Three Stars Through Six Games
We, the north.
Forgive me for getting lost in the playoff fever that is sweeping this city. The Toronto Raptors are playing above their weight, duking it out with a Brooklyn side that pretends they don’t exist.
For good reason, maybe. The Raptors played excellent regular season ball, but could they ‘prove’ it when it actually mattered? That question does a disservice to fans who know the game, but it’ll be asked time and time again by newspaper columnists and the pundits on television.
The same can be said for Toronto FC. Through six games they sit with nine points, just outside the playoffs with a number of games in hand on their rivals.
Through six games a collection of unheralded players have emerged, alongside Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe.
1) Justin Morrow
He’s been everything TFC hoped for when they acquired the American from San Jose. A stabilizing force on the back line, Morrow is also showing his ability to get forward and create. It was his assist that gave the Reds some much needed insurance in Columbus.
2) Mark Bloom
The 'In Bloom' headlines were coming either way. Considering the grunge to sportswriter ratio in this city that’s not surprising. However, Mark Bloom has been a revelation worth waxing poetically about.
At 26, Bloom is entering the prime years of his career. TFC appears to have found him at the perfect time.
3) Kyle Bekker
Thrown into the fire, Bekker responded with his best football as a professional. Injuries to Jonathan Osorio and Michael Bradley led to Bekker’s inclusion in the starting lineup prematurely, perhaps, but the Sigma FC graduate was up to the task.
This team will rely on its stars, as they should. But it's players like Morrow, Bloom and Bekker that will power this team to places they have never been.