Team Huddle vs. PHI

NEVER SATISFIED: Reds continue to turn the page in pursuit of silverware

TORONTO – When all about them are lost in chatter of history and records, Toronto FC are keeping their minds squarely focused on the task at hand. 

Call it being the best version of themselves, being ruthless, focusing one game at a time, as has often been said and will be said many more times in the coming weeks. 

There will be time for the grandiose talk when all is said and done. For now, two matches remain in the MLS regular season – on Sunday against the Montreal Impact at BMO Field and next weekend away to Atlanta United. Then four more in the MLS Cup Playoffs, before the cup itself will be awarded on December 9.

The history books do indeed beckon for Toronto. 

Voyageurs Cup and Supporters' Shield in tow, most points, most wins, and best goal-differential are all lined up to fall in their path, but if one asks TFC themselves about such frills, they demur. 

That is not to say that they are not proud of what they have accomplished. Just that the metric that matters internally differs from those discussed on the outside.

“The greatest thing about this team,” began Greg Vanney last month, “is how far they've come as a group, in the locker room, in their culture of working hard together to get better every day, working individually to get better.” 

“I've seen our young guys really grow up in that aspect; seen our more veteran guys really take leadership roles,” continued Vanney. “I've seen the maturity of a group that doesn't get caught up in day-to-day; focused on trying to improve.” 

“Once you establish a culture in that way, [and] it's being pushed by the guys, then you know you're in a good spot,” noted Vanney. “It'll take a lot to bump us off the path that we're on. I'm pleased with that.” 

“The results are a byproduct of everybody showing up to work every day, following the things we're trying to do as a team, following their roles, and committing to being the best players they can be in that,” concluded Vanney. “The foundation for any success starts there.”

Veteran defender Drew Moor added a further aspect, one that reinforces Vanney's observation: “That we're never satisfied.” 

“As good as I feel we are, as many special players as we have, as good a season as it has been so far.... we're not satisfied,” reiterated Moor after the 4-0 win in Los Angeles. “We want to continue to push, want to continue to take it one game at a time. This team steps into the room every single day and pushes ourselves and each other.” 

“It's a special group,” summed up Moor.

Asked what makes him most proud about this group, captain Michael Bradley kept it simple, focused as ever on the match.

“That we put everything aside every weekend and go for it,” said Bradley. “That we're not worried about what's happened before, not worried about what is coming next; that we have been so committed to playing 90 minutes at a time in the most fearless, most aggressive way that we can. We're going to keep doing that.”