Toronto FC held a kick-off party for their fans last night in preparation for the new campaign, which starts this weekend in Vancouver against the Whitecaps.
After the events of last year, (finishing last in the MLS, attendances at an all-time low, ex-coach Paul Mariner arguing with the fans and so on) this is arguably the most important season to date in franchise history.
And in that respect, last night was the perfect opportunity to leave the past behind and look forward with a new sense of optimism (admittedly normally easier to do at the start of the season.)
Representing the fresh era, new head coach Ryan Nelsen was on hand to address fans, announcing, amongst other things, that ‘it’s out duty to give you everything’:
And this included giving the fans a new home shirt (What did we expect? MLSE has to make their money somehow after reducing season-ticket prices back to the original 2007 levels.)
Let’s just hope the players are as protective of their goal during games.
As always, one of the best aspects of events like these is the chance for fans to mingle with their favourite players:
Whatever criticisms people may have of TFC, there’s no denying they are doing everything they can to turn things around*, including bringing Kevin Payne in as President and General Manger. (During his tenure at D.C. United, they were the most successful team in the MLS, winning six championships.)
* Technically, can you still use the phrase ‘turning things around’ if you weren’t that good in the first place?
However, for all the changes Toronto FC are making off the pitch, it won’t count for anything if results don’t improve on the field. We should have a better indication of what direction the team is headed on Saturday.
Photo credits: @torontofc, @TorontoWUFC & @JonGauthier
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- By paul.taylor
- February 27, 2013