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Welcome to Partially Obstructed View. We are each restrained by the limits of our own perspective, but when we meet to share information a clearer picture of the truth can be revealed. Comments & criticisms are welcome.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Beyond POV-FS – 10 Things.... about Sebastian Giovinco & Marky Delgado at MLSsoccer.com

A couple more posts went up at MLSsoccer.com earlier this month as part of their '10 Things' series, where some of the premier players in the league were featured.

Representing Toronto FC were both Sebastian Giovinco and Marky Delgado. It was a pleasure to speak with both of them, to dig a little deeper on some of their personality, both on and off the pitch.

Check them out – Giovinco and Delgado

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Beyond POV-FS – WTR Mailbag & How You Doin' Sporting KC at Waking the Red

The usual pair of weekly articles went up over at Waking the Red earlier this week.

In the WTR Mailbag, readers are invited to submit their questions to the comments below, where myself and the rest of the staff do their darnedest to respond to the best of our abilities. This week's threads include whether Montreal is for real, an attempt to clarify the opaque MLS roster rules and regulations regarding salary cap hits and whatnot, as well as a discussion about Jozy Altidore's value and the potential of trading a designated player within MLS.

Check it out

And for the How You Doin'? Segment, WTR linked up with SB Nation's Sporting KC site, The Blue Testament, exchanging questions and answers ahead of Sunday's match in Kansas City.

Cody Bradley was kind enough to respond to WTR's enquiries here, while our replies to his can be found at TBT here.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Beyond POV-FS – How You Doin' NYC FC & Weekly Mailbag at Waking the Red

A couple of posts went up over at Waking the Red this week.

The Weekly Mailbag kicked off a few interesting conversations, including over who should take up that left-sided attacking role while Jozy Altidore is out, especially considering that Dan Lovitz looks to have picked up a knock, the role of Benoit Cheyrou and some formation talk ensued, as did an interesting little thread on concerns over the pitch dimensions at BMO Field.

Check it out.

And ahead of Sunday's match at NYC FC, WTR spoke with Jake Gofman of Hudson River Blue for the How You Doin'? Segment, where the two SB Nation sites exchange a series of questions.

Jake's responses can be found at WTR – and he can be followed on Twitter – while WTR's answers are over at Hudson River Blue.

Check them out.

TFC got a huge three points on opening day, another three today would go a long way towards their road-trip minimum. Should be interesting.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Beyond POV-FS – Jozy Altidore, Clint Irwin, Sebastian Giovinco, & TFC 2016 Team Guide: January & February Posts at MLSsoccer.com

As faithful readers will have noticed, I am now doing some writing for MLSsoccer.com. It's pretty excited, getting to cover this team I've been watching so long from a closer vantage point.

Over the past two months, several pieces have gone up, on topics ranging from the impact of Clint Irwin's signing, Sebastian Giovinco raring to get 2016 started, Greg Vanney & Company on bracing for the eight-match road trip and the renovations at BMO Field, as well as the leaner, happier Jozy Altidore ahead of his second season back in MLS.

In addition, the 2016 TFC Team Guide went up as well.

Check them all out, and look forward to the March coverage, which includes some features on Marky Delgado and Giovinco, as well as a little insight into the kitchen at the KIA Training Ground.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Beyond POV-FS – Mailbag & How You Doin'? New York at Waking the Red

A couple more posts up over at Waking the Red this week to note, including the introduction to another new feature: the mailbag.

In the Mailbag, myself and the rest of the WTR staff will be fielded questions from the audience and doing our best to respond to whatever topics may arise. Think of it as a sort of open forum, where staff and readers alike can mingle and discuss whatever issues arise throughout the course of the season.

The first one has gone rather well so far – check it out

As well, with the first game of the season set to kickoff in less than an hour, WTR also sees the return of the How You Doin'? Feature, where questions are exchanged with a sister-SB Nation site.

This week it was Jason Iapicco of Once a Metro who let us know just how the Red Bulls are doing ahead of Sunday's opener. Huge thanks to Jason for his help.

Check it out - as well as WTR's responses at OAM

Beyond POV-FS – Jozy Altidore on Extra Time Radio & Players are People Too at Waking the Red

I put up a post at Waking the Red in the past few weeks called Players are People Too, the first of a new series of columns, weekly is the plan, though hard to guarantee.

It was a gentle call that on the eve of the season, with the festivities about to commence, it should always be remembered, amongst the hustle and bustle of the campaign, that these players, coaches, and the like are all people too.

Fans can get overly involved in their team. It's expected, and for the large part, it's all good fun. Investing in your team is part of the magic of sport.

But sometimes things can go a little too far.

And when that happens, it is good to ground our criticisms, valid though they may be, in the realities of generally being nice to other people.

Further to that point, Jozy Altidore was on Extra Time Radio this past week and he expanded on a quote from earlier in the off-season, where he discussed a similar idea to the post at WTR.

“A lot of the times, as professional athletes, people forget that we're human, we have lives and we go through stuff, just like you do. You have your highs and your lows,” said Altidore.

“I had some highs and lows in my personal life that I had to go through, which is normal,” he continued. “That affected my profession, which is normal too... but it's not so forgiving in my line of work. I've overcome a lot of those things, it's made me a better person, a stronger person, and I'm allowed now to refocus back on what matters, which is my soccer.”

Every player, like every person, has their own way about them. And at risk of playing amateur psychologist, Altidore did have a little cloud over him last season, one which appears to have cleared.

His first interview back in Toronto exhibited a different beast: he was happy, smiling, jovial, and unshackled, as though a weight had been lifted off his back – Carbs man, they're evil (not really; and delicious by the way).

Unfortunately, a muscle injury looks to keep him out of the first match or two, but expect a different sort of Altidore to take the pitch for Toronto FC this season. Should be fun to watch.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Cyle Larin Series at Canadian Soccer News and MLSsoccer.com

On the eve of his landslide Rookie of the Year Award recognition, here is a series of features on Cyle Larin that have gone up in various places over the past few months.

The one that began the project was a feature at MLSsoccer.com back in August ahead of Canada's two-legged affair with Belize.

In the process, plenty of additional stories emerged that could not be fit into that original post, which led to three more at Canadian Soccer News.

The first got into the unusual spelling of his first name, the next looked back over Canadian soccer lore for another prospect who so tantalized, and the final looked at what in his game has made his transition to the professional game so smooth.

Originally, the intent was to get this posted much closer to those pieces going up, but with a slight slump in his goal-production – they came just as he was battled a seven-match scoreless run, there was some anxiety that this overexposure was an issue.

Of course, such worry was very silly – supersitution abounds.Thankfully, Larin snapped out of that streak with a hat-trick in New York, simultaneous setting a new mark for rookie goal-scorers, finishing the season with a whopping 17 goals in 27 appearances.

Congratulations to the young Brampton-native; such an excellent way for Canada to kick off the group stage in CONCACAF Qualification.

Here are his first eleven goals:

And the rest: Record-clinching Hat-trick vs. The Red Bulls; a single vs. Montreal; and two more against NYC FC (first second).

Many thanks to all who made themselves available for interview: Patricia Larin, Bobby Smryniotis, Jason deVos, Jonathan Osorio, and Jason Bent

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: Columbus Crew – Meeting the Third at Waking the Red

Preview of today's match between Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew is up over at Waking the Red.

A big battle between two of the frontrunners for both the MVP and the Golden Boot with Sebastian Giovinco and Kei Kamara on the pitch at the same time.

Check it out

For posterity: a link to the preview of Wednesday's match against the New York Red Bulls, forgot to post it prior to the game.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: Philadelphia Union – Meeting the Third at Waking the Red

Preview of this evening's match between Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union at BMO Field went up over at Waking the Red yesterday.

A single installment of the series looks over the Union's recent form, the last meeting, projects a lineup, and highlights some patterns of play that have evolved over recent weeks.

Check it out

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: Chicago Fire – Meeting the Second at Waking the Red

A preview of Toronto FC's upcoming opponent, the Chicago Fire, ahead of Saturday's match at BMO Field is up over at Waking the Red.

Chicago are a bit of an unknown quantity at this point, what with the coaching change and their season all but officially ended. A wounded beast is never an easy foe.

Should be interesting – check it out

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: Colorado Rapids at Waking the Red

The preview of Toronto FC's upcoming opponent, the Colorado Rapids, is up over at Waking the Red.

Part One reviews their lineup and form, while Part Two hits the game film for strengths and weaknesses.

Check them out

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: New York City FC at Waking the Red

Preview of tonight's game between Toronto FC and New York City FC at Yankee Stadium is up over at Waking the Red, continuing the year-long process of updating information on TFC's upcoming opponent.

Given the insanity of the 4-4 draw in the last meeting, this one should be an interesting game. Both teams are desperate, in their own ways, and the number of games remaining is starting to get into the critical stage.

Before long, the little x's and t's will start to appear in the standings.

Check it out

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy & How You Doin'? Seattle Sounders at Waking the Red

The usual preview materials are up over at Waking the Red ahead of Toronto FC's match in Seattle against the Sounders tonight.

In Know Your Enemy, the details of the opposition are exposed. Part One looks over their lineup and form, while Part Two hits the game film for strengths and weaknesses.

In How You Doin'?, questions are exchanged with Dave Clark of sister SB Nation site, Sounder at Heart. Dave's answers can be found here, while WTR's responses are here.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Beyond POV-FS Know Your Enemy: Orlando City SC – Meeting the Third at Waking the Red

Preview of Toronto's FC upcoming opponent, Orlando City, is up over at Waking the Red, looking over their form since the last encounter, projecting a lineup, and making note of some additional strengths and weaknesses from their last few matches.

Check it out

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: New York Red Bulls – Meeting the First at Waking the Red

Preview of tonight's match between Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls is up over at Waking the Red.

Part One looks over the Red Bulls lineup and form, while Part Two hits the game film for strengths and weaknesses.

Check them out

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: Sporting KC at Waking the Red

The preview of this afternoon's match at BMO Field between Toronto FC and Sporting KC is up over at Waking the Red.

Part One delves into their lineup and form, while Part Two hits up the game film for some strengths and weaknesses.

Check them out

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: Orlando City SC – Meeting the Second at Waking the Red

Preview of Toronto FC's upcoming opponent, Orlando City, is up over at Waking the Red.

Included are a recap of their recent form, a projected lineup, details of the last meeting, and some additional strengths and weaknesses heading into the midweek encounter.

Check it out

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: New England Revolution – Meeting the Second at Waking the Red

Preview of Toronto's upcoming opponent, the New England Revolution, went up over at Waking the Red earlier this week, looking over their recent form, projected lineup, and adding some notes to the strengths and weaknesses from the past few weeks.

Check it out

Friday, 31 July 2015

Beyond POV-FS – 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Reviews at Waking the Red

Once more for posterity's sake, a collection of the daily recaps that went up over at Waking the Red tracking the 2015 Gold Cup.

Day OneDay TwoDay ThreeDay FourDay FiveDay SixDay SevenDay EightDay NineDay TenDay ElevenDay TwelveDay ThirteenDay Fourteen
Aside from the controversial refereeing amid all the FIFA and CONCACAF furore, this tournament will be remembered for the improved performances from the Caribbean sides, as Jamaica reached the final, while Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago both put in excellent displays. It will be interesting to see if they can carry that form into World Cup Qualifying.

CONCACAF is getting better. First, in recent times, it was Panama and Honduras rising to challenge the big boys (Mexico and the USA), then Costa Rica stole the headlines with a fantastic run at the 2014 World Cup, and now it is a resurgence of the islanders that has breathed fresh life into the region – thanks in part to the drafting in of various ex-pats.

Canada struggled offensively, but a solid defense will serve them well in qualifying as they aim for the Hex and beyond.

Particularly worth noting is that for the first time in a long time a game was held outside of the US, with BMO Field in Toronto the base for a pair of matches. That experiment was a success, if not as well attended as one may like. As CONCACAF continues to grow, more matches held outside the comforts of the US will only serve to better establish the legitimacy and quality of the region.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy & How You Doin' Columbus Crew at Waking the Red

The usual preview materials for Toronto FC's Saturday match is up over at Waking the Red.

Know Your Enemy digs into the opponent, Columbus Crew, reviewing their form since the last meeting in March, projecting a lineup, and considering a few of the tactics from their recent matches.

In How You Doin'?, Waking the Red exchanging questions with Pat Murphy of sister SB Nation Site, Massive Report, regarding the match – WTR's responses can be seen here.

Check them out

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy and How You Doin'? Philadelphia Union at Waking the Red

The usual preview materials went up over at Waking the Red earlier this week in preparation for Toronto FC's match on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union; their second encounter of the 2015 season.

A single installment of Know Your Enemy reviews Philadelphia's form since the last meeting at the start of May, projects a starting eleven, and highlights a few threats and avenues of attack to keep an eye out for during the match.

In How You Doin'?, WTR exchanges questions with Eugene Rupinski of SB Nation Union site The Brotherly Game ahead of Saturday.

WTR's responses can be found here.

Check them out

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: New York City FC – Meeting the Second & How You Doin'? at Waking the Red

The usual preview materials for Toronto's match away to New York City FC on Sunday went up over at Waking the Red earlier this week.

Know Your Enemy digs into the opponent, catching upon on how they have done since the last encounter and highlighting a few concerns and strategies heading into the game.

In How You Doin'?, WTR exchanges questions with SB Nation sister-site, Hudson River Blue, hitting on some of the issues surrounding both clubs at the moment.

Raf Noboa y Rivera was kind enough to spend some time giving TFC fans some insights into NYC and the minds of their fans – he can be followed on twitter @hudsonriverblue or @noboa.

Waking the Red's responses to HRB's questions can be found here

Should be an interesting match, Frank Lampard is not available, nor is Andrea Pirlo, but given the bad-blood that was sparked in the first meeting, this one should be interesting, setting up a September encounter that will be even more must-see.