Too Early To Quit
I get it.
I get that this team of ours is not going to win the League in 2013.
I get that the playoffs might be a pipe dream. I get defending the Voyageurs Cup is probably going to be a huge ask yet again, let alone do what we did in the Champions League in 2011-2012.
I even get that the pace of change and for that matter many of the decisions already taken since November by Kevin Payne in his new role leading Toronto FC can certainly be called into question.
But is it not way too early for the media and for that matter some of the the fans of this team to write this 2013 campaign off already? Are there not enough days and weeks ahead to question these decisions?
Thursday evening while watching the ”Soccer Show” on Rogers Sportsnet I started to find myself getting a little angry as I listened to the hosts and their guests essentially throw the entire 2013 campaign away already as some sort of irrelevancy before the Home Opener takes place and thirty three MLS games have yet to be played,let alone the defense of the Voyageurs Cup.
Don’t get me wrong I am a realist (or at least I think I am). If you were to ask me what I think that the best outcome for TFC in 2013 would be it would to be at least in the conversation for the playoffs by Labour Day. Not IN the playoffs mind you but not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs either by the end of the summer. Then see what happens in a parity/salary cap/single entity League like MLS is. If Toronto can somehow find the means to be near the League average in goals conceded and also improve its home field performances I for one do not think that is beyond the team as it is today.
Okay. I’m a bit of an optimist too. Goal scoring is going to be a big challenge no doubt. Creativity in the midfield is lacking and finding a combination of players on the fly that will put the ball into the net enough to secure the wins and draws needed to keep the project moving along is probably a bigger question than anything on the defensive side of the equation.
But why not be an optimist? Saturday is Home Opener Day! My little tribe has arisen from its winter slumber and will gather at a somewhat unfamiliar place to cheer and yell and chant and perhaps at different times and under different circumstances find themselves daydreaming about the possible.
Home Openers are about the possible. Let us all try and remember that on Saturday.
I took the photo you see here back in April 2007 before the start of TFC’s first Home Opener (also against Kansas City). It is the very first look I ever took from inside BMO Field.
Looking at this picture again makes me remember the possibilities we ALL thought the team would one day bring us as supporters that day. TFC has brought us some success, and let us down so many more times to be sure but if only for a few seconds on Saturday try and remember the possible.
It’s belief in the possible that should be more than anything else the reason to keep coming back. Reality will eventually always get in the way of the possible.
But it should not Saturday.