TORONTO -- Ah, the sweet sight of football across my television screen is the perfect ending to my day. This match makes up for the missing of the Barcelona match from last night, due to work.
This Real Madrid v. Toronto FC match saw the debut of newly acquired Kaka. The team reportedly spent over $300 million to assemble this new lethal team determined to finish in the top spot and earn some shiny trophies along the way.
Toronto, on the other hand, was fatigued from their three games in seven days schedule, coupled with their recent loss to Puerto Rico. Add into the mix a rookie goalkeeper between the poles, trying to stop the likes of Kaka, Ronaldo, or Raul.
A crowd of over 20,000 (even Steve Nash and Chris Bosh were there!) watched as their beloved Toronto team fell 5-1 to Real, but I'm sure they knew a little beating was coming.
I mean, c'mon, it is Real Madrid.
Below is my condensed version of the game seeing as how I have a short attention span. This is in no way what a real sports journalist would write; then again, a real sports journalist I am not.
I watched happily as Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul, and Kaka put on a nice display of why they are great in their own ways. The passes, the flicks, and the thought process were mind-blowing; well, at least mine was blown.
It only took 12 minutes for Raul to easily strike first due to a blown cleared ball from the defense.
The "$162 Million Dollar Man" Ronaldo scored less than ten minutes later on a lovely play. He headed the ball to #19 who passed it quickly back to Ronaldo who finished rather nicely with a simple kick in to score goal number two.
I think a hat-trick was on Raul's mind after he scored again (he ended the game with two goals, so no trick for him). Madrid was taking a corner kick, which headed over most of the cluster of players. Raul Albiol passes the ball in; someone whom I forgot headed the ball to Raul who finished the play, of course.
All the while, Toronto looked a little winded, tired, frustrated, all of the above. I'm sure their schedule left them already tired, but the defense and offense was just not there in the first half. They didn't attempt many goals and blew great opportunities.
While Toronto couldn't produce some good attacks, Kaka had multiple, though unsuccessful, attempts to put one past the keeper. One was high and wide and the other had a bad first touch.
The first half was all Madrid, leading 3-0 at half-time. They had ten shot attempts against Toronto's measly two.
The second half was a bit better for the Toronto team. Kaka was subbed out, but both Raul and Ronaldo remained, much to the crowd's and the announcers' surprise. Both keepers left the game. This was just another reason I despise preseason games.
Toronto came out attacking and managed to scrap together some goal attempts. They looked more active and alive.
What I noticed about Ronaldo at this time because my mind began to wander, was that he didn't dive and complain as much as I'm used to seeing him do. He always played all out the whole time he was in, despite it being a preseason match or that they were up by a nice margin. Kudos to you Ronaldo.
And Toronto's Marvell Wynne is crazy; that speed could kill and he hustles for every ball. I'm sure even No. 9 was surprised with his speed.
Anyway, back to the game. Madrid ended up scoring more goals much to nobody's surprise. The second half, to me, wasn't as much fun as the first. The lead plus no Kaka was kind of a downside, but it was good nonetheless. It seemed a tad more even.
At 62', Ronaldo and Raul came out, with applause from the crowd. Probably the same people who paid to watch Madrid train the day before. Soon after, Madrid gets another tally on the board.
Alvaro Negredo worked hard to get around his defender, and just as the ball looks like it's going out, passed it to Karim Benzema who finished the job.
Negrado did a nice little flick, only to fall and have the ball smacked in his face. It looked painful and he left the game. But he's okay, don't worry guys.
Don't blink at the 75' mark, or you would have missed the Toronto's goal. Of course, ESPN loves replays so you could have watched those, but it's not the same right? Anyway, the first attempt was blocked, but the ball rebounded off the keeper's hands. Gabe Gala battled against a Madrid player, earning him the team's only goal. My thought after "Man, it's about time" was "Wow, he's so young looking."
Madrid scored once more at the 85' from a quality play. Arjen Robben had a nice diagonal cut to get away from his defender, did a little fancy footwork around the keeper, topping it off with a chip in goal.
All this Madrid excitement got me all pumped up for the upcoming season when they start playing for points.
Toronto, you were an honorable opponent and played a decent game. Hey, at least you scored, right? Right. So rest and get ready for the next game.
Real Madrid, best of luck this season. Here's one fan who will be watching to see if all these spending will pay off.
Until another game.