‘It’s a reset for everyone’: Bob Bradley faces a new challenge in Toronto FC rebuild

Bob Bradley’s voice echoed off the walls inside Toronto FC’s training ground as he walked briskly to meet club president Bill Manning and grab his new TFC jersey in front of a room full of waiting reporters. 

“I appreciate it, man,” said TFC’s new coach loudly as he shook his new boss’ hand with evident confidence.

It was only after his opening remarks, which outlined his excitement to remake a beleaguered franchise that just suffered its worst season since 2012, that Bradley took a few seconds to exhale audibly, pause, and offer an assessment of the roster he was inheriting. 

“I think there’s a lot of work to be done,” said Bradley.

As far as first answers in introductory press conferences go, Bradley’s was about as precise and all-encompassing as they get. Because until Bradley puts what Manning repeatedly referred to as “his stamp” on the franchise by adding new players, he is the face of a troubled franchise in desperate need of an overhaul.

And the more you break down just how far this club has fallen from grace, having not won a single playoff game in the last two seasons, having lost the key figures who spurred the club to back-to-back MLS Cup appearances in Greg Vanney, Tim Bezbatchenko and Corey Wray, the more it becomes clear: the task ahead of Bradley involves more than just adding new players.

“It’s a reset for everyone,” said Bradley.

Bradley had been rumoured for some time as a logical choice to take over as head coach at TFC. He mutually parted ways with Los Angeles FC on Nov. 18. He is one of the most accomplished American soccer coaches, having won MLS Cup in 1998, being named MLS coach of the year three times and having taken the United States to the round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup. He was the first American to manage a Premier League side.


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