The team that finished dead last in MLS in 2012 shouldn't be too hard-pressed to find some resolutions for this year. Goal.com takes a stab at some of them.
With that in mind, TFC shouldn't have much of a problem finding resolutions for 2013. In case the team needs any help, we've chosen five resolutions that Toronto must make - and keep - if it is to reverse the curse that seems to have plagued the club from its inception in 2007.
1. Stop leaking goals
Toronto allowed an unprecedented 62 league goals in 2012, a disturbingly high number that will have to drop dramatically if the club is to show any real sign of improvement.
Part of the problem was a revolving door on the back line under both Aron Winter and Paul Mariner, as each coach looked for some semblance of stability in the defensive third. That issue seems to be getting addressed over the current offseason as Danny Califf and Gale Agbossoumonde have been added to the roster with more changes seemingly in store.
Only time will tell if the defence is as improved in reality as it appears on paper, but at least the braintrust seems to be doing something about it.
2. Stem the late-game collapses
In the year just passed, Toronto gave up an unforgivable 15 league goals from the 80th minute onward. Several of those goals resulted in dropped points, further demoralizing an already beaten-down team.
Like the previous resolution, this has a lot to do with fixing the soft back line, but the last-minute goal trend was really a team-wide effort (or lack thereof) that needs to be addressed.
3. Make BMO Field a fortress
There was a time in TFC's history, albeit briefly, that teams didn't want to play at BMO Field. The boisterous crowds and the natural advantage of playing on the windswept north shore of Lake Ontario combined to make opposing teams dread visiting the humble bandbox at Exhibition Place.
Six seasons of mostly losing and rising costs have taken much of the sting out of the dwindling crowds, while visiting sides have adjusted to the environmental conditions by keeping the ball on the ground. Throw in an epically bad home team in 2012, and the result was a horrid 3-9-5 (W-L-D) record at BMO Field, a stat that requires a major upgrade in 2013.
4. Regain possession
It was evident to anyone left watching by the end of 2012 that Toronto FC did not know how to maintain possession, instead allowing its opposition to keep the ball for an overwhelming majority of each match.
It wasn't rare to see lopsided possession stats like 65-35, 70-30, and so on, in favour of whatever team TFC was facing each game.
Many fans have pointed blaming fingers at Mariner's more 'pragmatic' style of play, but the reality is that the Reds were also getting dominated possession-wise while under the watch of Winter, which speaks to a talent issue.
Simply put, there weren't enough players on the squad good enough to keep possession at the level of the opposition. TFC must resolve to hit 50-50 - or better - stats on a regular basis in 2013, lest the side continue to be under siege in the defensive end.
5. A more varied attack
With few exceptions, Toronto's goals came from the following sources: opportunism from poacher Danny Koevermans, moments of brilliance from since-departed Ryan Johnson, and set pieces.
Simply put, the methods that TFC uses to attack need to become more varied.
By the end of the season, the Reds had very little in the way of wing play, thus opponents knew to clog up the middle of the park. And without much creativity in the midfield ranks, it didn't take much for TFC's attack to be shut down altogether.
To reverse an anemic offence that only produced 36 goals in MLS play last season (only Vancouver and Portland scored less in 2012), Toronto will have to find ways to mix things up - and to be potent while doing so.