Toronto FC certainly doesn't try to hide anything, when they are going to have a bad game they make it clear early. It took the New York Red Bulls only four minutes to find the back of the net tonight, and sound the alarm bells that this could end up being a night to forget for Toronto FC.
Nobody would have seen things going this badly, however. Three goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips inside the first 27 minutes, the fastest hat trick in Major League Soccer. The result was a 3-0 loss, Toronto FC's biggest of the season, and a number of questions going into the Copa America break.
Toronto FC made it far too easy on the home side, getting away from the defensive game that has led to success this season. Especially on set pieces, Toronto FC had issues man marking attacking players in the box, and lost track of Wright-Phillips twice.
To make matters worse, in between defensive breakdown 1 and 2, Sebastian Giovinco went down with an injury. The atomic ant aggravated his adductor making a pass, and almost instantly signalled for a substitution. This meant Toronto FC played most of the match without any designated players, and their absences were evident.
The good news, perhaps the only good news from tonight for Toronto FC, is the fact that Giovinco caught his injury early. As a result, it isn't likely to keep him out long-term. Even if it does,Toronto do not have another MLS game until June 18, giving Giovinco plenty of time to heal.
Toronto did have some things go their way during the match, but those that did only served as further dirt rubbed into the wounds that this match opened. Gonzalo Veron was sent off late in the second half for a ridiculous two-footed challenge on Toronto FC's Marky Delgado. Toronto couldn't capitalise.
Up a man, Delgado would again give Toronto an opening when he was taken down in the New York box early in the second half. Will Johnson scored the penalty, but Mo Babouli was called for encroachment and the kick had to be retaken. The second penalty was saved well by Luis Robles.
Toronto created several other chances, but it was too little, too late and often too disorganised to really threaten the Red Bulls in any meaningful way. Without a proven finisher, Toronto FC looked at a loss any time they came close to goal.
Due to an increasingly long list of absences, six Canadians saw playing time tonight, one of the most Canadian squads in Toronto FC history. Babouli, Johnson and Jonathan Osorio started, while Jordan Hamilton, Jay Chapman and Ashtone Morgan came off the bench.
Of all the players, the long awaited Hamilton impressed the most. He didn't do anything spectacular but created several chances in his brief time on the pitch. With Giovinco injured there is a good chance he gets the start at home on Wednesday when Toronto FC take on the Montreal Impact in the Canadian Championship.
Babouli, on the other hand, struggled as Toronto's lone striker for most of the match. He did have his moments, as he always does, but this performance highlighted how much he has to learn in order to become a full-time pro. His delivery from set pieces, however, was solid.
Next up for Toronto FC is a much-needed break from MLS play: as aforementioned they don't play another league match until June 18. A two-legged semi-final series against the Montreal Impact in the Canadian Championship, beginning Wednesday, will give the team a chance to regroup. God knows they could use it.