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Toronto FC’s Alex Bono named to MLS Team of the Week; does a GK controversy loom?

The 26 year old earns a spot in the TOTW after backstopping the Reds to three points over NYCFC.

Toronto FC v New York City FC
Alex Bono #25 of Toronto FC stops the advance by Jesus Medina #19 of New York City
(Black - Corbis/Getty)

TORONTO, Canada—After posting his second clean sheet in as many appearances this season Wednesday vs. New York City FC, Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono has been named to Major League Soccer Week 13 Team of the Week.

The 26-year-old former Generation Adidas Draft Pick made eight saves throughout the contest, keeping the Reds in the match before Alejandro Pozuelo’s late-penalty stole all three points for Toronto. In the process, Bono also tied Stefan Frei’s the all-time club record for clean sheets (28).

Perhaps most impressive about the performance is Bono’s lack of match action leading up to the game. In 2020, he only made one appearance: another surprise start at the MLS is Back Tournament vs. the New England Revolution. Like in Wednesday’s match, Bono did his part, stopping every shot to post the clean sheet.

When asked how he’s staying in-form, here’s what the 2017 MLS Cup winner had to say.

“I feel like I’m training as well as I ever have,” said Bono after Wednesday’s match. “I feel really good about my game right now. I feel really confident with where I’m at. Everything seems to be coming together a little bit for me, and that helps with confidence, and obviously, everyone knows confidence is a big part of goalkeeping. That’s something that I lacked a lot of in the last few years, but starting with the middle of last year on, I felt really good about the way I’ve been playing...”

If Bono’s fine form continues, whether or not that’ll lead to a goalkeeping controversy between the former TFC starter and current No. 1 Quentin Westberg remains to be seen. I mean, it’s difficult to take a job away from someone who has barely stepped foot out of line. But what is clear is that the Syracuse native is doing his part, on and off the field.

For what it’s worth, this was Bono’s full answer when asked about the situation, and I have to say, it’s pretty perfect.

“Yeah, it’s a competition,” said Bono. “This is professional football. Everybody from guy 1 to guy 28 wants to play, so I’m going out there every day, pushing, trying to make my case for the reason I should get minutes—and it’s respectful. I like Q a lot. He’s an awesome guy and he’s a great goalkeeper. You wanted to be surrounded by good people, and that’s first and foremost, and that creates a healthy environment. And we’re both competitors. So, on a daily basis, we’re out there. We’re pushing eachother, we’re encouraging eachother at the same time because at the end of the day, we are a team. What’s most important is that whoever goes out on Saturday, Wednesday, Sunday, whatever day it might be, that they help our team get three points, and that’s the fact of the matter. I enjoy being out there everyday in training with him, pushing him, him pushing me. I’ve learned a lot from him as a goalkeeper, he’s had an awesome path, his story is incredible. To have him hear I enjoy it, but at the same time, I definitely trying to fight for minutes, and you know, I’m putting it out there on the line every single day.”

With a busy schedule the rest of the way, starting with Sunday against the first-place Columbus Crew SC, expect the 2015 sixth-overall pick to be in line for a few more starts down the line before the end of the season.

FULL Week 13 MLS Team of the Week