Toronto FC season grades: Alex Bono

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 09: Alex Bono /

Toronto FC had to have talent all over the pitch to achieve what they did this past season. The Clint Irwin era has come and gone. As of this past campaign, it was Alex Bono’s time to shine.

Alex Bono took a leadership role in between the sticks right from game one. The 23-year-old has had an array of clutch performances that have led to Toronto FC capturing their first MLS Cup.

When looking back on the season, it has to be debated as to whether or nor Bono was the best keeper in MLS. He certainly did his fair share to live up to those desirable expectations.

What separates Bono from the average young keeper is his ability to concentrate and act like he’s been doing his trade for years. When speaking with Sportsnet, TFC skipper Michael Bradley noted how much progress he’s seen from Bono in a short amount of time.

"“He’s an incredibly hard worker. From the time he came in here as a rookie from Syracuse, he was ready to get to work. … With Alex on the field right now, we have an incredible amount of confidence, and we’re going to continue to rely on him.”"

Bono was selected sixth overall by Toronto FC in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. He played his college soccer with Syracuse, where he won accolades such as the 2014 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. In that 2014 season, Bono notched 12 shutouts with a 0.55 goals against average.

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All of those accomplishments transitioned over the border.

The American made 2.4 saves per game while stopping 1.6 shots from outside the box. In Bono’s last 10 matches, he earned the Man of the Match twice and also bagged an assist. He put out a strong 14-save performance against the Columbus Crew, enabling TFC to seal the deal at home in the next leg.

Bono has the natural ability to make a series of jaw-dropping saves. These saves always come in the most dire of situations. Bono made two saves in a row against Atlanta United to keep the score level in the 86th minute.

The best part about Bono is his age. He has grabbed some experience under the wing of Irwin, molded his craft with Greg Vanney, and has now turned into a spectacular keeper for Toronto FC. There’s absolutely no doubt Bono will be the top keeper in North America if he continues his play from this past season.

Fans may acknowledge the brilliance of both Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, but Bono cannot go unnoticed. The sagacity of Bono in net kept TFC above water at certain points, which allowed the Reds to chase history.

Rating: 9/10

Next: 4 players that might not be back for TFC

Do you agree with the rating of Bono? Will he bring a similar level of performances next season? What’s the best quality about the Toronto FC keeper? Let us know in the comments below.