Sunday, August 1, 2010

Toronto FC must cure road jinx

Saturday was another tough night for TFC as they traveled to Kansas City to take on the Wizards. Since the inception of the club the on major issue that has followed the club though all 4 seasons has been the inability to consistently win away fixtures. Saturday was no exception as the Reds fell 1-0. Many have pointed to Adrian Cann's sloppy back pass that lead to Teal Bunbury's goal as being the back breaker, but that was a small part in the larger problem of being mentally tough on the road.

Last year when TFC missed out on the playoffs by one point, you had to look to the amount of blown games on the road as being the difference, had TFC even won 40% of those road games they would have made the playoffs, and it seems that the same holds true this year as well. The club has only 1 victory on the road this season out of a possible 8, and only 4 points to show for it (They drew the L.A earlier this season).

What also is concerning to manager Preki is the lack of offencive punch going forward. On Saturday the teams didn't look close to scoring a goal aside from Mista's early chance. This has been the case form the majority of the road games this year, take away the 3-1 victory at San Jose the scoring line for TFC on the road does not look good. None of the forwards or midfielders had any creative spark Saturday night, and it looked like the game was heading to a poorly played 0-0 draw.

If there is one thing that is positive about the road record is the better defensive display from the team. Preki clearly has instilled a tighter defensive set up and preached responsibility to his midfielders. However you can argue this has been at the cost of goals scored. After the Wizards scored it seemed the team was happy to continue playing the same formation and style as if it were still 0-0.  This type of mentality in tactics cannot win you road games or get you far in the playoffs.

Few can argue that this club has improved in many aspects of the game under the new management of Preki, however he still faces an uphill climb in terms of getting the squad mentally tougher for away matches. If TFC really want to make the playoffs they have to do it on the road and pick up valuable points, or else we could have a last day of the season New York fiasco like last year....and we know how badly that ended.


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