Bob Bradley coached son Michael at
MLS's MetroStars in 2004-05 and on the U.S. national team in 2007-11 but he'll coach against Michael in an official match for the first time on Saturday when LAFC comes into BMO Field to face
defending MLS champion Toronto FC.
They've been apart for the rest of Michael's 15-year pro career -- he first went to the Netherlands and then Germany, England and Italy before returning to MLS in 2014 -- but Bob has made sure to watch his son, whether he was coaching in Egypt, Norway or France.
“I haven’t followed [Toronto FC] closer since I’ve been in the league,” Bob Bradley said before LAFC headed to Toronto. “I’ve watched every Toronto game since Michael’s been there. I watched every Roma game when he was at Roma, Chievo. You know. It’s part of the deal. I’ve enjoyed that part.”
Bob Bradley knows that TFC's play revolves around Michael getting his teammates into a rhythm and the key to halting the TFC attack is stopping runners around Jozy Altidore and keeping Sebastian Giovinco as far away from the goal as possible.
He also knows that Saturday's match is basically a must-win game for TFC, which never recovered from a string of injuries it accumulated during its run to the Concacaf Champions League and is 7-13-6, sitting in ninth place, after going 20-5-9 and winning the Supporters' Shield in 2017.
“Whenever you have a season and you win everything, then you have a fast turnaround, the next season is going to present all new challenges,” Bob Bradley said. “They threw everything into the Champions League. Obviously along the way in the Champions League they had injuries because of the way the league is structured. They played games in [MLS] without their best team because they were trying to focus on Champions League. That’s a crazy situation. Those injuries then carried into the rest of the season. If you look at the rosters that they put on the field all year long, they have probably never played 100 percent real lineup."
And that doesn't include, he added, games where they had their best players but they weren't all at 100 percent.