It’s not the Reds dead yet, but Toronto FC desperately need to get going

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Toronto FC will have to play with the precision of an orchestra when they visit Music City on Saturday.

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The Reds take on host Nashville SC at Geodis Park and with 11 games left in the MLS schedule and Toronto six points from a playoff spot with six teams to go, it’s almost crucial the team get a win. Saturday.

“It’s easy to understand that now we have to have a solid end to the season,” said TFC coach Bob Bradley. “Nobody thinks differently about that.”

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Besides being a tough game on the road, the Reds have a lot going for them on Saturday. The club is generally healthy and the three Italy internationals – Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi and Domenico Criscito – have one more week under their belt with TFC. New midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye trained with the team this week and could be ready to play after missing the last two games with a lower body injury. Additionally, the Reds have snapped up full-back Richie Laryea from Nottingham Forest, although it’s unclear if he can still play. The TFC also just completed a full week of training without a midweek match interruption.

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“It’s been nice to have a week where we can really focus on how we want to play, get our legs under us, free ourselves from travel and focus. So yeah, it was great,” said centre-back Lukas MacNaughton.

Toronto (6-12-5) is yet to win on the road this season (D4 L7) after a scoreless draw in New England last Saturday. The Reds are winless in 19 consecutive games (D6 L13) since last July, despite not losing in two consecutive games. The TFC is releasing consecutive clean sheets for the first time since October 2020.

Nashville (8-7-9) is on a season-high four-game winless streak (D3 L1) after a 1-1 draw at Portland on Wednesday.

“It’s a solid, well-organized team,” said Nashville’s Bradley. “They have changed a bit this year. Last year they played a lot with three in the back, this year it’s even more mixed, especially now that they brought in Shaq Moore. I think they can still play him as a winger but I think they’ll go a bit more towards (centre-back) as well.

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“(Hany) Mukhtar is an important player for them. (Very) mobile,” added the coach. “They are good at set pieces, hit a lot of crosses. (CJ Sapong) is a hard worker in the box. Teal (Bunbury) has given them a few goals lately. Good team, solid and organized.

While TFC expect to start recording some wins, the club still needs production from first-year striker Jesus Jimenez, who leads the team with eight goals but hasn’t scored in seven games. consecutive.

“We told him he had to give us more. Physically he has to push harder,” Bradley said. “Mentally, physically you go through a stretch, maybe the odds don’t come so easily. But the ability to give more to the team… especially now that different players are there (Insigne and Bernardeschi on the wings). Just be more of a threat. Run harder to enter the box. Defensively, even more, participate in helping us at different times. I think he can give us more.

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