TFC Republic Weekly: June 17-23

It's a busy week for Toronto FC with two games against a pair of Eastern Conference rivals in the span of four days.

TFC Republic Weekly: June 17-23

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 winless in 4 after home loss vs. Chicago Fire

An extended holiday ended up doing very little good for Toronto FC. Playing for the first time in two weeks after a gruelling May schedule, TFC looked anything but recharged and refreshed as they stumbled to an ugly 4-1 defeat to the Chicago Fire on Saturday night at BMO Field.  

Sloppy defending and silly turnovers were the order of the day for Toronto (7-8-3), who extended its winless run to four games (two losses) and dropped one spot to seventh place in the Eastern Conference. TFC’s previous victory was an 8-1 decision over semi-pro side CS Saint-Laurent in the Canadian Championship on May 21. Its last MLS win was a 5-1 beatdown of CF Montreal on May 18.

How bad was Toronto on this night? So bad that coach John Herdman used the pulpit of the post-match press conference with reporters to offer a public apology to the fans for the team’s “soft” and “flat” performance.

“We’ve discussed this. We got to be harder to beat at home; there’s got to be an identity that the fans can be proud of. That’s the first night in my time [at TFC] where I really shared the disappointment of the fans,” Herdman stated.

Midfielder Matty Longstaff concurred with his coach’s assessment.

“That’s not us that just showed up tonight,” Longstaff offered.

TFC Talk: A retched night to forget for the Reds
In the last video blog, we discuss Toronto FC’s performance against Chicago and the importance of bouncing back next week.

Reds re-sign Sean Johnson

Toronto FC made an important roster move last week when it signed goalkeeper Sean Johnson to a one-year contract extension through 2025 with a team option for 2026. 

Johnson's contract was going to run out at the end of the 2024 MLS campaign, but the Reds didn't wait until then to ink him to a new deal in order to ensure he'll be sticking around for a little bit longer. 

Johnson, 35, has 10 clean sheets in 35 games across all competitions since joining TFC as a free agent prior to the 2023 MLS campaign. This season, the veteran shot stopper has registered four clean sheets and 40 saves in 12 matches in MLS action. Beyond the clean sheets and impressive stats, he's established himself as a key leader at TFC during his brief time at the club, with coach John Herdman comparing him to former Canadian international Atiba Hutchinson.

"You have to see him off the pitch. You've seen him on the pitch. You see what he does, but [he's] just a leader of men. Really passionate about the club as well and what he wants for the fans here in the city. So, they're the type of guys I want; these are the guys that you want to sign him forever. He's the sort of Atiba Hutchinson type. He's got that sort of influence and impact on his craft and on the people around him," John Herdman said. 

TFC Tidbits: Reds move on after conclusion of MLS investigation
Toronto FC coach John Herdman insists that the club learned a valuable lesson from the incidents with NYCFC.

TFC vs. Nashville SC on Wednesday

Toronto FC returns to action when it hosts Nashville SC on June 19 (7:30 p.m. ET/Apple TV).             

Nashville (4-5-8) currently sits ninth in the Eastern Conference, two spots and four points behind Toronto. 

Forward Sam Surridge leads Nashville in scoring, accounting for five of the team's 20 goals. Midfielder Hany Mukhtar is the side's top playmaker with six assists (he also has four goals). Former Reds Jacob Shaffelburg and Lukas MacNaughton feature for Nashville, although MacNaughton is currently sidelined due to injury and Shaffelburg is on international duty with Canada. 

Toronto and Nashville last met on May 15 when the Reds conceded a pair of late goals en route to a 2-0 loss at GEODIS Park. With John Herdman suspended for this game, assistant coach Jason de Vos ran things for TFC from the sidelines. Incredibly, the Reds were minus nine players either through suspensions or injuries. 

Nashville leads the all-time series against Toronto (including playoffs) with three wins in eight matches.

TFC Tidbits: Luka Gavran looking forward to facing Forge FC
Gavran will get the chance to face Hamilton-based Forge FC in the 2024 Canadian Championship semifinals.

TFC vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday

After the Nashville match, Toronto FC hits the road and will visit the New York Red Bulls on June 22 (7:30 p.m. ET/Apple TV & TSN).              

New York (8-4-6) currently sits third in the Eastern Conference, four spots and six points above Toronto.  

The Red Bulls boast the second-best attack in the East with 29 goals, nine of which have come from Scottish winger Lewis Morgan. Swedish midfielder Emil Forsberg has also chipped in with six goals. 

Toronto and New York last met on Oct. 7, 2023, when the Red Bulls earned a 3-0 home win, a result that officially clinched last place in the overall league table for TFC.  

New York leads the all-time MLS regular season series against Toronto with 21 wins and nine draws in 40 meetings. New York is unbeaten in the last nine contests vs. TFC with six wins. 

Saturday is the first of two regular season meetings between the clubs as they'll meet again on Oct. 2 at BMO Field.   


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).

CanMNT kicks off Copa América campaign

Toronto FC captain Jonathan Osorio and teammate Richie Laryea are off to the Copa América.

Both players were included in Canadian men's team coach Jesse Marsch's 26- man roster for the Copa América, which runs from June 20 to July 14 in the United States. Canada Soccer unveiled Marsch's squad this past weekend.

Other familiar names in the Canadian team include fullbacks Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) and Alistair Johnston (Celtic), midfielder Stephen Eustáquio (FC Porto), winger Tajon Buchanan (Inter Milan), and forwards Jonathan David (LOSC Lille) and Cyle Larin (RCD Mallorca). 

Ranked No. 49 in the world, Canada will face Lionel Messi and reigning World Cup champions Argentina (No. 1) in the opening match of the on June 20 in Atlanta, followed by two more tough group stage encounters against Peru (No 32) on June 25 in Kansas City and Chile (No. 42) on June 29 in Orlando. The top two teams in each of the four first-round groups advance to the quarter-finals. 

Laryea and Osorio will miss TFC's next three games while they're away with Canada: June 19 vs. Nashville at home, and June 22 at the New York Red Bulls and June 29 at Atlanta United. If Canada qualifies for the quarter-finals of the Copa América, Osorio and Laryea will miss TFC's July 3 home match vs. Orlando City and their July 6 game away to the Columbus Crew. 

Stories to look out for at TFC Republic

Toronto FC has had 14 coaches (full time and interim) since its first MLS season in 2007. But none were as colourful as John Carver, who was the Reds' second manager and oversaw the club from Feb. 1, 2008, to April 25, 2009. Since then, he's coached in his native England and currently serves as an assistant with the Scottish national team set to compete at Euro 2024. TFC Republic caught up with Carver to look back on his time as Toronto FC coach. Look for my feature story in the coming days. (NOTE: This story was supposed to be published last Friday but was delayed until this week.)

Other stories that will be published later this week include:               

  • My piece looking at the key stories to watch from TFC this week.     
  • Regular "TFC Tidbits" stories throughout the week. 
  • My feature story on TFC captain Jonathan Osorio.
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Toronto's home game vs. Nashville SC.
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Toronto's road game vs. the New York Red Bulls.  
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Canada's game vs. Argentina at the Copa América.  
  • 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 Joe Pantorno of am New York looking ahead to Saturday's road game vs. the New York Red Bulls. 
  • 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.