Metro's guide to Toronto FC's date with MLS destiny
What you need to know about the game that's set to make Canadian soccer history, no matter the outcome
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Toronto FC is in uncharted territory and history is on the line as the club hosts the Montreal Impact Wednesday night at BMO Field. The team lost the first leg of the conference final, so Toronto will need to take advantage of the hometown crowd if they want to become the first Canadian team to advance to the MLS Cup.
Having lost the first game in Montreal 3-2, TFC knows even the slimmest win — 1-0 — would be enough to progress. That's because of football's 'away goals rule' — in the event of an aggregate tie, the team with the most road goals in the series advances. Equally, a 2-1 victory or any win by a margin of two or more would see TFC go through. If there's a repeat 3-2 scoreline, then the teams are forced to play 30 minutes of extra time, followed by penalty kicks if necessary.
If they’re victorious, Toronto will host the MLS Cup against the Seattle Sounders Dec. 10.
How to get tickets:
Some 36,000 fans are expected to be in the stands, a record crowd at BMO Field. Tickets are still available from Ticketmaster, and some were selling on StubHub Tuesday for upwards of $70.
If this is your first time at a TFC game:
Diehard fans will gather at the Brazen Head pub in Liberty Village prior to the game for some food and drinks, as well as prizes and appearances by TFC alumni. They’ll then march to BMO Field together, accompanied by 416 Beats and TFC personnel. The pre-game party starts 5 p.m. at the Budweiser King Club patio. Opening ceremonies for the game start at 6:30 p.m.
Find the Supporters Section:
If you want to be cheery and boisterous, the stadium’s south end is where you want to be. Sections 112 through 118 make up the Supporters Section, where about 750 fans are allowed to stand during play to wave banners and flags and pound their drums.
Bitchy the Hawk:
Seagulls beware. Toronto FC fans have come to accept this bird of prey – whose job is to keep other birds away from the stadium – as the team’s unofficial mascot.
Players to watch:
While Toronto will undoubtedly rely on the hot feet of Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco and team captain Michael Bradley, Montreal won’t necessarily be a pushover. Forwards Matteo Mancosu, Dominic Oduro and Didier Drogba, as well as midfielder Ignacio Piatti have proven themselves clutch in the playoffs.