The opening segment of Toronto FC’s preseason preparations come to a close this week.

The team will fly home on Friday for a few days before returning to San Diego and then on to Indio, California ahead of the Coachella Valley Invitational at Empire Polo Club in February.

Having added another piece of the puzzle on Tuesday with the announcement that 25-year-old left-back Raoul Petretta has been signed on a TAM deal from Turkish side Kasımpaşa Spor Kulübü the 2023 season is fast approaching.

Petretta was one of several targets at left-back TFC had been tracking and when the possibility arose the club were eager to bring the German-born, Italian international into the fold.

“We're always working with lists of players in different positions so that as we move along, depending upon situations and needs, there's players that we're following regularly, players that we've scouted, players that a number of us have gone back and watched games, that we've had discussions about,” explained Bob Bradley on Wednesday. “He was one of the left-backs that we had identified, talked a lot about. We knew that the situation in Turkey wasn't exactly what he was hoping for.”

“He had had a really good stretch in Basel, started there as a young player – FC Basel is a really good club – he made his way to the first team and played important matches [there]. His reputation was very positive – good guy, really well liked, trains well – so a combination of things,” he continued. “There were other left-backs that we had discussions with, that we looked into, but then the opportunity with Raoul presented itself. It all came together that way.”

Petretta made over 150 appearances in all competitions in Switzerland with Basel, before moving to Turkey last summer. Expected to feature prominently on the left flank, he will begin forming a partnership with Lorenzo Insigne up that touchline.

“I think they'll go well together,” anticipated Bradley. “Raoul is an intelligent player, he's a good passer, he's got an ability to pass inside, he combines well with situations down the flank.”

“His intelligence as a player will really be important,” he highlighted. “He'll understand quickly some of the things that Lorenzo likes to do and find good ways to be able to connect with him.”

Another welcome addition in TFC are not done yet.

“We're close to finalizing things at goalkeeper and we are still in different discussions with the possibility of adding in depth and adding in some other positions,” outlined the TFC Head Coach and Sporting Director. “The work so far has gone well. Sometimes things take longer than you hope, but that's just part of the process.”

MEDIA AVAILABILITY | Bob Bradley – January 25, 2023

“Jason Hernandez, Jack Dodd, and the team of scouts have done a really good job,” Bradley noted. “We should be just about there with the goalkeeper and we're still working on some other things.”

As this first phase wraps up, the club had their first outing of the season on Tuesday with a closed-door scrimmage against Club Tijuana.

“For 10 days in I thought it went pretty well,” assessed Bradley. “Nobody played more than 45 minutes, but the tempo of each half was enough to get the kind of physical challenges that they needed at this point.”

“There were moments where the play was fluid, where the ball moved quickly,” he added. “It's early in preseason so some of the final moments, some of the sharpness around the box, those were things that still, of course, need to be improved.”

Three weeks in, the coach is pleased with what he has seen so far: “Overall it’s gone well.”

“The quality of the trainings has been very good. As far as establishing ideas, developing understanding on the field amongst players, when I looked at what we saw in the friendly match the other day there were good signs of things coming together,” Bradley closed. “And now we just try to continue to build on that.”