Bob Bradley was recently fired by Toronto FC on Monday as both head coach and Sporting Director. This was done after TFC has been in poor form, with only two points to show in their last five games. To make it worse, TFC has not won a game on the road and had many blown leads that have mostly led to a loss for the club.
Bob Bradley: His Time With Toronto FC
NEWS | The club has announced changes to the coaching staff.
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) June 26, 2023
Bradley was not the only one fired by TFC. Assistant Coach and Technical Director, Mike Sorber was also let go as reported by Toronto FC Communications. This is what TFC President, Bill Manning said of the news:
“Bob has been a consummate professional with Toronto FC and we thank him for his passion and tireless work during his time here. We are all disappointed that we were not able to achieve the results we expected,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning.
Initially, there was optimism with Bradley. He helped Los Angeles FC get their first-ever Supporters’ Shield. The hope was that he would do something similar to TFC and help them make the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2020.
Bradley had a lot of control when he was with TFC, with his vision for the academy, first-team, and second-team as seen in the article above and also from the original source seen with the Toronto FC YouTube channel. The fact that he was also hired as Sporting Director meant that Toronto might have seen Bradley as a long-term hire much like Greg Vanney was for TFC.
Unfortunately, it never was meant to be for Bradley. Despite the number of injuries this year for TFC, the team is second-last in the MLS Eastern Conference. And even considering that, Inter Miami CF, who have four fewer points, have also played two fewer games than TFC.
Problems With Bob Bradley
In terms of results, TFC just could not hold on to a lead. The last game is a great example, where they take the lead early, but faltered and end up losing to the New England Revolution. The best example was probably their road loss against D.C. United. That has been the theme for the team all year long.
This is what Federico Bernardeschi said about tactics of Bradley after losing a heartbreaker on the road against Austin FC (source: Canadian Press):
“We don’t play,” the Italian said in English. “We play a long pass. We don’t have any idea to play.” “I think this city, the fans, everybody, don’t deserve this,” he added. “And I think maybe we need to change something. We need a little bit more tactics. We need an idea of how we play because this is the real problem for me. It’s impossible to play like this when we play without (an) idea.”
Well, the Italians will get their wish in terms of tactics, with Bradley gone, the tactics are likely to change for the squad. We also know who the interim head coach is.
Terry Dunfield: The Former Toronto FC Player
Terry Dunfield has an interesting history with Canada and TFC. The former Canadian international midfielder played 14 games and scored one goal for the squad. His first-ever goal came against TFC with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the Whitecaps’ inaugural 2011 MLS season. Then from 2011-13, he played for TFC 56 times, scoring six times during that timespan. He also won the Canadian Championship in 2012 and also the 2012 Toronto FC MVP.
Canadians might also know him with his podcasts and broadcasts with Gareth Wheeler on platforms like OneSoccer and the #COYR – Toronto FC Podcast. He and Wheeler called the game that resulted in Canada qualifying for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 36 years, which was shown on OneSoccer and Sportsnet.
Dunfield has been involved with the TFC academy since 2017 and there are players on the first team that are familiar with his coaching style. However, not much will be expected from him as TFC’s search for a permanent head coach begins once again.
What It Means for Toronto FC
This is probably the lowest TFC has gotten from 2021 onwards. Yes, Coach Bradley did win the 2020 Canadian Championship and almost won the 2022 Canadian Championship. However, they lost against CF Montreal at home in the Canadian Championship this year. TFC has also not been in the Concacaf Champions League since 2021.
A lot needs to change for this club, and there is no easy answer. It also shows that there is no guarantee. Vanney right now is the head coach of the LA Galaxy. His team has a worse record than TFC this year, which might be puzzling after his tremendous success with TFC.
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports, of a Bob Bradley Headshot, on June 24, 2023.