As the champagne dries from Toronto FC's Voyageurs Cup win, the club has been forced to face reality again. That reality is getting increasingly bleak with both Michael Bradley and Will Johnson joining a growing injury list.
Both have been ruled out for at least six weeks after Bradley suffered a knee sprain while Will Johnson broke a bone in his leg. As such Toronto FC's midfield will be limping through the summer months as the club tries to stay in contention without these two key players.
Bradley and Johnson join a long-term injury list for the club that includes goalkeeper Clint Irwin, also ruled out for six weeks with a quad injury last week. Jozy Altidore, meanwhile, remains on the sidelines with a quad strain, but will likely be the soonest to return to the lineup.
Johnson was injured in the Canadian Championship final on the winning goal. After scoring the cup clinching goal, Johnson made contact with keeper David Ousted and his leg hit the turf on the way down. He had to be helped off the field before the final whistle was blown.
The injury for Johnson is also relevant to Canadian national team supporters, as Johnson's health for September World Cup qualifiers will be brought into question by this injury. Johnson is a key member of the national team looking to qualify for the last round of CONCACAF qualifiers for the first time since 1998.
Bradley, meanwhile, suffered his injury while away on international duty with the United States national team. His injury is the bigger surprise of the two, as earlier in the week word from Toronto FC seemed to indicate that his injury wouldn't be long-term.
In the six-month minimum period that Bradley, Johnson and Irwin are expected to be out, Toronto FC has a number of important games. They play the Seattle Sounders this weekend, the first of seven games in that period. Toronto FC currently sits 7th in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of the playoffs.
Toronto FC will have a chance to make a band-aid move if they need to with the MLS transfer window opening next week. The club is looking to add a striker, but could modify its targets considering the fact that they could now use more depth in the midfield.
A lot of the responsibility in this time will fall on Benoit Cheyrou, who has served as club captain in Bradley's absence. Cheyrou was crucial in Toronto FC winning the Voyageurs Cup, and will be key to shepherding this team through an incredibly difficult time.