Following Toronto FC to Montreal

A look at how soccer-inspired road trips can reaffirm your interest in soccer and build new friendships
by Sonja Missio   |   Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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

A few weeks ago, I had my vacation time approved at work.

I asked for two days off – March 15 and 18 – and submitted the dates well before Christmas, as to not compete with the March Break rush.

I requested these two days because on March 16 Toronto FC is set to face the Montreal Impact. I figure I’ll drive up on Friday, stay the weekend and return home Monday victorious and happy.

It seems like the ideal weekend. Especially the “victorious” part.

I made my first trip to Montreal (ever, unless you count an airport layover) last year and I will admit it was pretty fantastic.

I’ve been to quite a few games in my life, but nothing can compare to the experience of your first road trip. There’s something about following your team across provincial boundaries and filling a section of a foreign stadium that brings you closer to your club. 

And your fellow supporters.

Part of it is the adventure; veering off into uncharted territories – or, in this case, provinces – to do something you would usually do, but surrounded in a different atmosphere.

If possible, I suggest you take a road trip this season. Whether to Montreal or another city, try to take the chance to follow your team; Toronto FC, or otherwise. It’s an experience that cannot be described and must be experienced. It will reawaken both feelings of team pride and a love of soccer that sometimes gets lost over the dull winter months.

Also, a trip like this makes for great new Twitter avatars.

Anyway, based on my experience from last year, here are three recommendations of what to do if you do decide to go to Montreal:

Get up early one day and see the sights

Grab a coffee/ bagel and walk around the city. Sure, you’re there for a soccer match, but why not do a little sightseeing as well? You probably have a friend in Montreal. You know, that one person who has been at McGill for the last 10 years? Give them a call and see if you can score them an extra ticket to partake in the spectacle. You may spark their interest in the game and who knows, a friendly rival may be born from it.

Buy the person next to you a drink

It doesn’t have to be alcoholic, pop will do. The reason why I suggest this is to make new friends. Remember, you’re in this adventure together! If you’re a season ticket holder, you are (most likely) around the same people at every home game, so take advantage of getting to know someone new. And what better way to make a new friend than by handing them a cool beverage? Just watch out for the lids though. From what I remember, Montreal sippy cup technology was non-existent (there was just a straw hole! With no straw! What kind of sick joke is that?!).

Befriend the locals

I realize that may sound hypocritical because I flipped someone off last year (relax, I blew them a kiss after and everything was cool), but it’s my own personal goal for this year to hang out with the locals. And extend the invitation when Montreal heads to Toronto.

--

Apparently my theme for Montreal this year is to make new friends. But I speak from experience on these things. Last year’s trip brought me closer to people I wouldn’t have otherwise (one being a Juventus fan too boot! We bonded over St. Hubert.) and I love the camaraderie that these road trips invoke.

And, if you’re there, come by and say hi. No drink required. 

Sonja MISSIO

Nationality:
Canada
College:
Univ. of Guelph, Univ. of W. Ontario, Brock University
Club Domestic:
Toronto FC
Club Foreign:
Udinese
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.
SONJA'S SPONSORS