Reds continue a strong season for Toronto sports
SOCCER -- It started with the Raptors piecing together a playoff run that saw them fall just two wins short of making the NBA finals.
Next were the Blue Jays who for the second year in a row made it to the ALCS, this time bowing out in 5 to the Cleveland Indians.
Two teams who have been building momentum for a few seasons now, lived up to the hype and to the expectations laid out by fans and ownership and were inches away from playing for a title.
Now it’s Toronto FC’s turn to live up to the hype and take that next step.
Last season Toronto finished in 6th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 15-4-15 for a total of 49 PTS.
They netted 58 goals and allowed exactly the same amount. The Reds were good enough to qualify for the post season where they would face off against the Montreal Impact in round one.
Their fellow Canadian squad took it to them and bumped them from the second season with a 3-0 victory.
2016 brought with it high expectations to build upon the previous campaigns success and reach heights that have so far eluded the young franchise.
The Reds leading goal scorer from 2015 Sebastian Giovinco who netted 22 goals in 33 league appearances was yet again Toronto’s best player despite injury.
In his second season in Toronto, Giovinco managed 17 goals in 28 appearances and led FC to a record of 14-11-9 good enough for 53 PTS and a 3rd place Eastern Conference finish.
Placing third in the East meant securing the franchises first ever home playoff game, which took place this week VS the 6th place Philadelphia Union.
The aforementioned Giovinco, who returned to game action just 10 days prior, opened the scoring and The Reds never looked back capturing a 3-1 victory over Union and advancing to the organisations first Eastern Conference semi-final.
Toronto will take on New York City FC in a two-leg series decided on aggregate, which will begin Sun. Oct. 30, at BMO field.
New York finished just one point ahead of Toronto in the east with a record of 15- 9-10 out scoring Toronto by 11 goals. However Toronto’s defence was quiet a bit better allowing just 39 tallies in 34 games VS New York who conceded 57 scores in the same number of contests.
The two teams faced off against each other on just two occasions this season and played to a two and a one all draw creating an interesting matchup.
It will be the classic defence VS offense chess match as Toronto has the best goals against in the East and New York sports the best goals for. That said Toronto’s offense enters this series red hot scoring seven times in their previous four games, going 3-1 over that span. New York not to be out done has scored an impressive 12 tallies in their past five caps.
With Giovinco back healthy and with no apparent lingering effects, this series could be exciting and high scoring with the way these two teams currently playing.
However, the Reds will want to slow it down and play tighter football as a getting into a shootout with a team like New York City FC is not in their favour.
Kick off for this series is this Sun. Oct. 30, at 7 P.M. at BMO field in Toronto.
Game 2 will take place Nov. 6, in New York.
The team with the best aggregate at the end of the two game series will move on to the Easter Conference final to take on the winner of the other Canadian team, the Montreal Impact and the other team from New York, The NY Red Bulls.
Toronto already with a handful of firsts during this run will look to add another one and will have a ruckus Toronto crowd backing them Sunday.
Historically defence trumps offense so pair that with home field advantage and things are lining up for the Reds to continue their impressive campaign and make the third Conference final for Toronto sports teams in 2016.