TFC 2011 | Week#16

Thrice is nice

Gargan-tuan Moment

Emotional Rollercoaster

Saturday’s victory over the Whitecaps produced a rare exuberance at BMO Field. In years past, such outbursts were more common. And they were offered for much less in the realm of achievements. Then came 2011.

It’s been one dominant emotional theme this season: the bummer. Lots of not-winning has a way of getting to you. First you deny, then comes the anger, which turns into bargaining followed by depression. Eventually, it’s all replaced by acceptance: “It’s our fifth ‘re-building season in a row.”

Perhaps it’s because we just haven’t won much at all this year. Perhaps it’s because we beat Vancouver. Saturday’s victory was especially satisfying. It wasn’t just the win. It was how Toronto FC won.

Above all, it was a hard fought contest with the kinds of ups and downs that make for great spectating.

As has frequently been the case, TFC had an edge in the run of play but ultimately gave up the first goal. Then by some bad luck and good defending/goalkeeping (along with some bad officiating) the Whitecaps managed to escape the first half holding onto that 1-0 lead. As fate would have it, the Reds found their way back.

They played with more hunger and intensity than we’ve seen in past months. And they were rewarded with two goals in the second half. They also managed to hold it together on a back line that featured a midfielder and a fullback playing the central defending roles by game’s end.

With the final minutes ticking away, fans agonized as the ‘Caps pressed and the Reds retreated. It was sweet mercy to hear that whistle ending the match. And the cathartic celebration was underway.

Who are ya?

A month from now, when the next stage of the Champion’s League begins, TFC may be a very different team. With two new Designated Players under contract, the Reds may start to play football that justifies the term ‘Champion’. Even if the side cannot rise to the occasion, the victory over Vancouver is likely to satisfy many fans for a few weeks.

A playoff run seems unlikely, but a renewed ‘fight’ and a few new ringers might just be enough to get us through a couple rounds of Champion’s play. Sure, TFC might still struggle to earn enough points for MLS honours, but the Voyageurs Cup entitles the Reds to another competition. And, it just might be some salvation in 2011 to see Toronto FC move forward in that realm.

As for Vancouver, they had their chance.  And they blew it. Ahh the justice. Could we have hoped for sweeter vengeance after the 4-2 drubbing they gave us on opening day? I think not.

Comments are closed.