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Three Takeaways: Luka Gavran Earns First-Ever MLS Clean Sheet

Toronto FC Goalkeeper Luka Gavran Makes A Save at BMO Field

Luka Gavran, who made his first start of the 2024 MLS season, played a big role in the win today along with Lorenzo Insigne in Toronto FC’s 2024 MLS home opener at BMO Field.

Analysis: Luka Gavran Earns First-Ever MLS Clean Sheet on Saturday

Luka Gavran Stepped Up

TFC goalkeeper, Luka Gavran, faced a lot of activity, especially early on. He made a very smart tackle in the 25-minute to deny a scoring opportunity for Charlotte FC. He also made three big saves including the one seen above. He was a big reason why the team did not concede a goal. This is also the third-straight game that Toronto was able to preserve a clean sheet in MLS play.

This is what Herdman had to say about Gavran’s performance today (source: Toronto FC):

“Next man up, Luka Gavran made a big save, you know he didn’t have much to do but he made one big save that kept us in the game.”

As the game went on, Toronto FC played more in Charlotte’s end, as they applied a lot of pressure especially in the latter stages of the game. This forced Charlotte FC to block six TFC shots.

Charlotte FC Had a Few Chances To Score

Charlotte FC had around the same amount of chances as Toronto FC, but could have finished off some of them. Examples include:

  • Iúri Tavares’s header from the centre of the box was off-target in the 63-minute.
  • Júnior Urso’s header from the centre of the box was off-target in the sixth-minute.

It felt like Charlotte had trouble getting into TFC’s zone as well. However, when they did get into the box, they were unable to capitalize and score one goal against Toronto. They probably deserved a point though, but Lorenzo Insigne, with his goal, iced the game for TFC.

Lorenzo Insigne Scores Potential MLS Goal of The Year

Lorenzo Insigne’s goal might be MLS goal of the year. From outside the box, he delivered a wonder strike that hit the top corner, and the Charlotte FC goalkeeper, Kristijan Kahlina, had no chance of stopping it. This is what TFC hoped from Insigne when he joined the club back in 2022. He has at least so far started the season on a positive note with two game-winning goals now in MLS play this year. This is what John Herdman said about Insigne and the general performance yesterday at BMO Field.

“We’re proud of the lads. I thought they put a shift in, again. And our quality came through. We have gotten that quality and to do well and to do well in MLS you need to DP’s performing at that level and Lorenzo certainly came up trumps today.”

Other Factors: Charlotte FC Played Good Defence

Besides the wonder goal from Insigne, Charlotte FC was very solid defensively. They made it difficult for TFC to create clear-cut scoring chances and blocked six of Toronto FC’s shots. Examples include:

  • Kobe Franklin’s shot from the centre of the box was blocked by Charlotte FC’s Andrew Privett.
  • Federico Bernardeschi’s shot was blocked twice by Jere Uronen in both the 60 and 61-minute of play.

READ MORE: Analysis: John Herdman Leaves the CanMNT for Toronto FC

The offence seemed to be coming around for TFC. At times, they were able to find the right player, but sometimes it was the final pass or the final touch. Credit to Charlotte though, they made it difficult for TFC and it paid off for most of the game. There is also some optimism of hope with John Herdman now being the head coach of Toronto FC.

It was also Osorio’s 300th MLS game with Toronto FC when combining both the regular season and the playoffs. However, Osorio was just happy to win as he said this (source: Neil Davidson of The Canadian Press):

“I was in the moment,” he said when asked about the milestones, which he said he didn’t know until he was apprised of them after the game. “That’s all great, but honestly all that I really care about is that we won our home opener and we keep in a good way,” he added.

It is well deserved for the newly appointed captain. Osorio has been a loyal player on the team and his leadership will be needed for TFC this year.

Games Coming Up For Both Teams

READ MORE: Poor Decision-Making Costs Klopas’ Chicago Fire in Columbus

TFC now has seven points while Charlotte FC has four points as both teams has now played three games each.

Toronto FC will now travel to face New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, March. 16 at 7:30 PM ET. They then host Atlanta United FC on Saturday, March. 23 at BMO Field. This is while Charlotte FC will play in Nashville against Nashville SC at GEODIS Park on March 16 at 8:30 PM ET. Then, they host the defending MLS Cup champions, the Columbus Crew SC, at 7:30 PM ET at the Bank of America Stadium.

All games will be shown live on Apple TV, with both the TFC games coming up also being televised nationally on TSN.


Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports, of a Luka Gavran Headshot, on March 9, 2024.


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