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TFC is back at BMO Field and columnist Sonja Missio draws a connection between TFC and a Superman film
by Sonja Missio   |   Wednesday, April 03, 2013

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

On Saturday, Toronto FC drew the Los Angeles Galaxy in TFC’s home opener at BMO Field.

Oh sure, technically the “home opener” was several weeks ago against Sporting KC at the Skydome, but none of us really count that. Yes, Toronto beat Sporting KC 2-1, which was the first win of the season and the first goal(s) of the season, but fans prefer to recognize games as being “more legit” when they’re are played at BMO Field.

Don’t get me wrong, I am one of those fans. The Skydome isn’t my house; it’s the Blue Jays’ home and the place where I spend many other hours of my summer cheating on TFC.

However, the more I think about it, the more I start to realize how important the “Dome Opener” (as dubbed on Twitter) was.

This is for 2 obvious reasons (the thesis on emotional and spiritual importance to come later), anyway:

1)   Because we earned three points for it.

2)   Because it was also the first goal(s) for new Red and former Cardiff City striker, Robert Earnshaw.

This was the first time Toronto fans saw what Earnshaw could do up-close. And since that game, he has doubled his goal count – in total, he has 4 goals in as many games – and expanded the hope of TFC fans.

Plus, by Toronto standards, he has totally lived up to his nickname of Super Robert Earnshaw.

Wait.

Hold up.

All of a sudden, I get it.

Do you remember this quote?:

“They can be a great people, Kal-El Earnshaw, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you.”

For those of you who don’t recognize the above quote, run to your local video rental place (if you have one) and rent Superman (or, watch the 15 second quote I just referenced of the two and a half hour movie, here. Skip to the 4:05 mark and stop at the 4:20 mark, or it totally ruins my argument).

Anyway, the character Jor-El was clearly talking about Earnshaw! He’s what the great people (TFC fans) need this season! He is going to be our reward for remaining faithful to the team! He will be our light to show us the way!

Yes? Maybe? No?

Look, I’ve had a lot of chocolate this weekend. Just go with it.

The point is, Earnshaw has earned his place at Toronto FC and his last name has earned its place in being added into my Microsoft Word spellcheck dictionary. 

Congrats, Robert!

However, it is not just Earnshaw that is showing promise for Toronto, rather all the games so far –  a win, loss or draw – have shown an improvement from last season.

Take the Galaxy game for example.

Though the Reds have an overall decent record when it comes to LA (CONCACAF, anyone?), it’s hard not to see the impact that manager Ryan Nelsen has made in the few short months that he has been with the club. The team played smarter. The Reds looked for their advantage and took it when they could (unfortunately, so did LA when it came to the equalizing goal).

However, if Toronto keeps on a steady pace, building on the progress that has already been made, it will be making the playoffs in no time.

No, TFC isn’t winning every game by 5 goals, and the team still needs a lot of work on defense, but things cannot be expected to come immediately. So far, the natural progression of change has been promising.

Toronto is entering April with four points (1-2-1), which is, well, 4 points more than last year at this time. And with a heavy April schedule about to kick off, the Reds will hopefully hit a stride of consistently.  

April’s games include FC Dallas at Toronto on the 6th, Toronto at Philadelphia on the 13th, Houston at Toronto on the 20th and New York at Toronto on the 27th. On top of that, Toronto faces Montreal at home on the 24th for the Canadian Championship for CONCACAF Champions League qualification.

In other words, I may as well just have my mail forwarded to BMO for the next month.

Additionally, there’s no rest for the wicked* at the beginning of May, either. Before a 10-day break, Toronto travels to Montreal for the return leg of the Canadian Championship on the 1st, then switches to MLS mode for matches against Colorado on the 4th and to San Jose for the 8th.

Like I said, the packed schedule will hopefully be a way for Toronto to hit a stride of consistently with its game. However, it could also mean a stride of fatigue for the Reds as well. The next month will be a true test to Nelsen’s leadership skills and a glimpse of how Toronto will hack it the rest of the season.

Oh.

Speaking about hacking things, in case anyone was wondering, Daddy-Daughter Day at BMO went well. My father didn’t leave me behind at the stadium and he is still speaking to me! He also wore a TFC hat.

Now I’m on to trying to get a Mother-Daughter Day at BMO. So far, I have the following 3 persuasion points:

1) There’s a Swiss on the team (bonus: he speaks Schweizerdeutsch!)

2) There has been a high amount of Filipinos on the team (total: 2!)

3) BMO Field sells lechón (disclaimer: technically it’s porchetta, but I’m grasping at straws here!)

Anyway, see you at BMO next week, where I will be in an Eric Hassli jersey to watch Toronto take on FC Dallas. Probably without my mum. (Wait, Hassli played in Zürich! Add it as number 4 to the list!)

*wicked awesome!

NEXT UP: April 6 – Toronto FC vs. FC Dallas, BMO Field, Toronto, ON, Canada 4 p.m. EST, TSN 2.

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.
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