Most soccer players are mercenaries. That might sound frank, even harsh, but it’s true. They move from club to club looking for the greatest individual success (or pay packet) they can find, with little emotional attachment to the teams they play on.

That is simply not true for Jonathan Osorio. While Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi’s rhetoric at the club’s end-of-season media day on Friday focused on their own performances and their own levels of happiness, Osorio’s assessment of the pain of being a part of Toronto FC’s worst-ever season ran deeper.

“It’s difficult for me because I have an intimate connection with the club that is different, I would say, from anyone else here,” reflected Osorio. “I’m sure you guys could see and feel it in some of my interviews this season. It hurts. I care. Actually, I really care. I’m truly blessed to be a player for my hometown club and I don’t take that for granted. I’m a fan as well, and I always will be.

“Whenever the club is not doing well, it will hurt. Being a part of it? Yeah, that hurts more. I will do everything on my part to turn this around.”

Related read: Jonathan Osorio never expected to be a Toronto FC Designated Player in 2023, unsure if he’ll be one in 2024

Osorio was also asked about exactly what went wrong at the club this year, a question that would take hours to answer, really.

But one thing he did note is that too much dirty laundry was aired. Back in May, Bernardeschi went very public with his unhappiness with TFC’s style of football under Bob Bradley, comments he was temporarily dropped for making. Just a few days later, a bombshell article in The Athletic titled ‘Inside Toronto FC’s fractured culture: Insigne and Bernardeschi clashes, Bradley distrust’ lifted the lid on the supposed high level of discord and acrimony within the squad.

That can’t have helped things within what was already a beleaguered camp nearing its breaking point.

“What makes it harder is when the outside starts to question what went wrong or who’s at fault and point fingers,” said Osorio. “Instead of being together, it divided us in that moment. We didn’t do a good job of keeping it together.

“In a club, in a family, you go through things, but there are some things that have to stay within the family. I understand that the media and fans want to know exactly what’s going on but we’re a working family here, we can let everything out into the public like that. Strong families are able to work those things out in-house. We weren’t able to do that.”

The fact Osorio used the word “family” four times in three sentences says a lot about how he feels about this club. He’s probably right in his earlier assessment of himself: nobody is connected more intimately with this club than he is.

Looking ahead more optimistically, Osorio, who knows his new head coach very well, says things have got significantly better in the early weeks of John Herdman’s rule. He stressed there’s “a clear idea” about how to move forward and create ‘brotherhood’ type of culture that Herdman professed so loudly and consistently during his time as Canada boss.

For TFC, it’s all about moving on. Holding an end-of-season media day three weeks after your season finished is not ideal, and has disgruntled many fans, but Osorio, as always, was the most honest and considerate of the speakers.

“For the most part, you have to put it behind you, but you also need to take the lessons. Look at what went wrong. If anything, use it as fuel to come back stronger and in a better way. We’re all disappointed, but motivated to change the narrative moving forward. From top to bottom, there needs to be communication in this club. A clear idea of how we want this club to be, as well as individual things.

“What you strive for in a club is stability, longevity, and success. To get that, you have to learn from what’s right in front of you.”

It’s not going to be an easy process.