Home Field Advantage By The Numbers
Sporting a new North Stand, some new amenities and of course a new grass pitch, Toronto FC opens accounts at BMO Field on Thursday for it’s home opener against the expansion side Philadelphia Union.
Now after losing both away games to start the season there is undeniably a large amount of anger and foreboding out there in the dedicated TFC fan base. On the boards I am reading about some fans planning to wave pink slips for Nick Garcia for example and of even silence during the introduction of the players on Thursday. None of these kinds of actions, albeit understandable reactions, are going to accomplish anything. The players do not choose themselves. Mo builds the club and Preki chooses the starting eleven.
I am as angry as the next guy about how things have gone so far for TFC, and maybe angrier than most. I think that this season in many ways feels like a rebuilding year more than anything else, and in our fourth season calling it a rebuilding year is one of the most depressing things of all.
But I think a bit of perspective is in order. And to get some perspective I took a look at last season’s stats for Toronto FC home and away. Hopefully they can provide us some perspective and context for what the club has to do in order to get into the playoffs this season.
2009 Home Record
- Wins 8
- Losses 4
- Draws 3
- Points 27
2009 Away Record
- Wins 2
- Losses 7
- Draws 6
- Points 12
- Wins 10
- Losses 11
- Draws 9
- Points 39
We dropped 18 points at home on that horrible rug called FieldturfTM. Even if we do just the same at home this season as last year the team will give itself a fighting chance. Columbus (Supporters Shield Winners last season) won only 13 out of 30 games last year to lead the league.
Away we only won twice all season. Two games won outright. Six draws away and seven outright losses. Win one or maybe two more games on the road than last season and we have a fighting chance to make the playoffs.
The debate has already begun about if this club is as good as last season. I for one do not think we are as good, not even close, but that does not necessarily mean we won’t make the playoffs. As I keep stressing, at this point it is too early to tell. There were three points separating 7th and 12th places last season in MLS. Parity can be the great leveller.
Even though the road ahead is long I believe strongly that TFC has to win the game Thursday. Nothing less is acceptable and nothing less will allay the fears that a large segment of the fan base has about the club’s prospects this season. A loss means the road ahead will be dramatically tougher if a win against an expansion club can’t take place and an 0-3 record will be a significant hurdle to overcome, even in a “parity” league.