08 May 2009

know your foe - toronto fc

First place United (3-1-4) hosts Toronto FC (3-2-3) Saturday night at RFK with the winner remaining atop the Eastern Conference. United enters the match unbeaten in it's last four league matches, most recently drawing KC 1-1 on Wednesday night. Toronto is coming off a 1-1 draw with Columbus on May 2nd, as well as a 1-0 win vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Nutrilife Canadian Championship Wednesday evening.
Toronto FC joined Major League Soccer in October of 2005 as the first team in canuckistan. The Canadian Government had lobbied for a franchise for some time in conjunction with their efforts to build a soccer stadium for the Canadian National Soccer Team. The team was announced on May 11, 2006 and began play in the 2007 season following construction of BMO field. TFC is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment majority owners of the NBA's Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Maple Leafs, as well as the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.

Toronto was settled by Europeans in the late 1700's on the north-western shore of Lake Ontario. Derived from the mohawk word - Tkaronto - meaning of course "where there are trees standing in the water", present day Toronto has quickly grown into the fifth most populous city in North America. Famous residents include, Neil Young, SNL producer Lorne Michaels, Peter Jennings, and of course Bob and Doug McKenzie. Nicknames for Toronto include T Dot, the Queen City, and hogtown. TFC plays their home games at BMO field, a soccer specific stadium opened in 2007. The stadium seats 20,500 and is one of the few remaining MLS stadiums with field instead of natural grass.

Upon announcing Toronto's expansion team fans were invited to vote on-line for the team's nickname. Options included; Toronto Northmen, Toronto Reds, Inter Toronto FC, and Toronto FC. Sadly my write in-vote for the Toronto Hosers was rejected. Nearly 40% of the voters choose simply "Toronto FC". Nicknames for the club include TFC and the reds.

Jersey & Sponsors
TFC is sponsored by BMO (Bank of Montreal), the fifth largest bank in Canada. In keeping with the national colors of canuckistan, the official team colours are red, white, dark grey, and light grey. BMO also owns the naming rights to TFC's stadium, purchasing the naming rights to the stadium in a deal worth C$27 million over 10 years.

Head to Head Record
DC United has pretty much had TFC's number the past two seasons. Toronto has only managed one win while being outscored a combined 14-6. United is 5-1 vs. TFC their only loss coming coming at RFK stadium in May of 2007 by a score of 3-2.

Trophy Case
Safe to say that in their two years TFC ain't won shit ehh? Failing to qualify for the playoffs both years, and being from the great white north makes them in-eligible to play in the US Open Cup. TFC has won little more than hearts and minds, with a two year waiting list to be one of the 16,000 season ticket holders. Among their fans are: (from left to right): Curtis '50 cent' Jackson, Rivers Cuomo of weezer, Vernon Wells of the Toronto Blue Jays, and some broad with big cans (Jayden Nicole, playboy playmate). photos courtesy of mls-rumors.net

Following the sudden resignation of head coach John Carver on April 25th, TFC named Chris Cummins interim head coach. Carver who is a longtime friend of Alan Shearer has been rumored to be on his way back to his hometown New Castle to assist Shearer in his effort to avoid relegation. Prior to being an assistant coach with TFC Cummins began his professional coaching career in 1996 with Watford Football Club as the Youth Development Coordinator. Hired at Watford by former England manager, Graham Taylor, he was later promoted to Watford’s Assistant Academy Manager in 1998 and went on to become Director of Youth – youth and reserve team until 2008.

Supporters Groups
TFC is certainly one of the better supported clubs in MLS. They have multiple supporters groups including: the north end elite, the tribal rhythm nation, the u sector, and the red patch boys. Most famous for their trip to Columbus for the 2008 season opener where they outnumbered crew fans while unveiling a giant TFC jersey. Then there was the incident following that game involving TFC fans pissing on Columbus cop cars (I think everyone can support that). My favorite has to be the '2 girls 1 cup' banner at an away Crew game this year. Their fans have been called hooligans, if you ask me it's all in good fun, throwing beer on Drew Carey during the 2009 season opener, most recently a flare thrown by two teen aged tfc supporters burned another fan and led to their arrest, . Then of course there was streamer gate last year: (Michael Wilbon can get fucked by the way):

Former players of note to suit up for the reds include: Ronnie O'Brien, 2007 MLS rookie of the year and current Glasgow Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu, Jeff Cunningham, 2003 golden boot winner Carlos Ruiz, former New Castle winger Laurent Robert, and of course Alecko Eskandarian. TFC's current roster includes: forward Chad Barrett, former Milwall and Preston North End striker Danny Dichio, defender Marvell Wynne, Dewayne De Rosario. and English winger Rohan Ricketts.

The Game
Should be a good turnout Saturday night, weather permitting, being ladies night and all. The past few TFC matches I've attended the visiting fans haven't been too large a group. Look for United to continue it's dominance of Toronto and remain atop the Eastern Conference. Goals from Simms, Gomez, and two from Emilio.

Prediction: DCU 4 - TFC 0

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