On April 18, Toronto FC gave up three goals in the first 27 minutes of a match against FC Dallas and ultimately lost 3-2. The next game the shutout Orlando City 2-0. In their home opener they lost 2-1 game to the Houston Dynamo. They bounced back with a huge away draw with the New England Revolution. June 20 they were bullied off the pitch by New York City FC. The next match they outclassed the Montreal Impact 3-1.
Since a four match losing streak at the start of the season, Toronto FC has never lost back to back games again. They have often had some of their best performances of the season in response to disheartening losses.
This ability to bounce back has shown character and pride all too rare in this team's history. On Sunday, after a 4-0 loss to the LA Galaxy without a number of its stars the team will need to once again demonstrate its resilience.
"It's something we've talked about, we don't want to ever lose two games in a row," said Greg Vanney at training this week. "When it's one okay it happened once and let's get going and get the momentum back on our side."
The opponent for this week's match could not be a better team for Toronto to try and put the Galaxy game behind them: New York City FC. Almost a month ago, New York came into Toronto and bullied the home side out of three points, taking extra kicks on their star Sebastian Giovinco for good measure.
"I think [New York] is going to be highly motivated this week, they are introducing a couple of new players into their team," Vanney said of the possibility that designated players Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo play. "I think that we shouldn't expect anything less than a physical and heated affair."
Vanney said it isn't Toronto FC's concern who is available to play for New York, but says the team knows the sort of energy that big signings can bring. They certainly have firsthand experience.
While eyes will be on Lampard and Pirlo should they play, a pair of Toronto players will share that spotlight as well. The first will be Giovinco, who will have a chance to respond to New York's roughhousing.
The second is Damien Perquis, who was fined for going ballistic after the match concluded and needing to be restrained as he tried to confront a New York player. He has since been fined for the incident, and Vanney thinks he has learned his lesson.
"What I've learned about Damien is in the heat of the moment he can be very emotional," explained Vanney. "After he then settles down and logic sort of comes into play and he realizes that he was a little bit incensed. He makes peace with it."
He says the Polish international will be better prepared for what is ahead this weekend as he now understands how New York will try to get under his skin.
Perquis was fined again this week for the third time this season after the league felt that he embellished a play against DC United. He is starting to earn a reputation as a villain.
"Maybe I am a bad boy [in the opinion] of the [league]," said Perquis at training this week. "But I know who I am, I'm a good boy."
Toronto FC will have some re-enforcements going into this weekend's match as well. Mark Bloom was back training with the first team and could get his first minutes of the season against New York at right back.
Up front there are definitely more options than last week as Luke Moore has returned from dealing with a personal matter an looks set to start against New York. Meanwhile, with the transfer window opening today Bright Dike is eligible to play for Toronto again.
Steven Caldwell finally appears close to returning as well after a calf injury has kept him out for the majority of the season. He spent some time training with Toronto FC II recently to get his fitness back up and looks primed to return to first team training shortly.