Head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley didn’t use that exact descriptor Friday before his team departs for San Diego, Calif., and leg one of their 2023 preparations. But when asked about team needs, the general theme was apparent.
“A goalkeeper, for sure,” Bradley began. “We’ve been in good discussions and I think it’s been clear that that’s an area where we’re going to add players. Still looking for a central defender, again good discussions. Left back, maybe some depth up front.”
The Reds’ comings and goings aren’t nearly as wholesale as before the 2022 season, when Bradley arrived after leading LAFC from 2018-21. But nearly a dozen players from last year’s squad are gone and only a few players have come in – namely retaining midfielder Jonathan Osorio in free agency, signing center back Matt Hedges in free agency and bringing midfielder Victor Vazquez back for a second stint (via the Re-Entry Draft this time).
Suffice it to say, there’s plenty of work ahead for Toronto to get starting-caliber players in the door. Bradley isn’t worried about timing either, in the buildup to Matchday 1 on Feb. 25 at D.C. United (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).
“I think a lot can be done by the start of the season,” Bradley said. “The plan has always been to use this window. Will everything be done? Will it be perfect? Will we still be thinking in the early part of the season what we can do, what happens in the summer?
“We’re working with the idea that we can add enough of the right kind of players, right kind of guys and begin the season with a real clear idea of how we’re going to play and what we’re going to be about.”