Soccer / toronto fc

Toronto FC - The Year of Yin and Yang 2018 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
2018 saw the ultimate rise in the football fortune of the Toronto FC when they played the Champions League final against a strong Mexican side, Guadalajara. They lost the final in the shootout, but made a statement with the strong display of football against the quality Mexican side, which is typically not expected from the MLS teams. 2018 was also the ultimate downfall for TFC when they managed to win only 10 games out of total 34 played. They did not even qualify for the playoffs, which was humiliating for defending league champions. For the last two and half years, TFC has been at the pinnacle of North American Football. In 2017/18 season, they managed to win MLS cup and had the best points record of the season. Fans expected a lot from the team in the 2018 regular MLS season, but they further slumped in their form. They were tired, looked out of space and out of ideas when they started the 2018 league. Continue losses in their first few matches made it impossible for them to come back strongly and challenge the Eastern Conference. In 2018, they languished at the bottom of the table in the 9th spot only above Chicago and Orlando. As a fan, it was unimaginable from the previous year’s champions. Even Giovinco, the start TFC player, could not save the club from that slump. Many fans and experts criticized the lack of energy and dull football TFC played last year. But, I still cannot figure out what happened in the space of two months that a team of star players slumped to the level of low nobody predicted. The reason could be the lack of bench strength they had and the requirement for them to play in every tournament they were playing. TFC had a good first team, but they did not have enough talents in the bench to support in case of injuries or unavailability of first choice player. They had to stretch the same group of players for the Champions League games against the quality opponents from a Mexican league in the semifinal and finals. The physical toughness they had to go through to play those matches made them vulnerable in the MLS. Crucial early games of MLS2018 were hampered by their CL games. The team could never bounce back from early defeats and they further slumped in their performance in the latter half of the league. The Departure of Giovinco The biggest blow TFC had this off-season was the departure of Giovinco. I liked Giovinco and I also agree that he was the true superstar material in the club who was the best import in MLS from Europe. When he came in, he was not an almost retired footballer like Beckham, Pirlo or Kaka. He was in red hot form and displayed his true talent by helping TFC lift the cup and win many more matches. He was so lively in the field that fans would expect him to single-handedly turn around the games. He had that capacity. He is gone and there is no one to replace him. Without a superstar and prolific goalscorer, I doubt TFC will have a similar fortune. TFC also lost mid-fielder Vazquez. 2019 - Is the Team ready? With the slump the team witnessed in 2018, will they be able to come back and challenge the title? I doubt. I don’t think they will be able to challenge the title. As a TFC fan, I know that there will be no less crowd at BMO field, but nobody will expect anything miraculous from them this year. Captain Bradley should definitely look to turn the events positively and should target to make a team that is worthy of targeting the playoffs. Going forward, the team and management should forget what they were and how they performed last year. This should a fresh start for the team. The team cannot dwell in the past and should create something new with the team culture that has been built in the wonderful city of Toronto. Exciting times ahead for the team, players and the fans.