Major League Soccer

Bill Manning backs Bob Bradley to restore Toronto FC as a 'winning franchise'

Chris Smith
Bradley is one of the most decorated American coaches.
Bradley is one of the most decorated American coaches. / Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto FC president Bill Manning believes Bob Bradley is the right man to restore the club to a "winning franchise".

Bradley was announced as the Reds' new head coach and technical director on Wednesday after leaving LAFC, where he'd spent four years as the club's first ever manager.

The 63-year-old led LAFC to three MLS Cup Playoff appearances during his time at Banc of California Stadium. The Black and Gold won the Supporters' Shield in 2019 with a then-record points total (72) and reached the 2020 Concacaf Champions League final.

Throughout his coaching career, Bradley has won MLS Cup and US Open Cup titles with the Chicago Fire and taken the USMNT to three Gold Cup finals - winning in 2007 - and a FIFA Confederations Cup final in 2009.

Given his impressive CV - which also includes three MLS Coach of the Year awards - it's no wonder Manning thinks Bradley is the right man to turn things around in Toronto after a 2021 slump that saw them miss out on the Playoffs.

“I always thought Bob was a guy I’d want to run my team,” Manning told reporters (via MLSsoccer.com). “The circumstances allowed for that this year. Things came together very quickly. I think he’s the right guy at the right time for this club. I’m really excited.”

Manning added: “Bob is going to put his own stamp on this franchise and I look forward to him doing that. He has what it takes to put together a winning franchise.”

One of the first issues Bradley and Manning will have to solve is the future of DP striker Jozy Altidore. The 32-year-old is a legend in Toronto with his goals firing the club to a number of trophies. But injuries have caught up with Altidore, who is believed to be on the verge of leaving despite having another year to run on his contract.

"Jozy’s situation is unclear, that’s part of the problem,” Bradley said of Altidore, whom he worked with during his spell as USMNT head coach. "It’s up in the air, seems like it’s just a cloud that lingers. There’ll be discussions, that part has to have clarity.”

Manning didn't exactly illuminate the situation, telling reporters: “Jozy’s under contract. I think everything is open right now with us.”

While the club continue to work on Altidore's situation, Bradley will now turn his attention to preparing for the 2022 season. TFC kick off the campaign away at FC Dallas on 26 February before hosting the New York Red Bulls at the start of March.

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