TFC Republic Weekly: May 27-June 2

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

TFC Republic Weekly: May 27-June 2

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 back on track with big derby win over Montreal

Is this year truly the beginning of a new era of prosperity for Toronto FC under John Herdman? It’s still a bit too early for such bold declarations with more than half of the MLS regular season still to play. But nobody can question the team's fighting spirit, which was on full display in Saturday’s heartbreaking 4-3 loss to FC Cincinnati.   

TFC (7-7-1) benefitted from a header by Deybi Flores, a penalty conversion from man-of-the-match Lorenzo Insigne and a fortuitous own goal against Cincinnati (10-2-3), who extended its winning streak to seven games.  

Toronto went toe-to-toe with the reigning Supporters’ Shield champions, who had only given up a league-low 11 goals and hadn't conceded more than twice in a game before this weekend. Twice the Reds came back from a goal down on Saturday, but they just couldn’t hold on for the draw as they conceded deep into injury time to let a valuable point slip through their fingers.  

With the loss, Toronto dropped from fifth to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, wasting a chance to climb into the top four. Herdman was disappointed with the final result but heralded his players for the commitment and fightback they showed against one of the best teams in MLS. 

“I thought they were brave tonight. Some of their passages of football were top level. Took a lot of courage to break [Cincinnati’s] press at times. And players were living right on that razor’s edge. … We showed championship ability tonight against a team that is a championship team. But there was a gap still. And the gap was the loss. We've got to close that gap,” Herdman told reporters after the game. 

Reader mailbag: What does Laryea’s return to TFC mean for Bernardeschi?
John Herdman is salivating over the prospect of a Toronto FC starting 11 that features the Canadian international and the Italian DP.

TFC vs. Philadelphia Union on Wednesday

Toronto returns to action when it visits the Philadelphia Union on May 29 (7:30 p.m. ET/Apple TV).            

Philadelphia (4-4-6) currently sits eighth in the Eastern Conference, two spots and four points below Toronto in the table. The Union have just one win in their last eight games (with four losses) and are coming off a o-o road draw vs. Charlotte FC. 

Hungarian midfielder Dániel Gazdag leads the team in scoring with nine goals (tied for fifth in MLS), while Jack McGlynn, Quinn Sullivan and Kai Wagner each have four assists. Veteran Andre Blake, a three-time MLS goalkeeper of the year, has been limited to five appearances this season due to injuries and hasn't played since April 30.  

The Union recently made headlines when they signed 14-year-old midfielder Cavan Sullivan to a first-team deal through 2028. Sullivan joined Philadelphia's youth academy when he was 10 and is considered one of the best American players of his generation. 

Toronto and Philadelphia last met on Aug. 30, 2023, when the Reds earned a 3-1 home win to snap a 10-game losing skid and a 13-match winless run, both franchise records for futility. Lorenzo Insigne, Deandre Kerr and Jonathan Osorio all scored for TFC who earned their first win under interim coach Terry Dunfield.  

Toronto leads the all-time series against Philadelphia with 13 wins and seven draws in 31 regular season meetings.

Saturday is the first of two regular season meetings between the clubs as they'll meet again on July 13 at BMO Field. 

Toronto FC vs. FC Cincinnati: 3 takeaways
Despite a heartbreaking loss, John Herdman felt TFC showed their “championship ability” against Cincy on Saturday.

TFC vs. D.C. United on Saturday

It'll be a short turnaround for Toronto as it'll visit D.C. United on June 1 (7:30 p.m. ET/Apple TV).            

D.C. (4-5-6) currently sits ninth in the Eastern Conference, three spots and four points below Toronto in the table. D.C. is winless in its last three games, including a 1-1 draw at home vs. the Chicago Fire on the weekend. 

Belgian forward Christian Benteke is tied for second in league scoring with 11 goals, which accounts for more than half of the 21 goals D.C. has registered this season. Mateusz Klich and Jared Stroud both have seven assists. Former TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono has started all 15 games for the club. 

With 25 goals against, D.C. has the fourth worst defensive record in the East. 

Toronto and D.C. last met on May 27, 2023, when the Reds earned a 2-1 home win to end their goal drought at 418 minutes and snap a four-game winless skid. Deandre Kerr and Kosi Thompson both scored, while Lorenzo Insigne picked up two assists. 

Saturday is the first of two regular season meetings between the clubs as they'll meet again on Aug 31. 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).

CanWNT returns home for series vs. Mexico

The Canadian women’s team has received a major boost ahead of this summer's Olympics with the return of forward Nichelle Prince and defender Jayde Riviere following lengthy injury layoffs.  

Last week, coach Bev Priestman announced her 25-player roster for a pair of upcoming friendlies vs. Mexico and included in her squad were Prince and Riviere who are both coming back from serious injuries. Their inclusion in this latest Canadian roster bodes well for Priestman in terms of their participation for the Paris Olympics. 

Canada meets Mexico on June 1 in Montreal and June 4 in Toronto in a pair of Olympic tune-up games. These matches will help inform Priestman's decisions regarding selecting her Olympic squad. Priestman has until July 3 to name her 18-player Olympic roster and her four alternates. The alternates, which includes a goalkeeper, can only be used in case of an injury. Once an injured player has been replaced, she can't return. 

Canada is No. 9 in the current FIFA world rankings, 22 spots above Mexico. Canada is 22-2-3 all-time against Mexico but is winless in its last two meetings (0-1-1). These friendlies are a crucial part of Canada's preparations for this summer's Olympics, especially as there is only one other opportunity to play games before competing in Paris. The Canadian women are expected to play two more warm-up games in Europe during the July 8-16 FIFA international window.  

Stories to look out for at TFC Republic

TFC 2 midfielder Andrei Dumitru, 17, made his first team debut on April 24 when he came on as a substitute against Simcoe County Rovers in the Canadian Championship. Last week, the teenager earned his first start for the Reds against CS Saint-Laurent. Who is Dumitru and why is John Herdman showing so much trust in the young prospect? I recently spoke to the midfielder to find out more about him. I'll have a feature story on Dumitru in the coming days.  

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    
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Toronto's road game vs. the Philadelphia Union.        
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of Toronto's road game vs. D.C. United. 
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of the Canadian women's team game vs. Mexico in Montreal.        
  • 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 Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Enquirer looking ahead to Wednesday's road game vs. Philadelphia. 
  • A new audio interview piece with Jason Anderson of Pro Soccer Wire looking ahead to Saturday's road game vs. D.C. 
  • The weekly TFC 2 report with James Grossi  
  • 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.