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Toronto FC, popularly abbreviated as TFC, is a professional soccer club located in Torontomarker, Ontariomarker and the first Canadianmarker and non-American team in the United States' pre-eminent professional soccer league, Major League Soccer (MLS). The club was founded in 2006 and was MLS' 13th team, joining the league in the 2007 season.

Toronto FC is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, who operate the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, the AHL's Toronto Marlies, and the NBA's Toronto Raptors. TFC plays its home games at BMO Fieldmarker, located in Exhibition Placemarker along the Toronto lake shore.

Toronto FC's title sponsor, which can be found on the front of their uniforms and on most team merchandise, is the Bank of Montreal (BMO). TFC is known for their distinct red home colours, giving them the nickname "The Reds". TFC fans have helped make the club one of the MLS' most successful franchises, having been profitable since its first year with regular sellouts and sold-out seasons tickets.

The club is the reigning Canadian Champions as 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship winners, beating the Montreal Impact by the 4 goals needed on the last day of the Championship to win the title. It is known to TFC supporters as "The Miracle in Montreal".

History

Club identity

After Toronto's expansion was announced in 2005, the name of the club was officially announced on May 11, 2006 by the team's owner, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE). The "FC" in the team's name is the conventional initialism for Football Club, but in official media and documents, the team has only been referred to as Toronto FC.

The announcement followed an online consultation in which the public was invited to vote on the name during a limited period. The voting options were "Toronto Northmen," "Inter Toronto FC," "Toronto Reds," and "Toronto FC." MLSE's strategy in choosing "Toronto FC" following this process was based on two reasons. Firstly, over 40 percent of the online vote supported the simplified Toronto FC name during the consultation; secondly, MLSE hoped that the fairly generic name would help the new club earn a more organic nickname from the Toronto fans rather than having one imposed upon the club. The team has been called "TFC" and "the Reds" by the media and the club. The official team colours are red (jerseys, shorts and socks) with white trim, and light grey jerseys and socks with black shorts and dark grey trim.

MLS Expansion in Canada

While Toronto FC was the first team to join the previously all-American MLS, it will not be the last. Due to Toronto's popular success, MLS has avidly sought out other cities in Canada for expansion, most recently awarding a franchise to Vancouvermarker, B.C.marker that will join the league in 2011. Ottawamarker and Montrealmarker have also been cited as key players in future MLS expansion, with both cities having made the final round of nominees for 2011 expansion that saw Vancouver earn a club (see MLS expansion). Montreal is a heavy favourite in the expansion race and if the city were to win a club it would complete the Canadian professional soccer triumvirate alongside Toronto and Vancouver, who currently compete for the national title in the Canadian Championship that sends the winning club to represent the country in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Toronto FC supporters

Before the start of the 2007 season, Richard Peddie, the CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., stated that he and the ownership would be content with between 13,000–15,000 fans per game at Toronto FC home games. However, this range has been exceeded. The club sold out season tickets its first three years, capping season tickets at 16,000 for the 2009 season. There are currently more than 14,000 people on the waiting list for season tickets..

The fans have been called enthusiastic and their passion unsurpassed in MLS. After celebrations in which seat cushions were thrown on the field after its first ever goal in a victory at home to the Chicago Fire, the Toronto FC front office sent an email to season ticket holders reminding fans to refrain from throwing objects or running onto the field. The fans are also known for their traveling support, notably sending large contingents of fans to Columbusmarker in the opening matches of the 2008 and 2009 Trillium Cup.

Competitions

Canadian Championship

Toronto FC play in MLS but are ineligible for the U.S. Open Cup; instead, they take part in the annual Canadian Championship for the Voyageurs Cup, to determine the Canadian Soccer Association's representative in the CONCACAF Champions League. Currently Toronto only competes against the Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USL 1st Division, although Vancouver will be joining them in MLS as an expansion team in 2011.

In the championship's inaugural season in 2008, TFC were the favourites to win the championship but lost it to the Montreal Impact. The second year of the championship in 2009, TFC on the final game of the championship needed to beat Montreal by 4 goals in order to win because Vancouver had a goal differential of +4 and anything less would result in Vancouver winning the championship. TFC was up to the task and beat the Montreal Impact 6-1 on the strength of a hat-trick by Dwayne De Rosario. TFC was down 1-0 in the first half but DeRosario scored three straight times with Amado Guevara scoring 2, in the 69th and 92nd mins and Chad Barrett scoring the goal, in the 82nd min, that gave Toronto the lead over Vancouver.

CONCACAF Champions League 2009-10

Toronto FC participated in the CONCACAF Champions League 2009-10. Toronto FC lost 1-0 on aggregate to the Puerto Rico Islanders in the preliminary round of the tournament.

Rivalries

Being such a young franchise, Toronto FC is not known to have a particular heated rivalry against any MLS team yet. The fact that Columbus Crew and Toronto FC compete for the Trillium Cup adds a spirit of rivalry to matches played between these teams.

Arguably, Toronto FC's biggest rival does not play in MLS. The Montreal Impact, a successful side in the USL First Division, has emerged as a fierce rival and won the inaugural Canadian Championship and seventh Voyageurs Cup. The proximity of the two cities, the fact that Toronto and Montreal have traditionally been rivals, particularly in hockey and the fact that these two franchises are slated to play each other twice a year in the Canadian Championship only adds fuel to this rivalry. With an expansion MLS franchise in Vancouver, Toronto FC will have a Canadian team to compete against in MLS play beginning in 2011. It remains to be seen whether a true rivalry develops between the two franchises.

Ownership and management

Toronto FC are owned and managed by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., who also own and operate the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Marlies. Along with sports ventures like Leafs TV, Raptors NBA TV and GolTV Canada, the company is also involved in real estate and property management, owning such sports venues such as the Air Canada Centremarker, Ricoh Coliseummarker and being a partner in the development of Maple Leaf Squaremarker. Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and COO of MLSE, has overall responsibility for the team and is an Alternate Governor of MLS, while Mo Johnston is also manager and director of soccer, Paul Beirne currently serves as Director of Business Operations.

Television and radio

As of 2009, Toronto FC games can be seen on CBC Television, Rogers Sportsnet, and Gol TV Canada.

Rogers Sportsnet employs Gerry Dobson as play-by-play commentator and Craig Forrest as colour commentator. On the CBC, Nigel Reed, Jason DeVos handle the broadcasts, with Brenda Irving and Scott Russell serving as hosts. Gina Bucci or Mitch Peacock acts as interactive fan reporter. Since acquiring an 80.1 per cent share in GolTV Canada in early 2009, the owner of Toronto FC, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment broadcasts select games on GolTV Canada which are hosted by Lee Godfrey and Andi Petrillo with Luke Wileman calling the game alongside Jason DeVos.

Previous broadcasters during the 2007 and 2008 seasons include The Score and CBC Bold.

The Fan 590 broadcasts select games on the radio, Dan Dunleavy calls the games while Bob Iarusci joins him as color commentator for home games. When a Toronto FC game conflicts with another team's game that the Fan is a flagship broadcaster to, the Toronto FC game would be webcasted on the Fan590 website.

Head coaches

Coaching history

As of October 24, 2009
Duration
Coach
Seasons
Games
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
GD
W%
1
2006-2008
Mo Johnston
2007
Regular Season
30
6
17
7
25
25
49
-24
20.00%
Total
30
6
17
7
25
25
49
-24
20.00%
2
2008-2009
John Carver
2008, 2009
Regular Season
35
10
15
10
40
41
52
-11
28.57%
Canadian Championship
4
1
1
2
5
4
4
0
25.00%
Total
39
11
16
12
45
45
56
-11
28.21%
3
2009
Chris Cummins
2009
Regular Season
25
9
9
7
34
30
37
-7
36.00%
Canadian Championship
4
3
1
0
9
8
3
+5
75.00%
CONCACAF Champions League
2
0
1
1
1
0
1
-1
0.00%
Total
31
12
11
8
44
28
31
-3
38.71%
4
2009-Present
Preki
2010
Regular Season
Playoffs
---
Canadian Championship
CONCACAF Champions League
Total


Mo Johnston

Toronto FC confirmed that former Red Bull New York coach Mo Johnston would serve as the first head coach in team history at a press conference in Toronto in August 2006. During the press conference, Tom Anselmi said Johnston "represents the next generation of MLS coaches who have extensive playing experience in Europe and North America". Johnston's playing career included stints at Celtic, Rangers, and Everton before ending his career with the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer and winning the 2000 MLS Cup. At the time of his hiring, Johnston claimed that a "wonderful" assistant coach had already been hired while declining to divulge the person's identity. This person was later revealed to be former U.S. National Team and Kansas City Wizards coach, Bob Gansler. On February 1, 2008, it was announced that Mo Johnston was moving to become Toronto FC Manager and Director of Soccer.

John Carver

John Carver worked on the coaching staff at Newcastle United under Sir Bobby Robson before getting managerial experience as caretaker manager at Leeds United and later as assistant at Luton Town. He was announced as Toronto FC's new head coach in February 2008 with his predecessor Mo Johnston "moving upstairs" into a sporting director role. Carver resigned as head coach on April 25, 2009 for personal reasons.

Chris Cummins

On May 9, 2008, the club announced the signing of former Luton Town Director of Youth Development Chris Cummins as assistant coach. Cummins was officially named Interim Head Coach on April 29, 2009 following John Carver's resignation. It was announced on October 27, 2009 that Cummins' contract would not be renewed past the 2009 season.

Preki

Three weeks after Chris Cummins vacated the role, Preki was officially announced as Toronto FC's head coach. Preki's three-year tenure as head coach of Chivas USA ended only a week before he joined TFC.

Coaching staff

Preki
Head Coach
Preki was signed as the head coach after the 2009 season.


Nick Dasovic
First Assistant Coach
Former Canadian international Nick Dasovic was named First Assistant Coach on April 29, 2009 replacing Chris Cummins. Dasovic had served as the TFC Academy Head Coach in 2008.


Paul Winsper
Strength and Conditioning Coach
On January 11, 2008, the club announced that Paul Winsper had been hired as Strength and Conditioning Coach. In 2007, Toronto's injury woes had quickly exposed their lack of depth, and Winsper, a decade-long veteran with Newcastle United's staff and former colleague of Carver, was brought in to improve the club's fitness. He has previously served as personal fitness guru to David Beckham.


Mike Toshack
Goalkeeping Coach
Ontario native Mike Toshack joined Toronto on January 8th, 2009. Toshack moved back to Canada after three seasons with the Houston Dynamo.


Malcolm Phillips
Equipment Manager
Phillips hails from Southamptonmarker, Englandmarker, and joined up with Toronto in 2007.


Carmelo Lobue
Athletic Therapist
Lobue was famously sent-off and forced to leave the team's bench during Toronto's home clash with FC Dallas in 2008.


Dr. Ira Smith
Team Physician


Earl Cochrane
Manager, Team Services


Jason Bent
TFC Academy Senior Team Head Coach


Stuart Neely
TFC Academy Junior Team Head Coach


Danny Dichio
TFC Academy Coach


Players

In accordance with MLS policies, Toronto FC is restricted to an 20-man senior roster and a 4-man developmental roster. Like its American counterparts, the squad consists of both domestic and foreign players (though these domestic players are Canadian rather than American).

In 2007, the club was allowed thirteen international players, of which no more than eight could be non-Americans (8+5). Following former coach Mo Johnston's complaints that the player constraints set by the league are too strict, MLS relaxed these regulations for the 2008 season, allowing Toronto FC 16 international players, of which no more than eleven can be non-Americans (11+5). This new measure is to compensate for the smaller talent pool in Canada, thus keeping the league appropriately competitive (American teams are permitted up to eight international players, including Canadian players). Thus, Toronto FC is required to field fewer domestic players than its American counterparts, and at one point in 2008 had traded for more spots to bring their total number of international spots to 18, potentially allowing the club to not field a single Canadian player.

Current roster

As of November 25, 2009.

For recent transfers, see List of MLS transfers for the 2009 season.

Notable former players





TFC Academy

TFC Academy are the youth academy of Toronto FC that was established in 2008. The Academy consists of a Junior and Senior Team who play in the National Division of the Canadian Soccer League, the highest professional soccer league within Canada. They play their home games at Lamport Stadiummarker.

Stadium

the 2007 season, construction was completed on a new stadium at Exhibition Placemarker in Toronto. On September 20, 2006, MLS's official website announced that BMO Financial Group had officially purchased the naming rights for the new stadium. It is the largest soccer-specific stadium in Canadamarker. The stadium has a capacity of 20,500 although 21,978 was the largest attendance when Canada played host to Jamaica on August 20, 2008 for a 2010 World Cup Qualifier. It is owned by the City of Toronto, while MLSE, the team's owner, operates it. The cost of the stadium is estimated at $62.5 million.

As the National Soccer Stadiummarker, it served as a major venue for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, including hosting the opening and final matches. In 2008, it played host to the 2008 MLS All-Star Game, and MLS Commissioner Don Garber has stated that an MLS Cup will also take place there by the year 2012.

Currently, while there are no formal plans to expand seating at BMO Field, Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has indicated a second level could be added to the east side stands and extra rows added to the south side stands which would add an additional 8,000 seats for about $15 million.

Statistics and records

Most goals

League, CONCACAF Champions League & Voyageurs Cup
# Name Career Goals Appearances
1= Danny Dichio 2007 – 2009 14 66
1= Dwayne De Rosario 2009 – Present 14 34
3= Amado Guevara 2008 – Present 11 53
3= Chad Barrett 2008 – Present 11 48
5= Jeff Cunningham 2007 – 2008 6 36
5= Maurice Edu 2007 – 2008 6 41
5= Rohan Ricketts 2008 – 2009 6 44
8 Jim Brennan 2007 – Present 4 92
9= Carl Robinson 2007 – Present 3 84
9= Colin Samuel 2007 – 2008 3 19
9= Marco Velez 2008 – 2009 3 46


Most appearances

League, Concacaf Champions League and Voyageurs Cup
# Name Career Appearances Goals
1 Jim Brennan 2007 – Present 92 4
2 Carl Robinson 2007 – Present 84 3
3 Marvell Wynne 2007 – Present 76 2
4 Danny Dichio 2007 – 2009 66 14
5 Amado Guevara 2008 – Present 53 11
6 Chad Barrett 2008 – Present 48 11
7 Marco Vélez 2008 – 2009 46 3
8 Rohan Ricketts 2008 – 2009 44 6
9 Tyrone Marshall 2007 – 2009 43 0
10 Maurice Edu 2007 – 2008 41 5


Year-by-year

Year Reg. Season Points Playoffs Canadian Championship CONCACAF Champions League
2007 7th, East 25 Did not qualify n/a (Began in 2008) n/a (Began in 2008)
2008 7th, East 35 Did not qualify 2nd Did not qualify
2009 5th, East 39 Did not qualify Champion Preliminary round
2010


Average attendance

Year Reg. Season Playoffs
2007 20,134 N/A
2008 20,108 N/A
2009 20,308 N/A
2010


  • All-Time: 20,183


The highest attendance for an MLS Toronto FC game at BMO Field was 20,902 for the June 24, 2009 MLS match against New York Red Bulls; the highest attendance ever was 22,089 for a friendly against Real Madrid on August 7, 2009.

Honours

Domestic



Invitational



Player of the Year Award

This award is given to a player on Toronto FC at the end of every season who demonstrates the biggest impact. The award is decided by player and staff voting.

Previous winners

The award is given at the end of every season to the player who demonstrates the biggest impact. The award is decided by player and staff voting.
Season Player
2009 Dwayne De Rosario
2008 Carl Robinson
2007 Jim Brennan
Carl Robinson


References

  1. http://web.mlsnet.com/players/index.jsp?club=t280
  2. http://web.mlsnet.com/schedule/scoreboard/season.jsp?team=t280


See also



External links




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