Toronto Sick of MLS Rules, Plan to Secede

Yeah, OK, so I made the headline up. A guy can dream, can't he?

Of course, based on the whining and gnashing of teeth emanating from The Great White North all week, it would seem to be the logical step.

Boy, talk about a bunch of ingrates: we graciously consent to letting them have a team in the United States of America'st Division 1 Soccer League and they show their gratitude by constantly bitching about how lousy it is.

And after spending all week making up excuses about why they were going to lose to Chivas, they did indeed lose to Chivas, thus giving Whining John something to talk about other than the actual facts.

Fortunately, yours truly is here to fill in the blanks:

1) Toronto was missing 9 regulars, 8 of them to international duty.

Chivas was also missing 9 regulars, 2 to international duty, five to injury and 2 to suspension.

So both teams were missing 9 regulars. What's the difference, aside from Canada's persecution complex?

2) Toronto, fielding what Carver described as "our strongest lineup all year" lost to Chivas last week 2-1.

Seven days later, fielding their weakest lineup "ever", they lost to Chivas 3-1.

So the functional difference between their best 11 and their worst 11 is, essentially, one goal.

3) Much was made, both before and after the game, of the fact that TFC had to a) "unretire" Tim Regan, b) borrow a guy from the Whitecaps and c) sign a local amateur player.

What they never seem to get around to mentioning is that fact that the reason they were able to add three guys to their roster is that they ONLY HAVE 25 PLAYERS UNDER CONTRACT.

Pretty much eveyrbody else carries the full 28 players. As Sigi Schmid told reporters this week, "every one of those 28 spots is precious, because at one point or another you're going to need them all".

So you tell me whose fault it was that they needed to rush out and find some fill-ins: the leagues', because of their ridiculous, semi-criminal scheduling policies, or TFC's for not bothering to fill their roster until the day before the match?

As Dan pointed out the other day, this match has been on the schedule for quite some time. Why did it take until Friday for them to notice they were going to be short a few guys?

Maybe next year, Mo Johnston won't decide to "pass" on the last three rounds of the supplemental draft. Most every other team in the league has a guy or two they picked up and, while they're never going to be superstars they've been with the team now for five months and in a pinch they can provide you with some continuity, if nothing else.

Mo decided to leave those spots open. His team. his choice, but don't then come whining to us about your own lack of foresight.

4) Since sometime last Spring, the only team Toronto has beaten has been Colorado. They can blame Don Garber's painful imbecility for losing one game; whose fault has it been up until last night?

If I were those guys, I'd show MLS just how serious I was by quitting the league and starting my own. One where the always-brilliant CSA can give us a demonstration of how a league OUGHT to be run.

That'll show us.

Has Matt Reis ever coughed up 8 goals in two games before?

I'd be willing to bet that you could check back as far as the U-9 Comets in his Saturday morning sandbox league and not find a week this bad.

Of course he's been the victim of some really criminal defensive lapses that he can hardly be blamed for, and last night the guy saw 27 freakin shots.

By comparison, Wil Hesmer saw exactly four from Matt's teammates, the same number that Jon Busch saw shutout of les Taureax Rouges.

Now we all know that statistics often don't tell the whole story of a particular match, but in the case of CBus/NE it's just about right.

In what was supposed to be the day's marquee match, the Crew was all over New England like stink on a monkey. If it wasn't for Reis' nine saves and a couple shots Columbus banged off the frame, it could easily have been the ugliest game of the season.

Then again, any match that features Guillermo Barros Schelotto prowling the midfield can never be called ugly.

He reminds you of the old Vege-Matic commercial: he slices, dices, rices and chops prices and barely seems to break a sweat.

I don't think the league has ever seen quite this level or artistry before, not even in the days when Carlos Valderrama was - quite literally - walking around MLS fields.

It's a shame that back in the old days the league was busy selling Carlos and awarded him - there's no other word for it - 26 assists in a season. Some of them were, like, the fifth or sixth touch back.

They had to be because carlos seldom ventured beyond the center circle.

GBS is simply on fire. Not on fire enough, as Jeff Carlisle pointed out a week ago, to make the All Star Team, but maybe garber can explain that one to him when he's handing Guille the MVP trophy.