Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Toronto FC in the Playoffs: Then What?

Many Canadian soccer blogs are ruminating on the mathematical jiggery that must take place for Toronto FC to inch their way to a playoff spot, but little has been written about what it would actually mean for Toronto to make it into the post-season. Is stretching the season out a little bit a victory in and of itself?

There is of course the romance of a thoroughly undeserved playoff run, but most TFC fans know this isn't a likely scenario. Then there's the argument that making the playoffs would help provide evidence the club is steadily improving every year, forming a graph line that can be extrapolated upward to the MLS Cup in 2012, the CONCACAF Champions League in 2014 and the World Club Cup in 2018. Because that's how football works, right?

No, we all want Toronto FC to make the playoffs because that's about the last thing they could do of any note this season. Duh.

But just to keep the hardcore heads on on straight, missing out on the playoffs by ever-so-slight a margin in a league with this sort of parity isn't worth firing Chris Cummins. Let me put it this way: if Toronto FC gets in the playoffs only to get immediately killed off (the most likely scenario), this means Toronto FC will have finished the 2009 MLS season just above mid-table. So, you know, West Ham rather than Wigan.



canadiansoccerblog said...

While I certainly see your point, Richard, there's no more or less rational justification for wanting this incarnation of the team to make the playoffs than there is to cheer for any sporting franchise under any circumstances: when a person attaches themselves emotionally to a team, they want them to win.

There's no advantage or benefit gained by having the team miss the playoffs, and with the way the league operates, all a team needs to do is scrape in and then, anything could happen. And the whole point of supporting a team is hoping that they win trophies and championships.

So what are Toronto supporters supposed to do, other than hope the team reaches the playoffs?

Ah well, that's my two cents.


Richard Whittall said...

I absolutely agree with your reasons for supporting TFC's playoff chances; I mean God knows I want them to do it too. I wasn't trying to tell Toronto FC supporters not to help urge the team to their first ever playoffs, just to make sure they don't start upending furniture and baying for Cummins head if they don't.

I guess I just wanted to put a playoff miss in greater perspective, with regard to Toronto FC's overall performance this season. Anyway, thanks for your comments!

Duane Rollins said...

Actually, there is an advantage of missing the playoffs - The "I suck" allocation money that comes with it.

But, basically I want TFC to make the playoffs so that I can watch them one or two more times...

canadiansoccerblog said...

Oh, I know what you were getting at. I was just being a bit of a contrarian dick.