Toronto FC came out in their normal 4-3-3 lineup against Chicago minus Danny Koevermans and Nick Soolsma. Crossing has been a huge inconsistency for Toronto which makes it even more perplexing as to why they keep doing it. According to @OptaJack, TFC are attempting the most crosses by any team in 2012.
118 - Coming into this week's play, Toronto had attempted the most crosses in MLS 2012 (118). Wide. #MLS #TORvCHI— OptaJack (@OptaJack) April 21, 2012
Toronto attempted 30 crosses from open play against the Fire, completing just 5 of them. The problem isn’t the number of crosses – it’s who’s taking them. Out of 25 unsuccessful crosses, TFC’s three forwards were responsible for 18 (image below) and 4 of the 5 successful crosses. Koevermans and Johnson are TFC’s best options in the air. So if Johnson is crossing and Koevermans is out, who (from TFC) is going to get on the end of these crosses?
Before this past Saturday’s game against the Chicago Fire, Toronto had conceded ten goals while netting just two. They’ve missed some sitters (6 Big Chances Fluffed) – Ryan Johnson and Danny Koevermans with 3 each – so the opportunities are there. With Koevermans and Soolsma out, Reggie Lambe has stepped up.
Lambe is listed as a midfielder in FS: M for $7.5m. He might not have another game like he did against Chicago anytime soon, but he’s providing a nice spark for a struggling squad. In his last 3 games he’s had 7 key passes (three equals a point), so if he continues getting regular minutes up top, there may be potential value in a TFC striker after all.