BMO Field sunset

Watching soccer in Toronto

Can’t believe I just called it soccer *shudders*.

Watching Toronto FC take on Manchester City

One of the issues with leaving Europe behind is that you also leave behind the chance to watch your favourite football teams in action. However, Toronto is home to one of Canada’s three teams in Major League Soccer, a league whose popularity and reputation have grown ever since David Beckham took the leap across the Pond.

So last week I headed down to BMO Field at Exhibition Place, the home stadium of Toronto FC. Ever since we came to Toronto, I’ve wanted to go to a match once it was warm enough to sit around outside for 90 minutes! So whilst I’m not a fan of Manchester City, when I heard that they would be in town for a friendly, I decided that this was the perfect time to go and watch my first Toronto FC match. Thanks for discount!

Outside the stadium before the match
Outside the stadium before the match

Manchester City line-up
Manchester City line up for the the English and Canadian anthems before the match. Ironically, there were more English players lining up for Toronto (just the 1) than there were for Manchester City.
Manchester City left to right: Dzeko, Toure, Kolarov, Bony, Silva, Boyata, Fofana, Jesus Navas, Sagna, Caballero, Kompany.
The match itself can be described as something of a meaningless friendly. Toronto is in the midst of their regular season, with a ‘glamour’ friendly potentially a distraction and posing an injury risk. Meanwhile, Manchester City have just finished their season, and with no FA Cup or Champions League finals to look forward, embarked on a money-grabbing post-season tour of North America.

The opening 45 minutes of the match produced no goals , with Manchester City largely on top, but guilty of missing some presentable opportunities. Into the second half, and both teams seemed to liven up, but just when it looked like a it was going to finish 0-0, City youngster, George Evans curled in a beautiful goal from distance. Toronto missed some great chances, including hitting the post and seeing a last minute header go wide.

Match action Toronto and MCFC players
Clockwise from top left: Michael Bradley shadows Yaya Toure; David Silva; Sergio Aguero slips past oponents in the hunt for the ball; Vincent Kompany brings the ball out of defence

Match action Toronto and MCFC players
Clockwise from top left: Pablo Zabaleta plays the ball up the right wing; Sebastian Giovinco; Sergio Aguero; Yaya Toure
Despite the ‘meaningless’ aspect of the match, City still gave the majority of their big names at least 45 minutes on the pitch. It was particularly great to see the fantastic Sergio Aguero and David Silva in the flesh. Those two really do know how to manipulate a ball with their feet! Toronto also had some of the start players on show, including big signing from Juventus, Sebastian Giovinco, and Michael Bradley.

BMO Field sunset
We were treated to a rainbow over the stadium at sunset, as well as a view of the CN Tower!
It was just a shame that there were a lot of empty seats around the stadium. I wonder if rather than Manchester City, if it had been Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, etc. in town, if it might have been not quite so empty.

The most impressive aspect of the whole evening though was this tweet which I posted from the match.

Probably due to the @MCFC in the tweet, it was seen by 73,228 people, 4,565 of whom interacted with it in some way. It was retweeted 27 times, favourited 44 times, and 8 people replied to it. Most comments seemed to come from losers who wanted to troll anything related to Manchester City, or who wanted to make some comment on the number of empty seats. What do these people do, sit on Twitter all day searching for mentions of @MCFC or pictures of empty seats!?

Match highlights, including the great goal, can be watched on YouTube.



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