It was a season, and a year, that will live long in the memory, even if the end was no less disappointing than usual. The club finally made the playoffs, but in the process a host of other stories developed that shaped the season. While a lot happened in 2015, here are the most important stories for the club, and the reasons why the season will be remembered.
1. At Last, Toronto FC Make the Playoffs
The Toronto Blue Jays stole the front page, and pretty much every other one, for their incredible ALDS Game 5 victory, bat flip and all. Any face time that the story got at all would soon be ruined by the way that their first ever playoff appearance went. But, at last, Toronto FC made the playoffs in 2015, and that cannot be taken away from them.
While the story didn't get much play, it was the moment that a dream was realized that will last forever in Toronto FC supporter's minds. The moment Sebastian Giovinco tore apart the entire New York Red Bulls team before finishing what really should have been the league's goal of the year. It was an unforgettable play.
When they got to the playoffs, however, things changed quickly. A lacklustre effort on the final day of the season meant Toronto had to play their first ever playoff game away from home against rival Montreal Impact. The playoff game ended before it had ever really started, and Toronto lost an embarrassing 3-0 decision that would put a damper on their year.
2. Sebastian Giovinco First Ever Toronto FC Player to win MVP Award
His historic goal against the Red Bulls was only the icing on the cake of what was an even more historic season for Sebastian Giovinco. The Italian likely had the best season ever for a Major League Soccer player, scoring 22 goals and 16 assists and breaking the MLS "points" record with 38. He would also win MLS golden boot and newcomer of the year.
Off the field Giovinco did everything right as well, saying the right things and quickly earning himself a place in the hearts of Toronto sports fans. It was refreshing from pretty much every one of Toronto's previous designated players. Giovinco certainly made the club a heck of a lot more entertaining to watch.
3. Goodbye Jermain, Hello Jozy
When Toronto FC acquired Jermain Defoe in 2014 he was seen as the saviour of a long suffering club. He was, for a little bit, but in the summer months he got injured and the club started losing. By the time the season was over Defoe was villain number one in the city.
As a result, very few were disappointed when the club made a rather unorthodox international "trade" with English Premier League side Sunderland. The move saw Jermain Defoe leave in exchange for American international Jozy Altidore. While Altidore wouldn't have an overwhelmingly good season, he would score a solid 13 goals. That tally should only improve next season.
4. Toronto FC Change the Game with Giovinco Signing
Perhaps of all the players with which Toronto FC were linked last January, Sebastian Giovinco seemed like the most ridiculous. That's saying something considering the outright disbelief when the names Steven Gerrard and Wesley Sneijder emerged early in the transfer window. MLS didn't seem to be at a place where a 27-year-old playing for Juventus would be willing to give up prestige, and some other solid offers, to take a chance on America.
He did, and as a result more than a few heads will turn towards MLS in terms of players in similar situations interested in kick starting his career. In Italy, Giovinco's move was seen as a retirement, but it turned out to be quite the opposite. He has remained with the Italian national team and has really restarted his career more than ending it.
5. The Keeper Conundrum
Toronto FC started the season with what seemed like a clear starter and backup situation in net. They ended the year with no goaltenders who have any MLS experience on their roster at all. When Joe Bendik went down with injury early in the season Chris Konopka took his chance and never really looked back as he earned the starting job.
It wasn't good enough, however, as after the season was over the club announced that they were declining the contract options on both keepers. The idea behind this move was to open the door for one of the club's young options: Canadian Quillan Roberts or draft pick Alex Bono.