How bad is Toronto FC's scoring drought?
Well, Tuesday morning I headed up to the Ontario Soccer Centre in Woodbridge to check out practice. TFC's practising there this week and next week while construction crews prepare BMO Field for a Genesis concert.
When I arrive the starters (white shirts) are about 15 scoreless minutes into a scrimmage against the reserves (blue shirts).
|TONY BOCK/TORONTO STAR|
The event itself wasn't much to write about, which is why there's no TFC story in Wednesday's paper. The team was split into starters and reserves, but it's not like those labels were official. Guys like Joey Melo and Andrea Lombardo moved between squads. Some starters, like Andy Welsh, sat out with injury. Others, like Marvell Wynne, tried out new positions. It's all pretty informal.
Anyway, second half of the scrimmage, Srdjan Djekanovic replaces David Monsalve in goal, and Monsalve briefly moves to striker.
Play continues, midday sun bakes the field, a great blue heron takes flight above the trees nearby.
Scrimmage ends with a single goal scored.
One goal for the reseve goalkeeper, none for the starters.
Now, I know it's a Tuesday practice nearly two weeks ahead of Toronto's next game, so the results don't mean a thing. But think about it this way: Lots of people believe that on the way to "1,000 goals" Brazilian striker Romario padded his stats with goals scored in practice. So if training session goals count toward Romario's record, can a scoreless practice count too?
So far the streak is 642 minutes and counting. If we add the 60 or so minutes from the scrimmage the streak surges past 700. By the time they play Dallas they might surpass 1,000
And then they'd set a record only Romario would recognize.
-- Morgan Campbell