Full Disclosure: I was NOT in attendance at TFC v Philly at BMO last night, instead, I made the trip west on the QEW to watch Forge FC take on CF Montreal, and lose, in heartbreaking fashion, after an 11-Round Penalty Shootout.
It was another classic match in what’s becoming the greatest tournament in all of CanSoc. The Voyaguers Cup is special, and this year, we’ve really seen it grow into what we all hoped it could be: our very own FA Cup. Just look at these great stats from the always great Martyn Bailey.
By my count, 15 clubs have competed in the @thevoyageurs Cup current iteration; 7 of them from Ontario. Tonight @clubdefootmtl become the first club to face 3 of the Ontario clubs. (@TorontoFC, @yorkutdfc and @ForgeFCHamilton)— Martyn Bailey (@martyn_bailey) October 28, 2021
Beyond the obvious draw of a potential Cupset and the Hammers breaking Montreal hearts inside a week from THAT Jozy Free Kick, it was an opportunity for me to bring some of my TFC diehards to Tim Horton’s Field, and it was a resounding success, results be damned. Forge were very much the better team out there, but if there’s one thing the (former) Impact do well, it’s patiently waiting on their opponents to make a mistake and then killing them on the counter. It’s a testament to the boys in orange that it never happened, and it went to PKs. It was also the first time in history that a Forge match had a bigger crowd than TFC when both teams played on the same night.
But anyhoo, I digress. This isn’t a Forge FC blog (yet), so let’s get to our beloved Reds, and what amounts to a pretty ugly draw:
The highlights from tonight's draw ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/4QS4MlRhp4— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) October 28, 2021
I mean, I know it’s difficult to care about the last gasps of a lost MLS season, but that Jozy goal was nice, and Jacob Shaffelberg continues to impress.
TFC have a busy week ahead. Remember the Voyaguers Cup? Well, TFC have their own date with destiny when they face the red-hot Pacific FC in the other semifinal “win or go home” matchup next Wednesday at BMO Field.
We planned to discuss that in more detail off the hop on this week’s Waking The Red Weekly, but, well, Mitchell’s gear had other ideas:
And when he finally got back up to scratch, well, all he wanted to talk about was Jozy Altidore:
“A lot of the moments you’ll remember from Jozy Altidore are all against Montreal. That’s what you want from your marquee player, when you are playing that big rival he’s the guy who shows up”. - @mitchelltierney on Jozy’s latest heroics against MTL. #TFCLive @WakingtheRed pic.twitter.com/JOGnT6ZKvk— Footy Talks (@FootyTalksLive) October 26, 2021
Which is more than fair. The Free kick dagger at the death is just the latest in a very long line of Jozy memes. That man loves trolling Montreal.
Of course, Jozy’s late heroics got us all thinking, again, about his future with the club, and the heavy rumours about the return of his strike partner/BFF have added depth and shade to that narrative:
Oh yeah, I finally got a haircut.
Taking stock, it’s clear the priority for TFC, especially this week, is putting Pacific to the sword and booking their ticket to the final vs ... wait for it ... CF Montreal.
But I’m petty, and I very much enjoy the idea of Toronto FC, coming off one of their worst seasons in MLS, ruining the playoff hopes of a few Eastern Conference rivals. We have Atlanta United away up next, and while the prevailing logic suggests a punt on the game for extra legs vs Pacific, we have a history of breaking Atlanta hearts, and I want more.
Do we punt on Atlanta? Are we in any position to pick and choose what we can or cannot punt on at this point?
and, as a bonus ...
What are our chances against Pacific FC? Will this be a cakewalk or a walk of shame?
Alas, to the comment thread!
THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST:
Is about playing Spoiler. As always, give me any/all recommends in the comments.