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Toronto FC: The long wait is over

Oct 14, 2015 will forever be remembered as the day Toronto FC finally qualified for the MLS Playoffs for the first time since the team opened the doors at BMO eight years ago. For us here at Under The Cosh, it was the first year we came to Canada. As you can hear on our latest podcast, we’ve all shared in the ups and (mostly) downs of our second team, Toronto FC. Season after season we were told things would be different, but just like how that Corinne Bailey Rae song goes, “The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same.”

This time last year we were all lamenting the fall of Jermaine Defoe’s bloody big deal. In reality he was nothing more than a bloody big delinquent. This season, Toronto FC got a real saviour. A real marquee player. To be honest, Toronto and MLS got the best season out of any player in MLS, EVER! This is not bias, nor even the result of hysteria. It is pure fact. Sebastian Giovinco’s record of 22 goals and 12 assists is the best goals/assists ratio ever seen in MLS. His goals have also been spectacular. At least half of the goals that will eventually make the season’s top ten list will be the Italian’s. He has almost single-handedly dragged his team from the depths of despair into dreamland.

For far too long Toronto FC had this goal from Danny Dichio as it’s proudest moment. The first goal scored at BMO Field almost 8 years ago.

Fans threw their seat covers on to the pitch in delirium after waiting weeks for the club’s first goal. I’ve heard countless stories from fans who were there that day. MLS was shocked that Canadians embraced football as they did and could be as passionate as they were. To be fair to Toronto FC and its Red Patch Boys, eight years on and with an average attendance of about 20,000 per game, Toronto FC has been an example of loyal support. These supporters have deserved so much more than the years of heartbreak and mediocrity.

Toronto FC needed just one point from their remaining three games to qualify but they didn’t sit back and play for a draw. The New York Red Bulls came to town and probably didn’t expect to face the focused, committed and resilient team they played today.

Hercules Gomez profited from a defensive blunder to put the reds up 1-0. He played ever so well, but after what Sebastian Giovinco did, even he won’t care. The diminutive Italian only arrived back in Canada after European Qualification duty three hours prior to kickoff. He practically begged manager Greg Vanney to let him play. Yet again he proved why he’s the most obvious candidate for MVP in any league in any sport since Michael Jordan retired from basketball in 1998. As a result of Giovinco’s genius, Toronto FC have finally topped that Danny Dichio moment. The Atomic Ant ignored jet-lag and fatigue to come off the bench and seal playoff qualification with a goal that set social media ablaze.

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It’s the best goal of the season, the best goal ever seen at BMO and one of the most meaningful goals the league has ever witnessed.

If you’re a Toronto FC fan, this is what heaven must feel like. The Toronto Blue Jays ended their own playoff drought and added to that achievement by coming back from the dead to win their series. We can only hope Toronto FC take a leaf (pun intended) out of the Blue Jays book and advance to the second round. In fact, they can earn a first round bye if they maintain this form and finish in the Eastern conference top-two. Who would’ve believed that at the start of the season?

This is for the loyal Red Patch Boys. Eight years of despair are finally over and this is what it means. Grazie Giovinco!

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