Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to mourn/celebrate the passing of Toronto FC's 2013 season. It's not a time of sadness, we all knew this was coming, it's been a long struggle and really, this is for the best. The suffering is finally over, we're all in a better place now. But let's take a moment to remember all we've been through, the good and bad in the life of this tortured season. So please join me in raising a glass.
To winning in the dome, to Robert Earnshaw in March, to Tobias, and Tobias and Tobias and Tobias, an unmarked Jack, Mack and Ernie, to falling over in the box in Colorado and to Jack, Mack and Ernie unmarked in the box again. To a midseason improvement, a come from behind win against Columbus, a two game win streak. To a dedo gordo fracturado and a lot more losing. To special announcements and major announcements. To that ever spinning revolving door. To DC United and Jim Brennan's 100% coaching record. To more points and wins than last year (thanks D.C). To another year tidily ended as quickly as possible.
To thousands in the big O, to a Mayday massacre, to 3-3 (even Brockie scored), and to a last day win and an almost successful Operation Tic Tac.
We also said goodbye to many old friends this year, so please join me in pouring one out for the homies. For Big Joao, Eric Hassli and Torsten Frings. For Quincy Amarikwa, and Little Matty Stinson. For Terry Fucking Dunfield! For Logan Emory, Darren O'Dea and Luis Silva. And get ready to pour one out for Danny Koevermans, Richard Eckersley and Stefan Frei.
Pour one out for Asif, Paul Beirne, Earl Cochrane and Tom Fucking Anselmi. Yeah, fuck you Tom!
There were also those whose time with us was tragically short, gone before we really had a chance to appreciate them. So pour one out for Julio Cesar, for Ashtone Bennett and Taylor Morgan. For John Bostock, Hogan Ephraim and Jeremy Brockie. For super scout Danny Califf. For Maximiliano Urruti. And for the one who left before he even got here, Tal Ben Haim.
For Kevin Payne. The red thread did not bind him, the Inukshuk merely pointed to the shining light of the door marked exit.
But of course as he takes away, the Lord also giveth and the circle of life brought many new people to us. Light up a cigar to welcome Kyle Bekker and Emery Welshman and Manuel Aparicio. Welcome Gale Agbossoumonde and Justin Braun, Robert Earnshaw, Darel Russell and Ryan Richter, Chris Konopka, Bobby Convey, Alvaro Rey and Bright Dike and, supposedly, Michael Thomas and Jonas Elmer. Welcome and give thanks for Steven Caldwell, Matias Laba, Joe Bendik and Jonathan Osorio. May we treat them all better than we treated all our previous favourite toys. And of course, the most important of all, Al O'Cation-Monet.
Welcome also to Big Tim and his visions of DP's and $100m roofs, but no turf, no nay never! Also shake some maracas for Little Tim. Bez, the capologist, the numbers wonk. No doubt this time we have it right.
Finally welcome to Ryan Nelsen. Though he devolved from sweater vest to tracksuit, he always kept the faith, TFC were never the worst team, the boys always played well, denied only by bad luck and those damn refs. Next year we truly will be terrifying.
Thanks to all who came and honestly tried, and thanks to all the fans. If you're still here and still paying attention and caring at this point, well this club doesn't deserve you, so a big cheers to you all.
There have of course been some moments of great, usually unintentional comedy to lighten the mood somewhat, it just wouldn't be a TFC season without a lot of facepalming and some great new catchphrases, let's enjoy it all again.
There was the time they leaked their own new kit.
There was shining lights, the red thread, inukshuks, the king club and all the heritage nights you can think of.
"Tal Ben Haim has been one of the top defenders in the EPL for nearly a decade." But he's not actually coming. Oops.
Diego Forlan, but not Diego Forlan.
That special friendly against AS Roma and a vocal minority that should just get used to it.
There was the revelation by Richard Peddie of TFC's guiding philosophy, 'a nice little job for him to learn stuff by.'
And of course the story of The disgruntled ex-mayor who should have to pay double.
"Fullbacks in this league don't get paid a lot of money. But I'm not some ordinary fullback," - Richard Eckersley Ladies and Gentleman.
So now we can finally relax, put out of our misery we now merely wait to see what the January transfer window brings us, and just exactly when it will get here. I'm sure we'll be here again this time next year with a whole new list of torments and tribulations, head shaking moments and quotes, whole new ways they embarrassed us all, and maybe , just maybe some good memories, but for now we say goodbye, so raise your glass one last time.
To 2013 TFC: Goodbye and good riddance.