TFC 2013

Wake Me When it is Over

2013 Season here already? Yawn…

Forgive my silence these past few months. The 2012 Toronto FC campaign left me with a bit of a hangover. Then, just as the new year ticked over all hell broke loose. Straight up until today, TFC has been in a state of flux. I kept waiting for some stability and suggestion that the ship was shape. But it still hasn’t happened.

And boy are they cramming this week to try and top up the player tank prior to this year’s First Kick. I’m sure these deals have been in the works for a while. From the outside, though, it looks like they drove down to the border and rounded up anyone that could sneak in with a pair of boots and red warm-ups.

Yet again, we supporters must bear witness to the comprehensive conversion of the organization and team into an entirely new version. Is anyone counting? I’m calling this one 8.0. Does it even matter anymore?

This ain’t no plate of Marinated Winterized leftovers, either, GrandMaster Payne has Toronto FC in a full Nelsen. And with the all the last minute inking of contracts, there are a long list of names and faces to start learning. Again. We’ll see how the new crop of imports, call-ups, draftees and returnees fare as a squad.

Once more, the expectations bar must be set low. Really low.

Tomorrow, a bunch of strangers will congregate in red uniforms on a field in Vancouver and a new season will be born. I’m a bit skeptical about how hard I should study this new roster. By mid-season, when the Euro-seasons are over and the transfer window opens again, there will likely be another injection of new talent. And if Nellie-Payne can beat the hex on TFC management, there will likely be another decent shake-up before the 2014 chase begins.

One thing I’m already tired of is the supporter (and journalist) hyperbole about the Reds making the playoffs this season or else. Really? Come on. Not finishing last in the East would be a huge accomplishment. Not finishing last overall is a more reasonable goal.

This is another rebuilding year. Finally, perhaps, MLSE may actually get it right. In about three seasons, we should get a clear picture of how this experiment is faring.

But let’s be clear, 2013 is not a playoff season in the making.

Maybe, possibly, if the stars align so that luck and talent fall into BMO Field by the bucket-load, TFC might have a respectable season. That would mean they stay competitive through the summer and make a chase for a spot in the post-season. It could happen. But it doesn’t HAVE to happen. And probably it won’t.

I’m not being pessimistic.  I just don’t understand the hysteria about making the playoffs again – just because it has never happened before. Get over it.

Not one Reds supporter can be faulted for feeling impatient. The entire history of our team has been a massive debacle. At least the Maple Leafs had some glory before they became a cash cow of competitive impotence. TFC fans, however, really need to take a few deep breaths and try to relax this year. It may be bitter medicine – again – but we have no choice, we have to swallow it. Maybe you’re ready to cheer for the Whitecaps or the Impact. That’s your call.

Unlike the groundhogs this year, I don’t think this year’s cold doldrums will end early. I’m tempted to settle back into the den and hibernate some more. Wake me mid-July, when the transfer window opens again.



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