boots ball out of box from 8 yards in middle.
69 min...CF Cocis rush on right wing from 30 yard line has him send low cross from 22 yards on left edge of box that TF Zavaleta stops at 8 yards on right and TFC Cheyour kicks clearance.
72 min...CF Alvarez rolls pass forward from 45 yards on right that CF de Leeuw runs onto at 30 yards on left and rolls cross from 25 yards forward and center and CF Accam slides to get one-touch shot from 12 yards down middle that goalie sprawls at 6 yards in middle and deflects ball wide left out of box.
75 min...TFC Giovinco cornerkick from left is high over players and bounces wide right for goalkick.
76 min...TFC Giovinco cornerkick from right has ball bounce in middle of box and TFC Moor gets foot to at 7 yards and deflects it over net.
77 min...CF Goossens 45 yard freekick from left has CF de Leeuw mid-air kick from 15 yards on left skies ball and it bounces well wide right for goalkick.
79 min...CF Alvarez 25 yard freekick from left near top of box has charging CF de Leeuw get head to it at 8 yards and pop it well over bar.
80 min...CF sub...Calistri replaces Alvarez.
82 min...CF John Goossens GOAL...CF Joey Calistri run down middle and rolls pass from 22 yards over to left for CF Brandon Vincent who chips cross from 25 yards on left into box and TFC Zavaleta in crowd of players heads ball down at 8 yards on jump. Goosens chests down bounce at 15 yards and blasts 13 yard shot through middle between players and into left corner of net well beyond reach of goalie.
84 min...CF Campbell is injured on edge of CF box jumping for header and crashing with TFC Cheyrou. Campbell has cut in his mouth.
86 min...TFC Beitashour cross after run down right to 25 yard line is into box and defender in middle of box heads ball away.
87 min...TFC Giovinco run up left getting past three defenders and low cross from 10 yards near left end line has retreating CF Vincent slide and clear away at 1 yard near left post preventing TFC Ricketts from tapping in from 2 yards in middle of box.
90 min...TFC Hagglund gets foot in at 10 yards on left to prevent CF Accam getting control of bouncer and gives away cornerkick.
90 min...CF Accam cornerkick from left is short and upfield to CF Vincent who crosses into box from 25 yards on left. TFC Moor steps forward to head ball but it glances over to right side of box where CF de Leeuw controls it and cross from 15 yards is blocked by TFC Morrow at 12 yards and ball deflects out of box to CF goalie now up near TFC box. CF goalie shoots 22 yarder that TFC goalie from right that TFC goalie catches on right post. TFC goalie hangs onto ball rather than punt it downfield.
90 min...TFC Cheyrou eludes defender on run up left wing and cross from 30 yards on left has CF Campbell raise leg at 15 yards to stop then clear ball preventing charging TFC Ricketts getting to ball in middle of box.
91 min...CF Calistri cross from 30 yards on left is cleared at 7 yards in crowd of players in box.
91 min...CF Goosens chips 40 yarder down middle and CF Accam at 12 yards in crowd of players heads ball down and back for CF Thiam to shoot 15 yarder down middle high and wide right.
92 min...game ends 6:15pm.

Final Score:.......Toronto FC.........3...........Chicago Fire............2.............

Attendance was announced as 25235 on this cool day but we know playoff games will be played in much colder weather especially since they will be played later at night.

Today was Fan Appreciation Day with 40% off certain merchandice. We early arrivals were given a TFC touque from team sponser KIA motors.

Before the game Jozy Altidore was announced as the team's October Community MVP tor his soccer camps and signing autographw for each kid in the camps.

It was also announced that by a pregame video on the scoreboard that Marky Delgado had signed a new contract. He was on the bench tonight and didn't get into the game.

Man of the Match (who is always a TFC player was named as Sebastian Giovinco. That's OK with me; He drew a foul in the Fire box and scored the resulting Penalty kick. He also had an assist of Justin Morrow's goal and was a danger all night. He can speak enough English now that he can appear in the public address announcements. His part is to remind us that BMO Field is a smoke-free facility.

Last night the Chicago Cubs made the baseball World Series for the first time since 1945. It's been six years since Chicago Fire made the MLS Playoffs so they have a long way to go. Fire were actually close to scoring the tieing goal tonight in the final minutes.

Fire are the worst team in the MLS with their only real threat David Accam who was mostly well covered. Tonight's result gives TFC a perfect 3-0-0 record against them this season.

It may have been TFC Clint Irwin's strategy to hold on to the ball after an injury time save he made on the Fire goalie who'd come upfield in a last ditch effort for an equalizer. Irwin held on rather than punt downfield to try for the open net. The Fire did soon regain possession and continue to pressure.

I was slightly surprised that TFC subbed in two midfielders at 66 minutes rather than load up with more defenders while holding a two goal advantage. They did pull two midfielders but they could have inserted defenders like Mark Bloom or Josh Williams.

I was very glad Jonathan Osorio scored as he's had so many chances this season. This was a goal-of-the-week caandidate with his run down the middle and shot just under the bar.

Jozy Altidore was on today's ticket. He was the first TFC player subbed after 60 minutes and didn't have an outstanding game.

It was announced after the game that TFC finished third! That must mean that NYCFC tied or won their game to stay ahead of TFC in the standings. A fan outside on a cellphone answered my question that NYCFC won 3-1 over Columbus Crew. The PA announcers ask us to check their website to find out if they will play at BMO Field Wednesday or Thurssday night. I'll have to see if if I can print my tickets. The opponent will be either Montreal or Philadelphia. It's a one game play-in game to the Eastern Conference semi-finals. This was the stumbling point for TFC last season although that game was on the road against Montreal.

The subway was not running this weekend between Finch and Lawrence stations. I drove in the morning to Sunnybrook Hospital to visit my dieing father and took a bus south from their then on the way home took the subway and a bus back to the parking lot to get the rest of the way home. I try not to drive all the way downtown any week. The Gardiner Expressway was also closed. Let's use both of those as reasons for cutting into attendance today! Only 25235 was not near a sellout. This game was among the 'cheapest' ticket of my season tickets--only about half price of a Premium game. The weather was cool but not cold and the game was over before it got dark. At leaat there were no baseball fans clogging the roads and transit as the Blue Jays were knocked out of their playoffs in the middle of the week.

Today all ten MLS games this weekend were scheduled to start at 4:00pm Eastern time. This spectacle was named 'Decision Day' by the league. Every game had at least one playoff team involved. I don't know why they couldn't have had the Western Conference games start three hours later as this week there were no interconference games. Only one game to see! Station flippers in English Canada would be between this game and Vancouver-Portland.

Rocket Robin

stats from MLSsoccer.com
Match Information

Goals and Assists
18'    CHI  Michael de Leeuw          Assisted By: Arturo Alvarez 
45'    TOR  Sebastian Giovinco (PK) 
54'    TOR  Justin Morrow             Assisted By: Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley 
62'    TOR  Jonathan Osorio           Assisted By: Armando Cooper 
83'    CHI  John Goossens 

45'+2' TOR  Eriq Zavaleta             Reason: Unsporting Behavior 


Toronto FC  
17 F Jozy Altidore      (61')
10 F Sebastian Giovinco 
 1 G Clint Irwin 
15 D Eriq Zavaleta 
 3 D Drew Moor 
 6 D Nick Hagglund 
33 M Steven Beitashour 
31 M Armando Cooper     (68')
 4 M Michael Bradley 
21 M Jonathan Osorio    (68')
 2 M Justin Morrow 

25 G Alex Bono 
23 D Josh Williams 
28 D Mark Bloom 
 8 M Benoit Cheyrou      (68') 
 7 M Will Johnson        (68')
18 M Marco Delgado 
87 F Tosaint Ricketts    (61')

Manager  Greg Vanney   

Chicago Fire 
10 F David Arshakyan    (70')
23 G Patrick McLain 
13 D Rodrigo Ramos 
16 D Jonathan Campbell 
66 D Joao Meira 
 3 D Brandon Vincent 
19 M Khaly Thiam 
 2 M Matt Polster       (38')
12 M Arturo Alvarez     (81')
 8 M Michael de Leeuw 
11 M David Accam 

28 G Matt Lampson 
 6 D Eric Gehrig 
22 D Patrick Doody 
 7 M John Goossens       (38')
15 M Joey Calistri       (81')
18 M Drew Conner 
30 F Razvan Cocis        (70')

Manager  Veljko Paunovic 

Referee  Fotis Bazakos 
Assistant Referee  Brian Poeschel 
Assistant Referee  Daniel Belleau 
Fourth Official  Silviu Petrescu 

Match Information
MLS at BMO Field
Toronto, ON
Attendance 25235
Weather Partly Cloudy

Team Statistics

TOR                          CHI
 16     Shots                 10 
  6     Shots on Target        3 
  6     Shots off Target       6 
  4     Blocked Shots          1 
  8     Corners                1 
 18     Crosses               16 
  4     Offsides               1 
 16     Fouls                 13 
  1     Yellow Cards           0 
  0     Red Cards              0 
438     Total Passes         401 
 75 %   Passing Accuracy      76 % 
 52.5 % Possession            47.5 % 
 60     Duels Won             58 
 19     Tackles Won           14 
  1     Saves                  3 
 16     Clearances             9 

Toronto FC starters

Chicago Fire starters

TFC Sebastian Giovinco (10) and Armando Cooper (31) take opening kickoff.

TFC Sebastian Giovinco (10) takes freekick.

TFC Drew Moore (3), Fire David Arshakyan (10), and TFC Eriq Zavaleta (15) jump for header.

TFC Steven Beitashour (33) takes throw-in.

A cornerkick is sent from the left into the Fire box.

TFC Sebastian Giovinco (10) scores on Penalty kick low to left corner.

Fire David Arshakyan (10) and Michael de Leeuw (8) take second half kickoff.

midfield action

Fire players defend another cornerkick.

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