Friday, October 5, 2007

A breath of fresh air...

Much has been made of Toronto FC's entry into MLS. Could MLS sustain expansion? Would TFC struggle in the same manner as other Canadian teams in US leagues have struggled due to the weakness of the Canadian dollar (that's not a quarter!!) and high taxes? Was the world ready for the collision of the hockey mullet and the euro-mullet?

Well, TFC has certainly struggled on the pitch this season, with a pair of mammoth goalless streaks. But support in the stands has remained strong, and I daresay that Toronto has THE best home crowd and stadium experience in MLS. Of course my opinions are based solely on what I've seen on TV and I've never attended an MLS match. But even on TV the constant chanting and singing (they even have team and player chants!) is clearly audible and the streamers a constant reminder of the crowd's involvement in the game.

Why does TFC have such a great atmosphere? is it the decidedly Euro-cosmpolitan feel fo the city, resulting from a heavy influx of Europeans? is it Canada's English roots? is it the excellent beer, which, to paraphrase a certain Adam Sandler move is "like moonshine"? Regardless, MLS needs more "soccer-specific" venues like Toronto's excellent park and crowds who are esqually nvolved and knowledgeable.

1 comment:

Scotto said...

A few notes about TFC:

(1) Why the artificial turf?! I guess they claim weather issues, but I'm not sold given that Scandanavian countries seem to make do.

(2) Important to note the decision to keep max capacity at a reasonable level (the stadium is capped at 20K). I think that makes sense for some of MLS's other non-large-market teams, but not so much for others.

(3) They have great fans, without a doubt, but you can't shortchange D.C., which has several vocal fanclubs. Expect large crowds at newly-turfed RFK throughout DC's run. I myself plan to attend the Nov 1 "blackout"--United's first home playoff game. Should be a great atmosphere.

(4) And all that support for the worst offenive display in league history.