For those of us not able to attend TFC games on the regular (myself included), I think there’s a much different appreciation for attending games in person. Seeing the regular season schedule fixtures announced and then highlighted in Charlie’s earlier article, makes one filled with just as much envy as excitement. For sure we’re all excited to catch those 401 Derby matches, Champions League nights, and Eastern Conference rivalry matches on TV, but what if you could only attend one in person?
Speaking for myself, and I’m sure some of our other out of town fans, I’m only able to attend the odd game every now and then when the right blend of finances, time and leash from my girlfriend mix together. So when I go to a match I’m not just going to a match, I’m going on a big trip and I want my money’s worth. For the best bang for your buck I took the liberty of picking out a few games that I would want to attend if given the chance. (I listed the games in order that I personally would want to attend):
Game 1 : Saturday August 24th, 7:30PM against Montreal Impact (401 Derby)
Why?: Obviously this game is against the biggest rival we have in the form of the Montreal Impact. The Impact’s roster has a solid blend for everyone: Ignacio Piatti is a perennial league MVP nominee and the well-traveled Bacary Sagna oozes Premier League experience.
Secondly, this game just happens to be during the CNE. I went to a game in 2016 that just happened to be going on during the CNE and I was pleasantly surprised. Plus I believe it’s free admission to the Ex with a game ticket?
Game 2: Sunday October 6th, 4:00PM against Columbus Crew
Why?: Decision Day 2019, the last matchday of the year. Things aren’t always done and dusted by the business end of the year (just look at who spoiled Atlanta’s double last year). The 2019 edition sees the Reds play host to the Columbus Crew and the oh-so-familiar face of Tim Bezbatchenko, who is the newly-appointed president of the Crew.
Visiting Toronto as the weather gets colder might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I think it’d be well worth it. You might not see Zack Steffen in the opposing goal but you will see USMNT Captain Wil Trapp, ex-red Joe Bendik who once helped mentor Alex Bono, and the explosive Gyasi Zardes. Not to mention, the past few encounters with the Black and Gold have been pretty heated, the most notable meeting in recent memory being a 1-0 aggregate scoreline in our 2017 playoff run.
Game 3: Saturday April 6th, 3:00PM against Chicago Fire
Why?: At first glance this game isn’t very appealing. It’s early in the season, against an opponent who has recently struggled in the league. However, I’m a sucker for seeing legends play and the Fire’s Bastian Schweinsteiger certainly falls under that category. Schweini’s trophy cabinet holds a World Cup, several Bundesliga titles and an FA cup among others.
In addition, the Fire’s roster has two former Reds who are making a visit back to town. Raheem Edwards and Nico Hasler were both Reds within the past couple years and surely could’ve been used last season. It’ll be interesting to see the reception they get.
Honorable metions go to the games against Atlanta and NY Red Bulls but realistically the Wednesday games just aren’t going to work for me, so I didn’t include them.
*A special shout out for any of the Champions League games. As they aren't set yet they weren't available for selection but should the Reds make another final you can bet that’d be top of the list.
Anything I missed or any other games that people would rather go to? Or for you locals, anything I missed that needs to be checked out? Let me know!