It’s 2015 and this might be the best year in Toronto sports since 1993 when the Blue Jays won the World Series. This year in April, the Toronto Raptors (NBA) made the playoffs for the second consecutive year, the Toronto Blue Jays (MLB) are participating in their first postseason since 1993, and now, for the first time in its nine year existence, Toronto FC of Major League Soccer is heading to the playoffs.
While most of the city was focused on game five of the Blue Jays versus Texas Rangers last Friday taking place in the Rogers Centre, only ten minutes away FC was looking to defeat the top seeded team in the Eastern Conference the New York Red Bulls. The 2-1 win not only put FC into the playoffs, they moved up into second place. With a 2-0 loss to Columbus, FC now sits fourth in the Eastern Conference.
With only one game left in the season FC could finish as high as second in their conference, and as low as sixth. Their seeding all depends on their game against Montreal and also on how the season plays out for the other playoff teams.
Over the years, FC has gone through a lot to reach the point they have in 2015. They have had multiple losing seasons, multiple coaching firings and dissatisfied players. It started to reach the point that fans begun to lose interest. It was a new franchise that just could not find the winning track.
This season, with the addition of Sebastian Giovinco, FC’s franchise has turned around. Giovinco has looked like the best player in MLS all season, even as he’s battled some injuries that made him pull out of the European qualifiers with Italy. Giovinco only missed a couple games, and came back looking sharp. In 32 games this season, Giovinco has scored 22 times and has 15 assists. The 22 goals is tied for the most in MLS this season.
The first eight games for FC were played on the road, and they were only able to come away with wins in three of those eight contests. It has been an uphill battle for the franchise’s entire history. They have been inconsistent in finding the back of the net all season, which has raised multiple questions as they head to the playoffs.
Over the last three games, FC has averaged three goals, helping them to a three-game win streak. However, prior to those games, they scored a total of three in three games, and five in four games. They scored a total of five in one game versus Orlando prior to that stretch. This just goes to show the inconsistency all season, and if it occurs over into the playoffs, FC will see elimination come sooner rather than later.
If the Blue Jays were not in the playoffs, FC could have possibly grown their fan base even larger. Unfortunately, that has not been the case as they have been overshadowed, however, they could be heading into the playoffs with a larger crowd depending on how long the Blue Jays last in their postseason run.
FC will close their season on October 25 versus Montreal. This game could be the deciding factor if they finish with a high or low seed, as only two points separate them from second and sixth place. If playoffs were to start today FC would play Montreal at home, so this final game shows to be a big one.