The new year began for Toronto FC as all MLS seasons tend to do with a flurry of signings and drafts before preseason got underway.
After just 40 days of rest, the players reported to training camp on January 23 before heading to Los Angeles for the first phase of preseason on January 28.
Where other clubs were busy with the usual frantic offseason shuffles, Toronto were in no particular rush having welcomed back the majority of the squad that reached the MLS Cup Final the previous season. Rumours of Sebastian Giovinco drawing interest from China were swatted away and defender Chris Mavinga, come January 31, was the first major signing of the offseason.
While in LA, TFC would play three matches, winning 3-0 over Ventura County Fusion on February 1, 3-0 over San Diego State University on February 3, and losing 2-1 to Cal State Fullerton to wrap up the West Coast stint.
The signings continued with Benoit Cheyrou re-signing, while Tosaint Ricketts and Clint Irwin inked new deals. And on February 20 the second major offseason addition, Victor Vazquez, joined the club, introduced as the needed lock-picker.
Back in Toronto for a week from February 6, the club again hit the road for sunnier climes on February 13, Florida-bound with a camp in Orlando.
They would dismantle Miami FC 6-1 on February 15, dismiss Orlando City SC on February 19 in a pair of split-squad friendlies winning 3-1 and 4-0, before concluding the preseason with a further pair of matches against MLS opposition: beating Minnesota United 3-0 on February 22 and losing 4-1 on February 25 to the Chicago Fire as the regular season loomed.
Meanwhile, back in Toronto anticipation was building for the 2017 MLS season.
Club President Bill Manning and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko hosted the President's Breakfast at Real Sports Bar & Grill on February 24, where a theme for the upcoming season emerged: Unfinished Business.
In addition, the primary kit for the 2017 season was unveiled.
If 2017 were to be indeed be the Dawn of the Reds, the foundation had been laid. All that remained, was for the season to begin.