Five Games. Zero Defeats. That’s pretty good.
Inside those 450 minutes (plus stoppage time), we’ve seen a grand total of Zero soft goals conceded inside the opening 10 minutes. Zero attempts at the ‘MB4CB Experiment”, and, joy of joys, the boys remembered how to pass the ball to to their own teammates again. This is also pretty good, if not outright fantastic.
If we follow the logic above to its conclusion, we should be doing backflips. After all, these are inarguable, and not at all insignificant signs that TFC has pulled out of its 2018 death-spiral and is looking more and more like the record smashing, world-beating side it was just 9 (ridiculously) long months ago.
Or are they?
Following last night’s 2-2 draw away against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first leg of the Canadian Championship Final, a quick check of the social medias, MLS mother-ship comment boards, and even our very own site, reveals almost 0% backflips. TFC Fandom is in a state of mania, cannibalizing itself as it calls out this and that as abject failures. Demanding sweeping changes across the board and for heads to roll.
And the turnout at games is dropping in tandem; It must be. Or is this exclusive to my inbox; MLSE doing backflips of their own to fill the stands for the second, and decisive, leg of the Canadian Championships next Wednesday? The very game where a result would get us back into the SCCL? Never in all my years of faithful service to the club have I read as carefully structured a statement as the one about “increasing the intimacy of the venue by closing the upper level”. I feel bad for them. (Not as bad as I feel for Doneil Henry, but bad) Shouldn’t TFC fans be doing backflips en-masse, in the line-ups at BMO on game day? I’m half-expecting the only people at the ground will be Season Seat Holders, which is so weird when you consider these tickets cost us extra.
What’s going on here?
It seems like there is nothing Toronto FC can do, save for defeating Thanos and/or curing the common cold, that will restore the collective faith.
Aren’t we doing just fine, for the first time in good long while?
So TFC were up a man for an entire half and still only managed a draw because of a late Vancouver own goal? That’s...not great. #TFCLive— Marsha Duggan (@MarshaDuggan) August 9, 2018
I have a few theories:
S.A.D. (Season Anxiety Disorder) — Are we so concerned that this is all too-little too-late to save our 2018 campaign that it has eclipsed all reason and concrete examples to the contrary? Has this anxiety manifest as over-criticism, tribalism, and trolling?
TFC Stockholm Syndrome (Type I) — We toiled for years at the bottom of MLS. We endured being called the ‘worst team in the world’; the laughing-stock of the league. We even got to like it. Hell, why not? if the product on the field was that lifeless, we were going to have find some way to entertain ourselves — why not delicious tongue-in-cheek irony?
Someone needs to add Doneil’s diving header to this #CanChamp #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/2Mg9TwQteP— Rob Ditta (@RobDitta) August 9, 2018
To even get a whiff of the basement/dunce-cap role so soon after last year’s total redemption has surely got to bend or break something in our souls. BAM! Ironic distance is back! I’m certainly guilty of this, my attitude at home games over this recent stretch of dumpster-fire football action felt more than a bit 2011.
TFC Stockholm Syndrome (Type II) — Recent TFC history: Make the playoffs for the first time ever, and get owned by Didier and his l’Impact. Make the playoffs again, get to MLS Cup — lose on PKs. Storm the league, break records — win MLS Cup. Make it to the finals of the CCL by beating two of the best teams in Mexico — lose on PKs. To say nothing of the drama and controversy in recent Canadian Championships. Are we so battered and bruised following this team over the last three seasons that we can no longer see the forest for the trees?
C.C.C.P. (Campeones Cup Championship Priority) — Nothing matters more to this team, the fans, and the city of Toronto than winning the storied Campeones Cup come September. All other concerns secondary. Ship expendable. Crew expendable.
I sure don’t have the answers. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve got this column, then.
What do you think? Are TFC finally showing their quality? Is the internet having a fit over nothing?
Or is the internet right, and TFC need a page-one re-write/total overhaul?
Let’s all visit Magic Land (the comments), and discuss ... magically?
THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST:
Is just flipping fantastic, one for the ages, a trusted companion on TTC commutes, and I had absolutely nothing to do with it.
It’s my sincere pleasure to present to you our second Playlist Takeover by everyone’s favourite Mic Mac, Mic Mac 77 : N.Y.C.F.C. — New York City Funk Connection.
Designed to blow yer mind ahead of this Sunday’s matchup with the mighty (?) NYCFC.
Way back when Mic Mac did his first Playlist Takeover, he asked (demanded) to do another one the next time we faced NYCFC. I happily obliged as he’s like a Jedi-Master at music. While we didn’t quite keep to that schedule, the trade-off was Mic Mac had time to choose his tracks, change his mind, subscribe to Spotify, and then change all his selects to the best possible recordings in the Spotify archives. The result is worthy of all my breathless praise above. Your ears are in for a treat.
Let’s go get ‘em, boys. TFC 4 Life.