Know Your Foe-toronto

History

Toronto FC became the first Canadian club in Major League Soccer when they were awarded a franchise in 2005. They struggled in their formative years on the pitch, including their 2007 inaugural season, but off the pitch their fan support remained impressive.

However, they did manage to win the 2009 Canadian Championship – a tournament consisting of just Canadian teams – after beating the Montreal Impact 6 – 1 off a Dwayne De Rosario hattrick. They would go to win four consecutive Canadian Championships winning the following 2010, 2011, and 2012 editions of the competition.

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Dwayne De Rosario

But their success in the Canadian Championship never translated to MLS. That is until 2015 when a coaching change and historic signings changed the trajectory of the Club.

The first major move by Toronto was to sign U.S. international Michael Bradley from Roma in Italy. The next step was the hiring of Greg Vanney as the new head coach. Ahead of the 2015 season, they signed another U.S. international, striker Jozy Altidore from Sunderland.

But it was the signing of 28-year-old Sebastian Giovinco from Italian giant, Juventus, that made headlines across the world. Bringing a foreign player in his prime from a European powerhouse to MLS was unheard of at the time – and it paid dividends.

This trio of players with the leadership of Vanney led to a dominant Toronto FC side for the next three years. In 2015, Giovinco became the first player to lead the league in both goals and assists which earned him MLS MVP honors. That same year, Toronto FC made playoffs for the first time in their history.

The next season, Toronto took it a step further and managed to make the 2016 MLS Cup Final but lost to the Seattle Sounders. But it was in 2017 when Toronto FC would peak and become the first Canadian club to win the domestic treble. They won the Canadian Championship, Supporter’s Shield, and exacted revenge on the Sounders by beating them in their MLS Cup Final rematch.

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After winning the MLS Cup and the departure of Sebastian Giovinco the following year, Toronto would remain competitive in large part due to Giovinco’s replacement, Spaniard Alejandro Pozuelo. They would continue to make playoffs but couldn’t replicate the trophy-winning success of the previous years.

Present

Toronto FC has once again made headlines with their blockbuster moves on the transfer market. They have signed Italian internationals and Euro 2020 winners, wingers Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi as pillars of their rebuild.

They also hired previous United States Men’s National Team and MLS coach, Bob Bradley, to lead the way. But like any rebuild, it takes time and they’ve had their share of woes this season. Toronto currently sit second to last in the Eastern Conference, having lost four out of their last five matches.

Key Players

Lorenzo Insigne: It’s clear that the Italian winger was brought in to be the guy for this team. He’s quick, agile, and can be a nightmare to defend and it’s likely that he will make his MLS debut against Charlotte FC.

Jesús Jiménez: The Spaniard’s signing has been one that has gone under the radar this season. The striker has scored eight goals and assisted three and has proven to be one of the savvier offseason additions.

Jonathan Osorio: Not only is the Canadian international a 9-year MLS veteran, he’s spent every one of those nine seasons in Toronto. He’s enjoyed life under new head coach, Bob Bradley, notching five goals and six seasons so far this season from the attacking midfield role.