Previewing Toronto FC’s hopes for the 2024 MLS Season


Heading into the new MLS season it’s fair to say that most betting sites aren’t considering Toronto FC as one of this season’s contenders.

For fans of Toronto, 2023 was nothing short of disastrous. Despite assembling one of the most expensive squads in the league, Toronto found the wins hard to come by and finished marooned to the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Despite their 100/1 odds for MLS Cup glory, there are a few reasons to be optimistic ahead of the new campaign.

Former Canada coach John Herdman now has the reigns and although they finished bottom of the pile last year, they have retained a core of talented players.

Ahead of what could be an eventful 2024 season, we preview everything you need to know about Toronto’s chances.

The Herdman effect

John Herdman will forever be held in high regard by the Canadian football fraternity. The only man in history to lead both the men’s and women’s team from the same country to a World Cup Finals, Toronto FC fans will hope that Herdman will be able to weave his magic into their beleaguered franchise.

A man motivator, the early reports from Toronto FC’s pre-season camp are positive, that the squad is united and they are raring to go.

In looking to make his mark, Herdman has wasted no time in shaking things up and has already appointed Jonathan Osorio as his captain for the new season. There will be high hopes that both the fans and the squad will rally around their local hometown hero.

Herdman likes to play aggressive front-foot football and with a squad boasting some talented forwards, Herdman’s style of play should produce some positive results.

This will be Herdman’s first crack at club management and you can be guaranteed that he will be hungry to return Toronto to the force they once were.

Waning stars need to shine

Toronto have long had an affinity with signing great players. Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco, Jermaine Defoe and Jozy Altidore all helped Toronto dominate the MLS and helped them reach three MLS Cups in four years.

The latest in a line of top international stars to sign for the club are Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernadeschi.

Hailed as signings that could help Toronto return to their former glories, both have found life in the MLS difficult.

Amid reports that both have failed to settle, Herdman will need to use all of his managerial qualities to get both players back on song.

Insigne is one of the MLS’s highest paid stars. A talented forward, he was prolific with Napoli scoring 96 goals in just over 300 appearances. Since moving to Canada, Insigne is averaging a goal every three games. Whilst that goal return can’t be sniffed at, if Toronto have aspirations of making the MLS Playoffs they will need much more from their star man.

At his best, Federico Bernadeschi is one of the best wingers in the game. However like Insigne, he hasn’t been able to find his best form since moving to the MLS.

Whilst he hasn’t been bought in for goals, Bernadeschi has chipped in with thirteen, but simply hasn’t been able to control games like he has shown in the past.

With their being heavy rumours over a potential return to Italy, it remains to be seen whether Bernadeschi will line up for Herdman and Toronto next season. If he does, they will greatly need the qualities of a player who shone for Juventus and Italy on the very biggest stage.

What about the opposition?

Despite the new presence of Herdman, the oddsmakers would have you believe that Toronto are in for a rebuilding season. A return to the top of the MLS won’t be easy and they face some seriously stiff competition.

Leading the way in the betting is Inter Miami and with Lionel Messi about to embark on his first full season with the club, it’s not hard to see why.

The greatest to have ever played the game, Messi is joined by an able cast which includes Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquests and Jordi Alba. They should rule all before them.

Last year’s defending champions, Columbus Crew, will also stand in Toronto’s way. Having managed to keep last season’s winning roster intact, they have managed to add a few clever pieces and will be confident of repeating their success from last year.

Another club hoping to leave their mark on the Eastern Conference is FC Cincinatti. Beaten by Columbus Crew in last years playoffs, they will hope to go one better this year and make the MLS Cup match.  Already boasting an impressive squad, they have added much sought after defender Miles Robinson and look well placed to make another deep postseason run.

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