Hang on a second: TFC hasn’t clinched a playoff spot

Jozy-Altidore

Jozy Altidore. (Chris Young/CP)

Major League Soccer confirmed on Monday that Toronto FC, in fact, hasn’t clinched a playoff berth after declaring the Canadian club did this past weekend.

In the buildup to Sunday’s game between Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls, MLS’s official website stated that TFC could officially clinch a playoff spot with a draw. An official league press release stated likewise.

After Jozy Altidore scored two second-half goals to help the home side earn a come-from-behind 3-3 draw against the Red Bulls at BMO Field, Toronto FC officially announced that the team clinched. The official Twitter accounts of MLS and TFC posted messages saying that the club qualified for the post-season.

The standings page on the league’s official website also denoted that Toronto qualified for the playoffs, and almost every story in the media reported it as fact, including an article by this correspondent that was published on sportsnet.ca.

But it turns out that is incorrect, as the league confirmed on Monday that Toronto has not yet officially clinched.

There was no immediate word on how the miscalculation happened on the league’s part.

Upon further review of the numbers and different scenarios, it would take close to two dozen match results to go against TFC between now and the end of the regular season in order for them to not make the playoffs. Be it ever so remote, though, that possibility does exist.

Instead of questioning the information provided by MLS and TFC both before and after the game, this reporter simply accepted their word at face value, and took it for granted that Toronto qualified for the playoffs, without independently double checking the numbers.

This correspondent would like to apologize to sportsnet.ca readers for the error.

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