Toronto FC scarves? Check.
A book full of TFC songs? Check
A sea of soccer mad fans all professing to be the maddest of
the lot? Check.
The atmosphere off the pitch a year ago was strikingly
similar to this year’s home-opener, Saturday, for Canada’s lone Major League Soccer
team. But, on the pitch, the pedigree and degree of skill is decidedly
different in this, the 2008 TFC squad.
Consider if you will, at the same time last year, Toronto FC
were 0-3, debuting a 1-0 loss to their home fans, and had yet to manage a goal.
In fact, they wouldn’t score their first goal until the
fifth game, when they defeated the Chicago Fire 3-1, and in a moment now
secured as legend the game day give away seat cushions rained down from all over
BMO stadium in celebration.
Saturday, the 2008 TFC recorded their second win of the
season, downing Real
1-0 on the strength of Laurent Robert’s 31st minute free kick from
just outside the 18 yard box.
With all eyes on Amado Guevara to take the shot, a recent
international signing and the man brought down by a Salt Lake defender only
moments before just outside the box, the Honduras native faked two steps toward
the ball, before Robert stepped up and rifled a left footed shot through the Salt
Lake wall and past ‘keeper Nick Rimando, to send the TFC faithful into a
The songs, streamers and bleacher stomping that has become
synonymous at BMO stayed strong and in good voice as Toronto ‘keeper Greg
Sutton made several key second half stops to preserve a shutout on his 31st
Another newcomer, the third starter added since the 2008
campaign began, wide right midfielder Rohan Ricketts gave Salt Lake defenders
fits all day down the right side. His match fitness began to show, as he tired
quickly into the second half, but mixed with Guevara’s touch and playmaking
ability, along with an increased presence of the 2007 rookie of the year
Maurice Edu, the TFC midfield is quickly becoming one of the strongest in the
The Toronto FC continues their 5 game home stand next
Saturday against the Kansas City Wizards.
sits in first place in the Eastern Conference – 4 points up on the Toronto