Hun­gry for more, Toronto FC looks to ex­tend fran­chise record win streak

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY NEIL DAVID­SON

Rid­ing a fran­chise-record five-game win streak, Toronto FC is greedy for more.

Cap­tain Michael Bradley hopes the beat goes on Satur­day, when Toronto (6-1-4) hosts ex­pan­sion Min­nesota United (3-5-2) at BMO Field.

“When you win, there’s con­fi­dence, there’s ex­cite­ment, there’s en­thu­si­asm but there’s also the hunger for more,’’ Bradley said af­ter train­ing Friday. ``You don’t want to set­tle for any­thing. Right now we’re in a good mind­set of play­ing, of com­pet­ing, of not wor­ry­ing about any­thing else ex­cept for the 90 min­utes in front of us.’’

Goal­keeper Alex Bono agrees, say­ing good teams are never sat­is­fied.

“You have to be greedy for wins. You have to keep want­ing more and ex­pect­ing more,’’ he said. “Once we’ve got­ten in the mood of win­ning and the feel­ing of win­ning and the spirit of win­ning, that’s some­thing you never want to go away.’’

Run­ner-up to Seat­tle in last year’s MLS Cup fi­nal, Toronto was un­able to con­vert ties into wins in four of its first five out­ings

this sea­son. It has been per­fect since a 2-1 loss in Colum­bus on April 15, how­ever.

Toronto’s run of vic­to­ries has come dur­ing a gru­elling 20-day stretch that in­cluded trips to Seat­tle and Colum­bus. TFC has outscored its op­po­si­tion 10-3 en route.

Satur­day marks Toronto’s first look at Min­nesota, which has found its foot­ing af­ter a dread­ful start that saw Adrian Heath’s squad ship 18 goals in its first four out­ings (0-3-1). In con­trast, Toronto has con­ceded nine goals in 11 starts.

The Loons are com­ing off an im­pres­sive 2-0 de­ci­sion over Sport­ing Kansas City and have lost just once in four games (21-1). Still they have yet to win on the road (0-3-2).

“They’re pro­gress­ing as a team and it’s a game that we have to, for sure, take very se­ri­ously,’’ said Toronto coach Greg Van­ney.

“We have a lot of re­spect for Min­nesota,’’ echoed Bradley. “Any­body who thinks this is the easy game at the end of a hard busy stretch is go­ing to be sorely mis­taken ... We’re not look­ing past any­thing. This is a big game and a big chance for us.’’

Such warn­ings aside, Toronto is on a real roll. Con­sider the fact there were no fiveg­ame win­ning streaks dur­ing the 2016 sea­son, and just three in 2015.

Per­haps most im­pres­sively is the way Van­ney has ro­tated his ros­ter to keep the squad fresh. He has used 19 play­ers dur­ing the win streak.

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In this file photo, Toronto FC mid­fielder Michael Bradley runs off the field fol­low­ing an MLS soc­cer match against the Seat­tle Sounders, in Seat­tle.

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