Toronto FC was a team that joined Major League Soccer and instantly set the standard for fan support. BMO Field was sold out every game and fans sang chants for ninety minutes straight as they supported their team.
However, those days are long gone as the stadium is more like a funeral parlour nowadays and teams that entered the league after them, such as the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Montreal Impact, and the Vancouver Whitecaps, have surpassed them in terms of fan support, and success. Toronto FC can easily turn things around though with the right management, but so far that has alluded the franchise.
Toronto FC fans have been more than patient with the Toronto organization as they worked through the expansion process to try and develop a winning team. However, the team's fans have had to watch newer teams make the playoffs and have on-field success while they are still waiting to see postseason action.
To make matters worse, the team's biggest rival the Montreal Impact have not only been able to attract some of the league's biggest stars, they've also been able to put a winning team together that can compete for the MLS Cup. The Impact were able to build strong links with clubs in Italy, luring in the likes of Alessandro Nesta and Marco Di Vaio to Montreal in order to help them sell their brand to the fans.
Toronto FC have only been able to sign Mista, Koevermans, and Eric Hassli. Torsten Frings was the team's most notable designated player but he was ultimately ineffective for the organization as there was very little talent around him.
The team says they are in the process of conducting research and building relationships with top talent in order to allure a world class designated player for next season. This isn't the first time that Toronto FC has talked a big game though and fans can be forgiven for not feeling very optimistic.
However, if the club does intend on being able to gain the trust of their fans back then they will need to land a big fish. Not a player who is over the hill and unable to contribute but a player that can still be effective and has a name behind him. Someone like Miroslav Klose would be perfect for the team, but I don't know if the team has the ability to attract a player like that anymore.
Toronto FC has a lot of work to do if they want to relive the days that saw BMO Field packed and the hottest ticket in town. However, it can be done with the passion for soccer in the city so strong. It will be interesting to see what the organization can do in the offseason to ensure that next year isn't as bad as this one has been.