Editor's Note: Please welcome Joshua Santos to the Waking The Red team. He is also a contributor to SB Nation's Raptors blog, RaptorsHQ. Hopefully he will bring some of the success of the Raptors with him, and maybe Drake too.
Toronto FC were well on their way to making history in obtaining their first MLS playoff berth in their nine years as a club. But as the story goes, bumps and bruises on the road may have pushed the team back and further away from their ultimate goal.
After a whirlwind of a 2014-15 season that saw Ryan Nelson fired as coach and striker Jermaine Defoe leave for Sunderland, the Reds, like most of Toronto sports teams, seemed to be trapped in a losing culture once again.
Even despite these moves, the team hung on to a playoff spot but were ultimately knocked out by Eastern Conference rivals, the Philadelphia Union who gave them two back-to-back loses.
The team, managed under general manager Tim Bezbatchenko, made some great acquisitions obtaining coach Greg Vanney, Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco. They also saw the rise of Michael Bradley, who despite missing a few games, always managed to come back strong.
At last it appeared the Reds finally had luck on their side and would soon follow the same meteoric rise the Blue Jays and Raptors have undergone in the playoffs. The sense of winning became utterly infectious as they continued their pursuit of making history.
Unfortunately for the Reds, the grueling dog days of the season have finally crept up on them. Splitting an August month that saw the Reds win three and lose three - one against the Championship Sporting Kansas -, the tumultuous season of anguish saw the team lose their three straight games in September against the Seattle Sounders, New England Revolution and New York City FC. That sense of optimism in the air turned into the same ole' well-known torment TFC fans are well accustomed to.
Looking mildly gloomy, the team managed to win once more defeating the Colorado Rapids 3-1, obtaining their 12th win, the most in franchise history. Newfound signs of life are beaming again. The team can walk narrowly into the playoffs if they managed to hold on tight and win their next few games.
A playoffs berth would be a tremendous milestone for the club. They certainly are capable of making noise in the post-season as according to Opta's WhoScored.com the team possesses a thunderous offense shooting 13.8 shots per game - with Giovinco leading the way scoring 19 total goals and Altidore with 10 - however even if they don't make the post season, the future for the squad looks brighter than ever.
There's a lot going for the team as is. To name a few, they have a fantastic ability to create scoring chances, dexterity to attack down the wing, and execute/defend set pieces while protecting the lead. These crucial and fundamental skills along with their expertise of playing the offside trap and attacking down the middle like they're known to, will make a force to reckon with in the future. They just need to defend down the stretch and learn to defend counter attacks.
The Reds have the players. Red hot offensive machines in Giovinco and Bradley - who manages to score 2.3 shots per game and make 2.2 key passes per game - and defensive dynamos in Josh Williams and Damien Perquis who managed to get a combined 8.8 interceptions per game.
Sitting fifth in the East with 40 points, the team's chances of making the playoffs look great however even if they don't, the future looks ever so bright for the club. They're heating up on both ends and it's only a matter of team before they're finally awakened.