The 2017 MLS season is almost upon us.
For the first time this year, Greg Vanney and his staff are now taking the players through their gameweek routine in preparation for the trip to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
The huge sense of anticipation around what this season could hold for Toronto FC will not be tempered, either inside or outside the club, by a disappointing end to non-competitive action over the weekend in Florida.
On paper, as of the March 4 opener, TFC will boast a roster capable of winning the MLS Cup next December.
There will be plenty of twists and turns over the next nine months; the Reds could be as good as we all expect them to be, but they could also just fall short again or see everything go wrong and flop dramatically.
What we do know now, however, is that with Drew Moor at the back, Michael Bradley in midfield and Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore leading the line, they are in as good a place as ever. They will hope Chris Mavinga and Victor Vazquez can improve the team that went so close in 2016 and that Jonathan Osorio, Jay Chapman, Nick Hagglund and more can take another step forward in their still-young careers.
Through it all, Waking the Red will be there to cover it. We’ll be at BMO Field for every home game, watching closely when Toronto are away and bringing you the latest from practice and Toronto FC II and III, when our real lives allow it. We’ll also be doing our best to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to the Canadian men’s and women’s national teams and the Canadian Premier League.
We are fans and our writing will reflect that but hope, at the same time, to provide professional-quality coverage. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter and we hope to add a few different outlets and projects over the course of the year.
The blog would be nothing without its readers, and we loved sharing last year’s run with you. Community is everything to this network and we hope to welcome our existing readers and commenters back for a new campaign and also get to know some new ones. Please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself below the line.
On that note, I can’t wait to begin my first full season as blog manager. It’s an exciting time to be a sports fan in Toronto and there is so much potential for soccer in this city. With a lot of hard work and little bit of a luck, I believe Waking the Red can be at the forefront of a new era. Whatever the reason, you can contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter (@plattoli), where my direct messages are open.
We’re always on the look out for new contributors and are building a bigger and bigger team. Mitchell Tierney will still be here to share his thoughts on the Reds on a regular basis, Charlie O’Connor Clarke will be back to write our game previews and assorted other items and James Grossi will be around both the first team and TFC II. Over the offseason, we’ve been pleased to welcome the likes of Tej Sahota, Allan Singh and Max Pacheco, among others, as well as Steve Gennaro’s TFC Talk radio show.
My hope is that by the end of 2017 many more additions to our community will have followed, both on bylines and below the line. It should be quite the ride.