With the start of the MLS regular season just a month away, we’re beginning to get a better picture of the type of squad that Toronto FC will be putting forward. After going a mediocre 9-7-18 last season to finish 13th in the Eastern Conference, TFC have been looking to make some big changes. The question is, have these changes made big improvements to the team thus far? Let’s take a look.
Goalkeeper- Sean Johnson vs. Alex Bono
Sean Johnson was recently signed to Toronto, replacing Alex Bono who had an up and down season last year. Johnson has been part of solidifying shaky defenses before, after stabilizing the NYCFC backline off his trade with DC United.
On paper, Johnson’s stats are better than Bono’s from last year, with more saves from free kicks and corners and a higher rating on post-shot expected goals. He also had 11 more clean sheets than Bono.
While Johnson could heavily bolster the TFC defense, he will likely need more help from other defenders. It definitely does seem like an upgrade in net however.
Defenders- Matt Hedges vs. Chris Mavinga
Matt Hedges was arguably TFC’s biggest free agent acquisition this offseason. The MLS all-star and Defender of the Year in 2016 will have big expectations on his shoulders this year, taking the position of defensive leader on the team. Hedges experience should play a big role if TFC will have success on the defensive end this year, along with his calm demeanor.
Toronto FC lost Chris Mavinga this off season, who was a left footed CB. While quite different to Hedges, the two play a similar role in the team’s backline. Mavinga has youth on his side and actually was statistically better last season in interceptions, clearances, tackles and ball recoveries.
Ultimately, it may come down to whether Hedges can gel together the defense from a mental standpoint. The team has the talent, the question is can they build a defensive identity.
A couple of other big acquisitions that could have a big impact on the team are FC Adama Diomande and Tomas Romero. Both players will add significant depth to the roster and should have quite a bit of playing time.
Betting on Toronto FC in 2023
As mentioned before, the 2023 season only has a month until it kicks off. If you’re thinking of placing bets on Toronto FC, then check out our list of the best MLS betting sites in Ontario for the best odds.