TFC Republic Weekly: July 1-7

It's a challenging week ahead for a Toronto FC side that is mired in a four-game losing streak and is winless in its last seven outings.

TFC Republic Weekly: July 1-7

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... 

Happy Canada Day!

I just want to wish everyone a happy Canada Day! Hopefully you're able to spend some time with family, friends and loved ones during this special holiday.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for subscribing to TFC Republic. Your support means the world to me and I don't take it for granted.

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Toronto FC vs. Atlanta United: 3 takeaways
TFC hit the reset button and put in a solid road performance in Atlanta. But not for the first time this season, they couldn’t close things out.

TFC loses 4th in a row, now winless in 7

Toronto FC is finding new and inventive ways to lose games.

Destined to earn a 1-1 draw away at Atlanta United on Saturday, TFC conceded deep into injury time when the hosts scored on a cheeky play that was pure schoolyard stuff. After goalkeeper Luka Gavran made a save, he got up off the pitch and took a few steps inside his box before dropping the ball in preparation for launching it forward. 

But he didn’t know that Atlanta’s Jamal Thiaré was behind him and the Senegalese striker pounced on the loose ball, took two touches as he rounded Gavran before slotting it into an empty net from just outside the box to lift the hosts to a dramatic 2-1 win.

Toronto (7-11-3) has now lost four in a row and is winless in its last seven outings. TFC have just one win in their last 10 MLS games with their previous victory coming in an 8-1 decision over semi-pro side CS Saint-Laurent in the Canadian Championship on May 21. Their last MLS win was a 5-1 beatdown of CF Montreal on May 18. 

"I thought it was a step forward to tonight, based on where we were [with recent losses]. We should have had a result. There's no two ways about it. We should have had a result tonight. The football Gods didn't give us it for whatever reason. We're going to suffer again for a couple of days but I feel like [the players] felt they took a step forward in terms of their connection tonight," coach John Herdman told reporters after the game.

TFC’s Luka Gavran remains patient: ‘My time will come’
In this 1-on-1 interview, Gavran talks about backing up starter Sean Johnson, facing Forge FC next month, and much more.

Alonso Coello out 10-12 weeks with hamstring injury

Toronto FC has been consistently plagued by injuries from the start of training camp right through to the regular season and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight.  

John Herdman confirmed last week that midfielder Alonso Coello is expected to miss the next ten to 12 weeks due to a hamstring tear. The Spanish midfielder was injured in a 3-0 road loss to the New York Red Bulls on June 22 when he over-extended himself after being fouled by Dante Vanzeir. He was subbed out after only 39 minutes.

Herdman told reporters after the game that it looked as though the second-year MLS pro would miss three to four weeks. But as it turned out, Coello’s injury is much worse than the club originally thought.  

“It was a bad one. He over-extended which caused a pretty significant tear in the hamstring. So, unfortunately for him, he's got a long return,” Herdman said last Thursday. 

TFC Tidbits: Alonso Coello ruled out for 10-12 weeks
The Spanish midfielder’s hamstring injury that he picked up last week is much worse than Toronto FC originally thought.

2 games for Toronto FC this week

It's a busy week for the Reds as they have a pair of games during a four-day span.

TFC hosts Orlando City (5-9-6) on Wednesday in the second meeting of the season between the clubs. Toronto earned a dramatic 2-1 win on April 27 at Inter&Co Stadium courtesy of two late goals from Tyrese Spicer and Prince Owusu. Toronto leads the all-time series against Orlando with nine wins and three draws in 20 meetings.

Orlando is coming off a 4-2 road loss to New York City FC last Friday and has just one win in its last seven games (with four losses).

After the midweek game the Reds will travel to Ohio to face the Columbus Crew (9-3-6) on Saturday. The defending MLS Cup champions earned a 5-1 road win over the New England Revolution on the weekend and has won six of its last seven games overall.

Saturday's game at Field marks the first of two meetings between Toronto and Columbus this season. They'll meet again at BMO Field on Sept. 18. Columbus leads the all-time MLS regular season series against Toronto with 18 wins and 13 draws in 41 meetings.


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

CanMNT vs. Venezuela at Copa América

Canada is through to the quarter-finals of the Copa América after earning a 0-0 draw against Chile in Orlando on Saturday.

That result coupled with Argentina's 2-0 win over Peru in Miami was enough to send the Canadians through to the knockout round in their debut at the prestigious tournament.

Chile was forced to play a man down after Gabriel Suazo was issued a second yellow card in the 27th minute. But Canada (1-1-1) failed to take full advantage and somewhat rode its luck in punching its ticket for the next round.

Canada now faces Venezuela in the quarter-finals on Friday in Arlington, Texas. Venezuela is 54th in the current FIFA world rankings, six spots below Canada. Venezuela went a perfect 3-0 in the group stage with wins over Ecuador, Mexico and Jamaica.

Canada has scored just one goal at the Copa América, but coach Jesse Marsch's new system has allowed the Reds to go toe-to-toe with some of the top teams from South America.

"We are not satisfied. The group is not satisfied. They want to keep going," Marsch told reporters after the Chile game. "They know, no matter who our next opponent is, it will be a difficult match. But they believe in themselves. We're excited for this next challenge."

Stories to look out for at TFC Republic

Just before the MLS primary window closed last April, TFC acquired centre back Aimé Mabika in a trade from Inter Miami. Mabika started off in a strong fashion as he helped TFC bolster their back line. But Mabika's positive form didn't last long and he was relegated to the bench and he's still struggling for playing time this season. How does Mabika feel about his game at the moment? Look for my feature story in the coming days.  

Other stories that will be published later this week include:                

  • My piece looking at the key storylines to watch from TFC this week.      
  • Regular "TFC Tidbits" stories throughout the week.  
  • 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 Mike Gramajo of Orlando's NBC WESH 2 News looking ahead to Wednesday's game vs. Orlando City. 
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Toronto's home game vs. Orlando City.   
  • A new audio interview piece with Brianna Mac Kay of The Columbus Dispatch looking ahead to Saturday's game vs. Columbus Crew. 
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Toronto's road game vs. Columbus Crew.   
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Canada's game vs. Venezuela at the Copa América.   
  • A full report on the Canadian women's team Olympic roster announcement.   
  • 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)

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