His club had just suffered their worst loss of the season, a 7-1 at the hands of DC United which left TFC (1-8-2) at the bottom of the Major League Soccer table.
Bradley called it one of his worst days with the team.
“After 90 minutes like this, there is nothing to say,” said the 33-year-old midfielder. “When you play like that, when you lose like that, words mean nothing afterwards. Over the next few days and weeks, we will have the opportunity to show a real reaction. But there is nothing to say that is of value after a game like this.
The loss was Toronto’s sixth in a row. The club haven’t won since their fourth game of the season, a 2-0 victory over Columbus Crew SC on May 12.
“It’s not the fault of anyone other than ourselves, the players,” said Bradley. “People want to look around, point their fingers and say it’s the fault (of head coach Chris Armas) he hasn’t done a good enough job. (Expletive.) Players, we need to look at each other and find more.
Last season, TFC conceded just 26 goals and finished second in the Supporters’ Shield race with a 13-5-5 record. This year, he has allowed 27 goals in 11 games.
Saturday marked the first time in United’s 26-year history that it has scored seven goals in one game and the 10th time in MLS that a team has scored seven goals in one game.
DC dominated Toronto 21-6. TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono saved three of nine shots on target and United’s Bill Hamid made two saves.
Toronto’s troubles started in the second minute of the game when a cross from DC’s Andy Najar crossed the penalty area in front of several defenders and Kevin Paredes fired a shot into the top left corner of the net. The 18-year-old’s first-ever MLS goal gave United a 1-0 lead.
“We’re so unstable,” Bradley said. “Good teams, when you’re in a flow and playing well, there is confidence, ease and stability in the team that helps you navigate all the different parts of the game. And right now. , we don’t have that. At all. “
It looked like TFC would recover when Ayo Akinola responded with his own luck in the fourth minute, narrowly missing United’s net with a left-footed shot.
But in the ninth minute, Junior Moreno pushed Nigel Robertha for a breakaway and the Dutch-born player unleashed a calm, low shot past Bono’s outstretched leg for his second goal of the season.
It briefly emerged that the visitors scored in the 14th minute when Richie Laryea danced around Brendan Hines-Ike and landed a shot past Hamid. Officials quickly called the goal offside.
Another defensive stumble saw the ball end up in the back of Toronto’s net again in the 21st minute. The ball rounded the penalty area before bouncing off Ralph Priso-Mbongue and Bono who was diving in the opposite direction.
Akinola gave his team a brief glimmer of hope before half-time. DC gave the ball to Bradley and the veteran Toronto midfielder sent it to Akinola, who fired a left-footed shot past Hamid to make it 3-1.
Armas changed tactics before the second half, moving to a 4-2-3-1 formation. He also tried to rally his group in the locker room during the break.
“More importantly, it was just about trying to get things going,” he said. “We knew it would be a day dedicated to second balls, competition and first place on this side. It was as much about that as the little tactical details.
United regained their three-goal lead in the 71st, however, when Paul Arriola rounded defender Chris Mavinga inside the penalty area and fired a shot over a taut Bono for his second goal in the season.
Toronto was forced to end the game on a man after defender Eriq Zavaleta received his second yellow of the game in the 78th minute for shooting down Arriola in a run outside the penalty area.
Three of DC’s goals came in the final nine minutes of the game, all through second-half substitutes.
Ola Kamara came off the bench for Robertha in the 76th minute and wasted little time impacting the game. He picked up a long ball, edged out two Toronto defenders and fired a shot for his fifth goal of the season in the 81st minute.
Then, in the 85th, Yamil Asad stepped in a rocket from the top of the six-meter surface. The Argentine midfielder replaced Najar in the 76th minute.
Griffin Yow sealed the score at 7-1 in the 90th minute, scoring a shot into the Toronto net from the short end of the box. The 18-year-old came off the bench in the 69th minute for Julian Gressel.
The unbalanced loss was a real blow to an already battered TFC side, Armas said.
“You lose by that margin, it’s demoralizing,” said the coach. “These guys have been through a lot and, you know, it’s hard to stay there. “
Still, Armas believes with 23 games to go, the season is still collectable – and that he’s the right person to lead the team going forward.
“I believe this group needs me and I need them. And together we will get through it, he said. ” It’s the truth. “
Bradley agreed, saying he “1,000 percent” thinks Armas is the right person to coach the team.
Creating change on the ground, however, will require “real change,” Armas said.
“Something has to give,” he said. “So I’m just looking for solutions. Is it training? Is it a couple of starters? Is it my fault? You can start looking all over the place, but something has to give. Something must give.
Toronto won’t have long to turn the tide. The club will be on the road again on Wednesday when they face the Eastern Conference leaders New England Revolution. DC United won’t play again until July 17 when they visit the Philadelphia Union.
NOTES: Two of Toronto’s designated players have returned to the lineup. Yeferson Soteldo (international) replaced Jacob Shaffelburg in the 46th minute and Alejandro Pozuelo (thigh) replaced Priso-Mbongue in the 51st. … Saturday marked the first time in MLS history that there were seven different scorers for the same team in one game.