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September: The Worst Time of Year for Toronto FC

No month of the MLS season has been particularly kind to Toronto FC, but the month of September has been particularly destructive to the club's playoff hopes.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The life expectancy of a Toronto FC season has never been very high. For a team that has never made the playoffs, hopes of reaching the postseason usually die well in advance of the end of the regular season. Once they were on their death-bed after the first nine games.

However, should a Toronto season somehow survive the summer months, they still have to get over the highest and most challenging hurdle for the club: September.

No month has been particularly kind to Toronto FC in their history, but September has undoubtedly been the cruelest.

Last year the club was clinging onto a playoff spot as they entered the fall month, but that would quickly evaporate with back to back loses to the Philadelphia Union, and a costly draw with the Chicago Fire.

The month actually turned out to be the club's best September ever, as they would go on to win twice to end out the month.

It wouldn't matter, though, they would never climb back into a playoff spot and were officially eliminated the next month.

In 2009, the closest Toronto FC has ever come to making the playoffs from a meaningful games standpoint, a one win in four games September also did little to help their campaign.

Whether it is the changing of seasons or just when the wheels decide to fully fall off, any Toronto season that has survived into the fall months tumbles into despair with the falling leaves.

As September once again rears its ugly head, Toronto FC have faired no better this time around. So far this month they have an underwhelming record of 0-3, having conceded 7 goals and only scoring 2 in losses to the Seattle Sounders, New England Revolution and New York City FC.

This falls in line with the club's overall September record as of 2014: a pitiful 7-20-8. This makes it the worst month in club history, as the team only has a 0.82 PGG.

To put that in perspective, over an entire season that would only translate into 28 points. Only the Chicago Fire have less than that amount of points this season, and they have a 0.96 PPG with 6 games remaining.

Toronto's best month to date is June where the club has win percentage of 1.21 as of 2014. Once again this year it was a strong month, as the team went 2-1-1.

Why has September been such a bad month for Toronto FC? One explanation could be the proximity to the changing of coaches. Last season was not an anomaly in this regard.

The dismissal of both Preki and Aron Winter also came in close proximity to September, launching the team into an unflattering transition period.

It could also be the importance of the games. With the playoffs just around the corner teams around the league are raising their games in September. Once again Toronto FC have failed to raise their game when it has mattered most.

So far this month Toronto have played the Seattle Sounders and New York City FC who are on the playoff bubble and need all the points they can get. In the other match they played the New England Revolution, who were desperate to lock up a home seed in the playoffs.

Toronto FC still have two more games in September, and both are against lowly MLS opposition in the Chicago Fire and Colorado Rapids.

Should the team win both games, they are all but guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. Should they lose those matches, September may once again have killed a promising Toronto FC campaign.