Earlier in the week Toronto FC were thought to be without all three designated players when the took on the New York Red Bulls this upcoming Wednesday. However, following a devastating 3-2 loss to rival Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup, United States captain Michael Bradley will be returning to Toronto FC earlier than anticipated.
The Americans announced this today as they switch up their roster ahead of a friendly against Costa Rica on Tuesday. Joining Bradley in exiting the camp are Nick Rimando, DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Kyle Beckerman, Graham Zusi, Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski.
Replacing the departed players are some MLS notables: Lee Nguyen of New England Revolution, Bill Hamid of DC United, Brek Shea of Orlando City SC and Mix Diskerud of New York City FC as well as non-MLSer Andrew Wooten.
While Bradley will likely be available to Toronto FC for Wednesday's match, whether or not he plays remains to be seen. The "general" is known for his ability to play a large number of fixtures in a short amount of time but ahead of the playoffs Toronto FC may want to give him some extra rest.
Whether they can convince their captain that he needs rest is another thing, especially after such a tough loss that will undoubtedly be eating at him. History would dictate that when Toronto FC take to the field on Wednesday, Michael Bradley will be leading them out of the tunnel.
Jozy Altidore will remain in the United States camp. The Toronto striker played 98 minutes and had 4 shots in the loss to Mexico. He is likely play minutes once against when the team meets Costa Rica on Tuesday.
Sebastian Giovinco's Impressive Display a Good Sign
Also on Tuesday, Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco and Italy will be playing their final Euro 2016 qualifier. While the Italians have already guaranteed their place at the tournament next year in France, a win against Norway will guarantee they top their group.
The atomic ant only played 10 minutes against Azerbaijan in the Italian's first qualifier, but was impressive in that short amount of time. He drew a red card, hit the cross bar on the subsequent free kick and was generally a nuisance for the Azerbaijan defenders.
As far as 10 minute periods go, this one was fairly important for both Toronto FC and Giovinco. Individually, that display had to impress Italian manager Antonio Conte as Giovinco tries to put himself on the roster for Euro 2016. For Toronto FC it showed the world that Major League Soccer has not slowed Giovinco down, in fact it may have improved his play.
Giovinco will be hoping for more minutes against Norway to give himself an extended time to display what he can do on the international stage.