Enjoyed tonight's 1-0 victory in the pressbox flanked by Toronto football's renaissance man Nigel Reed, and MLS's top beat writer, Steve Goff of the Washington Post.
Nigel was clearly not enjoying a night off from his CBC play-by-play duties. As play went on, he kept up a running commentary under his breath. Though, removed from the booth, he was freer to let his rooting tendencies show through.
"C'mon ... head up, head up. ... That's IT! ... right now ... ooooh, poor pass .... well done, Marvell, well done," Nigel went on for 90-plus minutes. This was great stuff, like your own personal broadcast. It also helps when you've got your head down tapping during the action. Always know when something's up.
About half way through, Goff leaned in to me and said, "Is that guy, like, a fan or something?"
"No, he's the TV play by play guy."
"Oh. Got it," Goff said and tucked his head back into his keyboard. We both kept an ear open. Good job, Nigel, as always.
Toronto FC coach engaged the Shola Ameobi-to-Toronto FC rumour the way he engages all rumours around this club - in a maddeningly oblique way. He commented on how well he knows the former Newcastle striker, what a marvellous talent he is, how much he would have cost three or so years ago when top teams still wanted him.
He added a strange aside about how much Ameobi enjoys the "North American lifestyle" including sports like hockey. Hockey? For real? Somehow that seems like a sop to the Toronto audience but we'll see.
The final word was: "If we could get Shola to this club, I'd be delighted."
So definitely. Maybe
Carver also said that Jarrod Smith is very close to cracking the starting XI, one presumes in place of the out-of-touch looking Rohan Ricketts. Bottom line: the change will not happen while the club is still winning. But if this team needs a roster shake-up to jog the offence in the case of a loss, Smith will clearly be the first option.