An Open Letter to Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley

This past Monday, Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley were official announced as Toronto FC’s newest signings
by Sonja Missio   |   Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Red Dawn Rising - column on Toronto FC (TFC) & the Toronto Ontario soccer scene

Dear Mr. Defoe & Mr. Bradley,

Welcome to Toronto! Population: 2.7M (plus 2).

We are all pretty excited to have you here; in fact, it’s all we could talk about for the last few days. Every newspaper, radio show and social media platform were discussing your arrivals; my mum even (very briefly) mentioned it to me (in passing).

Oh sure, there have been comparable arrivals to yours: Fernando Torres was personally helicoptered into Stamford Bridge and there was that whole Gökhan-Inler-to-Napoli-presser-where-he-showed-up-in-a-lion-mask-for-some-reason thing (which I still don’t understand). Heck! Even The Beckham Brand had that reality TV show mini-series before their patriarch started with LA Galaxy!

However, none of those arrivals were quite like yours.

On Monday, you were welcomed by media, season ticket holders and fans both old and new. What you witnessed at Real Sports Bar is just a sample of things to come. The fans will be behind you, in front of you and all around you when you don that red kit and step onto BMO Field. They will brave extreme cold, extreme heat, extreme rain (and, one time a few seasons ago, a hurricane) to cheer you on.

They will love you, so be sure to love them back.

You see, once this whole “Bloody Big Deal” hoopla dies down and fans sink through that ninth cloud, reality will harshly set in. They will remember how TFC has never made the playoffs, nor have had a season to really, truly, be proud of.

You can give them both.

You’re coming to a shattered city; one who has had their hearts broken, egos bruised, dreams crushed and goals scored upon in the 93rd minute of stoppage time.

You are here to heal. And they need you to.

Anyway, no pressure; just remember that you’re holding the expectations of Canada’s largest city in your hands.

And at your feet.

On a lighter note, here are some things you should know about that city:

-The subway sucks compared to either London or Rome. It only has 3.5 lines (the Sheppard line doesn’t really count as a full line) and it breaks down constantly. Bring a book when you ride.

-Don't forget some of Toronto's best:
A) The best pizza: Pizza Libretto (Danforth).
B) The best bar: The Only Café (Donlands).
C) The best brunch*: Hello Darling (Lansdown).

-The nude beach is always awkward the first time you go.

-Getting a Toronto Public Library card might be the best thing you can do for yourself, personally. Also, see point 1.  

-Going to the top of the CN Tower isn’t worth it, the view from the west-end stands, facing east, is much better.

I hope this letter helped. If not, give me a call and I will be happy to explain things more thoroughly to the both of you over a couple of bottles of Great Lakes Brewery beers.

Hugs, kisses, and helluva lot of hope,

Sonja Cori Missio.

*Toronto is the city of brunch, you will get used to it. 


Univ. of Guelph, Univ. of W. Ontario, Brock University
Club Domestic:
Toronto FC
Club Foreign:
Supported Udinese since birth, TFC was her own stupid decision; writing on her masochistic relationship with soccer started after. Doomed as a Canadian - Friulano - Swiss - Filipina. Searching for Juventini actually from Turin and running for FIFA Prez.