After today's match, Michael Bradley was asked whether Toronto FC had more difficulty winning the match than they should have. His response was simple: three points, that's all that matters.
In June this answer would have been surprising, win or lose Bradley was always quick to point out flaws in his team's game if he believed them to be present. They were there today, but it's September, it's not longer about the performance, it's about the points.
"Days like this are important," said Bradley after the match. "To come into this locker room after the game, to be able to look around and look each other in the eye and know that every guy spilled everything that they had onto the field, these are important steps."
A 3-2 score, having come from behind twice, against the last place Chicago Fire isn't an outstanding result. But at this stage in the season Toronto FC see the match in a different light.
"From a mentality standpoint this was one of our biggest wins of the year," said Greg Vanney. "You [have to] know that you can come from behind at this time of year when you approach the playoffs."
Having completed their business, Toronto FC can now sit back and wait to see what happens in the rest of the MLS matchday. Where they currently sit is promising: two points out of a home playoff game, and five points into the playoffs. They have four matches left, a game in hand on most teams.
There was certainly a playoff atmosphere in Toronto today, although the accomplishments at BMO Field were overshadowed by the Toronto Blue Jays who clinched their first playoff appearance in two decades.
"Damn Blue Jays," Vanney said jokingly. "Hopefully there is room for both of us. I think we can build off each other and make a really, really exciting time in October/November for the city of Toronto."
Three points today hardly looked like a guarantee for Toronto, as they fell behind less than a minute into the match. In his return to BMO Field, Gilberto scored both goals for the visiting Chicago Fire as Toronto's ex-DP was dominant.
"I'm happy for him," said Greg Vanney of his former player. "We didn't necessarily get rid of him because we didn't like him."
As he has all season, it was Sebastian Giovinco that finally got Toronto FC going. His determination and persistence combined in a stunning curling goal from the end line that tied the game for Toronto.
The goal was ultimately credited to Jonathan Osorio, but even the Canadian international was not interested in claiming it.
"I hope that Major League Soccer goes back and reviews it," said Osorio, which he repeated word for word when asked whether he touched the ball or not. "I think the record was going to be broken either way but he deserves it."
The record he was referring to was the combination for most goals and assists in a MLS season. He was right, Giovinco had two assists in the match and now has 35 "points" in the season with 19 goals and 16 assists.
He could have even had three, but was rightly denied an assist from a corner kick that ultimately found Jozy Altidore for the winning goal.
In fact, all three of Toronto's designated players played a big role in the win for Toronto. On top of Giovinco's two assists and Jozy Altidore's goal, Michael Bradley had the second goal of the match.
In a time of year that is becoming increasingly confusing emotionally for Toronto FC supporters this match at least provided one positive. This team has difference makers, and if Toronto make the playoffs they could steal the team a result or two.