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6ix on a Wave : What’s the expectation for TFC?

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We find ourselves in the days of carefully constructed media scrums and talking points. Does it wash?

Toronto FC celebrate a goal, because they don’t do huddles before PK’s
(Tagwa Moyo / Shuttersworth)

Last week’s column revealed just how partisan the feelings are around TFCLand regarding the state of our team, perhaps best expressed by this little nugget from SamFio:

Of course, that was last week, before the annual ‘TFC Penalty-Kick Capitulation’ saw the Reds “do the inverse triple” and add a PK loss in the Voyageurs Cup to that bizarro world trophy case, thus making the complete set of disappointment and tears.

And before a dead-tired and disinterested squad went to Bridgeview and gritted out a draw against the Chicago Fire, this stat about Pozeulo from Martyn Bailey blows my fragile mind:

2019 looks poised to end the way it began: in a flurry of confused talking points and misdirection, with a fanbase ping-ponging between hope and despair.

Yes, this year’s edition of the Voyageurs Cup was, objectively, without a doubt, the best ever, but through the myopic view of a TFC diehard, it was utterly demoralizing. So when Mitchell says “it’s only going to get better”, it’s easy to see that as a salve to the legions of Red supporters still crying into their pints.

And yes, considering the roller coaster this year has been, it’s foolish to label this campaign as an outright failure. We’re in the playoffs! Remember that just a few short weeks ago that seemed pipe-dream impossible.

Circling back to SamFio’s comment above, “Can’t we enjoy the ride?”

I’m here for the ride. I’m the guy that will drop real money to watch TFC lose in the freezing cold rain. This isn’t in dispute. But I’m not enjoying the ride presently.

We talked about this on the most recent Footy Talks WTR roundtable — Ok, we hijacked the discourse enough that we kinda forced Mitchell to tag the cast “Are Toronto FC missing a killer instinct?” (#sorrynotsorry Mitch).

I can take an L; I can stomach many L’s... as long as I feel my club is on the same page. I want my club, to paraphrase a certain diminutive Italian, to express a “pure desire to win” at all times — when cresting the summit AND when restarting the ascent for the upteenth time in dangerous weather.

Recent language coming out of TFC HQ has been a concern, to say the least. Losing the Canadian Championship and missing out on CCL next year cannot and should not ever be spun into a positive. It rings false. We lost. A big game. The correct response isn’t a glass half full bit of double-talk such as, “We’re looking forward to a proper off-season.” The correct response is not taking your foot off the accelerator, it’s doubling down, turning that anger and embarrassment into motivation to do better next time.

I said this on the pod and I’ll double down here: What happened to the club obsessed with silverware? The one that spoke endlessly about keeping those trophy cases at the BMO training ground occupied? That responded to a loss, big and small, with tough talk and equally tough action?

Was anyone surprised by the result, and the shape of the team, in Chi-Town yesterday? It feels like, under our noses, TFC have turned from doers into thinkers, and then fell right down the rabbit-hole into over-thinking. An extra touch or two here, a gun-shy attack there, followed up with emotionless dream-board self-help drivel as explanation.

Pardon the pun — but where’s the fire?

Because if there was ever a time for Toronto FC to find what we lost, it’s now. A fanbase divided, a clear path to playoff glory, and a squad... in dangerous need of some kind of spark.

So, without further ado, this week’s question:

What do you expect from TFC heading into Sunday? Can we find it in ourselves to jump up the table on decision day, or are we now a club that is willing to settle for how the fates align?

THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST:

Guys, I realize my own musical tastes are clearly on display here, so I want to double down (my word of the week) on the ask for recommends from all corners of music. You guys are into some cool stuff — and I’m always into expanding my tastes. Last week it was Power Metal, and it was good.

Special shout out to Mark Hinkley, I brought some ska to the party for you, friend.