Toronto FC’s (TFC) 2015 playoff appearance was a bright spot in the franchise’s largely disappointing history, and this year’s team is ready to take it to the next step.
During last year’s MLS playoffs, TFC lost to the Montreal Impact 3–0 in an anticlimactic ending to an otherwise exciting year — the first year in TFC history that they made the playoffs.
Fast forward nearly a year from that October 29 defeat and TFC finds themselves in a very different situation. This season, TFC is an Eastern Conference powerhouse. They’ve scored 51 goals, while conceding only 39. The team’s improved defensive play this year has resulted in them finishing in the top three of their division for the first time.
TFC has been in poor form leading up to the playoffs; they have conceded 10 goals in their last six games. But as the saying goes: form is temporary, class is permanent. Hopefully for Toronto, that sentiment rings true and they can figure themselves out defensively to play the way they have for the majority of the year.
Going into the playoffs, the team will have home field advantage; with a 8–3–6 home record versus a 6–6–5 road record, some of that home cooking will do them well.
TFC also has two of the game’s best attacking talents: 2015 league MVP Sebastian Giovinco and USA International Jozy Altidore. Between the two of them, they have 26 goals and 19 assists this season. With this kind of talent and midfield lynchpin Michael Bradley, TFC’s captain, the team stands a good chance to do more than just improve upon last year’s performance.