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Celebrations Subdued for Toronto FC After Big Win at BMO Field

A first ever playoff spot looks inevitable after a 3-1 win for Toronto FC today at BMO Field, but the club sees it as only a step along the way towards their ultimate goal.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

There was not a drop of champagne in the Toronto FC dressing room after today's match. Considering the hyperbolic Toronto Blue Jays celebrations still fresh in the mind of the city, the contrast between BMO Field and the Rogers Centre was obvious. Vanney took a little bit longer before addressing the media after the match, that was the only abnormality.

The situation didn't call for it, Toronto still hadn't officially clinched a playoff spot at that point, they had to wait for a match between Orlando and Montreal later in the day, and therefore celebration would be premature.

However, even if tonight's 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union had clinched Toronto a playoff spot an extravagant celebration would have been unlikely. Many see reaching the playoffs as the minimum expectation for this team, and they would tend to agree.

"It's step one along the way, just getting to the playoffs is nothing to be too excited about" said Michael Bradley after the match. "We don't want today to be the highlight of our season."

For supporters who have waited nearly a decade for the club to make a playoff appearance, the lack of excitement might be a little bit frustrating. But for a team that aspires to be more than an "also-ran" this season, it is a necessity.

The atmosphere in the dressing room after the match wasn't completely robotic, however. The significance of the moment wasn't lost on Toronto-born midfielder Jonathan Osorio who had been through the ups and more often than not downs that the club has experienced over the past few years.

"At the end of the game I went to the fans and it was a great moment," said a smiling Osorio. "It was just great to see the fans so happy and myself I'm very happy, I know how big this was."

Even Osorio was quick to move the conversation beyond today, however, stating how important the club's next three matches are as the team looks to continue to strong run of form they have been on as of late.

With that first step all but accomplished, the club moves on to the second step, one that many people see as crucial to the club's season being considering successful: securing a home playoff game.

In order to do that, Toronto would have to move into one of the top 4 spots in the Eastern Conference where they currently sit fifth. Today's win helped that campaign greatly, as they are just one point out of fourth with a game in hand on the Columbus Crew.

"We still have to try and get as high as we can in the table and try to get a playoff game here in Toronto," said Jozy Altidore of the reason why there wasn't much post game celebration.

Regardless, Toronto were happy with what was a dominating performance against the Union at a time when keeping momentum is incredibly important.

With the exception of the Union's lone goal in the match, and the short period of confidence that followed, Toronto completely removed them as a threat for most of the 90 minutes.

"I thought from beginning to end it was a solid performance," said Greg Vanney after the match. "They had very little, Chris [Konopka] didn't have a ton of saves to make."

This time of year was always going to be crucial for Toronto FC, as they finished the season with a string of home games where both points and momentum could be picked up in a comfortable setting.

Today's win proves that Toronto FC are making the most of it, as it is their third home victory in as many games. With each one the team's performance and confidence appears to be increasing.

"We always circled this part of the season as sort of moving day," explained Greg Vanney after the match. "This is the time in our season where we need to continue to take steps forward, both in our individual and collective performances and also in points."

So while one battle was won for Toronto FC today, it will only give them a chance to continue fighting in the bigger war. That is why festivities have been subdued at BMO Field until there is something more significant to celebrate.