I’m not about to write anything you haven’t already heard or don’t already know.
You know what happened. You know. It’s been a blur. It’s incredible.
This is still bonus time. I just wanted one home playoff game. Just one, and I’d be happy. Everything else is bonus time.
Now we’re on the cusp of a fourth.
I genuinely believed three months ago that this team was good enough to “win it all”. There’s a consistency, resiliency, belief in this squad that, not only has never been seen by any version of Toronto FC, but dare I say the league as long as I’ve been watching.
There’ve been far more dominant teams who’ve won more games and played prettier football. That is not what I’m talking about.
What I’m talking about is coming back THREE TIMES over two legs.
Down 3-0 in Montreal, lose 3-2, but gain those precious away goals and probably could’ve stolen the game if they had more than 30 minutes to do it. That is a comeback.
Down 1-0 at home, pull two back before half-time.
Down 2-2, and it is “down” because at that point they’re going out of the Cup, but they not only get the lead, but then do the business in extra time.
Concede a second. The clock is now against you because at that point, you’re out.
And let’s talk about unlikely heroes.
- Cooper, who typically gets the ball, dances with it, gets tackled and draws the foul, bags the first goal.
- Hagglund, often joked about on this site as ‘he think’s he’s a forward’, from a large part of the season being on the bench and fought his way into the starting role over the last few months and smashes a header like a wrecking ball.
- Benoit Cheyrou, (for those of you who don’t listen to our podcast, full disclosure : I’m biased for the ex-Marseille midfielder) who hasn’t seen the pitch in a long time, comes in for an injured Giovinco and first touch puts Toronto through. Benny you legend.
“BennyBallsTM will save us all” is what I shouted when he was substituted. And he did.
The only other team that didn’t roll over and die was the one that got to CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals. Until de Guzman… nevermind, where was I – right, they’ve come back from many games. Some to tie, some to win. But this, as the kids say, is some next level shit right here (I’m pretty sure kids say that). [They do. ~ Ed.]
Writing match reports has been a catharsis of sorts. A therapy of trying to process “what the fuck did I just see” type stuff. Most of the time, it’s rehashing the gags with the rest of the crew. Sometimes it’s seeing a pattern or two and pointing it out. But this… this is something else.
I couldn’t sing too much. I was nervous. Those of you who could, good for you, but I’ve seen too much bad and disaster to believe they could do this.
There was one thought though that I had shortly after the end of the match, and I feel like it’s hilariously justified that Toronto is the team of destiny, and you can choose to interpret all you want, but hear me out :
2016 has been widely accepted as a shit year as a whole. The passing of great artists, the rise of anti-intellectualism, THAT election to the south… Toronto winning the MLS Cup HAS to be the icing on the cake for someone. Our beloved Robins “ruining American Soccer” or whatever narrative fits, I don’t know, but it oddly seems appropriate.
I’m still processing this. My voice is shot. I’m exhausted. In nine days time, we’ll do this for a Toronto FC MLS Cup final at home.
A TORONTO FC MLS CUP FINAL AT HOME?!?!
It’s been a blur. It’s incredible. #ALTITTS *hey*