The biggest mistake people make when trying to analyze MLS is that they assume that it makes sense. The thinking is that results are predictable and that mid-table teams are always going to be mid-table, with bottom dwellers stuck in their spot too.
In any given year there are two or three teams that are clearly the best (although, as we are seeing with LA right now, they are never that far ahead of the pack) and a couple that are awful (but can still win from time to time). The talent gap is not big enough between teams that games in any given week aren’t, to some extent, glorified coin flips.
In that context, being four points out of a playoff spot with seven games to play, as Toronto is, to play is hardly panic time. I don’t say as a naive fan-boy. I say it as someone that has watched this league closely since 2002. As I’ve said over and over (and over and over) again, it’s a race to 40 points. No, really, it is.This is the problem. We're already a third through of the way into September, and what should have been a decisive season-ending draw in Chicago is just another bit of Toronto FC slouching toward oblivion. It's hard to create much of a motivation to watch these games (or much motivation to players) when even a game like last night's doesn't necessarily mean much in the scope of the MLS regular season. You could hear the stagnation in the depressingly silent Sportsnet broadcast.
This should not be taken to mean I don't like a good measure of competitive parity, but this has always been a problem with me in terms of generating interest in TFC games. I'm sure there's a fairly hefty silent middle of Toronto supporters (or other MLS would be fans) who would agree with me.