The final whistle was barely audible last night at BMO field, even if there were only a little over 18,000 fans in attendance. Even before Toronto FC's nine year playoff drought was officially over the celebrations had already started. It was an intimate atmosphere, but it was no less delirious.
Toronto's south end, where the most loyal of supporters have dwelled and suffered over the past nine years, was more alive with celebration than it has ever been. They, more than anyone, understood how much this moment meant for a team that has been so bad for so long.
After the final whistle blew most players celebrated, but considering the roster turnover that this club has underwent, very few players understood the full extent of the moment's significance. One of the few was Jonathan Osorio, which created this special moment for a player who was once in the stands himself.
Osorio had an assist on Sebastian Giovinco's incredible goal that secured a 2-1 win for Toronto FC, and was named man of the match. He is shown here celebrating with Toronto supporters after the match's conclusion.
In attendance as well for the match was a Toronto FC legend, who has done plenty of the legwork to get the club here even if he could not be on the field for the moment himself. Dwayne De Rosario retired earlier this year as Toronto FC's all time leading goalscorer, but he remains as enthusiastic about his hometown club as ever.
He was in the stands on Wednesday night, and watching him take in a special moment for his city and his club was nothing short of special. Like Osorio, De Ro is one who truly understood what this moment meant, not only for Toronto FC but for the league in general.
Several others weighed in on social media, congratulating the club for their accomplishment. Among them was the man who got the party started at BMO Field all those years ago. Even in the dark times, it has never really stopped.
At last!! Congrats to all the players/coaching staff/office staff and more importantly the fans who have stuck by us throughout!#MLSPLAYOFFS— Danny Dichio (@DannyDichio) October 15, 2015
To this day supporters still sing Danny Dichio's name in the 24th minute of each match, a tribute to the man who scored the club's first ever goal. Yesterday, there was finally a goal that could compete with his in terms of its meaning for the club, when Giovinco scored the playoff clinching goal late in the second half.
There were several reactions to Giovinco's goal, but perhaps none better than a former Toronto FC striker, Andrew Wiedeman. Wiedeman has scored a few big goals for the club before, including a sentimental one in a 2-1 come from behind win over the Columbus Crew in 2013. But even he was impressed by Giovinco's abilities.
I need to get me some of that jet lag @torontofc— Andrew Wiedeman (@awiedeman3) October 15, 2015
Wiedeman was talking about the incredible journey that GIovinco took to even get to the stadium yesterday. The atomic ant got off the plane from Rome,Italy at just 3:45 PM and made his way to the stadium for 7:00 PM kickoff. He was substituted on in the 71st minute and made an instant impact with his goal.
The moment earned him praise from yet another Major League Soccer legend, American international Landon Donovan. Having been to BMO Field as a player several times in his career, Donovan was happy to finally see the fans rewarded for their patience.
Congrats @torontofc !!! A fan base that truly deserves it. Giovinco is my new hero btw https://t.co/k6UAFibTpd— Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) October 15, 2015
Last night's celebrations. however, were unfortunately best put into perspective by a tweet from Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.
Man and @torontofc going to the playoffs too!! It's a great time for Toronto and the country of Canada— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) October 15, 2015
There sure was a lot of "and Toronto FC" last night on social media, as TFC's history victory was overshadowed by the incredible feat of the crosstown Toronto Blue Jays. While the Blue Jays took over the front page, Toronto FC was confined to a footnote in most sports sections.
It was still a night to celebrate, however, and this short and well put together, video from Toronto FC played after the final whistle sounded will provide the soundtrack for the night for many supporters.