I was going to pen a long, plodding post on the Liverpool FC friendly against Toronto FC on July 21st (now confirmed-ish) with sly references to the astronomical ticket prices and something about Jamie Carragher commiserating with J De Guz about how to deal with all the attention that comes with being a fan favourite, but Daniel Squizzato’s piece from a few days ago is all you need to read on that subject:
Now, the argument could be made that a meaningless game against an out-of-season English club at a cavernous, non-soccer stadium (likely on artificial turf) at surely exorbitant prices is just what’s needed to reinvigorate excitement about Toronto FC, and expand the team’s potential fan base.
It’s possible, I suppose. English fan with no time for MLS otherwise comes out to the game, brings his kids. Kids get wrapped up in the excitement, develop a passion for the team in red. When they’re old enough, they go out and buy tickets, jerseys, scarves, support the team… yeah, y’know what, this actually is a very effective marketing exercise for Liverpool.
Wait, did I say Liverpool? I meant… no, wait, I did mean Liverpool.
The thing is, this is likely going to make both MLSE and Liverpool a whack of easy money. The prices quoted on Ticketmaster (now mysteriously taken off the site) were reportedly in the $59 to $159 range.
Despite any planned protests from the pitiful little band of TFC supporters (the TFC faithful has revved up the #TrophiesNotFriendlies hashtag), an entire legion of Liverpool fans will await them inside the Rogers Centre. Even ones from America. And perhaps the UK. Maybe even one or two bona fide Scousers. This means MLSE and, by extension, Major League Soccer, will put on a show to remind everyone that the Eee Pee El still blows MLSoccerball out of the water, both in the soccer (perhaps) but also in the domestic popularity stakes.
Ergo, it would have been far better for us all for Liverpool to have scheduled their tour against another neutral opponent, a long-standing Toronto summer tradition. That said, all the griping certainly stems from the fact Toronto FC have opened the season by laying a giant, Koevermans-sized turd in the middle BMO Field. Had the team actually strung a strong opening to the season, there would be griping, yes, but then also loud caveats about Winter likely resting his best players.
Which makes me think—why doesn’t Toronto FC make some dreams come true and put out the Academy side against the LFC senior team? I would pay $59 (and no more) to watch that.
Also, is this the most talked/written about non-confirmed friendly in Canadian soccer history? Yes. Yes it is.