TFC 2010 | Week#29

MLSE’s Mea Culpa


And Other Unlikely Outcomes

Don’t take my relative silence over the past few weeks/months as a lack of interest or a sense of defeat. It’s just been a stunning run since mid-summer, when Toronto FC and this franchise seemed full of promise.

Sure, the team’s performance after the World Cup break was one of ever diminishing potency. And the off-field drama eventually eclipsed the story playing out with the games on the pitch. But in August, the team was close to catching the NY Red Bulls for second place in the East. The playoffs seemed a reasonable expectation. The optimists out there might have even seen hope that the Reds would be in the final – a game awarded to our city whether or not TFC made the post-season.

Today marks the final home game of the 2010 season. Weather looks promising. The stands will likely be full for a contest against rivals the Columbus Crew, a team TFC has never beaten. And the struggle between supporters and the MLSE looks to be the more unpredictable of the competitions taking place at BMO this afternoon.

It’s been a wild week in the realm of Toronto FC. The club’s owner, MLSE, issued apologies to season seat holders. They even readjusted the 2011 ticket package, pushing the price down. And sent out notice that it would hold town hall style meetings with the fan base. Seriously. All it took this time was MLSE getting excoriated in the national press – again. All it took was being held to account for being a greedy money-grabbing corporation, uncaring about its teams’ capacity for winning.

Raptors and Leafs fans can shrug here. Again. What else is new, right? And yet, in the case of Toronto FC, MLSE seems to be trying to care. Now.

Sadly, Toronto FC have been in a losing skid. Just to add insult to injury. Lots of excuses can be found for this impotence. Bottom line, however, is that the Reds have looked bad. Much worse than anyone would have expected. As other clubs focused on the finale and improved their game, Toronto FC dove off a cliff without a chute. Forget the playoffs.

Now it looks like TFC will finish with their worst season record ever. Each of the final matches has been an exercise in self-flagelation. Don’t expect that to change soon. The team has been caught standing hang-dog, taking each whipping like they deserve it. Ugly indeed.

Protests are planned in the supporters sections. Look for green on their bodies today, as they use that colour to protest MLSE’s singular care for hard currency. Go ahead. Kick the corporation while it’s down. It appears they may even care what you think too.

Me, I’m going to be hoping to see DeRo score a few today. Maybe he’ll celebrate by mock-signing his own transfer papers in the air. Who knows, he still could win the golden boot scoring title this year. And what would spite his critics and the team’s losing ways more than that ironic outcome? At least that drama would be played out on the pitch.

Oh well, too bad he’s sitting out a yellow card suspension today. Maybe he can rack up four goals next week in DC.

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