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WTR Mailbag – On Night Games

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Waking the Red's midweek call for your questions – Post-Seattle, Pre-Chicago Edition

Smoke at Dusk.... Nice

Everything is better at night.

It's cooler – both literally and figuratively, the post-noon fatigue has evaporated, so too have the cobwebs from the night before.

Throughout Toronto FC's history, Saturday afternoons have become the customary kickoff time. It was awkward.

Not only was it out of sync with the rest of the league, who would play later that evening or on Sunday, barring the occasional Friday night contest, but it was also a little uncomfortable. It can be hot and steamy, or the sun, beginning to dip beyond the horizon, could be blinding.

It has it's advantages. One could catch other matches, or grab dinner before heading home, but now, with the match taking primacy on Saturday night, it is a little more of an attraction, rather than a stepping stone.

For all those reasons, midweek matches were always the best.

The Voyageurs Cup, and once upon a time (and soon once more), the CONCACAF Champions League, held a special place in the hearts of supporters. There was something different about those nights.

Sure, the games were heated, against Canadian rivals, or exotic – remember Arabe Unido, CD Motagua, or Tauro FC? – there were fewer casual fans dropping in for a few minutes in between other weekend affairs, but it was also night time.

And everything is better at night.

Especially in recent weeks, that fact has paid off. Not in terms of results, but in those of volume.

There was a tendency in years past for the supporters sections to start hard, welcoming the team out on the pitch, but to drift off – the combination of beer, sunshine, and humid do not promote endurance.

But with the temperature cooling and the floodlights twinkling, Toronto fans have been in prime form of late. The have been noisey, they have been loud.

The most obvious example came last weekend against Seattle with the Iceland clap.

TFC fans had been doing that chant for years, but with the notoriety of the Icelandic achievement at the Euros, it spread like wildfire around the stadium.

It has long been noticeable that aside from the odd chant of 'TFC', 'This is our House', or a lame attempt at starting a wave from a displaced Blue Jays fan, the rest of the stadium was rarely involved in the furour.

But that infectious clap drew them in. It was marvellous.

Up in the press box, where cheering is not allowed, the stadium reverberated, the hairs stood on end. More of that please.

With all the injuries, and the fact that such a young team is taking to the field, TFC needs that support now, more than ever.

Please leave your questions in the comments section below and the usually alert WTR staff will respond in kind