Every time that we think that we've seen the last of the old TFC we're reminded of how things used to be.
There should be no cause for alarm based on one game against a team that possesses some potent weapons. It doesn't take a genius to look at the scoreboard, see four goals conceded and declare that the defending wasn't good enough, it wasn't. There's still no need to panic about the defending unless the lacklustre performance from Saturday night is repeated on Wednesday against New York City or next Saturday when the Columbus Crew visits BMO Field.
The temptation will be to look at the backline as the source of the problem on the night for Toronto FC. It would be unfair to drop this result solely at the feet of the defenders. Toronto FC, as a team, were simply too sluggish at the start of the game. The sloppiness was apparent from one end of the park to the other. The Whitecaps first two goals were a result of the reds making mistakes in midfield and Vancouver punishing Toronto on the counter.
The less than stellar start was noted by manager Greg Vanney postgame. He categorised the start as "pathetic" citing carelessness and lack of concentration as key points of emphasis. Whether it's on the players for a lack of focus or a flawed game plan from the manager is unclear, what is clear is that Toronto FC looked completely unprepared in the first twenty minutes of the game.
How badly are things going for Jozy Altidore? He wins a penalty and goes to the spot in an effort to break the goals drought. On the run up to take the kick he feels a twinge in his hamstring and has his shot is stopped cold by Vancouver keeper David Ousted. That's about as bad as it gets.
Altidore's hamstrings have been a perpetual cause for concern and forced the striker to miss games last season. The severity of this injury is still not clear, but it could put Altidore's participation with the U.S. national team at the Copa America in jeopardy.
As for the Altidore goal watch, it's almost become comical at this point. He's played well so far this season but for whatever reason, he just cannot buy a goal. The drought has become so ridiculous that it feels as though the oasis in the desert will be a ball finding the back of the net from a deflection off of his rear end.
Sebastian Giovinco is having no trouble with goals, either scoring them or setting them up. The Italian has factored in every single one of Toronto's 13 goals so far this season. He has surpassed the 50 point mark (30 goals, 20 assists) in just 43 appearances for TFC. Giovinco is the fastest to reach the 50 point plateau, smashing Robbie Keane's old mark of 48 matches to reach 50 points.
Giovinco has also moved to the top of the all-time goals scored list for Toronto FC in MLS regular season play surpassing Dwayne DeRosario's mark of 28 goals for the club. DeRo needed 76 appearances to get to 28 goals. Giovinco has scored 30 in an astonishing 43 appearances for Toronto FC.
Giovinco's form in 2016 should be more than enough to secure him a place on the Italian Euro 2016 squad. It would obviously be a tremendous honour for Seba and a huge step forward for MLS, but it presents Toronto FC with a bit of a dilemma. Should Giovinco head over for Euro 2016, he would be lost to TFC for a significant period of time. The question begs, without the Atomic Ant, where will goals come from for the reds?
Whether Altidore is scoring or not won't matter because he will either be sidelined with injury or with the U.S. men's national team at the Copa America. That puts a lot more pressure on Tsubasa Endoh and Mo Babouli to find the scoring touch. Endoh has looked good at times, but he requires more seasoning before he can be counted on to score on a consistent basis. The same holds true for Babouli. He's just not ready to take on the role of being relied on to provide a tonne of offence.
If there is a silver lining to be found in defeat. All four of Toronto's losses have come against Western Conference opponents. The reds aren't dropping points to teams that they will be fighting for positioning within the standings. TFC has been very good against the Eastern Conference thus far. With New York City FC in town on Wednesday, the reds will hope to get back on track with the next five games, including back to back Amway Canadian Championship games at the beginning of June, all against Eastern Conference opponents.