TFC Republic Weekly: July 8-14

It's another challenging week ahead for Toronto FC who has two games across two competitions during a four-day span.

TFC Republic Weekly: July 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... 

Toronto FC loses 6th in a row, now winless in 9

A season that started with such promise is slipping away from Toronto FC.

After picking up 10 out of a possible 15 points from its first five games, TFC have earned a meagre 14 points from a possible 54 in their next 18 matches.

An embarrassing 4-0 road loss to the Columbus Crew on Saturday extended the Reds' losing streak to six games. Toronto (7-13-3) is winless in its last nine with just one victory in its previous 12 outings, and is clinging to the ninth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The five teams directly below TFC in the table are all within three points and all have games in hand. So, this is not some minor blimp for Toronto. This is a serious crisis as the club inches closer to a fourth straight season with no playoffs.

"Our time will come. It'll turn," John Herdman insisted.

He added: "You look at the reality of the squad depth, we're thin. We're pushing guys across many games. Not much opportunity for rotation. And if we fall behind in a game like tonight against a good team, it's going to be an uphill battle. But I thought they did battle [tonight]. And that's important."

Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew: 3 takeaways
“Our time will come. It’ll turn,” coach John Herdman insisted after TFC suffered their sixth straight loss on Saturday.

John Herdman says summer signings are coming

TFC were missing several players vs. Columbus due to international absences, injuries and suspensions, while Italian DP Lorenzo Insigne was limited to a 30-minute cameo off the bench because he was nursing sore ribs. 

No surprise then that the Reds were outclassed by the reigning MLS Cup champions who had the benefit of having five league All-Stars in their starting 11.  

"You have to look at the reality. Columbus turns up with a full squad tonight. Full squad, one player missing, Jacen Russell-Rowe [away with Canada]. ... We are threadbare, and we are hanging in, but it will turn when our quality returns," John Herdman said post-game.   

The MLS secondary transfer window, which runs from July 18 to August 14, gives Toronto GM Jason Hernandez a chance to strengthen the team’s roster via trades and transfer deals. And from the sounds of it, the Reds have some new recruits already lined up. 

“The transfer window is already open for us. I know the front office has good players almost ready to go. You know, we are right there. When the window opens, we should be right there, ready to kick in and add some depth to this team,” Herdman said.

Reader mailbag: Is it time for TFC to push the panic button?
The season is slipping away from Toronto FC and they are in serious danger of missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season.

2 games in 2 competitions for the Reds this week

It's another busy week for Toronto FC as it has a pair of games during a four-day span.

On Wednesday, TFC visits Forge FC at Hamilton's Tim Hortons Field for the first leg of the Canadian Championship semifinals (7:00 p.m. ET/OneSoccer).

Forge (5-3-4) sit fifth in the Canadian Premier League table and are coming off a 3-3 draw against Vancouver FC at home. The defending Canadian Premier League champions booked their spot in the semifinals by defeating York United 3-1 in the first round and then upsetting CF Montreal 3-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals. 

"All in all, it's an exciting opportunity against a good team who have already put Montreal out of the competition. So, you know that they have the quality to beat MLS teams," John Herdman said.

Toronto then turn its focus to hosting the Philadelphia Union in MLS on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET/Apple TV).

Philadelphia (4-9-9) is 14th in the Eastern Conference table, five spots and three points behind Toronto with a game in hand. The Union are winless in their last nine games (five losses) and haven't won since earning a 3-0 decision over the New England Revolution on May 18. Philadelphia battled to a 0-0 draw against the New York Red Bulls last Saturday.

TFC and the Union previously met on May 29 when they played to a 0-0 stalemate at Subaru Park. Toronto leads the all-time series against Philadelphia with 13 wins and eight draws in 32 regular season meetings.


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CanMNT vs. Argentina at Copa América

If it hadn’t already, the South American soccer community has now stood up and taken notice of the Canadian men’s team as it continues its sensational run at the Copa América.

Canada advanced to the final four in its debut at the prestigious international tournament after earning a dramatic 4-3 penalty shootout win over Venezuela in last Friday’s quarter-final at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.   

Jacob Shaffelburg scored early for Canada before Salomón Rondón equalized in the second half of a wild match. Goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau then made two saves in the shootout, while Ismaël Koné scored in the sixth round to secure one of the biggest wins in Canadian men’s team history.   

Canada will meet Argentina in the semifinals on Wednesday (8:00 p.m. ET/TSN) in East Rutherford, New Jersey in a rematch from the group stage when the World Cup champions earned a 2-0 win over the Reds in Atlanta.  

If Canada beats Argentina, it'll move on to the final on July 14. But if it loses, it would still have one more game to play – the third-place match on July 13. So, no matter the result against Argentina, the Canadians have two more contests at the Copa América. 

As a result, Jonathan Osorio and Richie Laryea will miss TFC's next two matches: the first leg of the Canadian Championship semifinals away to Forge FC on July 10 and a home MLS match vs. the Philadelphia Union on July 13. 

Stories to look out for at TFC Republic

Kwasi Poku was once a promising prospect for Toronto FC, joining the team's youth academy and later turning out for TFC 2 before leaving the organization in 2022. Today, he's a key figure for Canadian Premier League champions Forge FC. TFC Republic contributor Joshua Healy recently spoke to Poku about his time in Toronto and facing his former team in the semifinals of the Canadian Championship. Look for Joshua's 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.  
  • My feature story on Toronto defender Aimé Mabika.
  • Another edition of the TFC 3 Questions podcast with myself and Toronto FC captain Jim Brennan.         
  • A new audio interview piece with Charlie O'Connor-Clarke of looking ahead to Wednesday's game vs. Forge FC. 
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Toronto's road game vs. Forge FC.   
  • A new audio interview piece with Matthew De George of The Delco Times newspaper looking ahead to Saturday's game vs. the Philadelphia Union. 
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Toronto's home game vs. the Philadelphia Union.   
  • The weekly TFC 2 report with James Grossi.
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Canada's game vs. Argentina at the Copa América.   
  • 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 Andy Truong/Toronto FC)

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