A Supporter’s Lament: On Toronto FC’s MLS Cup Win
A bit of a ramble from me about TFC and what is simultaneously one of the happiest and saddest days in my life – because it’s all about me (but mostly it’s all about you).
Toronto FC are MLS Cup champions – the most glorious thing ever. The first Canadian team to win the Cup, the first MLS team to win the domestic treble, records galore – just so wonderful. There’s no denying the wonder of this season, to get to experience your team do all the damn things – honestly there’s nothing like it.
I’m a Day One TFC supporter – the first club I’ve truly been able to call my own; my very own local side – not a team that I’ve adopted from elsewhere (which we’ve all done), to agonize over, cheer for, stress about…it’s fantastic. You all know the roller coaster it’s been, you know what we’ve been through – the poor management, the revolving door of players and coaches, the ‘worst team in the world’, being the joke of the league, having to defend your support of your team, watching them screw up time and again – to this most wonderful of achievements, again I say it’s fantastic.
I’ve gone from knowing no one in the community, sitting in the upper west stand (and meeting great people), to getting involved via social media, moving to the south stand and finding my other family – the people that I spend my time with, share stories, experiences, laughter and tears with. I’ve stood in wind, rain, sun, snow, full stands and mostly empty stadiums with you. I’ve spent countless hours with you; in bars, online, on road trips – and I’ve loved every minute of being with you, my other family, even the times that we’ve fought (because that’s what families do), we’re still family and we come together to support our club in good times and bad.
This club is what I spend most of my free time on; writing, tweeting, podcasting – because I love it, I love the team, I love the conversation, I love the game. Having this be part of my life has seen me through some tough times, when there wasn’t anything else I could focus on this was the one thing that kept me going – so thank you TFC, thank you my other family for giving me that.
So to say that I missed you, missed my other family, during Saturday’s MLS Cup Final is an understatement. Something that every sports fan dreams of – to witness their team lift their league’s cup – was heartbreaking for me to miss. I’m not exaggerating when I say this, my heart is broken at missing being with you, being in the stands, shouting and supporting and cheering my team on to victory. I cried when they won – I cried with joy, and I also cried with sadness. It is surreal to be watching/reliving/experiencing that glorious win from the outside; when I’ve been there for every other moment, shared them with you and this time I couldn’t.
I’m so glad that you were there, you all looked and sounded amazing. I’m so happy for every last one of you – I know how much time and effort you all put in, how much you’ve felt the things I’ve felt, how this means as much to you as it does to me. I love you guys, you are truly the best.
And I’m so happy for the team; for the Canadian kids – for Oso, for Ash, for Tos, for Jordan, for Raheem and Chappers; for Marky (good anthem singing); for Vazquez who keeps playing in the Matrix; for Seba and his unselfish play; for Bradley and his stoic ways, for Altidore and his ankle, for Moor being everyone’s dad, for Morrow and his amazing year; for Irwin for losing his spot graciously; for Bones for stepping up; for Mavinga and his unbridled enthusiasm, for Hagglund and his maturity, for Beita and his comeback; for Cooper and his flag celebration; for Zavs on a breakthrough year, for Hernandez and his veteran presence; for Cheyrou for always being a class act, and for everyone else I’ve forgotten to mention. Of course for Vanney too – a coach I’ve not always believed in, who’s grown in ways I didn’t think possible, who brought this team to the this moment.
So while I’m filled with sadness, I’m also filled with joy (and gratitude), and know that the next time this happens I’ll be there right next to you, my other family, to share the joy.
When does CCL start again? See you soon everyone.