Sports betting is now live in Ontario, so what better time to talk about Canada's National soccer team's recent successes! Additionally, the 2021/22 Premier League season is starting to approach its home stretch, and as teams prepare for their final bookings of the year and fight for their spots on the table, we’ve caught up […]
Historic TFC Season Creates Big Expectations
MLS Cup Predictions Point To Toronto FC
Many MLS soccer pundits believe that Toronto FC fields the best lineup in MLS history, bar none. They concluded the regular season with 69 points, breaking a 19-year-old record held by the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Reds also earned 20 wins, tying the record set by the Seattle Sounders in 2014, clinching the Supporters’ Shield a month before their first playoff match.
Toronto’s dominance was outlined by ESPN’s team of analysts, with depth and scoring prowess as repeated themes. Of the eleven experts asked to prognosticate the MLS Cup winner, nine staked their prediction to the Reds. The other two believed that the Vancouver Whitecaps would emerge as champions on December 9th.
Statistics gurus at FiveThirtyEight give Toronto FC a 27% chance of winning the cup, 11% better than the Seattle Sounders – last year’s champs. MLS Cup odds offered by some sportsbooks suggest that Toronto FC is two times more likely to win than New York City FC, who have the second-best odds of winning. Toronto hasn’t won a major pro sports championship since the Toronto Blue Jays, nearly a quarter-century ago. The Reds were close last year, and most believe that this will be the season the drought ends.
Culture Of Winning Lifts TFC To New Heights
Everyone knows the designated player trio of Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, who form one of the best cores in the MLS over the past few years. However, general manager Tim Bezbatchenko should be lauded for signing Bradley, and finding a fantastic array of key supporting personnel who get the most out of Toronto superstars.
Bradley has been an enforcer of culture change within the Reds organization, bringing a blue-collar mentality to everyday duties. Little gestures, like choosing coach over first-class to fly alongside his team, created a significant ripple effect throughout the organization. Instead accepting old patterns established during the early seasons of the TFC, Bradley forcefully eliminated the lack of professionalism that used to define the club.
Bezbatchenko includes himself as part of the culture change, striving for continual improvement instead of resting on the laurels of an MLS Cup run. Adding Victor Vasquez was a stroke of genius, putting Toronto FC’s already-deadly attack over the top.
Giovinco and Altidore have received more support from the midfield than prior seasons. This diversifies the attack with notable contributions from backs like Justin Morrow, who completed a hat trick to confirm the Reds first Supporters’ Shield.
The front office should be applauded for following up on Tim Leiweke’s initial vision for the club. TFC is deep at every position and without an obvious weakness, a difficult task in the complicated financial structure of the MLS.
Reds Look Great – But Nothing’s Guaranteed
It’s a stretch to believe that Toronto FC will fall flat before the MLS Finals, mostly because of the team’s historic strength and depth. Nonetheless, trends show that only a single top seed has made the MLS Cup since the introduction of the knockout round in the playoffs.
The 2011 Los Angeles Galaxy won the cup as the number one seed from the west, but every other conference winner has been between the second and fifth seed.
The Reds must remain fully focused to avoid becoming the latest favorite to be kicked out of the MLS playoffs before the final game of the season. All it takes is a short burst of bad play to put themselves behind the eight ball. Still, TFC faithful should be pleased that their side will win the cup if they maintain their lofty regular season example.
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The long wait is finally over for Canadian soccer fans. That's because Canada Soccer is back to World Cup for the first time since 1986. The Canada National Team has been downright sensational in World Cup qualifying and things were finalized for their trip to Qatar on Sunday night. All Canada needed was a draw […]
The European Super League (ESL) was supposed to be the breakaway club for top European football clubs, the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Liverpool to name a few.
The full list of Super League clubs:
- English - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham.
- Spanish - Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid.
- Italian - AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus.
However, plans broke down the very next day after the featured clubs made the announcement, led by Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez. Perez has been defiant in the face of big clubs like Juventus and Manchester City dropping out, with the governing body FIFA also threatening to ban teams from their domestic leagues.
The anger and frustration at the decision to go ahead with a Super League boiled over when fans of Premier League clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham held mass protests outside the relative stadiums. The announcement caused a wave of protest across Europe, as UEFA made it clear that all clubs involved would face repercussions if they were to go ahead and compete in the breakaway Super League.
But, what upset the fans so much and is the Super League really so different from the Champions League?