Editor's Note: As part of Waking the Red's preview for the 2016 season, we have decided to look at the Top 10s in several categories to celebrate the club's tenth season in the league. This is the first installment of 10, looking at the top 10 moments in club history. Otherwise known as "10 times they didn't completely screw it up".
Contrary to popular belief, Toronto FC's ten year history hasn't been a complete disaster. There are a few, emphasis on few, moments that we can all look back on with a smile. Not one of those painful "haha remember that time we lost 3-0 to our rival in our first ever playoff game" smiles, but a genuine one. Here are Waking the Red's Top 10 moments in Toronto FC history.
1. Danny Dichio Scores First goal in Franchise History
Perhaps this moment would not be as infamous had it come earlier in the season with less frustration and desperation or on the road. Winless in 4 games, outscored 10-0 overall, and desperately needing some life - Dichio poked in Edson Buddle's low cross in the 24th minute which sent TFC fans to their feet (and cushions on the field). It's a moment that still gets remembered and sung every game.
2. Miracle in Montreal
Toronto FC's first trophy came in spectacular fashion. Needing a victory margin of 4 or more to erase the Whitecaps' advantage in goal differential, TFC went down 1-0 to the Impact. A DeRo hattrick and a decisive Chad Barrett goal in the 82nd minute that eventually ended in a 6-1 victory and Toronto FC's first Canadian Championship - which also meant placement in the CONCACAF Champions League.
3. Champions League in the Rogers Centre
One of the greatest moments is, without a doubt, the attendance record shattering fixture in the Rogers Centre when Toronto FC hosted the LA Galaxy and David Beckham. It was also "Classic TFC" in another sense as a 2-0 lead was eventually erased by a Beckham corner and a Donovan finish in the 89th minute. Beckham, who had beer cans thrown at him earlier, famously taunted the fans who did so as Donovan joined him by wagging his finger at the rowdy fans. Definitely one to remember.
4. Toronto FC Ends Playoff Drought
Could this have been ranked higher? It occurred rather anticlimactically and the playoff(s) were short lived and disappointing. While it can be said that TFC snuck into the final playoff spot we also must remember they were merely 4 points from a 2nd place finish as well. It was definitely positive to get the ‘money of their back'. Further playoff progress and a higher finish looks to be in store with the core (nice rhyme) returning in 2016 with further improvements.
5. Giovinco Does Everything, Wins MVP
Some might view this as a moment that lasted an entire season with the formal announcement of MLS MVP (or Landon Donovan MVP Award) as something we all knew was coming. Giovinco broke TFC and MLS records while helping carry TFC to their first ever playoff game. He did so as a premier player in his prime while breaking his way back into the Italian National Team.
6. Giovinco Signs with Toronto FC
There are so many significant factors within this moment (some mentioned above already) but the biggest factor being a player in his prime years moving from Serie A to MLS. Seba also negotiated early release from his Juventus contract rather than arriving midseason. Does the playoff drought end if he doesn't get an early release? I have my doubts. Giovinco's move and success may lead to other players in their prime seeking out the MLS as a legitimate ground to prove their worth. His move was further legitimatized in the offseason with rumours of interest from Barcelona.
7. Bloody Big Deal
Hindsight can be a funny thing. At the time, the announcement that Toronto FC had acquired Jermain Defoe was the talk of the MLS. It was a huge moment for a club who attracted a top player (just past his prime) for the first time. Defoe had plenty of opportunities to play elsewhere in England and Toronto FC had convinced him that Toronto was the place to play. Of course we all know how it ended -although the end was sour the moment and buzz around move is what places this so high.
8. Wiedeman Wins it in the Rain
Perhaps a bit of bias here as I was one of the fans who tried to cover up as the rain started coming down as Columbus were ahead 1-0 in that late Summer 2013 fixture. Eventually I gave up and thought of heading to cover before deciding a little water doesn't hurt anyone (it did hurt all of our cell phones, though). An 87th minute Osorio equalizer followed by a dramatic 94th minute winner by Wiedeman sent the remaining fans into complete pandemonium. It was truly one that no one in attendance will forget and a very memorable game for anyone watching from their dry comfy couch.
9. Hagglund Leads Comeback vs. Timbers
Another "moment" that comes with a bit of bias having attended the match. The game started for me like it did for Toronto FC. I was meeting a friend of mine at the match who was delayed by the closing of the DVP so I sat alone getting cooked by the summer sun. Canadian Will Johnson broke his leg. TFC went down early 2-0. The game looked hopeless. My friend showed up at halftime followed by two goal by Hagglund to tie. Bradley, in the 89th minute, sent a free kick looking for the head of Hagglund again. Everyone missed the ball - including Ricketts - as it went into the back of the net for a 3-2 victory.
10. Defoe Debut, Scores 2 vs. Sounders on Road
This game was an ultimate high for all TFC fans. Bradley, Defoe and the offseason winning Toronto FC squad took on Clint Dempsey and the Seattle Sounders in front of typical Seattle crowd in the season opener. Defoe scored two early typically Jermain Defoe poaching goals to give Toronto FC a lead they were able to hold on to. As TFC fans - we were all expecting a season ending injury to Defoe in the opening game because that's what fans were used to after endless suffering. What Defoe did was show he was here and for real. He showed that he meant business, was committed to the team and being successful. Oh, wait a second...that was just what went through my mind for a brief moment as he celebrated the second goal.