Published: August 14, 6:15 p.m. ET
Updated: August 15, 4:50 p.m. ET

How about this, then?

The Athletic’s Josh Kloke reported out of nowhere on Monday evening that several fascinating names have surfaced as candidates for Toronto FC’s vacant head coaching position, none more so than Canadian men’s national team head coach John Herdman.

Multiple well-placed sources told Kloke that Herdman has had “informal conversations” with the Reds exploring the possibility.

While Kloke suggested that Herdman has not had a formal interview, TSN’s Matthew Scianitti reported that the Englishman has in fact been interviewed for the role.

Related read: Should John Herdman leave CanMNT job for Toronto FC?

Herdman has coached CanMNT since 2018, helping them reach their first World Cup in 36 years last winter after leading them to become the top tam in CONCACAF in World Cup qualifying.

Before taking up that position, he was the head coach of the Canadian women’s national team from 2011 to 2018. Herdman has a contract with CanMNT until after the end of the 2026 World Cup.

He may well appeal as a big name for TFC’s top brass, although he has never led a team as a manager at club level.

Two people who have had formal interviews are Forge FC head coach and technical director Bobby Smyrniotis and D.C. United assistant and former Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson, per Kloke’s sources.

Smyrniotis is from Scarborough and has been with Forge FC since 2018, leading them to three Canadian Premier League titles in the league’s first four years. He has a long history of coaching in Ontario; as the co-founder of the Sigma coaching academy, he has worked with players including Cyle Larin, former Toronto FC man Richie Laryea, Tajon Buchanan, and many other recognizable Canadian soccer names.

Related read: Forge FC’s Bobby Smyrniotis could be a successful Toronto FC manager — if TFC allow him to be

Terry Dunfield currently occupies the TFC dugout as interim head coach, but president Bill Manning and sporting director Jason Hernandez are assessing long-term candidates. Toronto have been without a fixed head coach since Bob Bradley left the role on June 26, and sources told Scianitti that Manning has put “no timeline” on the full-time hire.

After all, there’s no real rush, because Toronto have next to nothing left to play for once the MLS season resumes.

However, it might not take too long.

Hernandez said Tuesday, per The Canadian Press’ Neil Davidson, that the club are “going to come to a decision pretty soon here that will let us know if we’re going in a specific direction or if Terry is getting the nod to complete the season. I think soon enough we’ll have our answer.”

Regarding the idea of Dunfield getting the job permanently, Hernandez acknowledged that he feels his fellow former TFC player has done well in implementing “principles and ideas.” Especially, noted Hernandez, considering Dunfield has “in many ways, had an uphill battle, for a bunch of different variables that have been thrown at him.”

That’s true, because, frankly, TFC are having a disastrous season so far.

TFC last played in MLS on July 15, when a 1-0 defeat to the Chicago Fire consigned them to a sixth defeat in a row. Then followed two Leagues Cup games, both losses without the Reds scoring. That means TFC have now lost their last eight games in a row, scoring just once in that span and conceding 18 times. Dunfield’s (and formerly Bradley’s) men are winless since May 27, more than two-and-a-half months ago.

They return to MLS action this coming Sunday against Canadian rivals CF Montréal.