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  1. Let's start with the obvious. Sebastian Giovinco will be missed. Mostly by Toronto fans, but also by MLS fans in general. The little Italian thrilled fans for four seasons, scoring 73 league goals, many of them of the jaw dropping variety. He also won. Three Voyageurs Cups and a Supporters Shield were the appetizer to the ultimate prize. The 2017 MLS Cup championship. Dream stuff for long-time TFC fans who lived through a lot of bad football to get to that day. He was a Bloody Big Deal. And, now he's gone. Not with a bang, but rather a pout. Walking out the door in the mi
  2. Let's start with the obvious. Sebastian Giovinco will be missed. Mostly by Toronto fans, but also by MLS fans in general. The little Italian thrilled fans for four seasons, scoring 73 league goals, many of them of the jaw dropping variety. He also won. Three Voyageurs Cups and a Supporters Shield were the appetizer to the ultimate prize. The 2017 MLS Cup championship. Dream stuff for long-time TFC fans who lived through a lot of bad football to get to that day. He was a Bloody Big Deal. And, now he's gone. Not with a bang, but rather a pout. Walking out the door in the mi
  3. One of the first things they team you in Journalism School is that you should never put a date in your lead. The first paragraph of any story needs to grab the attention of the reader and no one gets excited by a date. That might explain why the Canadian Premier League didn’t lead off its press conference yesterday with the date of its first ever game. Instead, they started by explaining how Volkswagen Canada was the league’s first major corporate partner. More on that in a minute, but to most fans they buried the lead. April 27, 2019 at 1pm in Hamilton, Ontario. The 905 Derby (ug
  4. One of the first things they team you in Journalism School is that you should never put a date in your lead. The first paragraph of any story needs to grab the attention of the reader and no one gets excited by a date. That might explain why the Canadian Premier League didn’t lead off its press conference yesterday with the date of its first ever game. Instead, they started by explaining how Volkswagen Canada was the league’s first major corporate partner. More on that in a minute, but to most fans they buried the lead. April 27, 2019 at 1pm in Hamilton, Ontario. The 905 Derby (ug
  5. The Ottawa Fury appear to have lost the game of chicken that they were playing against CONCACAF and the CSA. Yesterday, the club announced that they would not be allowed to play in the US-based USL for 2019. This is despite receiving a tepid approval from the CSA in September, when they refused to become founding members of the CanPL. This leaves the Fury in a difficult position just four months out from the start of the season. However, according to multiple people working inside the game, they shouldn’t be surprised. “They knew this was possible,” one source said. “Yet, they went a
  6. The Ottawa Fury appear to have lost the game of chicken that they were playing against CONCACAF and the CSA. Yesterday, the club announced that they would not be allowed to play in the US-based USL for 2019. This is despite receiving a tepid approval from the CSA in September, when they refused to become founding members of the CanPL. This leaves the Fury in a difficult position just four months out from the start of the season. However, according to multiple people working inside the game, they shouldn’t be surprised. “They knew this was possible,” one source said. “Yet, they went a
  7. The season has begun and begun well with TFC carrying a 2 nil lead into the home leg of the CCL round of 16! A fine headed goal by Jonathan Osorio (assisted by Seba) and a superb side-volley goal from Giovinco (assisted by Auro) along with at least one hugely clutch save from Bono has put TFC in a commanding position to move into the CCL quarter-finals! My only question mark for Tuesday is the pitch!
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. It's funny that both sides of this derby can't even agree on what to name it. I feel the 401 derby is a terrible name, especially considering there's no 401 highway here. What should it be called? My vote is on The Canadian Classic or Le Classique Canadien, since it translates well to both languages. Though, I have seen some Whitecaps fans get pretty butt-hurt about the name. (I'm not sure if there's a thread debating this yet or not, I couldn't find one.)
  11. Stephen Appiah was 14 years and 322 days old when he made his senior debut for Ghana. He is the 8th youngest player to play a full international and the youngest to have played for a country that has qualified for a senior World Cup. Although Appiah was never really a global superstar, his was a career that nearly any player would have been proud of. He had 67 senior caps for Ghana, scoring 14 goals. He won a FIFA u17 World Cup, was an Olympian and played in several AFCON tournaments. On the club side, he managed to find the field for one of the biggest clubs in the world, Juventus, where
  12. Stephen Appiah was 14 years and 322 days old when he made his senior debut for Ghana. He is the 8th youngest player to play a full international and the youngest to have played for a country that has qualified for a senior World Cup. Although Appiah was never really a global superstar, his was a career that nearly any player would have been proud of. He had 67 senior caps for Ghana, scoring 14 goals. He won a FIFA u17 World Cup, was an Olympian and played in several AFCON tournaments. On the club side, he managed to find the field for one of the biggest clubs in the world, Juventus, where
  13. Back in the glory days of the 24thMinute.com (no one blogs anymore. It’s kind of sad, he says ironically) I used to publish a monthly projection of the MLS standings that was designed to take into consideration the massive swing in fortune between teams playing at home and on the road. Many TFC fans got irrationally angry at such a suggestion because, at the time, they had seen no evidence of teams excelling at home. Man, weren’t those early days fun! However, the simply projections proved to be remarkably accurate throughout the years that I published them. After a Twitter exchange
  14. Back in the glory days of the 24thMinute.com (no one blogs anymore. It’s kind of sad, he says ironically) I used to publish a monthly projection of the MLS standings that was designed to take into consideration the massive swing in fortune between teams playing at home and on the road. Many TFC fans got irrationally angry at such a suggestion because, at the time, they had seen no evidence of teams excelling at home. Man, weren’t those early days fun! However, the simply projections proved to be remarkably accurate throughout the years that I published them. After a Twitter exchange
  15. Recently John Molinaro wrote a wonderful oral history of TFC. Go read it it. I'll wait. Good, eh? However, the article focused a lot on the more positive parts of the TFC experience. That's understandable as it was an oral history and no one involved with the club would want to focus on the less...fun moments in the club's history. Things that I like to call WTF TFC Moments. So this week's Big List will focus on the Top 10 WTF TFC moments of all-time. 10 - One wild night at Club Escobar, 2012 There is no debate about what TFC's worst season was. It was 2012. That was the b
  16. Recently John Molinaro wrote a wonderful oral history of TFC. Go read it it. I'll wait. Good, eh? However, the article focused a lot on the more positive parts of the TFC experience. That's understandable as it was an oral history and no one involved with the club would want to focus on the less...fun moments in the club's history. Things that I like to call WTF TFC Moments. So this week's Big List will focus on the Top 10 WTF TFC moments of all-time. 10 - One wild night at Club Escobar, 2012 There is no debate about what TFC's worst season was. It was 2012. That was the b
  17. Bill Manning sat down for a long form interview with the Vocal Minority Podcast this week. There's lots to unpack from that interview. You should listen to it in full. Part 1 here. Part 2 here. However, the part most will be interested in is Manning clarifying his position on the CanPL. Below is the transcribed portion of that conversation. You can listen to it starting at 16:55 of part 2 of the interview. BM = Bill Manning, KZK = Kristin Knowles, MH = Mark Hinkley, DF = Duncan Fletcher, TW = Tony Walsh KZK - CPL time! BM - Yes! KZK - Most requested topic by our liste
  18. Bill Manning sat down for a long form interview with the Vocal Minority Podcast this week. There's lots to unpack from that interview. You should listen to it in full. Part 1 here. Part 2 here. However, the part most will be interested in is Manning clarifying his position on the CanPL. Below is the transcribed portion of that conversation. You can listen to it starting at 16:55 of part 2 of the interview. BM = Bill Manning, KZK = Kristin Knowles, MH = Mark Hinkley, DF = Duncan Fletcher, TW = Tony Walsh KZK - CPL time! BM - Yes! KZK - Most requested topic by our liste
  19. There tends to be a bias in sports management that favours the player you picked over the player you inherited. It makes sense. After all, you fell in love with your player. The other player is an arranged marriage sort of thing. You might eventually love them, but it's going to take work from both sides. Sometimes one or neither side is willing to put in that work though and the relationship dissolves without ever having had a chance. This brings us to the case of Quillan Roberts and Alex Bono vs Greg Vanney and Tim Bezbatchenko. The latter fell in love with the man who's last name
  20. There tends to be a bias in sports management that favours the player you picked over the player you inherited. It makes sense. After all, you fell in love with your player. The other player is an arranged marriage sort of thing. You might eventually love them, but it's going to take work from both sides. Sometimes one or neither side is willing to put in that work though and the relationship dissolves without ever having had a chance. This brings us to the case of Quillan Roberts and Alex Bono vs Greg Vanney and Tim Bezbatchenko. The latter fell in love with the man who's last name
  21. People love lists. Journalism schools likely teach list making now. Instead of going on a rant about the death of journalism - I'll save that for Facebook -- CSN is going to embrace it with the debut of this new feature. The Big List will rank things. Sometimes 10, sometimes 8, sometimes 15. Whatever I feel like when I write it, basically. Today, it's 10. The reason it's 10 is because there's literally only 10 of them to rank. The subject is the best 10 TFC home openers. Presented from worst to first: 10 -- April 4, 2009 vs Seattle, 0-2 Let's start with the cold. Oh
  22. People love lists. Journalism schools likely teach list making now. Instead of going on a rant about the death of journalism - I'll save that for Facebook -- CSN is going to embrace it with the debut of this new feature. The Big List will rank things. Sometimes 10, sometimes 8, sometimes 15. Whatever I feel like when I write it, basically. Today, it's 10. The reason it's 10 is because there's literally only 10 of them to rank. The subject is the best 10 TFC home openers. Presented from worst to first: 10 -- April 4, 2009 vs Seattle, 0-2 Let's start with the cold. Oh
  23. Philadelphia Union (0-0-1) v TFC (0-0-1), Match Day 2 TSN 4 – 4:30pm, Saturday CSN Away Viewing is upstairs at Pauper’s Pub (Bathurst and Bloor). Check the usual suspects (Wheat Sheaf, Shoeless Joe’s, etc.) for others or add your viewing in the comments. Last meeting: TFC won its first ever playoff game in rather convincing fashion to launch a magical run that lasted through to the end of November. I’m not sure what happened in December. Most famous game: In what was possibly Aron Winter’s darkest moment the exceptionally average Union put six – yes, SIX – goals by the Wors
  24. Philadelphia Union (0-0-1) v TFC (0-0-1), Match Day 2 TSN 4 – 4:30pm, Saturday CSN Away Viewing is upstairs at Pauper’s Pub (Bathurst and Bloor). Check the usual suspects (Wheat Sheaf, Shoeless Joe’s, etc.) for others or add your viewing in the comments. Last meeting: TFC won its first ever playoff game in rather convincing fashion to launch a magical run that lasted through to the end of November. I’m not sure what happened in December. Most famous game: In what was possibly Aron Winter’s darkest moment the exceptionally average Union put six – yes, SIX – goals by the Wors
  25. Talk about burying the lead. Toronto FC fans got a surprise yesterday and not one that they would have been looking forward to. That Champions League spot that many were looking forward to is not just delayed until next February -- it's been taken away completely. The news was almost hidden in a release announcing the extension of the Canadian Championship to include the winner of the PLSQ and League1 Ontario. So, to re-cap, the CSA got one thing right and one thing very wrong. Let's start with the wrong. Appreciating the fact that a lot of people in this country love it when
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