2018 Season Preview: Toronto FC

TORONTO, ONTARIO - DECEMBER 09: Captain Michael Bradley
TORONTO, ONTARIO - DECEMBER 09: Captain Michael Bradley /

Toronto FC enters the 2018 as perennial favourites….well can you blame the bookies?  Toronto had one of the best seasons in MLS history in 2017, but will they be able to duplicate that performance and make a third straight MLS Cup final?

Was it a Toronto Raptors NBA Championship? Nope….How about a Stanley Cup win for the Toronto Maple Leafs?  Nope…..Maybe the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series? Nope.  Who would have thought Toronto FC would be the first major North American team in a major North American sport to win a trophy and hold a parade (Sorry Argos, but yours doesn’t truly count – great win though)? Well Toronto was absolutely buzzing last year as Toronto FC completed what will likely go down as one of the best season if not best season in the MLS.  They wound up with MLS and club record 69 points and 20 wins on the season.  We saw the emergence of a young goaltender in Alex Bono, Victor Vazquez became one of the best playmakers in the MLS and we saw the re-emergence of Jozy Altidore into a goal scoring machine.

A Recap of 2017

If there was one word that can sum up Toronto FC’s 2017 season there would be a few…Champions and greatness.  Can Toronto duplicate that in 2018 however?

Record: 20-5-9 (69 Points)

Finishing Position: 1st in MLS, 1st in the Eastern Conference

Post Season: Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls (2-2 on aggregate – advanced on Away Goals)

Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew (1-0 on Aggregate)

Toronto FC vs Seattle Sounders (2-0 – MLS Cup Champions)

It’s been a great two years to be a Toronto FC fan. 2017 was a banner year….literally for Toronto FC as they led the MLS in terms of wins and points and ended up winning the Supporters Shield and the MLS Cup all in the same season.  They had the most goals in the MLS last season with Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco recording 17 apiece.  On the defensive side of the ball Toronto registered the second lost goals against total to go along with 12 shutouts on the season.  The addition of Gregory Van Der Wiel on the defensive side of the ball to replace the departure of Steven Beitashour will be a great help.

Transfers Out:

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D/M – Raheem Edwards (Montreal Impact)

GK –Mark Pais (Option Declined)

D – Brandon Aubrey (Option Declined)

D – Oyvind Alseth (Option Declined)

M – Sergio Camargo (Option Declined)

M – Armando Cooper (Option Declined)

M – Tsubasa Endoh (Option Declined)

D – Steven Beitashour (LAFC)

D – Jason Hernandez (Out Of Contract)

Tranfers In:

F – Ayo Akinola (Homegrown)

M- Liam Fraser (Homegrown)

D – Gregory van der Wiel (Transfer from Cagliari)

D – Auro (Loan from Sao Paulo)

GK – Caleb Patterson-Sewell (Free)

Projected Lineup

2018 Predictions

Last year was a big season for Toronto FC and with lots of success, but a winning season does not a dynasty make.  Toronto lost two key players from their winning side, but brought in some much-needed experience on the back-end with van der Wiel.  His addition will mean Nicolas Hasler who played a lot of defence on the wing while Beitashour was out will move into his natural positon in the midfield when called upon.  Toronto also brought in another defender, Auro on Loan from the Brazilian league who will help add depth especially when Toronto takes on the Champions League.

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There are also reports out of Spain that Toronto are close to signing Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ager Aktexe, his signing would be another major addition to the lineup.  If Toronto can play the same way they played last season especially with their ability to out possess teams and create chances out of nothing will make Toronto a tough team to beat again.  With a long season ahead and only a short winter break Toronto will need all the depth they have if they want to repeat.  Even though it’ll be a long season Toronto will have another strong season, finishing second to New York City FC.

Predicting Finishing Position: 2nd in the Eastern Conference