Try to tune out the sensationalists. The story of Toronto FC’s home opener Saturday will have as much to do with BMO security preparing for the so-called soccer hooligans, as it has to do with the peameal bacon sandwiches the stadium sells.
The real storyline, as Toronto takes to the field against the undefeated expansion Seattle Sounders, centres on three main characters.
Character the first: The hero, hometown in nature, Dwayne De Rosario.
Scarborough’s Son takes to the Toronto pitch for his eagerly anticipated home debut.
Widely considered one of the best to ever play in the MLS, De Rosario’s performances in his first two games have solidly met expectations. Expect to see an inspired performance out of him in front of a frothing Toronto crowd.
Character the second: The puppet master, German in nature, Sigi Schmid. The 2008 coach of the year brings the Sounders to town playing some incredibly entertaining soccer. Their pinpoint offence picked apart Real Salt Lake last week in a 2-0 win over the league’s best defence. Toronto’s back four is nowhere near as organized as RSL and Schmid will send waves of attack in the first half hoping to quiet the Toronto crowd.
Character the third: The villain, midfielder in nature, underwear model by trade, Freddie Ljungberg. Seattle’s Swede has a knack for watching games from the sidelines due to injury. But when he’s actually on the pitch the man can do some damage.
Perhaps Toronto’s Adrian Serioux should set the tone and greet Ljungberg the same way he greeted David Beckham a few seasons back — a hard, sweeping tackle, followed by a coy, “Welcome, baby, welcome.”
Promoting violence? The sensationalists are shocked. Forget them and get down with the TFC storyline — Ljungberg is the villain, treat him as such.
Watch Ben Rycroft on the It’s Called Football show every Sunday at metronews.ca