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Santos - TFC second leg

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Well, TFC had an excellent first half until injury time.

Those two first half goals they gave up were on both CB's. Horrible.

The third one is on Julian, stupid challenge.

That's what must be frustrating for TFC is it wasn't a strong performances by Santos that led to their first 3 goals but just bad defending/decision making.

Anyways, good job for the semifinal run! That was fun.

PS: I thought that ref was pretty solid.

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I agree. It was disappointing but it wore off quickly when you realise that It was a good run for TFC. The biggest and best accomplishment since the club's inception. The mexican clubs are a handfull for MLS sides and yet you can wonder what would have been if:

- Frings wasnt injured

- TFC had started a few competent central d men.

- If MLS sides had the same resources ($$$) and the budget that mexican clubs had.

- TFC had been in he same mid season/end of season form as the Mexican clubs.

A lot of MLS sides can put together a good starting eleven but Mexican clubs are much deeper, so that if you get cards, suspensions or injuries, their clubs can withstand that. They can start completely different sides from one match to the next and you hardly even notice a drop in performnace. SL had Darwin Quintero (who played in WCQ'ers for colombia recently) suspended and yet they looked better without him.

Edited by Free kick

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If they get blown out 6-0, by a better Santos Laguna club that would of been a fine way to leave the competition, they had come far.

It makes it a lot hard to swallow knowing they gifted them 3 goals in a game that Santos Laguna was not up to 100%, TFC could of stolen that one it was there to steal. Sadly, miscommunication and just bad decisions led to a blunder of a last 45.

All in all a good run for TFC, but man that was a humbling way to go out.

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Its going to be difficult with a cap system to beat the Mexican clubs. As long as there is a cap, teams will invest the bulk of the cap on the starting eleven. And that means the very low salaries are on the bench so that means less depth. In many ways, thats good because it means opportunities for younger players which will usually mean Canadians. And i am in faour of cap for many other long term reasons. But as far as the champions league, they can beat you with depth. Depth becomes a factor in this kind of competition because there is always someone suspended, or not fit, over taxed by fixture congestion or injured.

Another thing to consider the number of internationally capped players that they have (Suarez-ECU, Quintero-Col, Balloy-Pan, Gomez-US). I dont think that any of them are over thirty years old.

Edited by Free kick

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The TFC defense continues to be holographic. I'm not sure we should have expected anything else, given what they'd done to Seattle, and how Toronto has defended for the last one year plus. The question of budget is a good one. Could this competition be the impetus that kicks the salary cap from MLS? Really fans, do any of us care if Kansas City, or Houston, are 'competitive'?

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Man, did the ball ever sail in the thin air. I think Aceval got burned on the first goal because he didn't think it would go over his head.

I also saw a lot of huffing and puffing going on. Johnson in particular really struggled with pace after about 20 minutes.

I agree that the first two goals were awful to give up, and it was gutting to lose it on penalties. I would have to rewatch the first penalty foul to be sure, but it was my feeling (as a partisan) that it was marginal given that DeGuzman didn't even break stride and it seemed to be at best accidental contact. The Santos Laguna players had been going to ground in the box regularly and this was the one that they got the call on.

My partisan eyes also thought that there could have been a charitable call on the hand ball afterward, but I suppose the literal interpretation of handling governed.

However, 3 halves of good soccer against a top flight Mexican side are nothing to sniff at. Very entertaining.

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I also saw a lot of huffing and puffing going on. Johnson in particular really struggled with pace after about 20 minutes.

I agree that the first two goals were awful to give up, and it was gutting to lose it on penalties. I would have to rewatch the first penalty foul to be sure, but it was my feeling (as a partisan) that it was marginal given that DeGuzman didn't even break stride and it seemed to be at best accidental contact. The Santos Laguna players had been going to ground in the box regularly and this was the one that they got the call on.

Am I the only one who is certain that the second goal by Santos was offside? If this goal isn't given then you never know whether the second half unfolds differently.

As for Johnson, his effort was very disappointing. Every time a pass missed him or the ball was taken from him he just quit... and for however long it took for Canada to get the ball back. Allowed Santos to pass back to their defenders with impunity and restart their attacks. This was of particular significance when it was 3-2... he showed no urgency. Furthermore, on more than one occasion he just threw his hands up as soon as things didn't go his way. He looked very defeatist to me and that sort of thing has to affect ones teammates.

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As I said, lots of huffing and puffing by Johnson. I think urgency is related to energy as much as motivation.

Torreón-San Pedro is at around 1000m, not massive for inland Mexico, but still sufficient to cause cardiovascular distress to the TFC crew who currently work at ~85m above sea level (Lake Ontario is around 74m).

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Yes we do care if Houston and Kansas City are competitive, because if teams start folding, the league will fall apart. My team just left the NASL, I don't want to go back there ever again.

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Maybe i am mistaken, but I cannot see how the altitude of Torreon can be factor. At 1000 metres above sea level, they are not at a high elevation compared other locales in Mexico. If i am not mistaken, a place like Calgary sits at a higher elevation and you never hear of pro athletes running out out gas while playing sports in Calgary. Also, in MLS, Denver is at high elevation (the mile high city).

That said, the TFC second half collapse in a CL game at Torreon is not unprecedented for Canadian clubs.

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Yes we do care if Houston and Kansas City are competitive, because if teams start folding, the league will fall apart. My team just left the NASL, I don't want to go back there ever again.

Yes, it can be said that, in many ways, you are only as good as your weakest link. A system that keeps and helps the weakest links be viable entities is good for the image and outlook for the league as well as for attracting investors. And that latter is very important because lower costs and lower risk attracts more investors and quality investors and drives up clubs values. The opposite effect, is what drove NASL out of business.

As far as weak sisters, I wouldnt point to KC as they look pretty attractive with a new stadium. but places like Chicas and NE, i am not so sure.

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Maybe i am mistaken, but I cannot see how the altitude of Torreon can be factor. At 1000 metres above sea level, they are not at a high elevation compared other locales in Mexico. If i am not mistaken, a place like Calgary sits at a higher elevation and you never hear of pro athletes running out out gas while playing sports in Calgary. Also, in MLS, Denver is at high elevation (the mile high city).

That said, the TFC second half collapse in a CL game at Torreon is not unprecedented for Canadian clubs.

Is it a strategy that some Mexican clubs use or just coincidence? I've watched some Mexican league games on TV and it seems to be more often than not that the turbo button gets hit around the 50 minute mark. I don't think the altitude had that much of an effect because like you point out 1000 meters isn't that high.

The way Santos started out was almost too calm and sedate. Maybe they were baiting TFC into attacking in the first half and conserving some energy. Second half the forechecking all over the field was a sprint fest. It also helps that once you get the ball you hold onto it for a couple of minutes and catch your breath. If you don't do that then you had better have a team of cardio freaks (ie. Tiebert).

I think it is a strategy the Mexican clubs know they can do against most MLS teams. They know they will have better control so stay calm, let the other team play long ball and in the second half force bad passes by forechecking all over the place. A full field press. Pretty impressive.

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Is it a strategy that some Mexican clubs use or just coincidence? I've watched some Mexican league games on TV and it seems to be more often than not that the turbo button gets hit around the 50 minute mark. I don't think the altitude had that much of an effect because like you point out 1000 meters isn't that high.

The way Santos started out was almost too calm and sedate. Maybe they were baiting TFC into attacking in the first half and conserving some energy. Second half the forechecking all over the field was a sprint fest. It also helps that once you get the ball you hold onto it for a couple of minutes and catch your breath. If you don't do that then you had better have a team of cardio freaks (ie. Tiebert).

I think it is a strategy the Mexican clubs know they can do against most MLS teams. They know they will have better control so stay calm, let the other team play long ball and in the second half force bad passes by forechecking all over the place. A full field press. Pretty impressive.

1000m produces approximately a 5% decrease in aerobic performance. But that data focuses on aerobic activities. Soccer is a mix of explosive anaerobic bursts with work-recovery in between(slowly jogging back into place). It would be interesting to know the affect on the efficiency of work-recovery(say clearing lactic acid, producing ATP) at altitude.

Perhaps someone with a physiology or HK background can comment.

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5% doesn't sound like a lot, but given the preseason shape of the team (as compared to in-season for Santos Laguna), and the lack of rotation used by Winter leading up to this game, I'd bet it was enough to have an effect. Denver (1600m) and SLC (1300m) would provide even larger differences, but at least then you're competing with a team that is theoretically in the same game shape as you.

Sure, hockey players don't complain in Calgary or Denver, but they also have shifts that are 30 to 40 seconds, followed by 2 to 3 shifts off the ice. And, again, the same seasonal shape for comparison.

Also, I was interested in the way the ball sailed long (for example, off the gk's kicks, or - especially - that first goal where the pass went over Aceval's head). In baseball it's generally accepted outside of the Rockies organization that a ball travels close to 10% farther at Coors than at Yankee stadium (the Rockies claim only 5%). I think there were flight judgement issues throughout the game on TFC's part...

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