Italian Toronto FC star benched after hitting vape pen in team facilities

May 26 2023, 8:47 pm

Federico Bernardeschi will be watching Toronto FC’s Saturday game against DC United from the bench.

According to a new report from The Athletic, TFC coach Bob Bradley announced he made a “coach’s decision” to keep the Italian winger out of the squad for the weekend game on Friday.

The report, which details an assortment of troubling accounts within Toronto’s locker room, claims that sources within the team said Bernardeschi, despite being told not to multiple times, has been reprimanded for using a vape pen in the team’s practice facility, training room, and on the team plane.

The former Juventus star signed with Toronto in the summer of 2022 as a designated player through 2026. He’s the fourth highest-paid player in the league, per the MLS Players Association’s 2023 salary information.

He has yet to live up to the contract, though. Bernardeschi has registered just three goals and two assists in 14 matches this season. To make matters worse, he has not scored in his last six games.

Meanwhile, his teammate and fellow countryman Lorenzo Insigne, who has the second-highest salary in the MLS, has put just one goal in his first seven appearances with TFC this season.

Despite spending more money on players than any other MLS team, Toronto currently finds itself at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 2-7-5 record this season.

TFC has failed to qualify for the playoffs since 2020, when they were bounced out in the first round by Nashville while playing their American home games in East Hartford, Connecticut, due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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