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"The Worst Team in the World"

Wrong finger, Danny.
Wrong finger, Danny.

As we know, Danny Koevermans thinks Toronto FC is the worst team in the world. He didn't just blurt that out in a moment of frustration; he defended it even after Adrian Cann called him out for it. So obviously Koevermans meant to say what he said. And he once scored a goal against Luxembourg so he knows a thing or two about awful teams.

People (including Waking the Red) have pulled out the strong eyeglasses to determine whether Toronto FC is actually the worst. But there's always an element of wink-wink nudge-nudge to it. The worst team in the world is obviously the FC Edmonton Supporters Group team that I played on a couple weeks ago which lost to the Vancouver Southsiders/Curva Collective by a couple touchdowns. Beyond that, I reckon Toronto FC would be favourites against at least half the USL PDL, the Atlanta Silverbacks, and probably most of the Conference National. So we have to redefine "worst team in the world" to mean "worst team in their league in the world, major professionals only" to even have the conversation.

And even then... you know what? I still think the Montreal Impact are worse.

Toronto FC is garbage but they've also been flagrantly unlucky and have had a reasonably tough schedule. They have no points, but they've also played two fewer league games than most MLS sides. The FCs have one win, one draw, and one loss against the Impact this year in all competitions.

As for the Impact, they have MLS's best home field advantage in the dangerous, dilapidated, and enormous Olympic Stadium and have been worse than dreadful on the road. They beat Toronto in April thanks to a Logan Emory red card in a truly unwatchable game, then were equally abhorrent in the Voyageurs Cup semi-final before Reggie Lambe and Ryan Johnson put the Impact out of their misery.

By the numbers, of course Toronto FC is doing worse in the league; please don't write fatuous comments like "DA ONLY THING DAT COUNTS IZ DA WINS LOLOLOLOLOLOL". I will say that the Impact have played far more irredeemably awful soccer, have far more Jeb Brovsky types, and for my money will probably be near or below Toronto in the MLS standings once the dust settles. Jesse Marsch is every inch as oblivious as Aron Winter; the mistake Winter made was filling his team with strong personalities who make him look bad in public while Marsch gets away with signing crap and playing it badly. For the moment.

I don't think for a second Koevermans really believes Toronto FC is the worst team in the world, either.

Look at the quotes again. He's tearing a strip out of the team's results, but not out of the team; he isn't calling anybody out (be it a player or a coach), isn't burning any bridges, isn't screaming "trade me right fucking now!" into a telephone then hanging up. He's trying to light a fire under his team before what I have the arrogance to call the biggest game of their season.

He may be doing a bad job. Adrian Cann certainly sounded bewildered, and captain/leader/Andrea Lombardo clone Torsten Frings has been nowhere to be found. But nobody reading this plays for Toronto FC and therefore none of you can tell me what that team's attitude is.

I firmly believe that Toronto has enough skill to not be last. We saw glimpses of it last week against the Vancouver Whitecaps as well as other times: when they really should have beaten Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto, that terrific Chicago Fire game, and that's without getting into the CONCACAF Champions League. This isn't to say they're good, because they're not. This isn't to say they should beat Vancouver tonight, because if they do that will be a calamity, but any Whitecap who walks onto BMO Field thinking "worst team in the world" needs a smack upside the head with a tire iron.

For that matter, so do the fans. Let's set complacency to one side in all that we tweet, all that we write, and all that we shout over beers at the pub. Don't believe Danny Koevermans.