The trials and tribulations of a hectic and testing season are about to start for our brand new club. The warm fuzzy feelings of being an expansion team and playing meaningless games against college students are over. Over the last few days, Toronto FC managed to end the pre-season on a high, beating two professional clubs, the Charleston Battery and the New York Red Bulls in a mini-tournament held in Charleston, NC. A loss to defending champs Houston rounded out their tourney which ended in a winning record of 2-1. This has got to build some confidence in the team heading into their opening game against Chivas on April 7th.
On another note, Toronto FC has been actively signing local players to development contracts. This has to motivate young local players who now have a tangible goal to strive for and have reason to pursue a footballing career aside from academics. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to start U-19 leagues in the Toronto area, this is a time where interest in football around the area is at an all-time high and since summer is fast approaching, many would be interested. Speaking of youth football, I stumbled on a site called Field of a Million Dreams which is a great project to raise funds for promoting football around the world. Check it out.
A wise man once said that the pre-season can only tell you how bad you are, never how good you might be. I firmly subscribe to that theory in all sports. Despite wins against some decent competition, there have also been a few let-downs against lesser types. One can’t read too much into either except that we have the potential to be competitive in the league this season. Considering we’re an expansion franchise, that is the most important thing one can ask for. As long as there is a competitive product on the pitch that despite losses, still puts out the effort and shows resolve to be better, this franchise will flourish. It has the fan support that it needs and the financial backing of enough sponsors to enable them to get off to a positive start. As all expansion franchise fans should do, I’m hoping for the best and expecting much worse. Either way, I’ll be watching.
No blog entry is complete without a Mo Johnston quote. You can tell he’s a big fan of Richard Mulrooney:
“He’s an exceptional player. When they called and asked if I was interested I jumped on the chance to add someone with his experience to the team.”
One final note, Toronto FC recently unveiled their new fine looking jersey. Thinking about buying one.
It should be on WordSoccerShop.com soon enough. MLSGear.com is also a pretty good place to find your football gear. Jerseys will also be available in late April at Centre Sports at the ACC and BMO Field.