The Toronto FC Italians helped TFC win their second MLS road win

The Toronto FC Italians stepped up as Federico Bernardeschi bows to the crowd after scoring a goal on August 27, 2022

CHARLOTTE, NC – Toronto FC got their second MLS road win this year. This was thanks to the Toronto FC Italians. Domenico Criscito played very well defensively, especially in the first half. Looking at the offence, Italians Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi were involved in both of Toronto’s goals.

Toronto FC Italians played a big role in the win against Charlotte FC

Full Game Summary

First Half

Christian Fukes’ header went straight to TFC goalkeeper, Alex Bono. Federico Bernadeschi passed the ball to Domenico Criscito in the 11-minute, but the shot was off-target. Lorenzo Insigne’s shot was also off-target in the 12-minute. Kerwin Vargas’ shot was stopped by Bono in the 18-minute. Ayo Akinola was offside in the 19-minute. Steven Caldwell of TSN noted that Criscito played well defensively, especially with his 1 v. 1 play.

Kerwin Vargas on the right side missed the net. Vargas’s header was stopped in the 26-minute. Jaylin Lindsey’s shot went straight to Bono. Veronico’s shot was easily stopped by Bono in the 33-minute. Insigne tried to curl the ball in the 33-minute. Criscito made a good block and conceded a corner in the 35-minute.

Second Half

The great thing about Bernardeschi is his ability to continue to create scoring opportunities for his team. That was exactly what he did on Saturday as his terrific cross following a set-piece landed at Lorenzo Insigne’s feet. Insigne then handled the ball and shot the ball past the Charlotte goalkeeper, Kristijan Kahlina, to score the first goal of the game.

Bernardeschi delivered a great through pass to Ayo Akinola, who went a bit too early in the 61-minute. Andre Shinyashiki’s shot was spectacularly stopped by Alex Bono in the 65-minute. Bono then got to the ball in the 65-minute. Bernardeschi then made a great defensive play and gained possession of the ball. This play changed the game in TFC’s favour.

On the second goal, Insigne passed the ball to Bernardeschi. Bernardeschi then took over and scored a fantastic goal past Charlotte FC’s goalkeeper, Kristijan Kahlina in the 85-minute.

Shane O’Neill made a great defensive play in the 85-minute. Bronico’s shot was stopped by Bono. Bernardeschi got a great pass from Insigne. The play was started by Richie Laryea in the 90-minute. TFC have now won both their games this year against expansion side, Charlotte FC. The other win against Charlotte FC came on July 23, where Toronto won 4-0 against Charlotte at BMO Field.

More importantly, this win puts TFC in the 10th position of the Eastern Conference. They have leapfrogged Charlotte FC, who were two points ahead of them before the match started. This was a much-needed boost for Toronto while Charlotte lost an opportunity to gain ground at home in the Bank of America Stadium.

Game Analysis and What this Means for the MLS Cup Playoffs

This is what TFC head coach, Bob Bradley, said about the game according to Toronto FC:

“Resilience. We just get into half-time. Change the mentality. Two really good goals by Lorenzo and Fede. In a tough first half, we’re able to come in 0-0 and come out the second half in a strong way.”

As a result, TFC is three points and Charlotte is four points behind the seventh-placed Columbus Crew SC for the final MLS Cup Playoffs position in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, for both teams, they have played one-two game more than the teams just ahead or behind them in the Eastern Conference. Other teams can make plenty of ground on Toronto and Charlotte with those games in hand.

Toronto FC will now play two of their three remaining home games by Sunday, September 4. On Wednesday at 7:38 p.m. ET, they will face the Los Angeles Galaxy and former TFC head coach, Greg Vanney. The game will be shown live on Spectrum Sportsnet, and it will be shown live on TSN at BMO Field. They will then play Canadian Classique rivals, CF Montreal, also at 7:38 p.m. ET. That game will be televised live on TVA Sports, and nationally in Canada on TSN.

This is while Charlotte FC will travel to face FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium on Saturday, September 3. That game will be shown live on MLS Live on DAZN, STAR64, WAXN, and Telemundo.

Three keys to the game:

Toronto FC’s defence and goalkeeping were exceptional. Yes, there were a few mistakes, including Lukas MacNaughton getting caught up on the field. However, for the most part, the defence was spectacular. For example, Criscito made a block in the 35-minute and Shane O’Neil made a great diving defensive tackle in the 85-minute. Bono also redeemed himself from the Inter Miami CF and the New England Revolution games with four shots saved.

The Toronto FC Italians, Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi, had terrific games. The two goals scored today were because of the Italians. Bernardeschi delivered a terrific cross to Insigne’s goal. Then Bernardeschi received Insigne’s pass and with his terrific individual play, put the ball into the back of the net. There was also a time when Insigne connected with Bernardeschi, but Bernardeschi was unable to convert.

Toronto FC has now won two MLS road games this year. TFC has won two MLS road games this year. Both of them happened this month as the other MLS road win was against Nashville SC. The only other competitive road win TFC had was against the HFX Wanderers FC in the Canadian Championship.

Photo Credit: Toronto FC on August 27, 2022.