TORONTO – After falling short in the finals of the 2013 Amway Canadian Championship, Toronto FC are looking to make amends this season. In order to do that, the Reds first have to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps in the semifinals of this year's edition, starting with Wednesday's first leg at BMO Field (7:30 pm ET, Sportsnet One).
And considering it was TFC themselves who ruined Vancouver's dreams in the 2012 finals, TFC are eager not only to return to the tournament themselves, but to ruin the Whitecaps' hopes as well.
“We’re going to do our best to make sure Vancouver will have to keep dreaming of winning this championship,” midfielder and Toronto native Jonathan Osorio told MLSsoccer.com on Monday.
The 21-year-old Osorio is just one Canadian player in a team full of local talent. Players like Dwayne De Rosario, Ashtone Morgan, Issey Nakajima-Farran, Kyle Bekker and Doneil Henry form a strong Canadian core in Toronto’s roster, and that gives the upcoming competition even more meaning to the club.
“As a Canadian myself and for the other Canadians on this time, it’s important to us,” Osorio said. “It’s the Canada cup. There’s a lot of pride on the line. Last year, unfortunately, we didn’t do so well, so this year is a chance for us to redeem ourselves.”
“It’s still really, really sore and really tender so we’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” Osorio said. “It’s not looking good for Wednesday. Hopefully I’ll be ready for the next leg.”
Should Toronto FC win the tournament, the already-difficult regular season schedule will only get tougher with CONCACAF Champions League group-stage matches in the fall. But that doesn’t worry Osorio.
In fact, he welcomes having more matches.
“We definitely have that in our minds, of course,” Osorio said, of the increase in games. “But, we want to play Champions League this year, that’s a goal for us."