When Toronto FC joined Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2006, the team fulfilled a series of firsts for the only American professional soccer league. It was the first team to begin play in Canada and the fourteenth team in the MLS overall when the league decided to expand. Toronto FC plays in one of the most beautiful venues in the league, BMO Field in Toronto, located at Exhibition Place. This 20,000-seat stadium is Canada's first soccer-specific venue ever built and the home of the country's national soccer team. In fact, during the field's first year of existence, it hosted the FIFA U-20 World Cup and brought more than 500,000 spectators through its doors during its first year alone.
Toronto FC began to play during the 2007 season and it was soon apparent that it would be an uphill battle to compete with some of the more established franchises in the league. The team would fail to make the playoffs during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, but would come tantalizingly close in 2009. Led by Dwayne De Rosario and Stefan Frei, Toronto FC was a high-scoring team during 2009 but gave up far too many goals. The team finished with a 10-11-9 record and missed out on a playoff spot during the last day of the regular season.
The 2010 and 2011 seasons proved to be the same story for Toronto FC, as the front office went out to find new talent, but the squad couldn't put it together on the field. While the team hasn't made it to the postseason quite yet, the squad enjoys great fan support from the residents of Toronto. While some MLS matches can sometimes feel like ghost towns in some cities, the atmosphere around a Toronto FC game resembles a World Cup feel, as Canadian fans are very committed to their soccer and will cheer on their home teams to the bitter end.
Heading into the coming season, players and fans alike are eager to see whether or not Toronto FC can make the leap into playoff contention and perhaps make a bit of noise when they get there. With a young and talented roster coming up and learning the ropes, Toronto FC looks like an up-and-coming team that could give more-established Eastern Conference squads a run for their money during the 2012 season.