It is now more than a year since Toronto FC tasted defeat in an MLS regular-season game, an impressive run of consistency that coach Greg Vanney puts down to the continuity in his squad from 2019 to 2020 and a determination to go one game better than last year when they suffered defeat to the Seattle Sounders in MLS Cup.
A 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at BMO Field on Friday night made it 17 regular-season games unbeaten for Toronto, 10 at the back end of last season as they charged toward the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and seven so far in 2020.
“Our group is pretty mature,” Vanney said postgame on Friday. “We‘ve got a bit of two factions on our team. We’ve got some really young guys who have come through, many of them through the academy, and some veteran guys who have played a lot of games and played a lot of games together. There’s a lot fo continuity in that group. A lot of things click into natural gear quickly.
“Guys were motivated to play coming out of the stoppage. They ere motivated to come into the season and after getting to the final last year and not finishing it off.. There is a lot of motivation in our group to be successful again this year.”
Friday’s win, which came courtesy of a 15th-minute goal from Richie Laryea, came hot on the heels of a 3-0 victory over the Whitecaps on Tuesday as Toronto restart their regular season following the MLS is Back Tournament. Their run without a defeat has arguably been even more impressive due to the unprecedented nature of this season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It comes down to us being a resilient group, this group fights to the end,” Laryea said after Friday’s win. “This is a very big club in this league and guys want to compete for trophies every single year and they want to show why this club is where it is and why it has been for the last couple of years. I think it’s just about us taking ownership on our own and making sure we are doing our home workouts and just staying on top of things.
“And I think that’s been the key to why we’ve been able to start, stop, how ever many times we have been this season and still been able to get results because I feel this group is very hungry for success.”