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Toronto FC set for busy end to June

The Reds play four games in 12 days to conclude a month that has already seen them lift their first trophy of the season.

Sean Pollock/Waking The Red

With the international break now in the books, Toronto FC is now ready to carry the momentum from winning the 2020 Canadian Championship into their final four fixtures in June.

Toronto’s last outing saw them take home their eighth Voyageurs Cup after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Forge FC. Prior to that, the Reds recorded four points from their last two MLS games, as well as a 2-1 victory over HFX Wanderers in the 2022 Canadian Championship quarter-finals.

Moreover, it is safe to say that morale is steadily on the rise at the club following a string of five straight league defeats between April 24th and May 14th.

Two weeks without any competitive action will have proved beneficial for Bob Bradley’s men with regards to revitalizing the side and having ample time to continue working at BMO Training Ground without any matchday distractions. Now, the players are itching to get down to business and end the month of June on a high.

The Reds currently occupy 12th spot in the Eastern Conference with 15 points from 14 games, but it is worth noting that they are just four points behind FC Cincinnati and Charlotte FC in seventh and sixth, respectively. Toronto also has a game in hand over Charlotte, with the two sides set to face off for the first time in history on July 23rd at BMO Field.

Furthermore, the playoffs are very much in Toronto FC’s sights, and with the halfway mark of the 2022 MLS season approaching, consistency will be key for the rest of the summer and beyond.

Out of Toronto’s four remaining matches in June, three of them are in MLS. To start, the Reds travel to Harrison, New Jersey to face the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, June 18th. Vengeance will firmly be on TFC’s mind following the heavy 4-1 defeat at BMO Field in early March.

After the game at Red Bull Arena, Toronto will not play on the road again until July 13th.

Then on Wednesday, June 22nd, it’s derby day. Toronto FC welcomes CF Montreal to BMO Field for the first time in 2022 as the two Canadian heavyweights battle it out for a place in the 2022 Canadian Championship Final. The Reds will have eyes on lifting the Voyageurs Cup twice in the same calendar year, but they’ll first have to overcome a Montreal side who convincingly beat Forge 3-0 in the last eight.

The Reds drew one and lost three of their four meetings with Montreal last season, including the 2021 Canadian Championship Final, so revenge will once again be on the players’ minds heading into this one.

Three days later, it’s back to MLS action for Bob Bradley and co. as they host Atlanta United in the two sides’ first clash of the season. The 2018 MLS Cup champions have a similar record to Toronto in the league, making this fixture significant in both teams’ quest for the playoffs.

And finally, to end the month, the Reds take on the Columbus Crew on Wednesday, June 29th. Columbus narrowly edged out Toronto in their first meeting of the season back in March, and like Atlanta, the Crew are now oh-so-close to the Reds in the table.

It may not be squeaky-bum time just yet, but a run of victories at this point in the season will put Toronto in a much stronger position come the business end of the campaign.

On the injury front, both Jonathan Osorio and Chris Mavinga have returned to the training pitch, while Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty and Noble Okello are both making progress on their respective roads to recovery.

As the four of them continue working their way back to full fitness, Toronto will also have a new addition to their roster on July 1st.

Enter Lorenzo Insigne.

As football fans across the world know, the Italy international is no stranger to success, as it has not even been a full year since he helped guide Italy to European Championship glory last summer. Arguably the biggest signing in the club’s history, more eyes will be on the Reds than ever before once Insigne makes his bow in MLS.

So, as the games come thick and fast, Toronto FC is not only set for a busy end to the month of June, but also an enthralling start to the second half of their 2022 campaign.