1) Michael Bradley leads by example
No Giovinco, no Vazquez, no Altidore, no problem. Michael Bradley was still around to take the lead as captain.
Bradley was his usual hard-working self, running around the pitch, making timely passes and tackles. However, it was his unusual contribution which unsurprising caught everyone’s attention.
The 31-year-old scored just before halftime, to give the visitors a crucial one-goal lead. It represented his first league goal since 2016.
Bradley wasn’t finished though, as he added a second goal just past the hour mark, to make it 2-0. It turns out this was the first time he had scored twice in a game since way back in 2009.
As you’d expect, the midfielder was more concerned with the fact the team won, as opposed to any personal glory. As reported by the Toronto Sun‘s Steve Buffery, Bradley said:
"“Games early on in the season are not always perfect, they’re not always pretty. Conditions, fields, there’s a lot of different factors, so you have to find different ways to win and so from that standpoint today was important.”"
Bradley can remain as humble as he likes, but his presence is a necessity. With Giovinco gone and Altidore having a history of injury problems, he has become more important than ever for the Reds.