The skies opened up today at BMO Field, but a 3-1 victory for Toronto FC over the Colorado Rapids proved that it isn't falling. Through the wind and the rain Toronto FC held on for a crucial victory to re-ignite a season that had flat-lined since the start of September.
How important this victory ends up being depends on results elsewhere, but for now it is safe to say Toronto has one foot securely planted above the playoff line. One more victory and the other will join it.
It was a win that the team needed for more than just the impact it had on the standings: which could be sensed by the joyous TFC chants coming out of the Toronto dressing room. Mid-week against New York City the team looked broken, today stood in contrast.
As of late, Toronto FC have been guilty of allowing early goals that they ultimately cannot come back from. That has been the case in all of their past three loses.
Today, it was Toronto who took control of the game in the early going, with Sebastian Giovinco scoring just 14 minutes into the game. Four minutes later he doubled that lead. When Toronto FC score first this season they are now a perfect 9-0.
"When we score first we play a slightly more patient game," said Toronto coach Greg Vanney, "and we allow our chances to develop."
The change of pace was partially due to opponents, the Rapids hardly put up the type of resistance that their name would suggest and it was mostly smooth sailing for Toronto FC.
But a lot of that had to do with character, with Toronto FC putting in the extra effort that was required to get the victory.
Perhaps the contrast in performance was best personified by Damien Perquis, the much maligned Toronto defender.
The last time Toronto played at BMO Field he scored an early goal on his own net. This time he scored on the right net, putting the game beyond reach for the Rapids.
More importantly, Perquis was a general at the back, something that has been missing since Steven Caldwell retired. It was a refreshing performance from the man who was supposed to change the face of this backline.
"I thought he was very good today," explain Perquis. "I thought he competed, I thought he was very solid."
After the match, however, amid the celebratory atmosphere, Perquis was unhappy. For a reason still unknown he yelled in French at a Toronto reporter, seemingly irritated with what was being written about him.
It's a sentiment that Vanney agreed with, although in a manner that was far less aggressive than his defender. The team isn't happy with what's being said about them, and they are out to prove everyone wrong.
"I'm proud of their effort," He said. "A lot of people are saying a lot of things about this team and they proved today that they are competitors."
That was the sentiment that came out of today's game: Toronto FC are reading what is being written about them and aren't happy about it.
"We believe we always have something to prove, and we are going to step on the field to prove it every time we play," said Vanney.
If Toronto FC want what is written about them to change, they will have to continue replicating today's performance. But one win against a bottom of the league team is unlikely to change anyone's mind.