By Eric Wilkins, Staff Writer
The MLS season is drawing to a close and it looks like the Vancouver Whitecaps will just sneak into the playoffs. Now, it would be all fine and dandy to write a happy little piece about how the Caps have greatly improved since last season, how the contributions of their new players have been key, and how it’s a miracle it took them this long to bench Joe Cannon, but that just wouldn’t do. Not after the Toronto FC have had such a miserable season, that is.
The team has had a horrible go of it this year. Absolutely horrendous. One of the worst seasons ever seen by MLS. TFC is last in the entire league, 19th place with a woeful 22 points from 32 games. That 22 points is comprised of five wins, seven draws, and 20 losses. Downright disgusting. Forgive me for any possible redundancy in my writing here, but it’s rather difficult not to gleefully indulge in Toronto hate, being a proud Vancouverite.
With the exception of 2009, when the club missed out on the playoffs by a mere point, the team has consistently finished at, or near the bottom of the MLS. While injuries to Torsten Frings, Stefan Frei, Danny Koevermans, and a host of other players have significantly handicapped the squad this year, it’s still unacceptable that the organization has yet to make the playoffs. TFC can’t hide behind the fact that they’re an expansion club anymore; six seasons in and that line has gotten a little old. Fan attendance has dwindled down to the 15,000 range, in stark contrast to the full houses of over 20,000 that used to be common occurrences. Maple Leaf Sport and Entertainment (MLSE), who owns Toronto FC, is getting restless as well.
One has to wonder if MLSE has ever considered the fact that perhaps they are at fault? MLSE also owns the Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Marlies, and the Toronto Maple Laughs. The Marlies aside, and they barely count since they’re an AHL team, those teams add up to a whole lot of losing. The Raptors were 24 in the entire NBA last year, and the Laughs were tied for 25 in the NHL. MLSE may not be the ones playing out there, but they are the ones who put the product out there. It’s too much of a coincidence that the clubs they own can do so poorly. Someone upstairs, whether it’s general manager hirings or otherwise, is making some bad decisions.
Either that, or it’s just impossible to be in Toronto and do well at sports. The Blue Jays are terrible too. But it’s probably a bit of both. And, just because I love to slag ‘em: What’s the difference between the Toronto Maple Leafs and a cigarette vending machine? The vending machine has Players. Zing!