It’s been a tough few weeks, what with us going eight games without a win. We’re sorry for the nasty words we used Saturday. It was likely the heat talking. But, we think you must understand and share our frustration. It’s time to get out of this funk.
And, tonight is the perfect opportunity. I know that your sports information department called an earlier game in this tournament a friendly, but we hope that you understand that isn’t the case (we also hope someone had words with the intern that made that error. It was an intern, right?). Tonight is most certainly not a friendly. Actually, it’s the most important game we’ve ever played.
We know that this is a new competition to most of you. The Voyageurs is hardly the English FA Cup. We get that. With only three teams competing it might not seem like much to you. But here is the thing: It’s ours. I’m not sure you can appreciate the battle that went into getting even this far. Nothing comes easy for this sport in this country and we take great pride in that trophy you are playing for tonight. You see when no one else would step up we went out and bought the thing ourselves.
If (when, right) you raise it up tonight you will be holding onto the hopes and dreams of every supporter that has ever fought for this game’s acceptance in this city and this country. At the risk of being overly dramatic there is a tiny piece of all of us in the thing.
Those of you that are new to this city must think that things have always been like this. After all you hear every week that we are the best fans in the league. You see it with your own eyes every time you step out on the pitch. Talk to Jimmy. He’ll tell you. For most of us this is still a dream. We go to every game with the understanding that we need to push ourselves to increase the atmosphere. We can’t let up, because we know the critics will pounce: It’s a fad, a novelty. We’ve been through too much to let go of this now.
Which is why we so badly want you to win tonight. We’re Canadian soccer fans. From Toronto. Winning is not something we have much experience in. So, we badly want this. And, if you appreciate what we do you should badly want to win it for us.
If you don’t win we’ll still be back in numbers in two weeks time—and we’d wish Montreal well against the Nicaraguan team (really, we’d try anyway)—but that’s not the way the script should be written. At the risk of being presumptuous, we think we deserve this.
So, we hope you understand just how important tonight is.
The boys (and girls) in the south end.
- Danny Dichio will once again miss this one with concussion symptoms. He was acting as a coach during Saturday's MLS game against San Jose.
- Montreal heads into the game coming off of a strong 3-1 win against Miami
- It's expected that about 100 Impact supporters will be at BMO for the match
- GolTV is re-broadcasting all televised games of the competition this afternoon
- It was touched on above, but for those that don't know the genesis of the Voyageurs Cup, it was donated by the fans of Canadian soccer to be, at the time, given out to the Canadian based USL team that had the best record against the other Canadian USL teams. Although this is the first year it has been officially recognized by soccer authorities in Canada, it will be the seventh time it is awarded. Montreal has won the six previous additions.
- In keeping with the fan friendly tradition of the trophy a member of the Voyageurs will be involved in its presentation tonight.
- Some previews: The Star; The Globe; The Post; The Gazette; The Sun
- It's nice to know that good old fashioned fan smack talk is alive and well in this country (warning: off-colour insults abide galore).