Brandon Servania is quickly finding his stride with Toronto FC

Mar 20, 2023 - 5:28 PM
Brandon Servania with the ball at his feet during a 2-0 win against Inter Miami at BMO Field, March 18, 2023. | Sean Pollock/Waking the Red

After arriving in a trade with FC Dallas last month, the Birmingham, AL. man is establishing himself among Toronto FC’s thin midfield. In recent games, he is proving to be a key contributor in the middle of the park.

Appearing in all four games to start the season and earning himself three starts, Servania has logged 265 minutes so far this season, and that number will considerably increase. Sure, he has yet to supply an assist or grab a goal, but his presence in the midfield is evidently noticeable.

 Sean Pollock/Waking the Red
Brandon Servania looks to retrieve the ball from Columbus Crew player Lucas Zelarayán in a 1-1 tie at BMO Field, March 11, 2023.

Servania is known for his high work rate and work ethic. He covers a lot of ground, pressurizes the opposition, and can make crucial tackles and interceptions. He also possesses good stamina, which enables him to maintain his high intensity throughout the game. This quality will help him to fit in with the demands of the game at Toronto FC, where hard work and intensity are highly valued.

Saturday’s match against Inter Miami was Servania’s best as a Red. The young midfielder demonstrated overall confidence in the attack and in transition. He also continuously found himself in smart places to disrupt any start of a counter-attack.

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Brandon Servania wins the ball back in the midfield that leads to a great buildup of play and sees Toronto FC score the first goal of the game against Inter Miami, March 18, 2023.
*Dribbles are the move in which a player runs with the ball at his feet past one or more defenders.
*A key pass is a pass leading to a shot that does not result in a goal.

“He was a big factor in the middle winning balls back there for us ... getting the ball moving for us,” Jonathan Osorio told reporters after the game on Saturday. “This is a young kid with so much talent and a lot of potential. We’re really excited to see what he can bring for the rest of the season.”

The young player comes from FC Dallas’ highly regarded academy. He’s on an excellent contract and can play as an No. 8 or a 6. A proper mentorship under Michael Bradley should accelerate his development. Statistically, he fits the mold of what TFC looks for in a box-to-box 6, with enough work rate and attacking returns to fill the No. 8 role when necessary.

 Sean Pollock/Waking the Red
(Left to right) Deandre Kerr, Brandon Servania, Lucas Zelarayán and Matt Hedges during a game at BMO Field, March 11, 2023.

Coming into this new season, the 24-year-old carried with him five goals in 74 games during his tenure with FC Dallas. Former Dallas teammate Matt Hedges was relieved when the addition of Servania was announced by the club.

“I really like him as a player, he works hard, he’s great as an 8. He gets forward, he gets into the box, he can smash shots, he’s good technically with the ball. I think he’s a fantastic player ... he’s going to help us a lot.”

Servania is the engine in the midfield – our new Mark Delgado. In the game Saturday, Servania managed to dribble out of a couple tight jams, and still had the energy to press, and when in possession, linked up with Richie Laryea and Federico Bernardeschi. Servania’s tactical awareness and ability to read the game makes him an excellent player to have in the midfield.

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Brandon Servania plays a direct through ball to Richie Laryea who is then ruled offside in a game against Columbus Crew, March 11, 2023.

“This is a system that’s different to what he was use to in Dallas. Every game he’s getting better … he’s learning the system more and more,” Jonathan Osorio commented on Servania’s performance during a post-game interview Saturday.

Servania is primarily a defensive midfielder who can help shield the backline and break up opposition attacks. He has good positional awareness, is tenacious in the tackle, and can intercept passes. His defensive contributions can help Toronto FC control the midfield and limit the number of scoring opportunities for their opponents.

He has a good understanding of when to make a run forward or drop back to support his defence.

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Brandon Servania quickly gets back into position and commits a foul against a Columbus Crew player, March 11, 2023.

Although, Servania is more of a defensive minded midfielder than most of the TFC midfield options, he has found himself as part of the attack when necessary.

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Brandon Servania rifles a shot wide of the net during a game against Atlanta United, March 4, 2023.

“There’s a lot that can be built on with him. He started games at the beginning of last year and we were doing really well, I don’t know what happened. He’s a player that can come in and change the game for us,” Matt Hedges said of his former teammate when the club announced his transfer from Dallas last month.

He won’t be a player to lead the team in goals, but there is no limit to the ways in which Servania will contribute to the team. His ability to play in different positions will provide Head Coach and Sporting Director Bob Bradley with a lot of tactical options. TFC’s style of play is based on possession, and Servania’s excellent passing ability will be an asset in this regard.

“He’s solid, there’s a lot of really good starting points,” Bob Bradley told reporters during a post-game interview after a 2-0 win against Inter Miami over the weekend. “He’s a very good guy, he wants to learn, he trains well every day. He’s got a good mix as a midfielder between working hard and still having a way when balls comes of how he can arrange himself and connect passes. He’s played well.”

 Sean Pollock/Waking the Red
Brandon Servania during a game against Inter Miami at BMO Field, March 18, 2023.

TFC has a strong attacking presence with players like Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi up front. Servania’s ability to read the game and make runs forward will be important to support the attack. He will also be a dynamic player in winning the ball back and breaking up opposition attacks.

In conclusion, Brandon Servania is an excellent addition to Toronto FC’s midfield. He brings versatility, technical ability and tactical awareness to the team, which will be important in their pursuit of success in MLS. With his youth and potential, Servania is a player to keep an eye on in the near future.

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