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Come On You Reds: The wild story of Toronto FC’s rise to the top

A book all Toronto FC fans are certainly going to want to get their hands on.

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Dundurn Press

For a club that has only existed for 12 seasons, Toronto FC fans have been treated to quite a wild ride. There have been some highs, and many lows, on the roller-coaster-like history of the Reds.

Each year has meant a new and unique story, each with its own cast of characters. Especially in the early years, there was little in the way of continuity.

Joshua Kloke of The Athletic chronicles this eclectic history in his new book Come On You Reds: The Story of Toronto FC. With each chapter representing a new season in Toronto FC’s history, the book takes readers down memory lane from the dark early years of the club, all the way to recent triumphs.

“There are so many franchises across so many sports that just get stuck as the perpetual underdogs, the perpetual losers, the perpetual butt of jokes,” Kloke says of his reason for writing the book. “Franchises like the Cleveland Browns or teams in Europe that just can’t get over that hump. TFC did that. I think anytime that happens with any franchise around the world you want to know why.”

Kloke explores that “why” as he talks to the players, management, fans and media that have shaped this club into what it is today. All but one former Toronto FC manager give their side of the story in the book.

Joshua Kloke joined this week’s Footy Talks Podcast to discuss the new book. He and Mitchell Tierney also talked about the Campeones Cup and Bayern Munich.

“What I really wanted to unpack was who were these people making the decisions, and what influenced their decisions,” says Kloke. “Because it did seem like there was just bad decision, after bad decision with Toronto FC. I was convinced that couldn’t just be luck.”

The book gives readers the inside story on what exactly went wrong at each stage of Toronto FC’s failed early attempts to get out of the starting blocks as an MLS franchise. It also delves into how the team finally established the right mix in order to cook up the historic 2017 season.

Re-live key club moments like Danny Dichio and the seat cushions, the miracle in Montreal, De Rosario’s cheque signing, the Bloody Big Deal and the 2017 MLS Cup triumph.

“It was never boring with Toronto FC,” says Kloke.

The book is currently available for pre-order, and has a release date of October 6. Those looking to buy the book can also consider attending the October 11 Footy Talks event, which will serve a celebration of the book’s launch.

A copy of the book, plus a ticket to the event which also includes a night of panel discussions is available for $25 through the Homestand Sports website.