TORONTO – After a tough home loss to San Jose seriously impaired Toronto FC’s playoff prospects, Nick Dasovic was complimentary towards his players’ performance and continued to hold out hope of a postseason berth.
Toronto FC fans aren’t so optimistic – and have been showing their displeasure of late.
“There’s nothing I can say to them,” Dasovic said. “They’ll read the paper, see the table and know we’re in a dogfight. So the way we’re looking at it from the change room, until we’re told differently, we’re going to keep fighting.”
For three years, chants of “This is our house,” have rained down from the stands. Now, the fans seem to be finding better digs. BMO Field is not as intimidating as it once was and is representing more of a crumbling castle than a fortress.
More fans are arriving late to games, and those that do come aren’t as boisterous as they once were. Their chanting isn’t as loud or as passionate. Even the colorful streamer attacks on visiting players in the corners – a common and frequent sight – have subsided, almost making a display seem like a novelty. In their place have sprouted banners of protest at the team's shortcomings.
It may or may not be a coincidence that the team has not won its last five home games overall after going undefeated in their first 13.
“We just got to do better on the field,” De Rosario said. “I think we should be more angrier than the fans in here because that [San Jose loss] could have potentially been our playoffs right there.
“So, we just have to show the commitment in every game that we have left and show that desire to want to win and just play with that pride of the club and play with that pride of the city.”
Seven points behind Colorado for the last playoff spot, Toronto FC will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season if they lose away to Seattle on Saturday.
Even if they win, Toronto play two of their final three games away, and face the uphill task of leapfrogging Kansas City in the standings while hoping other clubs knock off Seattle. The reality is that it may be a fourth straight playoff-free autumn at BMO Field.
“We don’t want to make excuses," said Chad Barrett. "I really hope that if nothing comes out of this year, I really hope that what changes are made that the big group of the guys from this team stay around because I feel that that’s probably one of the things good teams have, like the Houston Dynamo, it’s teams that stay together and go through year in and year out.”
Barrett knows the fans have been through the wringer, and that they have more to prove to the proud BMO Field faithful.
“We’re so thankful here for their support,” he said.