Toronto FC Fires Coach Bob Bradley

The jury was out on Toronto FC’s Coach, Bob Bradley, for quite some time, and it was decided that his enthusiasm and passion could not have taken the Toronto FC team to the next level of play based on questionable selection and mediocre performances. The Reds had two Designated (DP) Players and three midfield players from Canada’s World Cup Qatar team in their lineup, yet the losses continued to pile up.
 Bob Bradley’s expertise was never in question before he got the job as TFC coach. And with his son Michael as the team captain, it seemed like a good fit for him. However, even with his long resume in coaching, it became crystal clear that Bob’s lustre was gone, based on his substitutions and adjustments to matchups from opposing teams.
At Stars Soccer Review, we keep our reporting positive and objective with our coverage. However, after watching the Reds’ performances, taking an objective position on Bob Bradley’s coaching tenure in Toronto was extremely challenging.
Our sole report on the Reds was on whether the glass was half empty or half full because it was evident that TFC was struggling to gel as a team and find their identity. As an optimist, you may have thought things would improve, but if you knew the sport and watched the TFC games, you would have noticed that the team needed to go in a different direction from Coach Bob Bradley.
It is an understatement to say that Bob Bradley and Toronto FC were a bad mix. While it seemed like the end of his tenure was very much a done deal, it could not have come at a better time for the club’s ownership since there were talks that the Reds supporters were planning to wear paper bags over their heads for the home games at BMO Field.
As a result, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment dodged a bullet with another great marketing job by releasing Coach Bob Bradley, his assistant coach and technical director Mike Sorber.  I’ll be surprised if coach Bradley was surprised by his release after his team managed just three wins over 20 games and, more importantly, played less than inspiring soccer, resulting in blown early leads and allowing late goals.
Bob Bradley took over Toronto in November 2021. He was relieved of his duties on Monday, 26th June 2023, after a run of poor results that has the club second from the bottom of the Eastern Conference, with a 3-7-10 record and ahead of Inter Miami franchise which is about to have Lionel Messi in their lineup.

Stay Tuned for more on Toronto FC’s MLS Season 2003

Toronto FC takes Unbeaten Streak into Philly.

We are in the early stages of Toronto FC MLS season 2023, and you must decide whether the Reds’ glass is half empty or half full. This analysis is based on the Red’s current  7-game unbeaten streak in games where they blew early leads and, at times, gave up late goals. It would have been less troublesome had the problem for Coach Bob Bradley stopped there, but his team has also given up late equalizers. While contemplating a fix to the problem, his team came from behind twice and showed the character needed to score a late equalizer in time added to end the last match 2-2.
Sporting a 1-1-6 record after eight games, it seems like Coach Bradley has some work to do to get his players to give a sustained effort for 90+  minutes. The Reds have not gelled as a team to withstand momentum changes in a game, and some say the jury is out on whether Coach Bradley can build on the momentum of the last game. And while I think he can, with his coaching experience and expertise with US Soccer and LAFC, he may be better served to concentrate on improving the team player personnel.
The Reds’ next game is on Saturday, April 22nd, away to Philadelphia Union, and the teams split their head-to-head encounter in 2022, with the home team winning. However, carrying in a 7-game unbeaten streak should crystalize in the minds of the Reds’ players, and with that mindset, they should be able to continue the momentum from the last game.

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Canada re-enters the Lion’s Den in Qatar.

The FIFA World Cup kicks off at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, on Sunday, November 20th, with the opening ceremony followed by the host Qatar playing against Ecuador. The exciting news for Canadian fans is that after a 36-year absence, Canada will be one of the 32 teams competing for the Cup. The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, and while there are always skeptics, the Qatar world cup is expected to be the best edition of the tournament. From a media standpoint, the world cup in Qatar promises to be quite an adventure since the infrastructure caters for travel to the seven stadiums, and the media is presented with a daily offering of two games out of the four being played at the group stage. Canada is in Group F with Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco, and as the lowest seed in the group, the team has a chance to become the story of the world cup. Canada meets Belgium on Wednesday, November 23rd, Croatia on November 27th, and Morocco on December 1st. And with the top two teams advancing to the Round of 16 knockout stage, all eyes will be on Canada as the Cinderella team. Canada seems ripe and ready to perform at this tournament despite several anxious moments heading into the tournament when player injuries were of huge concern.

However, all is well that ends well since the key players regained fitness and were named to the 26-man world cup squad. Canada will have to perform with the same underdog mindset as the CONCACAF world cup qualifying octagonal tournament, where they defeated higher ranked teams such as Mexico, USA, and Costa Rica. And while a Concacaf tournament is not the same as a FIFA World Cup, defying odds at any level is a great confidence builder, especially when Canada lacks the world cup experience. However, Coach Herdman and his staff have defied the odds and can certainly reinforce the belief that their world cup mission can be accomplished. Let’s not be fooled; Canada is up against a heavily favoured Belgium team that has a ton of talent with world cup experience and depth at all positions. Canada, on the other hand, can have a neutralizing effect if its youth and team speed work in coordination with an effective game plan. Canada has experienced players who play in the big leagues in Europe. Still, it is a fact that there is no league level compared to the world cup, where positional play (shape) and assignment protocol are at a premium. There is no doubt that Belgium will accept nothing less than a 3-goal margin win without conceding a goal against Canada. Still, Canada coach Herdman should be able to put together an effective game plan against Belgium. Canada’s second game against Croatia will, for the most part, be played at a high-intensity base on the prospects of advancing and/or elimination. It is at this juncture where, surprisingly, most coaches are willing to answer post-game questions about their team winning ugly. With all things considered, Croatia could be the toughest opponent Canada may face in the group based on their experience, physicality, and attention to detail. However, as an older team, there is no doubt that a Canada win over Croatia is more realistic than against Belgium solely because of Belgium’s offensive firepower. Another concern in the Croatia match is that Canada has not felt the pressure of an elimination match since the semi-final loss in overtime against Mexico at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and the Croatia game will be a pressure cooker. That is not to say that Croatia will not be under pressure, irrespective of the result of their first match against Morocco, but it is a game that can change the fortunes of a team. Around the second game of the tournament, the cream rises, and goal differences and head-to-head tiebreakers become backbreakers. Canada’s third game against Morocco should be a dandy since it might be the last chance for either team to win and advance to the Round of 16. It could also be the last opportunity for each team to get off the mark in terms of scoring and/ or gaining points. Coach Herdman has proven to be one of the best in preparing his team, and it may be that he is anticipating gaining at least a point against Belgium and Croatia with hopes of posting a win against Morocco to advance to the Round of 16.

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