It’s clear to see that Toronto FC have had a disappointing season so far, sitting at the second from the last spot in MLS based on points. Only D.C. United have a lower point tally, which is no surprise considering how dismal their season has gone. With just over a dozen games to go in the season, the real question has now become, can Toronto FC turn around their season and make a push for the playoffs?
There are only 8 points between Toronto FC and the last place spot for the playoffs, which may sound like a big gap but with a healthy chunk of the season yet to be played, the team is by no means out of contention. What’s more, the cavalry is coming in for TFC, with Italian forwards Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi making their debuts for the team this week. Both international players will be welcome additions to the team and should be big impact players right from the get go.
Insigne isn’t quite the player he was in the mid-2010s, but is still a productive chance creator and goal scorer. Last season was one of the more disappointing ones of his career however as the 31-year old only scored two non-penalty goals. Toronto FC will more likely use Isigne as a facilitator and shot creator, setting up his teammates in the box, rather than trying to find the back of the net.
Bernardeschi played most of his career for Juventus but wasn’t considered a key part of the team’s lineup. Much like Insigne, the past year hasn’t been one of his better ones, ranking low in most offensive categories in the past 265 days. Once again though, if utilized properly, Bernardeschi has a proven track record of being an effective playmaker, bringing a number of scoring chances to teammates.
To maximize both Insigne and Bernardeschi TFC will likely look to play a 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 formation. An uptempo style should suit the players the most, as they both tend to play their best when pushing the ball and making deep passes.
What are Toronto FC’s Chances of Making the Playoffs?
Given the hole that they have dug themselves, TFC is definitely a big underdog to make the postseason. The addition of the Italian wingmen should bolster their offense but there are some clear other problems that will need to be addressed before the team will be competitive against the top half of the MLS.
The next couple games will be very important for the team, showing how well the new players fit in and how the rest of the season will likely pan out.