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Former Canada MNT head coach John Herdman joins Toronto FC

Toronto FC has found the man tasked with leading the club out of the Major League Soccer basement, and it's the man who made Canada's World Cup dreams a reality.

The Canadian club, who won the 2017 MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield, hired former Canada Men’s National Team head coach John Herdman.

He will take over from interim coach Terry Dunfield on October 1.

Toronto is +200000 to win MLS Cup, the longest odds in the league.

Toronto's much-needed new start

With talented players on their roster led by former Italy internationals Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi, Toronto has fallen far short of expectations since the two joined last season.

The two marquee players fell out with former head coach Bob Bradley, who was fired in June. Bradley’s son Michael still plays for the club.

Toronto is second-to-last in the league in terms of goals scored with 20 through 26 games. They have the joint-fifth worst defense in the league based on goals allowed with 38.

National team heroics

Herdman helped turn around the CMNT to help it qualify for the 2022 World Cup, the country’s first since 1986. They lost each of their three games in the tournament en route to a group stage elimination.

The lead up to the tournament was where Herdman got the most attention, as he guided Canada to top the World Cup Qualifying group for North America.

Herdman’s Canada team took four points from two matches against each of the United States and Mexico. 

Canadian players topped both the goalscoring and assists charts during World Cup Qualifying: Cyle Larin and Jonathan David were the top two scorers, while Alphonso Davies and Tajon Buchanon were the top two in assists.

Herdman’s team also had the best offense with 23 goals scored and the best defense with seven goals allowed in 14 matches.

A new challenge

Toronto will be Herdman’s first job coaching a club side.

He began his career coaching in Sunderland’s youth academy before he moved to New Zealand, where he worked his way up to become the women’s national team head coach from 2006 to 2011.

He was then appointed as Canada Women’s National Team head coach, a position he held from 2011 until 2018, when he became the head coach of Canada’s men’s team.

Herdman will join up with three familiar faces at Toronto FC who were part of his Canada World Cup team: Midfielders Jonathan Osorio and Mark-Anthony Kaye, and right-back Richie Laryea.

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