Toronto FC Christmas Wishlist

Santa never brought that puppy, but maybe Tom Anselmi will deliver a winning team
by Sonja Missio   |   Monday, November 26, 2012

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

It’s less than a month until Christmas. So in the spirit of the holidays, I am going to do something festive this week.

I am going to write my Christmas wishlist.

Since I was old enough to cut and paste pictures out of the Sears WishBook (or, crudely circle them with crayon), I have made a Christmas wishlist. This year, instead of dropping blatant hints on tangible objects – like, oh let’s say, a Nespresso Aeroccino – I have decided to write a wishlist of things I want from Toronto FC next season.


Dear Santa Tom Anselmi:

I have been very good this year, even though the team hasn’t been. I would please like the follow items:

4. A winning season

Or, as someone very wise said to me, a relevant season. As I write this, the 100th Grey Cup is currently being played in Toronto and the city has exploded with football fever. Football, as in throwball, that is.

In Toronto, the Canadian Football League (CFL) may not be as popular as it is in other Canadian cities. But in the last few weeks, it has taken over the downtown core. Sure, a lot of that is because Toronto – finally – has a team that may bring home silverware – not including the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, of course. The amount of people genuinely excited for the game is phenomenal.

I want to see people get that excited for soccer. Granted, this is the 100th Grey Cup and Torontonians have been looking to get their fix of other sports during the NHL lockout, but that should not take away from the indisputable excitement and optimism that has overtaken the city.

Maybe next year we can see the same type of fandom come back to Toronto. Or, at the very least, people anticipating – rather than dreading – Toronto FC’s new season.

3. New jerseys

Remember when you would play a fighting game – for example, Super Nintendo’s Justice League Task Force – and it would be Batman versus Batman, but one Batman would have a slightly darker costume color to show the difference?

That’s all I think about whenever Toronto FC plays Montreal Impact.

I realize MLS has a deal with Adidas, and that’s why all league kits are (dreadfully) the same, and the BMO contributes a lot to the soccer community in Canada. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have wishful thinking on this one.

Don’t get me wrong, our kits are OK. But I can’t imagine next season’s shirts looking much different than this.

In six years, the only distinctly different Toronto FC kit has been the “supporter kit” released this year. It’s nice (I own two of them), but I am hoping for something more daring than classic next season. Toronto should start branding a new identity, and what better way to do it than with new kits?

2. Players we can build on

This is nothing against Torsten Frings, Danny Koevermans or any other players that were brought in for experience and leadership. However, maybe Toronto FC should be trying a different approach for the upcoming season.

An approach à la Udinese, if you will.

TFC should consider going after names it can build and develop, not just ones they feel they can rely on. Obviously, this includes continuing to build and develop their academy players. But, and this goes without saying, maybe the team should take another approach as well.

I want to be able to say, “This guy, you should watch him, he’s going to be big” when it comes to new players. And I want to be able to say, “This guy, he got his start in Toronto” when it comes their time to leave.

1. A president

It’s not enough to just ask for a new coach anymore, even though that seems to be the popular opinion. I mentioned branding a new identity for Toronto, and I think a soccer-specific president is one way to make this happen.

The truth is, Toronto FC needs an identity, not a new identity. When the club first came to MLS, it was the fans that stepped up as the team’s identity; for the first few seasons, the actual performance of the team was not as important.

We are beyond those first few seasons.

Now it’s time for the team to have its own, individual identity and break away from “just being another team owned by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment,” or worse, “the team that always loses it after the 85th minute.”

Under new leadership – leadership that is specific to the team – Toronto would forge that identity. Once the team begins to establish who it is, it should make what they are doing just a little bit easier.

Thank you very much, Mr. Anselmi. Anything you can do would be very much appreciated. Have a great holiday season!

Love always,

Sonja Cori Missio.

PS – You can throw the Nespresso Aeroccino in as well, if you want. 


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.