Toronto FC are the last remaining unbeaten MLS team in league play this season and close to achieving something special over their next three games.
Since returning to action in phase one of the 2020 season, Toronto FC have bounced back from their disappointing loss to New York City FC to beat the Vancouver Whitecaps twice. They are the last remaining unbeaten team in league play this season and in a strong position at the top end of the Eastern conference standings.
As a result, TFC are getting attention around the league, including moving up to first place in the latest MLS power rankings. They have one of the best attacks in MLS, while also recording four clean sheets in seven league games.
When the Reds made it all the way to the MLS Cup final last season it was an unexpected outcome. The impressive run included beating the top-seeded New York City FC and reigning MLS Cup champion Atlanta United.
What helped TFC was entering last year’s playoffs in excellent form, as they ended the 2019 regular season with 10-game unbeaten streak. The run has continued into this season and now they find themselves within touching distance of making MLS history.
Entering Friday night’s matchup with the Montreal Impact, Toronto FC are now unbeaten in 17 regular season games. This is already the fifth-longest such run in MLS history and they are now closing in on special territory.
Columbus Crew SC and Dallas FC currently hold the record with 19-game unbeaten runs, set in 2004-05 and 2010 respectively. If TFC are to break the record — or at least tie it — they will achieve this against their fellow Canadian MLS teams.
Following Friday’s game in Montreal, the two teams will meet again in Toronto next Tuesday. Assuming TFC equals the MLS record, they will then have the chance to set the new mark on Sat. Sept. 5 in Vancouver against the Whitecaps.
TFC understandably are trying not to talk too much about the unbeaten run, at least publicly. However, head coach Greg Vanney at least offered his reasoning on why the team has been playing so well this season, as reported by James Grossi of Torontofc.ca:
"“Our group is pretty mature,” said Vanney. “We’ve got some really young guys who have come, many of them, through the academy and then we’ve got some veteran guys who have played a lot of games and played a lot of games together – there’s a lot of continuity in that group. With that a lot of things click into natural gear quickly.”"
Richie Laryea, who scored the crucial goal in last Friday’s 1-0 home win over the Whitecaps, added his thoughts on Toronto FC’s consistency. Again reported by Grossi, Laryea said:
"“It comes down to being a very resilient group, like I’ve said a million times. This group fights to the end. Guys want to compete for trophies every single year and they want to show why this club is at the point that it is and has been for the last couple of years.”"
Toronto Media and fans alike quite rightly point to the Raptors as the model for how to run a successful franchise. However, TFC deserves to also be in the conversation.
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The Reds were tough to watch after joining MLS in 2007, failing to make the playoffs during their first eight years of play. However, they are now looking to qualify for the postseason for the fifth time in six seasons.
The pinnacle was undoubtedly 2017, when they set a then record for points in a regular season. They won the treble, which included the Supporters’ Shield, the Canadian Championship and the MLS Cup.
Setting the record for league games unbeaten won’t define if the Reds appear in their fourth MLS Cup final in five season. However, it would still represent a special moment for the club and set them up for another run at silverware.
Do you predict Toronto FC will set a new MLS record for longest unbeaten run or come up short? Regardless, what do you make of their play so far this season? Let us know in the comments section below.