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WTR Mailbag – On the Value of Trophies

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Waking the Red's midweek call for your questions - Post-Voyageurs Cup, Pre-Copa Break edition

Struggle ain't pretty
Struggle ain't pretty
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

A 0-0 draw may not have been the most thrilling conclusion to a Voyageurs Cup round – especially given the tournament's knack for flair – but it was all Toronto FC needed to progress to their second final in the last four competitions after wining four-straight from 2009-2012.

Unfortunately, the Vancouver Whitecaps cancelled any plans for an enticing Battle of Ontario, with their 3-0 turnover of the Ottawa Fury in the late game, setting the stage for rematches of the 2011 and 2012 finals.

The Canadian Championship is what it is. It is a small tournament. It takes just four matches to win (six for Ottawa or Edmonton), and is unlikely to receive much press outside of the domestic scene and those south of the border sage enough to notice entertainment value.

Small yes, but fun, definitely.

Since 2008 it has regularly seen some of the most exciting action of the season. It can be thrilling. It can be controversial. And it can be so unpredictable.

It is moments like these that help build a soccer nation.

The same can be said of the CONCACAF Champions League, but that's another column.

One aspect that emerged in speaking with the players this week, especially Benoit Cheyrou, himself a three-time winner of such domestic trophies in France, was that any time a trophy was on the line, winning was a good thing.

The game is about a lot of things, but hoisting a trophy is ultimately the primary purpose of competition. Arguments could be made about all the utilities of losing – building character and whatnot – but at its surface, competition is about winning. That's the point of it all.

And winning can do a lot of good for a side. Winning breeds winning. It instills confidence. It carries into the next game and the next game.

It would be easy to look at the month of May and be disappointed in how Toronto progressed, returning home after a long road trip, collecting few of the points on offer. Superficially, that is not good.

But competition is about struggle, at least as much as it is about trophies. TFC has struggled, but a confident, calm win over Montreal, their most dear rivals, all without the big guns on show, says something about the side.

They are not perfect, there are holes, but they are striving. And that's really all one can ask for.

Two games away from their first trophy in four years, Toronto now has a good ten days to rest up their weary bones, get fit, and embark on the next stage of the season.

The East is tightly packed, just nine points separating first from ninth – and hey, if Chicago wins their game in hand, that nine could span the entire range of the conference.

There is plenty of season left, this is only the beginning. And there is already a trophy in sight.

As always, please leave your questions in the comment section below and Waking the Red will respond in kind