TFC Republic Weekly: April 8-14

After a humiliating loss in Vancouver, the Reds will try to get back on track when they visit Charlotte FC this weekend.

TFC Republic Weekly: April 8-14

Welcome to the latest edition of TFC Republic Weekly, an email newsletter that will land in the inbox of both paid subscribers and free members of TFC Republic every Monday. 

This newsletter will look at what's in store over the next seven days for Toronto FC and offer a glimpse of what to expect at TFC Republic in the coming days. 

So, without further ado... 

TFC no match for Whitecaps in latest loss

Things have suddenly gone pear-shaped for Toronto FC.   

TFC’s excellent start to the MLS season seems like a distant memory, especially after Saturday’s embarrassing 4-0 defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place.  

After going unbeaten in its first three matches, Toronto (3-3-1) has now lost two in a row and three of its last four overall. This was the team's heaviest loss under John Herdman. While the Reds began the year by grinding out results and posting four clean sheets, Herdman’s side has lost its way and is leaking goals at an alarming rate, having conceded seven times in its last two outings.   

This was easily Toronto’s worst performance of the campaign and marked the second straight week in which it was outclassed by some distance. It’s still early in the campaign, so there’s no need to push the panic button. At the same time, Herdman will be eager to nip this in the bud and stop the Reds’ slide before they find themselves in a very deep hole to dig out of by the halfway mark of the season.   

"It's a tough one. The effort was there. It wasn't like guys weren't giving their all. Guys were giving their all; we were just a step behind in every play. At key moments [and] key duals, we lost them. They were [hungrier] than us today. I think that's where the game was lost," TFC captain Jonathan Osorio told reporters after the game. 

Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: 3 takeaways
Mental lapses and a lack of concentration in key moments hurt TFC in Saturday’s heavy road loss to the Whitecaps.

Reds slowly getting healthy again

Saturday's loss came with a bit of a silver lining for TFC as goalkeeper Sean Johnson and defender Nicksoen Gomis were back in the starting 11 after lengthy injury absences.

Johnson posted back-to-back clean sheets in Toronto's first two games before picking up a hamstring injury that ruled him out for the next four matches. Luka Gavran did a great job of filling in for Johnson while recording two clean sheets. Rather than stick with Gavran, coach John Herdman went right back to Johnson for this important Canadian derby match, feeling his experience and leadership would prove beneficial for a TFC side with so many newcomers.

"That was the rationale behind it, just to bring a first team 'keeper back to the first team and bring his experience to these moments," Herdman explained.

Gomis also started the first two matches of the season for Toronto before injuring his wrist. He played 79 minutes on Saturday before being subbed out.

More good news on the injury front: From the sounds of it, defender Raoul Petretta (groin) is trending in the right direction and could be available for this weekend's trip to Charlotte.

Defender Richie Laryea and attacker Lorenzo Insigne are both dealing with hamstring issues. Laryea recently had a surgical procedure in England and is expected to be out until June. Insigne will be sidelined until May. Midfielder Brandon Servania is still rehabilitating from the knee surgery he had at the end of last season. He isn't expected to be back until June.

TFC no match for Vancouver Whitecaps in latest loss
Toronto FC was second-best for most of the night and never recovered after giving up a pair of goals inside the first 30 minutes.

TFC vs. Charlotte FC on Saturday

Toronto FC returns to action when it visits Charlotte FC on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET/Apple TV).    

Charlotte (2-3-2) is winless in its last two games, including a 1-0 road loss to the New England Revolution on the weekend. It was the second time this season that Charlotte was blanked. 

Goals have been hard to come by for Charlotte – they've only scored six times in seven matches. At the same time, The Crown have only conceded six goals. Goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina has started all seven games for Charlotte with two clean sheets.

These teams previously met on March 9 when TFC posted a 1-0 win in their home opener. A tightly contested affair appeared destined to end in a draw before Lorenzo Insigne peeled off the left wing, took advantage of not being closed down and ripped a gorgeous shot from 25 yards that nestled inside the far post. This was the first time in franchise history Toronto recorded three consecutive clean sheets to begin its league campaign.

"That's the first step of building a team. You have to build the foundation and that [defensive] block and be hard to play against. When you're on the journey to becoming a championship team that's always the base," Jonathan Osorio said.

Toronto leads the all-time series against Charlotte with three wins and a draw in five meetings.

Canada beats Brazil to advance to SheBelieves Cup final
The Canadians came from behind in regulation time and then held their nerve in the penalty shootout.

CanWNT vs. United States on Tuesday

Canada will be out for revenge when it plays the United States in the 2024 SheBelieves Cup final in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET/OneSoccer).

Canada needed a penalty shootout to defeat Brazil in the semifinals on Saturday in Atlanta, while the U.S. advanced to the final courtesy of a 2-1 win over Japan.

Tuesday's game is a rematch of last month's Concacaf W Gold Cup semifinal in San Diego. The reigning Olympic champions twice showed great resilience to fight back to level the score in very trying conditions, including finding the back of the net in the 127th minute through tournament top scorer Adriana Leon. 

But after the Canadians played the hosts to a 2-2 draw following regulation and extra time, they couldn’t hold their nerve in the subsequent penalty shootout, losing 3-1 to bow out of the competition. The story of the game was the waterlogged pitch, though.

The U.S. leads the all-time series against Canada with 53 wins and seven draws in 64 games dating back to their first meeting in 1986. 

The SheBelieves Cup is a crucial part of Canada's preparations for this summer's Olympics, especially as there are only two other international windows for the team to play games in before competing in Paris. 


TFC Republic subscribers can get up to a 25% discount on ticket prices for Toronto FC home games.

To receive the special promo code, email me at To receive the special promo code, email me at

(Please don't share promo code with non-TFC Republic subscribers).

Important dates to remember

Major League Soccer will have two transfer windows during the 2024 season:

  • Primary transfer window:  Jan. 31 to April 23
  • Secondary transfer window: July 18 to August 14

During these windows MLS clubs can sign a player under contract to another team via a transfer. All in-season trades between MLS clubs must also take place during these two windows.

The roster freeze deadline for this season is Sept. 13, which means clubs must submit their final 30-man roster for the remainder of the regular season. Teams can't make any player trades or transfer signings after that deadline.

Stories to look out for at TFC Republic

Commissioner Mark Noonan is proud of how far the Canadian Premier League has come in a very short period of time, but he insists there's still plenty of progress for the league to make as it kicks off its sixth season this weekend. I recently conducted a one-on-one interview with Noonan that covered a wide range of topics, including the new CPL campaign, league expansion, possible rule changes, the CPL's dispute with Mediapro, the CSB's controversial deal with Canada Soccer, and much more. Look for my feature story in the coming days. 

Other stories that will be published later this week include:          

  • My story on the current state of the union at Toronto FC. 
  • My "random thoughts" column on TFC.      
  • A TFC training notebook piece following practice either on Tuesday or Wednesday.   
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Toronto's road game vs. Charlotte FC.    
  • Another edition of the TFC 3 Questions podcast with myself, host James Sharman, former Toronto FC captain Jim Brennan.   
  • A new audio interview piece with Charlotte FC radio colour commentator Jessica Charman looking ahead to Saturday's game. 
  • The weekly TFC 2 report with James Grossi returns. 
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Canada's match vs. the United States at the SheBelieves Cup.    
  • And much more! 

TFC Republic mailbag

TFC Republic will feature a regular reader mailbag column where I answer questions from subscribers about Toronto FC and Canadian soccer in general.

I'll answer the best questions submitted to me by TFC Republic readers, so feel free to drop me an email at You can also reach out to me via Twitter.

(Top photo courtesy of Lucas Kschischang/Toronto FC)

TFC Republic has a comments section! At the very bottom of every story, there is a feature where you can post your comments, so be sure to share your thoughts and views.


TFC Republic subscribers can get up to a 25% discount on ticket prices for Toronto FC home games.

To receive the special promo code, email me at To receive the special promo code, email me at

(Please don't share promo code with non-TFC Republic subscribers).