TORONTO—On opening night at the new BMO Field, Toronto FC were treated to a glimpse of the past: the raucous crowds that first greeted them back when the venue opened in 2007.
“From warmups, you could tell there was a buzz in the air,” said midfielder Michael Bradley after Saturday night's 1-0 win over FC Dallas. “There was an excitement around the place that you don't always get.
“When we walked back out for kickoff, it had escalated – the national anthem was unbelievable. And from the first whistle … It was a special night.”
TFC head coach Greg Vanney spoke to the charged nature of the occasion in his post-match remarks.
“It's an emotional night, coming back home,” he said. “When the stadium is in full voice, singing the national anthem … I'm not Canadian, but I was so proud of the city and our fans for that moment. It brings a tear to my eye every time they're in full voice; it's so impressive.”
“It was a beautiful night and atmosphere. It was exactly what we wanted and hope for in our next games.”
“It was amazing. It's indescribable,” said Endoh, who threatened regularly from his midfielder position. “All the fans are crazy – in a good way. We got a win; all the fans [here] to support you … there's nothing like being home.”
Jozy Altidore, who was in position to put Giovinco's pass in the back of the net had Endoh erred, saw this night as something of an omen.
“If we keep winning, we keep doing our part, the TFC support will be back,” he said.
Said team captain Bradley: “On behalf of the players, a huge thank you to everybody who came to the stadium tonight. People need to understand what a difference they make for us when they make an atmosphere like that, push us on like that.
“We deserved a few more goals, and the fans did as well. We'll have a few more nights to pay them back.”