If at the beginning of the 2018 MLS season you told me that Toronto FC would be floundering near the bottom of the table, miss the easily obtainable playoff cut and put up one of the worst title defences in recent history, I would’ve called you crazy. But that’s the position we now find ourselves in with probably the only silver lining being that we can still make history, sort of.
The 2017 points record that was such a marvelous achievement in itself is one that is currently in serious jeopardy. All of the heroics to create such a feat will be overshadowed and wiped away if business cannot be taken care of on Decision Day 2018. For those unaware, Decision Day is the nickname for the final day of the MLS season in which all teams kick off on the same date at the same time, setting the stage and fueling the drama in the process. Fortunately, the crazy script writers for this year’s MLS season decided to pit the defending champs against the potential new points record holders that are Atlanta United.
Here’s how things stand.
Your 2017 Toronto FC squad finished the season with the following stat line:
While the current chasing teams including both Atlanta and the New York Red Bulls, have stat lines looking like this:
Unfortunately the Five Stripes squad has already equaled our 2017 points tally and currently hold the joint record for most points in a single season in MLS history. To make matters worse, the NY Red Bulls currently sit one point out of tying the record. The kicker is that both teams have a game left to play on Sunday which gives them just enough opportunity to cross the line and solely claim the title of most points in a season. On Sunday Toronto FC will host Atlanta while the NY Red Bulls will host Orlando City.
Here are some of the scenarios and what could happen on Sunday:
- Atlanta win by any margin: Nothing else, even the Red Bulls game that day, will matter. If Atlanta win they claim the points record outright, not to mention the Supporters Shield.
2. Atlanta lose or draw and NY Red Bulls win: In this case the Red Bulls sit pretty on 72 points and Atlanta are stuck on 70 (both of which surpass the 69 points of TFC 2017). This scenario leads to the Red Bulls claiming the title outright.
3. Atlanta and NY Red Bulls lose: In this case TFC would maintain joint custody of the points record. But they’ll need to win against Atlanta and get some help from their new Orlando City friends.
4. Atlanta and NY both draw: This sees Atlanta sit top with 70 points and NY finish on 69. Atlanta takes the record in this case.
5. Atlanta lose and NY draw: This is the one of the more favourable scenarios because all three (ATL, NY and TFC 2017) would be on 69 points.
In short, the points record remains jointly in Toronto if Toronto beat Atlanta and Orlando hold NY Red Bulls to at most a draw. Thankfully we at least have some say in the matter but with the way things have been going lately and the look of Atlanta’s attack, it’s tough to see a positive outcome here. At least we have one last thing to cheer for and a piece of history to protect. Finish strong Reds!