Top Five Greatest Moments of Toronto FC’s 2012 SeasonSeason full of gems ends in 0-0 draw
by Sonja Missio | Monday, October 22, 2012
I know right now it’s en vogue to write about how terrible Toronto FC is, how the team is in shambles and how the fans are the victims. I know that it’s all the rage to write about how evil their owners, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), are, and how the staff don’t know what they are doing. And, I know how trendy it is to wear a paper bag on your head during a match.
But I have never been one to be fashionable.
Instead, I want to reflect on the past season in a positive way. There have been too many negative articles lately, and I think it’s time we have one that helps us remember that there were also good moments in 2012. Therefore, I have compiled a list of the Top Five Greatest Moments of Toronto FC’s 2012 Season.
Yes, it’s an end-of-season article clipshow.
5. The price drop for 2013 season tickets
Last week, TFC announced that it was dropping ticket prices for season seats renewals to 2007 ticket prices; in some cases, that’s more than a $170 price drop. While the significant price drop is reason enough for the renewal rates to make this list, the team also got to show something I was talking about last week: when fans demand, MLSE listen.
However, personally, I am on the fence about people coming back because it’s cheap; it’s one thing if the dollar amount restricts you (trust me, I totally understand), but it’s another if you stop going because they don’t win enough.
In fact, there’s a quote that I like to use to describe TFC: “I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.” - every 14-year-old girl's Facebook profile quoting Marilyn Monroe.
However, the drop of prices will return fans to the game, voices back in the stands, and a sea of red blanketing BMO.
4. That Night in the Skydome
Or, Rogers Centre to non-Torontonians.
On March 7, 2012, Toronto played a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The game itself, on paper, wasn’t that great: Toronto gave up a 2–0 home lead and the Galaxy scored in the dying minutes (before it was cool to), but the atmosphere was something that needed to be seen – or, experienced – to be believed.
I spent half my night in the 500’s and the other half in the supporter section, and both areas were overwhelming. For those of you who are not familiar with the Skydome (Rogers Centre), it is the dome-like stadium that accompanies every postcard of the CN Tower. It can fit up to 54,000 people (and, once, for WrestleMania X8, it hosted 68,237) and on March evening, it held a sold-out crowd of just under 48,000 for a Toronto FC soccer game. Believe me, that day the Reds did indeed come marching in.
A Frankenstein’s Monster attempt at a “panoramic view” from my 500 seats:
3. This Kocic save
If there’s one thing Toronto loves, it’s goalkeepers.
After Stefan Frei got injured in the beginning of the season, Miloš Kocic took over his starting position, and the hearts of Toronto fans. The new father-of-triplets has not only helped the team out of a jam on more than one occasion, but has even taken the blame for last minute goals (don’t worry, Miloš, no one blames you).
However, his greatest moment wearing the Toronto kit may be this Aug. 4 game against Chicago (0:23 minute mark, also nominated for MLS Save of the Week). You may not think it was that impressive of a save, but the man was kicked in the face, got back up, and played the rest of the game. AND has newborn triplets.
2. Montreal, every time
While technically after Saturday’s game Toronto is 1–1–1 with Montreal, the doughnuts-to-bagels rivalry is still fierce. Despite playing Montreal several times in the Canadian Championship, this is the first season the teams have met in MLS.
The first game, played over Easter weekend in Montreal, brought many Toronto travelers – myself included – across province. Despite the loss 2–1 loss, and Toronto being down a man, the game is still remembered by those who made the journey.
Montreal would soon return to Toronto, where the Reds beat Les Bleus, 3 – 0, much to the delight of the home crowd.
On Saturday afternoon, Montreal returned to Toronto for the last home game of the season, drawing 0–0. The lackluster game was a met with rain – and at one point, possibly hail – but in the end, the sun broke through and, even better, there were no late minute goals. This rivalry will continue to pick up steam in the coming years, and it will be the (closest-thing-Canada-has-to-a) derby to watch.
1. The Terry Dunfield Goal (TTDG)
I watch a lot of soccer. And other than a few Antonio Di Natale goals, no other moment is burned into my mind as TTDG.
Toronto was playing Vancouver – Dunfield’s former team – at home on July 11, when, as per usual, the away team scored an equalizing goal in stoppage. The goal scorer, Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks decided to celebrate by dancing right in front of the supporter section, which was met by flying beers and people filing out of the stadium.
Once the game was back under control, the remaining fans watched as Toronto made one final push north to the Vancouver goal.
And then Torsten Frings took a corner kick.
And then Dunfield scored on a header.
And then I burst into tears… as did everyone else around me.
Dunfield, the man who now plays as a captain for Toronto (like in their most recent game against Montreal), scored the winning goal. Against his former team. In stoppage after an opposing goal.
I have never witnessed a more beautiful moment at BMO.
Acquiring Hassli: I was on a blind date when my phone started buzzing about Toronto acquiring Eric Hassli. I was so happy and overwhelmed by the news, I walked right past the restaurant and the poor boy had to come and find me. The date was a disaster, but it was completely worth it to have the Frenchman – and former FC Zurich player – in red.
BMO Field Staff: I have never met a more happy and helpful group of people than those who work at BMO. While we talk about the players and the management a lot, I think it’s important to mention the unsung heroes of “our house.” Despite whatever is happening on te pitch, I can count on those outside the stands to be reliable.
Before the That Night in the Skydome: Hundreds gathered at Croc Rock, a bar on Adelaide West, to March down to the Skydome, much to the surprise of the normal suits that occupy the Toronto neighbor. Flags, lights, and voices rang through the streets and I have never been more proud to be part of a loud, boisterous and optimistic crowd.
Remember, this season wasn’t as bad as everyone would like to believe, and I am sure you have your own Top Five list that I would love to hear.
In the meantime, I will be away for the next two weeks to chase Udinese across Europe for Europa. But don’t worry, I’ll be watching the last two Toronto FC games (the CONCACAF Champions League Quarter Final and the MLS game) at some ungodly hour and reporting from Switzerland.
It’s a hard life.
NEXT UP: Santos Laguna vs. Toronto FC (CONCACAF Champions League Quarter Final) last home game of the season) at Torreon on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. EST.
Post script: I just re-watche TTDG. I am crying again.