Editorial (November 21, 2018) — Toronto FC vowed to bring fans an MLS Cup championship title after falling to Seattle Sounders FC in 2016.
In 2017, the team did just that, defeating Seattle to extract revenge. However, this past 2018 season, Toronto completely underwhelmed. The Reds finished the season in ninth place, unable to make the playoffs for a fourth-straight season.
Toronto FC 2018 Season Review
The Canadian club finished with a 10-18-6 record and 36 points. Despite having a talented team on paper, injuries plagued Toronto and inconsistency reigned supreme. However, some players stood out for Toronto, in attempts to get the team on some sort of track.
In the end, this season was completely different for Greg Vanney.
As one journey comes to a close, another is just beginning.
The Reds finish strong on the latest All for One presented by @Bell pic.twitter.com/RTV5sQrG77
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) November 2, 2018
Team MVP: Victor Vázquez
The goal-scorers get all the glory in soccer.
However, goals wouldn’t happen without assists. Victor Vázquez, the 31-year-old midfielder from Barcelona, Spain, had a team-high 16 assists this season. However, he wasn’t too shabby on the goal-scoring front either, scoring eight goals.
Vázquez dealt with some lingering injuries but was officially declared out for the season in the middle of October. Vázquez received arthroscopic surgery on his knee, ending his season.
Toronto FC will need Vázquez healthy and ready for 2019. Sebastian Giovinco wouldn’t find the back of the net without his Spanish partner on the pitch.
What Went Wrong for TFC?
There was little consistency for Toronto FC this season.
Toronto FC jumped around between wins, losses, and draws. There was never a set winning streak, or really even a set losing streak. Only one time this season, Toronto punched back-to-back victories against the Chicago Fire — twice — on July 21 and 28.
Toronto FC never had a draw back-to-back either. Instead, the club had plenty of back-to-back losses. In the final month of the season, Toronto FC complied losses against the Vancouver Whitecaps, D.C. United, and the Montreal Impact.
However, the team delivered a Decision Day stunner against Atlanta United FC, defeating the first-place Eastern Conference club, 4-1. Lucas Janson, who came on loan to Toronto from Tigre in his native Argentina.
Toronto, should they want to make things right, have the option to buy Janson. It’s a risk, considering how young the Argentine is, but one worth taking.
The next gen ⚡️ #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/b4tIvPOnku
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) November 7, 2018
What Went Right for TFC?
Not a whole lot.
However, Toronto FC did surprise fans by making it all the way to the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League. To get there, Toronto FC bulldozed through the Colorado Rapids, Tigres of Liga MX and Club América, another Liga MX club.
In the final, Toronto fell short to C.D. Guadalajara, otherwise known as “Chivas.” After tying up the regular-time aggregate score to 3-3, Toronto FC went through extra time and then penalties.
However, misses from Jonathan Osorio and Michael Bradley ended the hopes of a Major League Soccer team finally dethroning a Liga MX team. Despite falling in the final, a pair of Toronto FC players picked up individual awards. Osorio picked up the Golden Boot, while Giovinco accepted the Golden Ball.
Osorio finished the competition with four goals.
What’s Next for TFC?
Greg Vanney isn’t going anywhere.
After a little bit of speculation, he’s staying put in Toronto. It’s highly unlikely that he’ll be named the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach, despite his name finding its way into the hat. However, Vanney has a huge test.
He needs to restore faith in the Toronto FC fanbase.
After three-straight seasons in the playoffs, Toronto FC fans expect a playoff-bound team. However, this season, the team completely underperformed. Vanney’s first assignment should be negotiating to buy Janson from Tigre.
After that, Vanney needs to find a suitable backup for Jozy Altidore. The forward missed a chunk of the season to yet another injury. And, Altidore isn’t getting any younger. It’s a wonder how many more seasons he’ll have left in the tank.
Toronto FC needs to even think of keeping him on the bench as a super substitute, which is what the Seattle Sounders did with Clint Dempsey before his retirement. Altidore’s name is the only thing keeping him in the starting position right now.
However, if Toronto wants to win, more reliable players need to be on the pitch.
? ➕ ? #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/ZlS48FqIzi
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) November 12, 2018