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Found 2 results

  1. Have a listen! You can listen to this, and all previous, episodes of the podcast on iTunes HERE. Or download it for your later listening delight HERE. We also have an iPhone app, so you can now add our podcast to your phone as an app. Visit the podcast's mobile site HERE and then at the bottom of the screen just click the "Quick Launch" icon and the podcast will be added to your home screen and appear as an app. And if that's not enough, we're on Stitcher Radio Network. Download the app and listen to the AFTN podcast on your device, along with over 20,000 other shows HERE. Or after all that, you could just listen on the player below!
  2. Three games is the most that Toronto FC has ever won consecutively in MLS action. It first happened back in the spring of 2008 under John Carver, and then again in the early weeks of short Paul Mariner’s tenure in 2012. No other TFC coaches have managed the feat, and the team has never won four league games in a row. Suffice to say, winning has been too rare in Toronto. Even this streak will come with an asterisk if the Reds were to manage to get to four straight victories, as the midweek loss to the Montreal Impact in the Canadian Championship has already interrupted the sequence of wins in all competitions. The bottom half of the Eastern Conference is proving to be as weak as pundits expected in pre-season. In addition to equaling the winning streak record, points in the home opener would also keep TFC pushing away from the struggling sides lurking below them and onto the heels of the respectable portion of the East’s standings. The difference might be marginal, but if the Reds can stay in the mix with the upper-half a playoff position will take care of itself. Until Toronto finally succeeds in crossing that threshold, the doubts created by years of failure create extra pressure the club would do well to avoid. With 17 home games amongst their remaining 27 league matches, Toronto FC has a chance to be a feel good story through the summer if they can simply avoid the sort of extended summer slide that derailed seasons in the team’s early years. Standing in the way of the TFC Sunday is the Houston Dynamo. Newly re-installed in the Western Conference, after four years in the East, the even bigger change is the appointment of a new head coach. Former Burnley, Bolton Wanderers, and Wigan Athletic manager Owen Coyle has replaced the only coach the Dynamo ever had, Dominic Kinnear, for the 2015 season. At one point Coyle was known for producing entertaining sides on limited budgets but his record in the past few years has been, at best, unspectacular. The Dynamo’s selection raised eyebrows around the league as it bucks the trend of prioritizing MLS knowledge when hiring new coaches. The list of failed foreign managers in MLS is long, but probably overstated due to the spectacular flameouts of coaches like Ruud Gullit, Aron Winter, Carlos de los Cobos, and John Carver. The truth is that there have been many mediocre North American coaches in the league’s history, and foreigners like Hans Backe, Gary Smith and even arguably Marco Schallibaum all achieved different degrees of success in difficult environments. Houston will be hoping that Coyle is more like the latter than the former. So far, however, results have been mixed, and trending towards disappointing. The Dynamo have one more point than TFC, but sit one place off bottom in the Western Conference. With a win, the Reds would move ahead of Houston in the combined Supporter’s Shield standings and knock the Dynamo’s points-per-game ratio below one. A PPG that poor would keep a side well out of the playoff race historically. Even with more spots open as a consequence of expanding the playoffs to 12 teams, the Dynamo will not be relevant under Coyle unless that number improves substantially. Winless in their last four, the Dynamo will hope that TFC’s long road trip to start the season has left the Reds vulnerable. For Toronto, opening the rebuilt BMO Field with a win, however, would be an important step to convincing justifiably sceptical fans that the club has finally assembled a team that can compete over the course of an entire season. Three game winning streaks shouldn’t be very special. For Toronto FC, each step towards a playoff spot would be.
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