One of the annual highlights for sports fans is the release of their team's schedule for that season. This is no different for those who passionately follow Toronto FC.
In this respect, Tuesday proved to be popular among TFC supporters. Per torontofc.ca, the club announced their 2023 schedule for the MLS regular reason.
The Reds have a lot of work to do, if they are to improve and end their two-year playoff drought. The release of the schedule helps in the preparations for 2023, in respect of who they will be playing and when.
As you'd expect, the unveiling of the schedule provided a lot of intrigue for Toronto FC and their fans. Here is a look at the main takeaways.
The main Toronto FC takeaways from the 2023 MLS regular season schedule release
1) TFC will begin their regular season on the road, facing DC United on Feb. 25. This means the prospect of facing a motivated Alex Bono, who Toronto released after last season but is the most successful goalkeeper in franchise history.
2) Two weeks later, Toronto FC will being their home schedule versus Columbus Crew, who have beaten them three consecutive times including last season at BMO Field. Prior to this however, TFC won three straight games in Toronto.
3) The Reds will play three games versus Canadian MLS teams in 2023. This includes home and away versus the Montreal Impact and hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps at BMO Field on Sep. 16.
Facing new foes
4) Next season sees a couple of firsts for Toronto FC, with their inaugural games versus a couple of clubs. They will travel to Texas to face third-year team Austin FC and host St. Louis City SC, who will be playing their debut season in MLS.
5) We know previous seasons are not always a precursor of what to expect the next year. However -- for what it's worth -- TFC will play 19 of their 34 games against teams who made the playoffs in 2022.
6) In line with Toronto referring to themselves as a football club, 26 of their 34 regular season games will be played on a Saturday. This includes 13 of 17 home games at BMO Field.
A tough stretch to end the season
7) The Reds' toughest stretch of next season will come when they play four of five games on the road immediately prior to Decision Day. Pending if they are competing for the playoffs at this stage, they will need all their resolve to overcome the most challenging portion of their schedule at the most unfortunate time of the season.
8) In respect of Decision Day, at least TFC get to conclude the season at home, when they host Orlando City SC. After failing to make the playoffs during their first five years of existence in MLS, Orlando has qualified in each of the past three seasons.
It promises to be both an exciting and challenging 2023 for Toronto FC. If they do make the playoffs, the above eight factors will all play a part.
What stood out for you from the release of the 2023 regular season schedule? More generally speaking, how encouraged are you for Toronto FC next season? Let us know in the comments section below.