TFC 2013

The Company of Strangers

Matias Laba is here to stay. The others, not so much.

A month has passed since the last post here. Watching TFC through another agonizing period of ineptitude wore me down. It filled me with dread. That only got worse on game days.

More painful still, I’ve seen it all before. I have already written about it here before too. New coach. New system. New players. No cohesion. No luck. Plague of late conceded goals.

It felt like a burden to keep commenting on the same story Groundhog Daying over and over again. The “plus ça change” adage is no comfort. 

Like many around me at BMO, nothing like this season has kept me from watching and going. So, here I am, toughing it out alongside many many others. Close to my seats there is a solid core of us who have held season seats since 2007. At least we can morbidly commiserate about shared suffering.

Things are bad for the Reds now. But not really worse than what has come before. No logic can explain why hope is still alive. But it is.

The team sometimes looks better than terrible. TFC’s most recent slide through winlessness makes it hard to appreciate. The Reds, however, are not rotten and irredeemable.

The new regime and roster have potential. There’s still room in TFC’s season to hope for a revival. Their season’s second half could bring the team closer to respectability. Forget the playoffs. Please. More than ten wins this year would be an enormous accomplishment.

Of course, it was last weekend’s victory which roused me to write again.

TFC seized their road win from an own goal off the head of their opponents. And I cheered. I was alone in front of the TV. I let go for a while. Lucky breaks have been few and far between this season.

Easy Come, Easy Go

TFC’s player-go-round just keeps on spinning. A few guys stick around. Lots of guys I liked are gone. Guys I don’t know come and go.

With a transfer window approaching, there’s only one safe bet. There’re more changes ahead. More players out, more in. The starting roster will see more churn. Forget chemistry and creativity, we’ll be lucky if they can recognize each other.

TFC’s past campaigns prove that constant turmoil and turnover never really work out well. The core of talent on the field needs consistency to achieve reliable results. Sadly, this isn’t Ryan Nelsen’s luxury. He and Kevin Payne have to ride out 2013 just like the rest of us.

It looks like the 2013 Reds might duplicate the title for the most players played on the roster of any MLS team. At least it’s a record we own.

We have to hope Tim Leiweke, MLSE’s new President, will give Payne and Nelsen enough time (3-5 years) to actually build and groom a team. No other management regime has succeeded in that task. Without that coherency, we should expect little of the Reds.

For the rest of the year, I’m trying to embrace the flux and flow. Maybe we can start an ‘adopt a new Red’ program, to help the guys adjust to their (short) stay in Toronto.

Gameday Prediction

Houston 2  –  1 Toronto FC


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