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Toronto FC Information
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Stadium/Arena: BMO Field
League: Major League Soccer
Team Captain: Steven Caldwell
Rivals: Montreal Impact, Columbus Crew, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Division Titles: N/A
Conference titles: N/A
Official Website: http://www.torontofc.ca/
Based in Toronto, Ontario, Toronto FC is an MLS team. Being named as the first Canadian MLS team, Toronto FC became the fourteenth team in the league when they were introduced in 2007. The team plays their home games at BMO Field in Exhibition Place. It is located along the Toronto lake shore and is specifically designed for soccer. Currently coached by Ryan Nelsen, the team is operated by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. It’s the same organization that operates the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), the Toronto Marlies (AHL) and the Toronto Raptors (NBA).
From 2009 to 2012, the team won four straight Canadian Championships and also got to the semifinals of the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League.
Toronto FC 2014 Preview
The Toronto FC has a whole new look coming into their 2014 season. They acquired a bunch of players via trades and transfers this offseason, including: Jackson, Gilberto, Justin Morrow, Jermain Defoe, Michael Bradley, Bradley Orr and Julio Cesar. In addition to their new acquisitions, their head coach is also under a lot of pressure, who was hired in 2013. Ryan Nelson is a former defender, but has had no prior coaching experience until this job. In his first season, they only recorded a record of 6-17-11. Much of that was due to the team’s inexperienced players, but now that they have a solid group of players, expectations are rising.
One of the players to watch for Toronto is Michael Bradley. He is the most expensive player in MLS history and also the most divisive. He was purchased by the MLS from Europe and is bringing a lot of controversy, debates and talk to the world of football. It will be an exciting season for Toronto FC fans.
Toronto FC Rivals
Montreal Impact, Columbus Crew, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact
The Montreal Impact are the Toronto FC’s biggest rival. They joined the MLS in the year 2012, five years after Toronto joined. They became familiar with each other in the Canadian Championships. With history of rivalry in the NHL, the two cities rivalry was more of a tradition due to their close proximity to each other.
Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew
These two teams are more or less a manufactured rivalry, but have had some bitterness between them ever since. They have both competed for the Trillium Cup ever since 2008. When roughly 1,700 Toronto fans traveled to the Columbus Crew’s home stadium to watch the two play, they witnessed a 1-1 tie. The fans began to light flares and allegedly embark in vandalism on March 28, 2009. This was the peak of the rivalry and where the supporters of the teams began to have high distaste for the opposite.
Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Another Canadian team that has built a rivalry with Toronto is Vancouver. On March 16, 2013, an MLS record was set by Toronto fans when they gathered 3,200 fans to go support the team in an away game at Vancouver’s stadium. They held the old record when 2,400 fans traveled to Columbus. This is another rivalry built on the close proximity of the two teams.
Toronto FC at BMO Field
Address: 170 Princes Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M6K 3C3
Built prior to the 2007 MLS season, a brand new stadium was created at Exhibition Palace. The total cost of the stadium was $62.5 million. In 2006, BMO Financial Group officially bought the rights for the naming of the stadium. The stadium is owned by the City of Toronto and is operated by the team’s owner. It is the largest stadium in Canada made specifically for soccer.
Initially built with Field Turf, the team’s owner agreed to a deal with the city to have natural grass inserted to replace the turf in 2010.
Although not expected in the near future, Tom Anselmi, executive, vice-president and chief operating officer with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has indicated a second level could be added to the east side stands and extra rows added to the south side stands which would add an additional 8,000 seats for approximately $15 million.