In no particular order....
1. Today's game provided plenty of ammunition for the "officials hate TFC" camp, and in the minutes after Amado Guevara's red card I was tempted to sympathize, if not agree.
Watching the game live the red card seemed to come from nowhere. Nobody in the press box could see the alleged punch -- TV replays we saw didn't even make it clear -- so nobody could figure out what Guevara had done to deserve an ejection.
The way TFC unravelled after that is another issue, but Marco Velez's ejection seemed to offer yet more evidence that officials just don't want TFC to win.
But then the game ended, the locker rooms opened and Guevara talked to the media, admitting that he had indeed smacked Pablo Richetti in the face, but only after Richetti had followed him down the field throwing little punches and elbows.
Then it made sense.
A classic case of the refs missing the instigator but catching the retaliator.
In this case I don't know that it proves the officials had it in for TFC. If you follow sports you that officials have a habit of not catching the guy who starts a fight. It's not unique to this game or even this team.
Did the call change the tenor of the game?
Of course it did.
Before the punch TFC controlled the play and created scoring chances they couldn't convert. Afterward they lacked direction and seemed more focused on fighting with officials than with finishing the game.
But does the call indicate anti TFC bias?
I'm not sold.
Remember, there's a difference between calling officials bad and calling them biased.
A lot of neutral observers, folks who have been involved with soccer their whole lives, have told me that MLS officiating is inconsistent at best, and as a soccer non-purist who watches a lot of MLS I'm still trying to figure out which plays are fouls and which aren't. You'll often see the same play called two different ways in the same game. It's confusing to new fans, frustrating to players and it's something MLS needs to address.
So I will allow that officiating is inconsistent, but I also realize that in the long run shaky officiating affects all teams equally.
Biased officiating is something different entirely, and not a charge you should make unless you can prove it.
And I'm still waiting for proof that refs don't want TFC to win. For every strange call against Toronto (think the phantom offside that nullified a goal against San Jose), one seems to go their way (think the iffy foul call that led to TFC's penalty kick in that same game).
So as far as I can tell, wacky calls go both ways.
It might be bad, but that doesn't mean it's biased.
2. You might have noticed that TFC dressed only 16 guys this afternoon.
Abdus "Ibee" Ibrahim missed the game while tending to family business in Minnesota.
And according to head coach John Carver, the rest of the guys who might normally fill out the bench blew their chance by looking sloppy in a mid week reserve game.
He said he didn't want to give those guys "false hope" by letting them dress today.
If Sunday's game had devolved into a bench clearing brawl (and there were times when I thought it might), I wonder if he would have regretted not dressing more guys.
3. Kenny Cooper doesn't just score. He scores at the right time.
I learned yesterday that of the 13 goals he has scored so far this year, 10 of them have either tied the game or given FC Dallas the lead.
The team's overall record when Cooper scores:
No wonder Cardiff still wants him.
4. Carver said that the second new striker is almost signed, but not quite.
In the meantime, with Olivier Tebily back in France he says the team is also in the market for a centre back. And beyond that he'll need to cobble together a lineup without Guevara and Marco Velez, who are both suspended for next week's game in Colorado.
It's at the point where nearly anyone wearing Toronto FC red will do.
"Now, we’ve got two away at the Olympics, we’ve got Danny who – we don’t when he’s coming back, we’ve got Todd (Dunivant) who’s been taken off due to a long-term injury," Carver said after the game. "I think we might have to get (TFC Academy coach) Nick Dasovic to put his boots on.”
-- Morgan Campbell