Toronto FC - Sebastian Giovinco - celebration

Welcome to another edition of "Discuss," in which MLSsoccer.com editors debate the topics of the moment in MLS.


Today, Senior Editor Ben Couch, New Media Editor Nicholas Rosano, Contributing Editor Sam Stejskal and Contributing Editor Alicia Rodriguez weigh in on road warriors Toronto FC, who sit just a point back of first place in the Eastern Conference and have yet to play at home this season. 


Are TFC the best team in the Eastern Conference? Discuss!

COUCH: Best in the East? What about best overall?


Sure looked like Montreal until that dominating 2-0 victory for the road squad Saturday, which is a strong claim for the the Reds. And Toronto have just been getting result after result despite a brutal opening schedule. Those road games come around as home dates later in the year, and if the points are already on the board, this run should have Supporters’ Shield written all over it.


ROSANO: It didn't happen overnight


Yes, and this was the case even before their weekend win. If anything, the victory over Montreal showed what GM Tim Bezbatchenko’s project was lacking in previous years – stability on the backline – and this is what takes Toronto from a flawed team with big names to one of the best not just in the East, but in all of MLS.

Discuss: Are Toronto FC the best team in the Eastern Conference? - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/Irwin.jpg

STEJSKAL: Defense fueling success in '16


We all know about their attacking firepower, but it’s their revamped defense that make Toronto the best team in the East. Goalkeeper Clint Irwin, defenders Steven Beitashour, Drew Moor, Damien Perquis and Justin Morrow and central midfielders Michael Bradley and Will Johnson have been extremely difficult to break down, with TFC conceding a league-low five goals through seven matches. That solid, sustainable foundation will carry them through any offensive slump. When that attack really starts clicking, watch out. TFC, in the easier East, just might be the Shield favorite. 


RODRIGUEZ: Early rotation gives Impact an edge


One game does not a season make. I think TFC are improved this season and will likely be in the reckoning for best in the East come season’s end, but to me, Montreal is still atop the pack. Why? Mauro Biello has started rotating the Impact lineup (partially enforced by Didier Drogba’s late start to the season) and his group is lining up to be both experienced and rested over the course of the season. As a result, Montreal will have and maintain an edge all season.