TFC Advances to MLS Cup Final

I never played soccer as a kid. I think everyone did but me. It just wasn't a part of my childhood.

As an adult I started getting into high profile soccer events, like the World Cup, but that was it. It's not like we had a Canadian team I could get behind. Soccer may have been the world's game, but it sure wasn't mine.

When Toronto was awarded an MLS franchise, I snickered. Check out this snark from 2007. I figured the team would be gone in 5-10 years.

But then I attended a match at BMO Field. My buddy Elvis took me to a game against the LA Galaxy. We were in the supporters' section and it was unlike anything I had ever seen in my life. It completely won me over.

TFC logo

Fast forward to 2016 and I've tuned in to watch every single playoff game. I just watched us beat Montreal to win the Eastern Conference and advance to the MLS Cup final and it was glorious. What a match!

Bring on the Seattle Sounders on December 10. Let's finish this thing we've started. Go Reds!


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Comments (24 - click here to join in!)

dale (Bolton)

Same as you Mike. Never played & hated watching it. Would tune into odd World Cup game (not match) in the past.
I must admit the last 2-3 weeks TFC has changed my appreciation for the game.
I watched the complete game & it was thrilling throughout.
Yes a bandwagon jumper as it's time for Toronto to see a Major league team win in TO.
Predict that the TFC game Dec. 10th will be watched by more than HNIC as on same time.

November 30, 2016 @ 10:23 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@dale

I don't think so... although TFC should break a million.

I'm very curious what the ratings look like for tonight's match.

November 30, 2016 @ 10:34 PM

McNulty

I am not a soccer fan. My friends were when I was growing up and I have a friend who has been a TFC Season ticket holder since day one.

I am happy for the fans and the team. It looks great for the city as well.

Now.....please...please..please...explain why Fred is so angry? I don't get the hate. Why does he have to say the CFL has class and TFC is so horrible? I don't get the disdain.

December 1, 2016 @ 9:03 AM

James Edgar

I watched part of the Game last night at the pub where my Riding club meets Wednesdays .

I'm a bit of a bandwagon jumper like so many others as least as far as TFC and MLS is concerned.

What I saw was pretty entertaining , I'm not sure it was good football due to my Brazilian friends comment that MLS was like watching 12 year olds in Brazil and my unfamiliarity with the subtleties of the game. But it looked like the crowd was having a blast and not one TV was on the leaf game (Note may not have been on TV? ) at the pub which while not going nuts for TFC was definitely interested and excited when they scored.

All in all it's great to see TFC heading for the final.

As for Freddie P , like a lot of Argo Fans he's pissed that TFC has surpassed them in popularity and like a lot of Canadians can't stand what looks like guys falling down for nothing. I didn't see much of that last night , in fact we were joking that the europeans who were playing here do so due to their lack of skill in that area.

Personally I wish the Argos were in a better place myself but when the team sucks and management is crap , what can you expect?

December 1, 2016 @ 9:29 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@James Edgar

Leafs were on TV, but it was a 9pm start.

Raps were on too, because I flipped over to watch them win after the TFC match.

December 1, 2016 @ 9:36 AM

Ryan G

Last night's match was the best soccer game I've ever seen! An electric atmosphere, exciting end to end action and a perfect ending for the good guys. My wife and I were glued to the tv and were buzzing from start to finish. After the game we talked about how great the victory was not just for the team, but the whole city and it felt like a clinching game in Jays or Raptors playoffs. So, this morning, she sent me an email as soon as she got to work, saying she was going online now to TFC's website, asking me if I wanted to get tickets to the final!! "So, what do you think!!?" , she asked.

Meh.

December 1, 2016 @ 9:37 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The old joke when I was growing up was that soccer was always nil - nil.

Those two games against Montreal produced 12 goals. The NHL could learn something about scoring from that!

December 1, 2016 @ 10:18 AM

Ryan G

I remember I went to some Toronto Blizzard games at the CNE. There were 84 people there most of the time. I think one year they signed a geriatric player from Juventus or something, so average attendance spiked to 91 the following season.

I would go to the MLS final if a helicopter picked me up and dropped me off, and my beer was comp'd. Otherwise i'll just watch the game with a group of people at a bar or a friend's place since he charges only $8 for king cans of Bud.

December 1, 2016 @ 10:33 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ryan G

I remember the Blizzard!

I'd love to be at this game December 10. I remember how fun and rambunctious the crowd is for a regular season game in May, I can't imagine what it will be like for the finals.

A full house on their feet and singing and chanting in unison... crazy.

December 1, 2016 @ 10:39 AM

Steve

Welcome to the bandwagon.

The ratings for leg one last week set an MLS record-high in Canada. I imagine last night's game eclipsed that record.

December 1, 2016 @ 11:10 AM

mrmojorisinca

Very Happy.
First Toronto Playoff Final in a long time, who would have thought it would be Soccer :)
GO TFC :)

December 1, 2016 @ 11:48 AM

m m

I was at the game last night. What a rush! I never screamed so much for any Toronto team, and that includes during the 1992 and 1993 Blue Jays wins. I'm still slowly getting my voice back. I grew up in a soccer-mad country, and I have been a fan on and off for most of my life. I have many memorable games, mostly watching on TV with a 6- or more hour difference, but last night was the best game that I watched live, in terms of crowd atmosphere and players' hearts. The supporters' section, where I was, was going nuts. What a feeling! I'm definitely going to the final.
Speaking of quality, it's not Euro or South American level. But the game was definitely good, and the goals were hard-fought. Of course it helps if your teams wins. You hockey fans will know that it was extra special because it was against Montreal.

December 1, 2016 @ 12:43 PM

Ben

Being a massive soccer fan who has been to the world cup and the euro cup, this was an event not to miss. I was lucky enough to get tickets through ticketmaster and in hindsight it was one of the best ticket purchase decisions I've made this year.

For the first time attending a TFC game felt like going to a european soccer match. Everyone was standing and cheering. Booing and awwing at bad calls by the refs.

The rain didn't have anyone deterred. People just bundled up and had their beers, stomped the stands and sand together. Other than having to deal with the guys on the go train who felt the game was still going on yelling the entire train ride back to Oakville I didn't have a complaint.

The see saw back and forth during the game was fantastic. High scoring game, with an end result that was neither guaranteed and at some points seemed like it would go the other way.

I look forward to attending the finals.

@McNulty: Fred has shit all over TFC for years. I think he predicted on his blog the team would fold within 10 years or something? Fred doesn't understand soccer and he turn just doesn't like it so Toronto FC could go undefeated all year and he'd still say it sucks. With that said nothing sucked more than the attendance at the Grey Cup in comparison to last nights game.

With regards to class I think he believes soccer is full of hooligans. It's not a fair comparison because most of the CFL fans have to make sure they get home to have their prune juice before going to bed so they can get up for the early bird special. It's also tough to be a rebel rouser when when running is difficult if you have a walker or while your hands are in your sweater pockets trying to fish out the last werthers original.

I guess it all boils down to taste on sports, but Fred has blinders on in regards to the TFC.

December 1, 2016 @ 2:21 PM

elvis

What a night.

I've been a season seat holder since the first kickoff so last night was extraordinarily special. What a game. What a great feeling.

I wish the Argos no harm, they have their place (just not at BMO Field but that's another topic) and both sports can co-exist.

But last night was our night. A night for the ages. It'll be even better on the 10th. All For One.

December 1, 2016 @ 3:14 PM

Rob J

@Elvis

Thought of you during the proceedings last night. Congrats!

December 1, 2016 @ 3:22 PM

elvis

Thanks Rob. I'm still on a high.

December 1, 2016 @ 3:25 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@elvis

Who got your second seat last night?

December 1, 2016 @ 3:27 PM

Daniel

I don't see a comment from Fred, maybe it was deleted?

I love soccer. I watch EPL on Saturday mornings, catch a European soccer game whenever I am there. I lived in Brasil and played soccer every week under the lights in Sao Paulo. I love soccer

I can't watch MLS. Soccer played well is a beautiful game. Soccer played poorly is extremely difficult to watch IMO. and to me MLS soccer is played poorly. So I can't watch. So I don't watch. But I don't attack people who watch TFC, I just don't watch it

The only thing that bugs me is the notion from TFC that the argos shouldn't play at BMO for cosmetic reasons. I don't watch the argos. But it feels like TFC fans are just being bullies for no reason.

December 1, 2016 @ 3:56 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Daniel

Fred's comment was not deleted. He never posted one. His anti-TFC rants were on Twitter, although I see he deleted most of them.

December 1, 2016 @ 4:05 PM

elvis

@Daniel - it's a question of field integrity. While the grounds crew did an amazing job getting that pitch fixed after the Grey Cup in three days for the game last night, they did so in spite of the odds. Every once and a while that's fine but in the medium to long term, that pitch will not survive. BMO Field was built as a soccer specific stadium and the fans would like to see it that way.

That said, it's a complicated issue since BMO is owned by the City and thus, not in 100% control of the club.

December 1, 2016 @ 5:39 PM

Sid_V

@Elvis, BMO was built on the condition that it be a multi-sport stadium. This is fact, and you can look it up.

The fact of the matter is, if it was in any way important to TFC that the stadium be soccer-only, MLSE could buy the damned stadium for the equivalent of pocket change in their world, and have 100% control. The fact they choose not to shows that accommodating the Argos is not a concern to TFC from either a grounds crew or competitive perspective. It is only the thin-skinned (or insecure?) fans who keep harping on it.

TFC is having their best season ever, and will be playing for the championship in a few days. Ithe would be nice to see their fans (not aimed at you btw) enjoying their run instead of wasting their time on insecure sniping about the Double Blue. It is such typical Toronto behaviour (as best exemplified by the Toronto Star) to be completely focused on perceived slights while missing all the great stuff happening at the same time.

December 1, 2016 @ 10:59 PM

Wally

@Sid_V

I've done my fair share of putting the Argos down but for the most part I do agree with you, enjoy your own team and don't shit on others.

One complaint I do have that relates to the Argos but really involves all sports in Toronto is the time spent on the various sports in the media. In my opinion the dialog on sports radio and sport highlight shows are disproportional to the popularity of the sports. This recent surge by TFC and forcing the soccer conversation onto various radio shows has truly shown me those individuals that are sports fans, and those individuals that watch one or two sports. If you host a general sports talk show, you shouldn't have the away-goals rule explained to you every segment (Naylor).

December 2, 2016 @ 4:39 PM

Sid_V

The endless panel discussions about hockey are tough to take, even for a Maple Leafs fan. I find the NFL coverage equally mind-numbing. I would rather hear some intelligent discussion (in small blocks) about TFC, international/amateur sports where Canada has a presence, or even friggin' tennis or golf.

I have been giving this some serious thought today, and I am convinced that the turf at BMO has been better this year than it would have been without the Argos. There has been significant cash spent on heaters, turf farms, and equipment to maintain the field, a ton of research by MLSE into best practices at other facilities worldwide, and most of all a great grounds crew aware that they would be under scrutiny all year and supremely motivated to prove they can deliver. It is probably time to congratulate that crew on doing a great job. (Or maybe wait until after December 10, then do it.)

December 2, 2016 @ 5:49 PM

stephen

Been a supporter of MLS since 1996, a couple of college teammates played for DC & Tampa.
I have watched a lot of MLS games in Columbus, DC & Chicago, pre TFC.
I immediately became a season's ticket holder, but after season 3, I tired of the incompetence.

Was at BMO in section 117, in 2010 for 1st MLS Cup in Toronto, when Colorado beat FC Dallas.

Also attended MLS drafts, more so because they became part of the annual NSCAA conventions.

Always try and attend a few matches each season.

Met some great "football people" during those first 3 seasons, and it is through the graciousness of one of those great friends that I have the opportunity to watch history on December 10th.

I'll say this about TFC supporters, they are genuine, especially those in the south end that have been there since day 1!

The atmosphere is also very genuine.
I've been to derby's in Scotland (Rangers v Celtic); in England (Liverpool v Everton; Arsenal v Chelsea; Man City v Man U) and in Italy (Juventus v Inter).
What happens in the stands, from the supporters at BMO, is not that much different from the derbys that I've attended - different languages, different culture, different accents, but the passion and the atmosphere is not much different. It's great game.

The beautiful game.

December 2, 2016 @ 6:30 PM

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