Tracing Canadian men’s soccer’s emergence from global obscurity to an international powerhouse qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, featuring insight on star players like Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David.
The last time Canada qualified for a men’s World Cup was in 1986. For a generation afterwards, the Canadian national men’s soccer team struggled in obscurity, an afterthought in a country that was not yet soccer-mad. The twenty-first century brought a wave of soccer passion and expertise to this frozen country — and a crop of new superstar players who lifted the forgotten team into the international spotlight.
Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David are now internationally known names, and soccer a national obsession. Through his exclusive access to players and coaches, Joshua Kloke tracks the rise of men’s soccer in Canada from darkness to the world stage in 2022.
This is the inside story of how the best team in Canadian soccer history grew from disappointment to international fame.
Joshua Kloke is a staff writer at The Athletic, where he covers Canadian soccer and the Toronto Maple Leafs, and is the author of Come on You Reds: The Story of Toronto FC. He lives in Hamilton. Joshua Kloke is available for publicity.
Praise for Come On You Reds
“A compelling tale of how Toronto FC went from being the most tediously tragic franchise in Major League Soccer to capturing not just their first MLS Cup, but the imagination of a city too. Kloke does an excellent job of conveying how exasperation finally led to euphoria, and all the bits in between. There are parts of this story that defy belief, but TFC’s tale serves as a reminder to all soccer fans of all teams - always believe.”
— GRAHAM RUTHVEN, soccer reporter (The Guardian, Eurosport UK, The Sportsman)
“Joshua Kloke captures the feeling of those years, of being a Toronto FC supporter and living through a trajectory that kept getting worse, until it didn’t anymore. His tumbling style and excellent behindthe-scenes access combine to create a brilliant book that’s … essential reading for Toronto FC supporters.” — LITERARY REVIEW OF CANADA (Review by former mayor of Toronto and TFC superfan David Miller)
“Over its first decade of existence, Toronto FC managed to bring the full spectrum of sporting experience to its fervent fan base. Come On You Reds manages to take the reader inside both the club, as well as its fandom. From the birth of an idea, through the years of mismanagement to finally getting it all right in glorious fashion, Joshua Kloke describes just how Toronto FC became the pin-up club of Major League Soccer.”
— JAMES SHARMAN, Sportsnet
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