Amid an intense preseason, Toronto FC's head coach, John Herdman, emphasized the hard work put in by both players and staff. Recognizing the value of this crucial time, Herdman stressed the importance of laying the foundation for a strong start to the upcoming season.
A notable aspect of the preseason is the focus on building unity among the team through shared challenges. Herdman observed tangible progress in this aspect, highlighting the growing connection among the players. He described scenes of camaraderie, such as players engaging in card games in the lobby – a sight that had been absent for a while but is now refreshing to witness.
The leadership group, consisting of Jonathan Osorio, Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi, Sean Johnson, and Shane O’Neill, has taken on added responsibility during this critical period. Herdman revealed that the leadership group has been under pressure to foster unity and camaraderie among the players, encouraging activities beyond the training sessions.
In Herdman's view, the off-field bonding experiences are crucial for building trust and connection within the team. Whether it's going bowling together or engaging in other activities, the players are making an effort to know each other on a personal level. Herdman believes that this investment in off-field relationships will pay dividends on the field.
The connection forged off the field has spilled over into the training sessions, with Herdman witnessing moments of real leadership from the team's leaders. Despite the physical and mental challenges, the leaders have maintained a calm demeanor while also fueling the competitive spirit within the squad. The evolving connection among the players and the display of leadership during challenging moments bode well for Toronto FC as they gear up for the season ahead.