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FM 2012 Stories

Toronto FC: 2017 Spring Semester

Hello friends and a warm welcome back to my Football Manager Story which last time reviewed the pre-season activity but now it was down to the real business of defending the MLS title and trying to qualify for this season’s North American Champions League.

March  – May 2017

Opening Day saw us head to Illinois where we came away from Toyota Park with all three points thanks to a perfectly placed header by defender Ethan White. Back at BMO Field a superb performance by right winger Adam Jackman saw the youngster (18) score two smashing goals on his 1st team debut as we over-ran Los Angeles.

My 300th game as a manager was in Toronto as we took on Columbus and opened the scoring inside 20 minutes through Richard Hunt which was made possible by a determined run into the box and a square ball by Cerna to set up the striker. We easily dominated the game but it wasn’t until late in the second half that we added two further goals from set pieces which were both finished off by our central defenders.

Away to Houston we put in a carbon copy performance of the Columbus game which was highlighted by as superb curling shot into the roof of the net by left winger Rick Veerbeck. The trip from Texas back to BMO Field was well worth the long journey as we bagged another three points with two second half goals in front of our home fans against DC United.

On the other side of the world the team I had assembled in Sydney before leaving for Toronto had just been crowned A-League champions which was somewhat satisfying to see.

Veteran Julian DeGuzman opened the scoring just before the half hour to give us the lead over last season’s beaten finalist Real Salt Lake in Utah. In another one-sided game it wasn’t until the 58th minute that we doubled the lead with Richard Hunt converting from the spot after being tripped in the penalty area. Edwards Acevedo wrapped the game up with a stunning strike from the right side of the box to take away all three points.

Returning to Toronto we sprinted out to a three goal lead before half time with defender Ethan White heading in two smashing goals, both from corners. A brilliant through ball my David Rubio found winger Edwards Acevedo who beat the offside trap, rounded the keeper and tucked the ball home. An avalanche of goals looked likely until striker Richard Hunt got sent off before half time thus putting us on the back foot for the remainder of the game.

Our first opportunity to get into the NACL (the second being the Supporters Shield) meant eliminating Edmonton in the semi-finals of the Canadian Championship which we struggled to do but in the end managed it over two legs. The return of David DiPlacido drew roars from the fans and he acknowledgment them with a brace at BMO Field.

Qualifying for the final came at a price as we lost both starting full backs to injuries and will be out for several weeks.

Next up we were off to the West Coast to take on Vancouver, the team I had created into an MLS dynasty. The Whitecaps having just crashed out of the Canadian Championship to Montreal so were in no mood to lose again to a domestic team and after a fairly even first half they turned on the style following the interval with Mexican striker Carlos Fierro whom I’d signed on a free and now worth $2.3 million ran our defence ragged and chipped in with two goals himself. At the other end DiPlacido and substitute striker Kane failed to make any impact whatsoever though more worryingly is Kane’s ability to make himself a known presence on the field this season. This defeat also brought to an end our 100% record.

It was off to Quebec next to face Montreal in the 1st leg of the Canadian Championship Final but a tired and uninventive starting eleven failed to make any serious threats to our opponent’s goal leaving things unfortunately in the balance for the 2nd leg as Montreal have shown they are no pushovers.

To finish up the Spring Semester we returned to the West Coast this time to Portland and by the time the 90 minutes was up the condition of the team was all below 70% with morale ranging between poor and abysmal. In less than three weeks this team had done a complete 180 in terms of performance setting off alarm bells throughout the club…

Results Summary;

Eastern Conference;

Western Conference;

An oversight on my part as I hadn’t realized we had a connection with Spurs so at the end of May received this very nice message to help our bank balance. Hopefully this will go on the June books as it;s not showing up on our ledger yet!

Okay friends, that’s how things are in Canada and my apologies for the delay between updates. Endless 30c weather makes doing the easiest of things a chore including sitting at my PC!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your comments.

 

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Darren Smith
Admin
8 years ago

Some excellent results there Kevin until your final few games but nothing to worry about, I’m sure you’ll be straight back to it next time. Fingers crossed for more silverware soon.

Frank
Frank
8 years ago

It was all going great until the Vancouver game, but not to worry you are still top of the Eastern Conference and have two games in hand over Colombus Crew. Hopefully when you face Montreal at the BMO Field, home support will help your team lift some silverware and qualify for the NACL. Good luck!

Gaurav Chaddah
Gaurav Chaddah
8 years ago

Hey Kevin, some really good results their and you are sitting very comfortably at the top of the Eastern Confrence, have to hand it to you, because you make managing in the MLS look easy but in truth I just find it hard! :) Your doing really well at the moment and also nice to Sydney doing well to, good luck for the rest of the season.

Gaurav Chaddah
Gaurav Chaddah
8 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Hi Kevin, actually the story is over because of my foolishness. Basically, I bought to many players and when it came to squad registration most of them we weaved and I barely had a squad but I guess before delving into the market I should have read the rules in more depth.

saltwater
saltwater
8 years ago

The wheels were bound to come off at some point but it’s a shame it had to happen at BC place. Vancouver must be so smug. I hope you don’t meet them in the play-offs, as they are potentially the only team stronger than yours. I do expect you to run away with the league eventually but your ex-club will be a hard team to overcome.
Good Luck

CsAtlantis
8 years ago

Fierro on a free? Sounds like a very nice coup, good to see Sydney FC continuing where you left off, you ran into some bad form but you’re still top of the Eastern Conference with 1-2 games in hand

Tottenham are really generous (are they selling a lot of merchandise through you in Canada? :P), the 3 million pounds would definitely help the bank balance

Good luck in your following games and I hope your team can turn their little patch of bad form around

Ana Garcia
8 years ago

A few patchy results towards the end but that followed an incredible run of victories so really good so far.

Financially things are looking really good and you are starting to build a good squad that should be able to compete well in the NACL if you manage to get there.

Good luck!! :)

TheZiggy
8 years ago

That was an amazingly good start to the season, until you the match against your old club. I’m sure you’ll quickly turn things around, and get the lads winning again. It really does look at this point as though the Canadian teams are the powerhouses of the MLS.

Interesting to see that Sydney went on to win the A-League, showing just how good a team you’d put together before leaving.

Peter_G
Peter_G
8 years ago

Nice of you to knock an update up Kev! At least someone is haha (joke)

Fierro is a quality signing for Vancouver, I suggest you try your upmost to get him to Toronto!

Jojo
Jojo
8 years ago

Great start to the season, its quite impressive how you can quickly change a team and make them winners. Too bad you ended on a low note but still. Are there any hints you can give cause i am trying to play but every formation i use does not work and the style of play never works as well. How do you make one style of play work against most?

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
8 years ago

Great start Kevin, hopefully the little dip in form towards the end will just be a minor blip, and you can regain the blistering form of before. It definitely looks like you’re able to defend your crown, and I reckon you will :) Good luck!

Lye
Lye
8 years ago

It was certainly a great start. Though you lost a few but the team will bounce back and extend the lead with those two games in hand. The loss to Vancouver shows you have assembled a solid in your previous club and i am sure you will repeat that in Toronto and start creating an era.

Johnny Karp
8 years ago

Very good form there Kevin, except the last few games. But overall your team has shown that it is the strongest in the league, fingers crossed for some trophies at the end of the season!

Tegar Triemanudigdo
8 years ago

Nice results you got there, but I can see Vancouver getting stronger as well. I look forward on the second match against your old team there.

Bhargav
Bhargav
8 years ago

A great start you have there! It seems that you have the MLS pretty well figured out. Bruce Arena who?

Sears
8 years ago

Awesome start to the season Kevin , looking forward to seeing you maintain this level of performance :)

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