Canada
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Osorio’s days with the Reds may be over, TFC’s Italians questionable for Sunday’s game

Aug 20, 2022; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA; Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio (21) keeps Inter Miami CF midfielder Bryce Duke (22) from reaching the ball during the second half at DRV PNK Stadium.
Aug 20, 2022; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA; Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio (21) keeps Inter Miami CF midfielder Bryce Duke (22) from reaching the ball during the second half at DRV PNK Stadium. Photo by Sam Navarro /USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Osorio’s career with Toronto FC may be over.

TFC coach Bob Bradley confirmed on Friday that Osorio, the club’s all-time appearance leader with 318 games, will not play in Toronto’s final match of the season on Sunday afternoon at Subaru Park against the first-place Philadelphia Union. Osorio is still dealing with a head injury described as a “neurological dysfunction” caused by an elbow to the head he took against the Chicago Fire on July 13. He trained on his own away from the full team on Friday. Osorio’s last game for TFC was on Sept. 17 against Orlando City. At the end of the 2022 MLS season, Osorio becomes a free agent and the Brampton, Ont., native has expressed an interest in playing in Europe. Asked recently how any negotiations are going with TFC on a new contract, Osorio described talks as being “slow”. So, there’s a good chance the personable midfielder has played his last game with his hometown club.

From our newsroom to your inbox at noon, the latest headlines, stories, opinion and photos from the Toronto Sun.

By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

But that situation isn’t even top of mind for Osorio right now. The big concern is next month’s FIFA World Cup. Not only has Osorio been trying to get healthy to get back into the TFC lineup, but also to be ready for the World Cup. Canada opens up the World Cup in Qatar against Belgium on Nov. 23. Before that, Canada plays one more friendly on Nov.17 against Japan in Dubai. Osorio has to demonstrate to National team coach John Herdman that he is fit and ready to play – a tall order when he’s unable to play for his club team. TFC failed to reach the MLS Cup playoffs this season so there are no competitive games left after this Sunday for TFC’s four Canadian national team players – Osorio, Richie Laryea, Mark-Anthony Kaye and Doneil Henry – before Canada camp opens up. That is another conundrum. But unlike Osorio, the other three are at least healthy.

“Jonathan is still working through everything and our hope would be that when Canada gets their camp together he’s ready to go,” said Bradley. “So he has the full support of us to try to do everything he needs to do so that when Canada gets their group together, he’s ready – completely ready – and can push hard and can be part of that team going to the World Cup.

“He’s a strong guy, man,” added Laryea. “Oso’s such a strong guy. He’s fighting through this really well, better than a lot of people probably would be in this situation, with World Cup, fitness, all of that. He’s handled it extremely well. Being close with him, I’ve spoken with him a lot, I’ve tried to help in whatever ways I could. Other guys on the team have as well – from Toronto and the national team. He has a good support system for sure (and) I think he’s going to be fine. He looks good right now, he looks great, he’s progressing really well so I don’t think it should be a problem. If anyone who can handle this, it’s guy like (Osorio). He’s done well with it.”

The situation isn’t great for Laryea either. The TFC right back is healthy, but he picked up a yellow card in Toronto’s last match against Inter Miami on Sept. 30 and is ineligible to play on Sunday at Philly- certainly not an ideal situation for someone who wants to stay game-ready for when Canada’s camp opens next month.

“It’s just something you have to deal with,” said Laryea. “We’re professionals. Things like this happen. I’ve been without games before so I know what I have to do to keep my body going and keep myself in a good mindset.

“As far as after (Sunday’s) game, I’ll just keep training – training with TFC, training by myself, just stay fit and stay ready. That’s as far as I’ve planned for so far.”

Also not training with the full team on Friday were TFC’s three, high-profile Italian players – Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi and Domenico Criscito.

“All question marks for (Sunday’s) game,” said Bradley. “All carrying little things – things that go with players coming in (to the league) when they did, being in the first MLS season and experiencing some of the different characteristics of MLS with the travel and all that kind of stuff.”

Insigne left Toronto’s last game in the 72nd minute. Bradley said afterwards that the former Napoli man felt something during the game.

“We’ll see, hopeful that we still might have an ability to get them on the field (on Sunday), but it’s a question mark in all three cases,” Bradley said.

TFC (9W 17L 7D) has lost its last four matches following a run of just one loss in eight games (W4 D3). The Union (18W 5L 10D) are fighting to remain ahead of CF Montreal for first place in the MLS Eastern Conference. With one game remaining, Philly sits two points ahead of the club from La Belle Province.

SBuffery@postmedia.com

Twitter @Beezersun