Toronto FC lost the game, but won the battle last night in Monterrey. Despite losing 3-2 on the night, the Reds advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals for the second time in its history, drawing 4-4 and advancing on the away goals rule.
For a more analytic/tactical breakdown of the game, you can listen to the Sober Second Thoughts podcast, which was recorded minutes after the final whistle, or to Kevin Laramee and my thoughts on today's SoccerToday. But, this article is going to attempt to put the game and tie in perspective. Where does it rank in terms of TFC's greatest nights?
In this week's The Big List we rank to top 17* TFC results:
(*The Big List doesn't restrict itself to 10...)
No 17 - July 27, 2013 -- Weids in the rain -- Toronto 2, Columbus 1
The game didn't mean anything. At all. Unless you were there and stuck it out in the rain. When Andrew Wiedeman, the greatest finisher of the modern era, slid that goal in to end the misery of a 12 game winless streak in MLS and an oh-for-life streak against the Crew...man, it was the medicine many of us needed in that otherwise terrible 2013 season.
No 16 -- March 28, 2012 -- The Rumble at BMO -- Toronto FC 1, Santos Laguna 1
It was only the first leg and they didn't even win, but this was a game that had everything -- JDG's best game as a Red, a villain in Herc Gomez, false hope and, of course, a brawl at the final whistle. Maybe the funnest game ever played at BMO Field.
No 15 -- Oct. 20, 2007 - PITCH INVASION! - Toronto 2, New England 2
2007 was special. For many of us it's remembered as fondly as a first summer love -- it wasn't perfect and there were as many lows as highs, but the highs were so amazing. And it ended on a magical fall day when a club hero scored a stoppage time goal to cap off a two goal come back draw and a love affair that remains to this day. And a pitch invasion for a draw!
No 14 -- March 14, 2012 -- The worst champions in the world -- Toronto 2, Galaxy 1
Everyone remembers the Dome game -- and understandably so, it was the game that probably kept TFC relevant in the market through a lot of bad years -- but they didn't win the tie with the 2-2 home draw. They did that -- unexpectedly -- in LA a week later.
No 13 -- July 11, 2012 - Tassels Revenge -- Toronto 3, Vancouver 2
Another game that meant nothing much in he grad scheme of things, but man was it fun. A virtual Greek tragedy, it looked like TFC had blown it again when Darren Mattocks jumped over the CN Tower to score a stoppage goal equalizer. But then Terry Dunfield -- known lovingly as Tassels by many TFC fans -- ensured he'd never have to buy a drink in Toronto a gain with one of the most fondly remembered game winners of all time.
No 12 -- March 13, 2018 -- Wait, we won? -- Toronto 2, Tigres 3
Yesterday's game was an epic, no doubt, that featured an all world free kick, bizarre own goal and one very CONCACAF penalty call. Ultimately the collective 4-4 aggregate series would probably rank in the top 5 all-time, but in isolation this game falls outside top 10 because they did ultimately lose it.
No 11 -- June 29, 2016 -- Poor, poor Vancouver -- Toronto 1, Whitecaps 2
Will Johnson broke his leg while scoring a goal that won the Voyageurs Cup (on away goals) over snakebitten Vancouver on the last kick of the game. It was the start of a magically 18 month run of winning for TFC.
No 10 -- Oct 14, 2015 -- PLAYOFFS! YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS?! -- Toronto 2, Red Bulls 1
After nine frustrating, infuriating, bizarre and impossibly bad seasons TFC clinched its first playoff appearance. Good thing nothing else was happening in Toronto sports that night.
No 9 -- October 18, 2011 -- Where did that come from??? -- Toronto 3, Dallas 0
Completely out of nowhere a truly terrible TFC team that was having an awful season went to Dallas -- a stadium they never win in -- and smoked FC Dallas 3-0 to advance the CCL quarterfinals. Those CCL runs were what kept interest in the team alive through the dark years. This win is underappreciated in TFC history.
No 8 -- Nov 22, 2016 -- Gagner la Bataille; Perdre la Guerre -- Toronto 2, Montreal 3
The Montreal Impact had scored six straight playoff goals against Toronto. 50,000 Montreal fans were having a laugh at the clowns. Then Michael Bradley decided that enough was enough and the dark clouds faded away. The Impact have feared clowns ever since.
No 7 -- May 12, 2007 -- The 24th Minute -- Toronto 3, Chicago 1
The team's first goal, first win and first cult hero born all on the same day.
No 6 -- June 27, 2017 -- The forgotten trophy -- Toronto 2, Montreal 1
Lost in the excitement of TFC winning MLS Cup and Supporters Shield last year was the V-Cup win, which arguably was the most exciting game of the season. The stadium was as loud when Giovinco scored the late winner than at any time in the playoffs.
No 5. -- Nov 29, 2017 -- When Toronto Needed a Hero -- Toronto 1, Columbus 0
Maybe Luke Wilman's greatest call of his career -- "When Toronto FC needed a hero, Jozy Altidore delivers." Also, you can't win the MLS Cup if you don't make it there.
No 4 -- June 18, 2009 -- The Miracle in Montreal -- Toronto 6, Montreal 1
The undisputed No 1 on the list for most of TFC's history, the day TFC needed to score five goals to win and did (while adding another for good measure) will forever remain part of the club's lore. Also, TFC's first trophy was won that night.
No 3 -- March 6, 2018 -- To be the best you've gotta beat the best -- Toronto 2, Tigres 1
The first leg win -- and especially the way it happened, coming from behind and with a local player scoring the winner -- is going to be high on this list forever. It was the best team TFC has ever beaten and one of the best night's in BMO Field's history.
No 2 -- Nov 30, 2017 -- &^$&#&$!!11!1!! -- Toronto 5, Montreal 2
Without a doubt the most exciting, emotionally draining, insane night that any of us will likely ever experience at BMO Field. The memories of that night will last a lifetime. But, it can't be No 1 because...
No 1 -- Dec 9, 2017 -- Campioni! -- Toronto 2, Seattle 0
Let's not be cute. It's going to be hard to ever displace this one from top spot.
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What is the only country in the world to have hosted ever FIFA event in both the men's and women's game?
It's just a trivia question, but one that the Canadian Soccer Association badly wants to be the answer to. As of right now that answer is no one. If the United Bid of 2026 wins the day, Canada will lay claim to winning a race that no one else realized they were running (if we conveniently consider the 2002 Women's u19 event the current FIFA Women's U17 World Cup that is, but let's not get bogged down in literal facts right now).
The idea that this frozen land of ice hockey loving hosers that call the game soccer could possibly be the first to host every potential event is a compelling one and one that will get trotted out a lot in the build up to the bid vote and (hopefully for the CSA) over the eight year preparation for hosting.
The dream of landing the big prize of the men's World Cup has been openly talked about in Canadian soccer circles for at least a decade and work on a bid has been ongoing for far longer than most people realize. However, it was only in recent years that the CSA was convinced to drop their solo bid and instead attach their hopes to the United States where they are very much a minor partner along with Mexico.
It was really a path of least resistance for Canada. The US obviously has some incredible infrastructure advantages that neither Canada or Mexico can match, without building new stadiums themselves. Although Canada could build the stadiums -- We're rich. We could -- in today's political climate getting stadiums built with public funds is an exceptionally difficult thing to do.
But, also in today's political climate the United States has elected a man who is...let's call him divisive. That shouldn't offend any of his supporters that might read this, as they value that divisiveness.
That's their choice, but what matters here is that those who did not chose, or have a choice, to elect Donald Trump President do have a vote in the election to chose the 2026 World Cup host.
And, many of those people do not appreciate Trump calling their country a shithole, as he was perceived to have done last month.
There's no sense being coy about this. Trump is an obstacle to the bid winning. Canadian soccer has attached itself to the Trump Train, whether it wanted to or not.
And the train could throw the bid straight off the tracks.
When Morocco launched its bid to upset the United 2026 bid few gave it any chance. Now, however, many people are starting to do the math and are getting very nervous. As much as the ExCo voting structure was a mess that gave us Qatar and Russia, it was a little more predictable. The new one country, one vote system is a bit of a mystery.
That said, some math:
United Bid --
Nearly sure thing: CONCACAF 38 (Canada, USA, Mexico and Nicaragua) not eligible) votes, Western Europe 31, Oceania 14 + Japan and Australia = 84 votes
Nearly sure thing: Africa 55 votes (Morocco not eligible), Middle East 12, Central Asia 6 votes + North Korea = 74 votes
That leaves the rest of Asia (26 votes), South America (10 votes) and Eastern Europe (24 votes) as your decider. Can the United Bid find 20 votes from that 60?
Probably isn't that reassuring, especially since much of Canada's rebuilding plan on the men's side is dependent on getting this bid. And it's increasing becoming harder to argue that a Canada only bid would have been any worse off than tying ourselves to the political anchor that is the current state of US politics.
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