Toronto captain Michael Bradley was not affected by the rooftop of BMO Field ahead of Saturday’s game

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Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley would rather compete at BMO Field than BMO Field trash. On Friday, he did both.

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On Saturday afternoon, the Reds hosted the New York Red Bulls for their opening game at TFC, and while the excitement was high, no one seemed happy with BMO Field’s appearance and playing.

TFC is back home in Toronto this week, training at BMO in preparation for Saturday’s home opening, including Friday’s session. However, the reviews were poor. The Reds only trained in BMO because the fields at the club’s training ground in Downsview were covered in snow and ice. There are no heating fixtures at the BMO Training Ground. It was BMO Field’s bankruptcy this week.

Getting an offshore field in Canada and the northern United States at this time of year is a constant challenge for land crews. But after the club installed a hybrid grass deck at BMO Field in 2019, hopes were high that the deck would be suitable for all games. But that’s not the case now and Bradley, for example, isn’t happy.

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“When you play in Europe, in some really cold winter months, it’s cold in places and wet (and) the pitches aren’t as good as they were at the start or end of the season,” said Bradley, who played. In Holland, Germany, England and Italy during his career. “you understand.” “Of course in MLS you know that depending on where you play, the beginning and end of the season can be a little bit more difficult. So, it is what it is. But we have talked a lot about the field over the past (few) years. It is a fact. There was an investment. Huge from the club and from MLSE trying to give us the best possible field (but) collectively we haven’t found the right way and the right solutions. So I hope we can really raise the bar in this area.”

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As team leader, Bradley does not point out any shortcomings within the organization. So when the former USA international grumbled about the playing surface on Friday, you’d think the pitch must have been pretty rough.

“No one expects the (original) field to look at the end of February, March. We are all real.” But there are examples of teams and clubs playing in cold weather, whether it’s in parts of Germany, whether it’s in Dynamo Kyiv, or teams in Moscow, where it’s cold again and they’re still able to build a stadium. The way you make good football. Nobody sits and cries, it’s a waste of time. But certainly for the club and for the city that cares about their football team as much as you do here, as much as the club and MLSE do to give us everything we need to do everything right, we have to find the best way to make sure (the field is good).”

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But on the field, all the TFC players are excited for Saturday’s opening game. Over the past two seasons, the Reds have had to play a number of home matches in Orlando or East Hartford due to COVID-19 restrictions. The hope is that those days are forever behind her.

The Reds expect chaos from the Red Bulls

The Reds pulled off a difficult 1-1 draw with FC Dallas in the MLS season opener on Saturday with a goal from veteran Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio. Alejandro Pozuelo has been named Man of the Match, while Jaquel Marshall Rutte has been named Team of the Week at right-back, a new position for the 17-year-old. TFC will be full on Saturday for the Red Bulls, the club that scored an impressive 3-1 win over San Jose last week. Red Bull is an organization that plays the role of high pressure.

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“They think the game is a mess, so there will be times whether you like it or not, the game will be on their terms — loose balls, second balls, headers… You have to react, you have to think,” said TFC coach Bob Bradley. . But there are other times when you can put the game on our terms – we can connect the right passes and use the right spaces.

“It doesn’t matter which Red Bull team you’re talking about, whether it’s Red Bull New York, Salzburg or Leipzig, there are certain parts of their game that, by design, move the balls forward. They come together in a very fast way, they try to play loose balls and attack very quickly. (But There are a lot of players here who have experience playing against Red Bulls and I think that always helps.” “We just have to find the balance, but you always have to understand, especially in the beginning, that they will follow us in different ways and we have to be able to take a step or two forward.”

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With a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas, TFC went without a win in seven consecutive games, starting last season (D4 L3). New York is unbeaten in its last four seasons on the road, unbeaten in five consecutive fights with Toronto (W3 D2) and only losing once in its last nine matches against Toronto (W6 D2, including playoffs). Toronto celebrates 7-4-7 at BMO Stadium against the Red Bulls.

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The only player not available for TFC is striker Ayo Akinola who is still recovering from a knee injury he sustained last season.

“I think Akko is ready to do some kind of full training on Monday, which is exciting,” said Bob Bradley.

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