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Bradley fuels Toronto FC comeback win vs. Impact as Giovinco, Altidore shine

MLS: Montreal Impact at Toronto FC

Photo by John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports


Michael Bradley is red hot, and Wednesday evening against the Montreal Impact, his form continued to flare.

Toronto FC’s dynamic trio caused problems for the Impact all evening en route to a 3-1 comeback victory at BMO Field, and Bradley was the man to carry the torch through to the end, scoring the equalizer in the first half and assisting Jozy Altidore’s game-winning strike in the second half.

In addition, Sebastian Giovinco set a club record for assists in a season with seven despite making only 14 appearances for Toronto FC so far. His quick pass to the top of the box before the 30-minute mark found an onrushing Bradley, who buried the chance minutes after Impact defender Ambrose Oyongo thumped in a volley for the opener.

And the Italy international wasn’t content on letting the U.S. internationals have all of the spoils, as he created his own penalty chance late on and subsequently converted it with a perfectly placed shot past a diving Evan Bush.

Toronto FC controlled things in the early goings, but this Canadian derby would have plenty of end-to-end play and intensity.

From just outside the top of the penalty area in the 19th minute, Oyongo blasted in his first goal in MLS using his left foot to volley a previously cleared header into the bottom-right corner. His goal would not stand alone for long, though.

With Giovinco speeding down the right eight minutes later, Bradley trailed the play and positioned himself just at the top of the box, and when the “Atomic Ant” cut inside and picked up his head, he coolly slotted over the ball to Bradley, who tucked it home, leveling the score at one apiece.

Impact forward Jack McInerney had a great chance to give the visitors the lead in the 35th minute, but his outstretched effort wasn’t enough, and his touch sent the ball wide of the net.

The second half belonged to Toronto FC, and in a connection many U.S. Men’s National Team fans may recognize, the host found its winner 11 minutes into the second period.

Bradley held possession in midfield and picked his head up to see Altidore, who made his return to the Toronto FC starting lineup after recovering from a hamstring injury, making a run toward goal on the left. After controlling a lofted through ball over the backline from Bradley, the striker powered a low shot past a diving Bush and into the back of the net.

And to top it off, Giovinco put the game away in the 82nd minute when he buried a penalty past Bush, who dove the correct way, to give Toronto FC bragging rights over its Canadian rivals.

The Impact return to action Saturday in a visit to see the Philadelphia Union, while Toronto FC hosts D.C. United the same day.


  1. I would LOVE to see TFC win Supporters Shield this year, get in MLS Cup vs. LA Galaxy or Sounders, fill their stadium to the brim.

  2. Poor man’s pirlo. Amazing touch on passes, good vision and movement, always in a position to make plays. Only reason I don’t see him as a pure number 10 is a) his finishing ability is good but not great and b) he doesn’t have the dribbling ability to beat defenders one on one like most true 10’s can.

  3. It is not new for Bradley, in Holland, his job was to get forward and score some goals, not to be the holding mid. He performed that task very well, scoring more goals in Europe in a season than any US player had done previously.

    He is not a clever dribbler in tight spaces, like a lot of #10s are, but he is much stronger than most, has good vision, is always on the move trying to take up a better position and can make accurate passes over a wide range.

    He does try to do too much. When his team is struggling, he often retreats back to help shore up the defense, that is something he has done less of lately and he seems be more content to stay a bit forward to let his teammates do the defending. I think it is part of the maturation process and trusting his teammates do more of the work, rather than always trying to do their work.

  4. …and now Toronto is starting Michael Bradley at the top of their own diamond formation.


    Bradley thought he was a 6. Everybody thought he was a 6. Klinsmann insisted he was a 10…and it finally appears Bradley is buying into the notion that he just might be one as well.

    He’s certainly not your classic 10. He’s not pretty about it. But when he gets on the ball and drives he’s durn effective, he’s obviously got an eye for the splitting ball, and he’s got enough vision he can connect with backheels and flicks, and he can finish with either foot from outside the 18. He was definitely involved in all three goals for TFC last night.

    Interesting. What is obvious is the damage that Bradley, Altidore, and Giovinco can wreak at the top of that diamond; they can get you any which way. Shame Giovinco isn’t American.

    • Vanney was inclined to play him as a 6 at the beginning of the season but after the 4th game of the season (a terrible performance vs Chicago), there was a tactical rework. I don’t know what was said, but MB’s performances since then both for TFC and the national team show he’s all in on the change.

    • Bradley is a regular box-to-box midfielder who is just talented. That doesn’t make him a 10. When he plays with a defensive mid, he can get forward better. When he plays with another box to box guy, he plays between the boxes, and when he plays with a real 10, he is good as a defensive midfielder.

  5. The only thing I took away from this is that toronto never had a player Orovide more than 6 assists IN AN ENTIRE SEASON. How is that even possible?


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