Toronto FC announced today that Bolton Wanders will be the competitor for the Carlsberg Cup in a friendly at BMO Field on July 21st. Here is the press release:

Let me first off state for the record that I am not a big fan of friendlies during the middle of the MLS season. They take focus away from the league. They can lead to the risk of needless injury. They create additional fatigue during the long season that does not help the club….. Need I go on? However I have over the few years of TFC’s existence found myself enjoying the friendly games I have seen all the same.

I did not see Real Madrid last season as I thought the prices were exorbitant and I was not pleased that they moved a league game to accommodate a friendly. But Independiente, Pachuca, Aston Villa and Benfica were some of the best fun I ever had at the stadium. I remember Andrea Lombardo scoring that wonderful goal for TFC against Villa. I remember Dunivant doing the leap into the south stands. I remember standing and applauding for Rui Costa as he left the field to be substituted. All wonderful memories.Benfica

MLS friendly matches are a fact of life in this league, at least for now. And I am not going to moan about the fact that MLSE was only able to secure a lower table Premiership side like Bolton as our competition on July 21st. A Seria A or Bundesliga club would have been a nice change of pace but I am not going to worry about what could have been. The game was already one season ticket holders such as myself have already paid for.

A lot of TFC fans on the message boards are bemoaning the fact that Bolton (with due respect, not the most exciting of EPL clubs) was the choice. Are we becoming that jaded and cynical already? A Premiership side is coming to Toronto to play TFC and because they are not Arsenal or Liverpool we hold up our noses? I could not disagree more.

My message is this. Go to the game. Have fun. Enjoy seeing world class players that we can only regularly see on television up close, and the fact that Toronto FC actually has a great chance to win this game (again all due respect Bolton) makes it even more likely that it will be a great summer evening at BMO Field.


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