Take a look back at the past decade of Toronto FC through the Top 10 Moments of the 2010s for the Reds, including great successes and heartbreaking defeats.
This has been both an unbelievable and a painful decade for Toronto FC and their fans. The beginning half of the decade was agony, but the second half was ecstacy. And so, in constructing the Top 10 Moments of the Decade list, there is a natural slant towards what came after 2014.
All in all, Toronto won an MLS Cup, had two more MLS Cup appearances, made CONCACAF Champions League final, won a historic Supporters’ Shield in one of the greatest individual seasons in MLS history, and seven Canadian Championships.
As you might guess, there are plenty of great moments for Toronto FC this decade, but here are the top 10.
10. Greg Vanney Hiring
Admittedly, some are the greatest fan of current Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney, but his record throughout the decade is undeniable and his appointment was a huge turning point for the organisation. Toronto had been through a carousel of managers until he took over in 2014. He has been an integral part to their successes and struggled with the club through thick and thin. He may not make the best decisions in-game, especially during this past season, but he’s been a very important part of the club’s success. Without him, Toronto would not have been as successful as they have been.
9. Jermaine Defoe Signing
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Jermaine Defoe was one of the first true big-name signings Toronto FC made as a franchise. Defoe’s playing time in Toronto was an interesting one. However, it was a good sign for the organization’s future. It was the first significant investment in player personnel and, therefore, created a lot of much-needed press around the team. He didn’t work out with Toronto FC, for various reasons, but it was a very important lesson for the front office, one that they learned from in future transfers.
8. Alejandro Pozuelo Signing
The Sebastian Giovinco replacement, Alejandro Pozuelo came into his time with Toronto surrounded by controversy. His ending with Belgian club Genk wasn’t exactly a smooth one, but holy cow, was he a good addition for Toronto?! His first game was one of the best debuts in MLS history. Having only played one season this decade, it is difficult to push his transfer higher up this list, but after 14 goals and 10 assists in his first year at the club, the future looks bright for the Spaniard.
7. Monreal Impact Playoff Games
What can I say? These games created one of the best rivalries in MLS. The extra-time thriller in 2016 was potentially the most exciting and emotional playoff series in MLS playoffs history. It created something that the derby had lacked: history. They were the best, most entertaining games Toronto has played in their entire history. To not include something from the 401 derby felt wrong, and this was the Reds crowning moment in the rivalry.
6. MLS Cup Losses in 2016 and 2019
I’ve decided to combine these two losses because they were very similar. Toronto FC learned an extraordinary amount about their squads and got extremely unlucky. In 2016, Stefan Frei won MLS Cup on his own. It was a devastating blow to Toronto, but they learned from it and bounced back.
The final in 2019 was similar, but it was a Justin Morrow deflection that ultimately derailed the bus and led to Toronto’s demise. Just making it to the 2019 MLS Cup is an accomplishment, especially considering the season they had. Albeit unfortunate outcomes, Toronto should look at both defeats as tremendous learning experiences and one of their top moments of the past decade.
5. Champions League Run in 2018
Another tournament that ended with Toronto losing on penalties, the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League run put MLS on the map in North American soccer. En route to the finals, they beat some of the best teams in Mexico. They did all of this while missing some of their best defenders to injury. It showed the class that MLS possessed. It also showed North America and the world that MLS teams are starting to challenge Liga MX teams as the best clubs in the CONCACAF region. It was the beginning of the team’s recent injury issues and the peak for their historic 2017 roster.
4. Jozy Altidore Signing
Ever since Jozy Altidore joined Toronto FC, he has had a massive influence on their playstyle and identity. The signing/trade led to years of competitive football and signified the dominance of a team that will go down as one of the best in MLS history. He has had his issues, but this signing continued to change the tide of Toronto FC’s future.
3. Michael Bradley Signing
The General. Michael Bradley is the most important player Toronto FC has ever signed as a DP. Whether you love him or hate him, his importance is undeniable. Bradley has been a dominant force in the midfield and the ultimate team player. He was a true leader for a club that so desperately needed one. And then, this offseason, agreeing to a TAM contract to continue his career with the side is yet another example of the character and leadership he’s given the club. If Toronto never makes this signing, they do not achieve half the success they have since. He came in as a second thought with Jermain Defoe, but he’s turned into one of the best and most reliable players in club history.
2. Sebastian Giovinco Signing
The Atomic Ant. What else can I say? Sebastian Giovinco is simply the best player who has ever played for Toronto FC. His signing changed the trajectory of the club and added something that they had never had before. He came into the league and dominated. This signing put Toronto FC on the map in MLS. He pushed the team into the playoffs and, eventually, to a championship. Even if this wasn’t the most massive signing at the time, he turned into a legend.
Arguably the best team to ever play in MLS. The 2017 iteration of Toronto FC was an utterly magical team. It was the peak of the decade for Toronto, setting the record for most points in an MLS season, winning the Canadian Championship, and slaying the dragon with a win in MLS Cup against Seattle.
This was the utter peak of a brilliant decade for Toronto FC, the mountain top for Greg Vanney, Bradley, Giovinco and the rest of the organization. This was the greatest moment of the decade, and nothing else comes close.