Bernardeschi, Insigne debut reignites Toronto FC: ‘We’re building something big’

It’s been long, hard years for Toronto, which has been forced to play away from home for two years (2020 and 2021) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, TFC has gone from regular MLS Cup contenders to struggling hard, resulting in one of the most dramatic roster transformations in the league’s history.

Prior to Saturday night, Toronto had won just five league games in 2022 and played a lot of young and unknown goods as they waited for reinforcements to arrive in the secondary transfer window. They’re still six points short of the Audi MLS Cup qualifying streak, and are 13th in the eastern standings, but there was plenty to cheer against against Charlotte.

The win is the club’s first clean sheet since September 25, 2021, over 29 matches. That matches the third longest streak in MLS history, the Opta.

“Obviously for various reasons, we’ve lost it over the past few years,” Michael Bradley said. “When we can now go out to a stadium like tonight, feel the energy with the team we have on the field, it’s a huge advantage. It’s a huge advantage, so we’ll still need every bit of that, and again, as players, there’s nothing like playing here. On these nights.”

Saturday night down the lake shore was special. In many ways, it looked like turning a page for the club. Reinforcements arrived and with that the crowd arrived.

“On behalf of the team, we appreciate every bit of the way the fans have commented with us this year, and once again, their support is what makes all the difference to us,” said Michael Bradley. “So, on a night like tonight, to be able to make it a special night for them, for everyone, that part is great. Now we have to keep going, keep going.”

“We’re building something big and real again.”

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