Toronto’s season could be over before they know it

Toronto’s dismal campaign continues as they were beaten by NYCFC last night, despite taking the lead. The home side came from behind to give Domenec Torrent a win in his first game in charge.

The current MLS Cup holders find themselves second bottom in the Eastern Conference above only DC United. They are also six points adrift of Philadelphia Union who occupy the final playoff place.

TFC’s season started with a home defeat against Columbus Crew, and they lost four out of their first five MLS games as they began the defence of their title. The defeats were understandable as team sheets were rotated, as they awaited the CONCACAF Champions League final.

Toronto ultimately fell just short in the CCL final as they were beaten by Mexican side Chivas Guadalajara on penalties.

Once the dust had settled, the champions’ form continued to be up and down. Results were put down to a CONCACAF ‘hangover’, and that seemed a fair excuse originally. However, the reigning champs have only won three games in their last ten MLS outings, and that simply isn’t good enough. And it’s certainly not going to help them keep in touch with the playoffs.

Recent results and performances suggest to me that there is an off the field or locker room issue. There’s no room for hangover or injury excuses for Toronto anymore, there simply has to be more to it. 

3-3 draw Columbus Crew.

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Image credit: TSN

Toronto found themselves 3-0 up on the road and cruising with 25 minutes to go against Gregg Berhalter’s Columbus, who have had a great start this year.

Astonishingly,  Toronto had a late collapse, conceding twice in the final ten minutes and gifted Columbus a point. Captain, Michael Bradley was at fault for two, if not three of the goals and he gave away the penalty which allowed Federico Higuain to tie the game.

4-4 draw against DC United

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Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

A wonderful and exciting game for the neutral, but unacceptable from Toronto FC’s point of view. A team of TFC’s quality should not be finding themselves 3-0 down at home to the worst team in the league. (On current standings)

They brought it back from 3-0 down, which I thought showed at least a bit of character, but they still nearly managed to throw it away. DC United made it 4-3 in the 90th minute through Yamil Asad – Luckily for Toronto, Hagglund stepped up and levelled it once more.

A point, in the end, was a decent result for Toronto. It was just the manner which really wasn’t good enough.

2-1 loss against NYCFC

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ADAM HUNGER / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

This was yet more points dropped after being ahead in a game, and another lacklustre performance from captain, Michael Bradley.

Toronto took the lead through a beautiful lobbed finish from Victor Vazquez and they went into the half-time interval with the advantage. That advantage was short-lived, however, as Jo Inge Berget scored twice to give NYCFC the victory.

The defensive efforts from not just Michael Bradley, but the whole Toronto midfield in the lead up to NYCFC’s winner was quite embarrassing.

There’s no hangover or injury excuses left – there’s just a bigger, hidden problem within the team. At least that’s what it looks like from the outside. 

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