Report: TFC star Insigne exits training after squabble with coach

Insigne reportedly got into it with Toronto FC interim coach Terry Dunfield, prompting the Italian star to walk off the pitch.

A dispute between Toronto FC star Lorenzo Insigne and the club’s interim head coach Terry Dunfield at training on Thursday led to the Italian winger leaving the practice field early, according to a report by The Athletic’s Joshua Kloke and Tom Bogert.

Insigne was reportedly unimpressed with splitting reps with young Canadian forward Deandre Kerr during a practice drill and voiced his displeasure with the club as he made his way off the pitch.

According to The Athletic’s sources, Insigne made "derogatory comments" about TFC and compared the way he is being managed to that of Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi, with the squabble between he and Dunfield continuing into the dressing room.

Thursday’s update adds another negative wrinkle to what has been a tumultuous season in Toronto for both Insigne and TFC as a whole. Insigne has struggled for consistency in 2023, having only appeared in 15 of Toronto’s 25 league matches.

Lorenzo Insigne's Toronto FC tenure has been a tumultuous one. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Lorenzo Insigne's Toronto FC tenure has been a tumultuous one. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Signed as a Designated Player back in January of last year, this isn't the first time the former Napoli talisman has been caught up in drama with TFC management. Insigne and compatriot Federico Bernardeschi reportedly pushed for former head coach Bob Bradley’s dismissal, with an article from The Athletic back in May airing out some of the team’s dirty laundry before Bradley was shown the door a month later.

Both Bernardeschi and Insigne have been linked to moves out of Major League Soccer in recent weeks, with the latter player rumoured to take his talents to the cash flooded Saudi Pro League. For now, one of the league’s highest paid players will remain with Toronto until the end of the season.

Insigne was present for training on Friday, the final session before the squad travels to face the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening. He should be available for the contest at field against the Eastern Conference’s fourth-placed team.

TFC are 13 points adrift of the East’s 9th and final playoff spot. The team has lost all five MLS games of the Dunfield era, most recently falling 3-2 at home to domestic rival CF Montréal.