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Bob Bradley started Toronto FC head coaching tenure with a 1-1 draw

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley congratulates his father Bob Bradley on April 17, 2018

FRISCO, TX – The Bob Bradley tenure as Toronto FC head coach started off with a positive draw on the road at Toyota Stadium. Toronto struggled against Dallas for a lot of the first half. However, they got a late first-half goal to tie the game against Dallas.

Bob Bradley started Toronto FC head coaching tenure with a tie

Full Game Summary

First Half

Jayden Nelson was impressive throughout the game. An example was his speed after the excellent cross-pass from Alejandro Pozuelo. However, he and Jacob Shaffelburg were well-defended by Dallas’s defence.

Pozuelo’s shot was deflected by Jiménez in the 21-minute. Alex Bono made a terrific save in the 25-minute. Arriola’s shot was just off-target in the 28-minute. Bono had to get to the ball from Arriola in the 29-minute.

Nobody was there on the wings as Michael Bradley’s pass went out of play in the 35-minute. The shot was stopped by Bono in the 36-minute. Arriola’s shot just missed the target. Bono made another key save in the 44-minute to keep the game 1-0. TFC’s Chris Mavinga made a perfect tackle in the 45-minute.

An excellent goal was scored by Jonathan Osorio. It was also the 10th season that Osorio has scored for TFC. Jacob Shaffelburg was the one who set up the goal while Jesús Jiménez was credited with the assist. There was also some positivity shown from Jayden Nelson in the 45+2-minute of play. Carlos Salcedo showed his experience as he cleared the ball away in the 45+4-minute of play.

Second Half

FC Dallas had two great chances to score. Arriola had a chance to score, but could not get to it. His pass almost met a Dallas player, but the Dallas player did not get to the ball.

Bono got there again ahead of Cristian Rodan in the 56-minute and made another good save. Pozuelo’s shot in the top corner was not far off but was off-target. The play was set up by Jayden Nelson in the 61-minute. Nelson and Bradley cleared the ball off in the 62-minute. Dallas’ Marco Farfan also made a terrific defensive play against Achara in the 66-minute. Achara got an excellent pass from Nelson, who played very well today.

Pozuelo’s shot in the top corner was not far off but was off-target. The play was set up by Jayden Nelson in the 61-minute. Jahkelle Marshall-Rutty’s terrific cross-pass to Jiménez almost connected. However, Jiménez’s header was off-target. Salcedo continued his good defensive play with a terrific tackle in the 75-minute.

Noble Okello’s header from a Shaffelburg cross did not get into the net. Nanu’s shot was off-target in the 80-minute from a poor Okello giveaway. Shane O’Neill made a good defensive play in the 89-minute. Ferraro’s shot in the 90-minute should have been a goal, but it hit the side netting.

Game Summary

All in all, a positive start for “The Reds” and Bob Bradley. Getting a result on the road is always a difficult task and Toronto accomplished that. There were some similarities to the defensive fragilities of last year at the beginning of the game. However, since this is the first game, TFC should get some slack on that. TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono and FC Dallas winger Paul Arriola (who made his FC Dallas debut) were the players of the game for both teams.

Toronto FC has two big games coming up next year. For the first time since 2020, TFC will play their first home game of the year at BMO Field, where they won 1-0 over New York City FC. The last time was when COVID-19 was just beginning to spread into North America. They will host the New York Red Bulls on March 5 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Then they play at MAPFRE Stadium against Trillium Cup rivals, Columbus Crew SC on March 12 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Both TFC games will be televised nationally in Canada on TSN. Additionally, the Columbus game will be shown on Bally Sports Ohio while the Red Bulls game will be shown on MSG.

Next Games for Both Teams

For Dallas, it would be a disappointing result as they were the home team. This is especially true when FC Dallas’s Nico Estévez, made his first MLS head coaching debut today against Toronto. However, it could have been worse as TFC had some good goal-scoring opportunities in the second half. They will play at Gillette Stadium on March 5 at 1:30 p.m. ET against the New England Revolution. They will then host Nashville SC on March 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Both the games against New England and Nashville will be shown on MLS Live on DAZN and TXA21. Additionally, the Nashville game will be shown on KMPX-29.

Three Takeaways on Bob Bradley’s debut as Toronto FC head coach:

A lot of young players shining for Toronto FC. Jayden Nelson was the player that stood out the most. While it did not reflect in the scoresheet, his positive play in the first half put pressure on FC Dallas. He also set up Pozuelo’s shot and most notably Ifunanyachi Achara’s chance in the second half. Other players that impressed include Jacob Shaffelburg, who set up the goal and Marshall-Rutty, who made a terrific cross-pass in the second half.

VAR determining the game. There are three calls to look at. First, was the goal scored by Jader OBrian, which was originally called offside. The problem with the goal was that Arriola looked offside when the pass was delivered to him. Saying that another goal, which ended up being called offside for Dallas, was also offside. For Toronto, Pozuelo looked like he got fouled inside the penalty box in the second half. However, after further review, there was no penalty given.

FC Dallas continues their unbeaten run on their first home game of the MLS season. Dallas has never lost their first home game since 2009. This was when they lost 2-0 to the Chicago Fire FC.

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