Coach Bob Bradley says Toronto FC is “near finalizing” a brand new No. 1 goalkeeper, with free agent Sean Johnson the membership’s anticipated goal.
“Generally issues simply take slightly longer than you hope, however I feel that we ought to be nearly there with the goalkeeper,” Bradley stated Tuesday from San Diego, the place the MLS crew is holding its coaching camp. “And we’re nonetheless engaged on another issues.”
Toronto has not recognized Johnson however the membership has been broadly linked to the U.S. worldwide, who spent the final six seasons with New York Metropolis FC. Stories that NYCFC is in talks to safe goalkeeper Matt Freese from the Philadelphia Union have added gas to that fireside.
Freese is a backup to Jamaican worldwide Andre Blake in Philadelphia. Blake is the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Yr and the primary to earn the honour thrice.
Toronto conceded 66 objectives final season, tying a franchise worst. Alex Bono and Quentin Westberg, who cut up the beginning duties the final 4 years, have since moved on — Bono to D.C. United and Westberg to Atlanta United.
TFC has 29-year-old Greg Ranjitsingh, final 12 months’s third-stringer, and 22-year-old newcomer Tomas Romero as backups.
The 33-year-old Johnson is getting into his 14th MLS season. In 2022, he appeared in all 34 of NYCFC’s common season- matches, with a profession excessive 14 clear sheets whereas incomes his first MLS all-star choice.
Toronto has added defenders Matt Hedges and Raoul Petretta and ahead Adama Diomande within the low season in addition to welcoming attacking midfielder Victor Vazquez again to the fold and signing veteran Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio to a brand new contract. Romero was picked up within the MLS re-entry draft.
The primary crew roster at the moment stands at 25 gamers. Whereas the crew has a gap for a chosen participant, Bradley says there isn’t a plan to fill it for the time being.
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“It’s not like there’s a set man that we’ve recognized that matches the DP price range that now we have,” he stated.
TFC is scheduled to return to Toronto on Friday earlier than flying again to California on Feb. 2 with pre-season video games in opposition to the Vancouver Whitecaps, Los Angeles FC, Portland Timbers and Los Angeles Galaxy between Feb. 8 and 18.
Diomande has but to make it to camp. The Norwegian has been in Toronto whereas his visa is being settled.
“He ought to be able to go together with us once we return to California,” stated Bradley.
Petretta, Toronto’s latest signing, is a 25-year-old left again, previously of Turkey’s Kasimpasa Spor Kulubu and Switzerland’s FC Basel.
“We knew that the scenario in Turkey wasn’t precisely what he hoped for. He had had a very good stretch at Basel,” stated Bradley. “(He) began there as a younger participant. Basel’s a very good membership and clearly he made his technique to the primary crew and he performed essential matches. His repute as a man inside Basel was very optimistic. Good man. Rather well preferred. Trains properly.”
Bradley stated he expects Petretta to mix properly with Italian star Lorenzo Insigne on the left flank.
“Raoul’s an clever participant. He’s a very good passer … He’ll perceive rapidly among the factor Lorenzo likes to do and discover good methods to have the ability to join with him.”
Thus far TFC has had only one closed-door scrimmage, with Mexico’s Tijuana.
“For 10 days in (camp) I believed it went fairly properly,” Bradley stated of the Sunday match. “No one performed greater than 45 minutes however the tempo of every half was sufficient to get the form of bodily challenges that they wanted at this level.
“There have been moments the place the play was fluid, the place the ball moved rapidly. It’s early in pre-season so among the last moments, among the sharpness across the (penalty) field, these had been issues that also, in fact, should be improved.”
Toronto kicks off the common season Feb. 25 at D.C. United in a matchup of the league’s two worst groups final season. TFC (9-18-7) completed twenty seventh within the standings, seven factors above D.C. United (7-21-6).
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This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Jan. 24, 2023.