The big takeaway of this match will be that the one goal scored in the game came off the foot of Jeff Cunningham, which brought his career total to 129, now just 3 shy of Jamie Moreno's MLS record. But, we would say that there were a few other headlines worth a look.
This was the first MLS game that we'd ever had the mind to take in, and I have to say at the end of the first half I was feeling pretty disappointed in the skill level of these professional athletes. Moreover, my compatriot mentioned specifically their lack of patience. By 15 minutes gone both sides had completely abandoned their game-plans in favor of hopeful and long forward passing, overly rushed shooting, and a melange of other nit-picky crud.
We also noticed that our predicted Man of the Match, Brek Shea, was in top form, but was continually frustrated by teammates whom, at best made poor passes to the lad, and at worst looked him over completely. We counted 12 smart runs he was on that his side was unable or unwilling to put the ball to him for. It left us wondering if there wasn't some locker room justice going on out on the pitch. There were at least 3 egregiously bad plays in which Shea was the obvious best choice the pass that went instead to another. We couldn't puzzle it out and in the last 20 minutes it seemed to be really getting to the kid.
We mentioned the horrible officiating and it was bad from start to finish. The cards all seemed deserved, but there seemed to be an inordinate amount of "no-calls" when a call should have been made, and a bit of whistle swallowing when there were obvious fouls. This included a ridiculously disallowed Eric Alexander goal. Off of a Brek Shea shot that keeper Stefan Frei didn't handle cleanly, but was still hovering over, Alexander booted it in right out from under him. The ref blew it dead and we were aghast. There was no illegal contact and no foul play; it was as if the keeper had a right to all the turf in a 3 foot radius and in that space the ball was unplayable. The shabby show continued a few minutes later with an utter mugging of Ruben Luna, who was in on goal late in the second half. It was the type of call that you could see perhaps not being called in the opening minutes, but it was a very hard tackle and it seemed the defender didn't even try to play the ball.
All in all a disappointing match, but not so disappointing that we won't be out at Dr. Pepper Pizza Hut Park again. It was an FC Dallas win and it extended their unbeaten streak, and moved them into a second place tie in the Western Conference, which is great news for their playoff bid.
Toronto FC Lineup: Stefan Frei, Dan Gargan, Adrian Cann, Ty Harden, Nick Garcia, Maksim Usanov, Nick LaBrocca-Carded: 46, Joseph Nane (Jacob Peterson 58), Martin Saric-Carded: 15,89,89, Mista, O'Brian White