Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco (left) Victor Vazquez (centre) and Michael Bradley hold the MLS Trophy as they team celebrates their victory in the MLS Cup final with a parade through downtown Toronto on Monday, December 11, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco (left) Victor Vazquez (centre) and Michael Bradley hold the MLS Trophy as they team celebrates their victory in the MLS Cup final with a parade through downtown Toronto on Monday, December 11, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Chanting fans pack downtown Toronto to celebrate TFC’s MLS Cup championship

TORONTO — Michael Bradley stood with his teammates on top of a red double-decker bus as chants of his name rang through the downtown streets of Toronto.

The Toronto FC captain soaked it all in for a moment before making a fist with his right hand and pounding it on his heart. And then he lifted the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy in appreciation of the city that stuck behind the team as it made an 11-year journey from perennial league doormat to the best team in Major League Soccer.

“This has been our dream, our obsession for the last year,” Bradley told a crowd of thousands Monday afternoon at Nathan Phillips Square for a fan rally celebrating Toronto FC’s first ever MLS Cup victory.

“And to be able to take care of everything that we wanted, to lift that trophy in this city in front of our fans, to give everybody a day like this…this is why every single one of us is here.”

Toronto beat the Seattle Sounders 2-0 in the MLS championship game at BMO Field on Saturday, becoming the first Canadian team to win the MLS Cup title. Seattle had beaten Toronto on the Reds’ home turf in the 2016 final, winning on penalty kicks following a 0-0 draw.

Fans wearing tuques, jackets, sweaters, scarves — whatever red clothing they could get their hands on — stood along Front and Bay Streets to salute their team.

There was a few in attendance, like 22-year-old Nicholas Fiore, that called in sick to work to brave the chilly -6 C conditions.

“I said, ‘Guys, TFC won the championship, you won’t see me on Monday.”’

Martin Omes has been a member of the Red Patch Boys — a Toronto FC supporters group — since the team started in Major League Soccer in 2007. He said having a team to get behind was huge while growing up playing local soccer, even if it took the Reds nine seasons just to make the playoffs.

“I’ve never been able to witness a Toronto major championship before,” Omes said. “So to be able to be on the field with all my best friends, together as a family as one, celebrating to the top of our lungs, there’s no better feeling.

“Probably one of the best moments in my entire life.”

It’s the second championship Toronto has celebrated in the last two weeks after the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts won the Grey Cup at the end of November.

Bradley and his teammates popped a bottle of champagne on the bus outside Air Canada Centre before the starting the parade route. Supporters groups waved flags and chanted while walking in front of the team’s bus.

Toronto FC players basked in the chants of “TFC” and sprayed more champagne towards people on the sidewalk along the way.

Fans were already gathered when Toronto FC arrived with the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy at Nathan Phillips Square, where several team personnel made speeches.

Bradley told fans that he had immersed himself in Toronto’s sports culture since joining the team in 2014 and said his team will work hard to emulate the Blue Jays’ back-to-back World Series titles of 1992 and 1993.

“We’re going to enjoy this for a little bit longer and then we’re going to dust ourselves off and make sure we get back to work so that we can be lifting that trophy again next year,” he said.

Toronto (20-5-9) was the best team during the regular season and set a record with 69 points — the most ever in MLS history.

Led by Bradley and forwards Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, the Reds set franchise records for wins (20), goals scored (74), fewest goals allowed (37), shutouts (13), home wins (13), home points (42), road wins (seven) and road points (27).

Toronto also won the Voyageurs Cup as Canadian champions, beating the Montreal Impact in a two-game series in June.

Altidore scored the winner in Saturday’s victory over Seattle and took the microphone after Monday’s event to say a few final words.

“I just want to let you guys know that I’ve been partying since Saturday,” Altidore said.

“And baby, I’m TFC until I die.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The interchange at Highway 2 and McKenzie Road at the south end of Gasoline Alley is being redesigned with two roundabouts. Construction is expected to begin this month and finish in October. (Graphic from Red Deer County)
Roudabouts coming to McKenzie Road overpass at Gasoline Alley

Project expected to improve traffic flow at busy intersections

A federal strategy to preserve threatened trout could conflict with provincial coal leases in the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies. (Contributed photo by Jeff Lund).
Federal regulations could save Alberta’s bull trout by shutting down mining plans, says biologist

Ottawa’s new strategy identifies a 30-metre protected area along rivers and streams

(Contributed image)
Wolf Creek Public Schools will not participate in curriculum pilot

Central Alberta school jurisdiction joins others across Alberta

Canada's Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, fom left, celebrate after winning women's gold medal match against Brazil's team at the Beach Volley Worldtour Major Series, in Vienna, Austria on August 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ronald Zak
Canada’s world champion beach volleyball duo finally getting games before Tokyo

Canada’s world champion beach volleyball duo finally getting games before Tokyo

Toronto Raptors center Khem Birch (24) gets fouled by Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Bogdanovic, Capela lead Hawks past Raptors 107-103

Bogdanovic, Capela lead Hawks past Raptors 107-103

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu throws to a New York Yankees batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Ryu sharp into 7th, Semien homers as Blue Jays top Yanks 7-3

Ryu sharp into 7th, Semien homers as Blue Jays top Yanks 7-3

Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau (13) scores the game winning goal on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender David Rittich (33) in overtime NHL action in Toronto on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Gaudreau scores in overtime, Flames beat Maple Leafs 3-2

Gaudreau scores in overtime, Flames beat Maple Leafs 3-2

Jim Bullock, Vicki Pappas and Randy Waples off to Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Jim Bullock, Vicki Pappas and Randy Waples off to Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Canada's Evelyne Viens celebrates scoring against Wales during the women's international friendly soccer match at Leckwith Stadium, Wales, Friday April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nick Potts/PA via AP
Canada capitalizes on England mistakes to win women’s soccer friendly 2-0

Canada capitalizes on England mistakes to win women’s soccer friendly 2-0

After weekend hiccup at men’s worlds, Grand Slams move into curling bubble

After weekend hiccup at men’s worlds, Grand Slams move into curling bubble

Erickson Gallardo of Canada's Toronto FC and his teammates celebrate after Andres Mosquera of Mexico's Leon scored an own goal during their Concacaf Champions League soccer match in Leon, Mexico, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRES/AP/Mario Armas
Toronto FC gets vaccine boost but injury list still an issue ahead of Leon rematch

Toronto FC gets vaccine boost but injury list still an issue ahead of Leon rematch

Most Read