Lorenzo Insigne contributed a pair of assists on a night his high-profile Italian teammate Federico Bernardeschi was benched by manager Bob Bradley as Toronto FC held on for a 2-1 victory over visiting D.C. United on Saturday.
Deandre Kerr scored his second goal of the season from Insigne’s corner kick in the 14th minute. Kosi Thompson finished off a transition opportunity for his first tally of the campaign from Insigne’s feed in the 72nd.
The victory followed a tumultuous week for Toronto (3-5-7, 16 points). After last weekend’s late 1-0 loss against Austin, Bernardeschi had openly questioned Bradley’s tactical approach in remarks to reporters.
Then on Friday, a report from the Athletic indicated both Bernardeschi and Insigne had at times tried to undermine their manager, though the Italian duo also had friction with each other.
Bradley stated during the week that Bernardeschi would not be on Saturday’s gameday roster.
Christian Benteke scored a late goal for D.C. (5-6-4, 19 points) for his team-leading seventh of the season. The visitors saw a modest three-match unbeaten run (0-1-2) snapped and lost for only the second time in eight games.
Both of those losses came on the road by identical 2-1 scores, with D.C. holding opponents to one goal or fewer in the other six.
Kerr put Toronto in front when he headed in Insigne’s out-swinging corner kick from the right side.
He had a relatively open header, simply running away from his marker and reaching the service about 8 yards from goal, where he redirected it past Tyler Miller into the top left corner.
Thompson doubled the advantage when D.C. got caught pushing numbers forward on a counterattack. The ball flowed right to left, where it found Insigne wide of the penalty area.
Insigne picked out an excellent low cross to Thompson near the penalty spot, and Thompson directed in a first-time finish that left Miller little chance.
D.C.’s goal also stemmed from a corner kick. After the initial danger wasn’t completely cleared, Benteke sent in a second rebound past TFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the 87th minute.
–Field Level Media