On The Beat: Five questions about Toronto FC with Waking The Red’s Charlie O’Connor-Clarke

Ahead of Sunday’s Revolution match at Toronto FC, we got the chance to sit down with Waking The Red’s Charlie O’Connor-Clarke, who gave us a little insight into TFC in these early weeks of the 2019 season.

BSJ: First question is a simple one: No long run in the Champions League for TFC this season bodes well for the Reds in 2019, true or false, and why?

COCC: It's certainly disappointing for the club to follow up last year's Champions League success with such a pitiful exit, no two ways about it. That said, we were kidding ourselves if we thought they had the strength to make another deep run. There's a real case to be made for 2018's failures in MLS being down to that long CCL run (and the thrown away games/injuries it caused, not to mention the emotional impact of losing the final on penalties). TFC desperately need to get back into the playoffs this year and return to the normal we'd started to expect, and having no distractions from that goal will go a long way. With a thinner roster this year, a lighter load of matches in the first few months of the season will help immensely and allow them to use the best possible lineup as much as possible, without putting too much strain on aging players like Drew Moor and Laurent Ciman.

BSJ: Obviously this past offseason was about the departure of not only Sebastian Giovinco, but also of Victor Vasquez. And not only that, it’s looking like Jozy Altidore’s going to be out of action for a little longer after his foot surgery. And sure, a 3-1 scoreline against Philthy Philly looks great, but that’s two goals out of Michael Bradley, who doesn’t put his scoring boots on that often; heck, Nick DeLeon scored on Opening Weekend. So the question is… is this Terrence Boyd’s (if he gets into the squad) team for the time being, or Jonathan Osorio’s, or what? Where’s the offense coming from?