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Toronto FC's Draw with Houston Disappointing, But Far From a Disaster

Toronto FC wasn't on their game in Houston, but nothing more should be read into what wasn't all that bad of a result.

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC's recent four-game win streak must have been incredibly tough on some Toronto FC fans. Used to overreacting to every small misstep by the club, they had precious little to complain about the past few weeks.

No longer, as last night's 1-1 draw against 10-man Houston Dynamo, bottom of the Western Conference, brought the boo birds out of the woodwork quicker than one can say "Vanney Out". Yes, that was said, and most who wrote it weren't even joking.

The sky, which has looked so bright and blue in Toronto FC land of late, is once again falling, or so one would assume by taking a quick peek at the reaction on social media last night. That couldn't be further from the truth: this wasn't a good result, but it's not anything to worry about either.

If anything, last night's match was one to forget, something which will almost certainly happen when the dust settles. Despite the similar circumstances, this wasn't another San Jose type disaster. Most importantly, Toronto FC held on to the point that they had already earned, even if they did come close to letting it slip away.

TFC just couldn't get the job done tonight offensively, and take what could have been a huge three points away from Houston. They continue to struggle when breaking down opponents who sit behind the ball for long periods of time.

Michael Bradley, still shaking off the roster, tried to be the general that Toronto FC was missing in San Jose. Instead, a number of his passes were far from accurate and he ended up costing Toronto on a few good opportunities.

The only offensive player who really seemed to be making any progress on the night was Jozy Altidore, making his first start since returning from injury. He scored a goal, nearly set up another and hit the post. Not to mention clearing the ball off of his own line, it's pretty easy to say Toronto FC got a point tonight as a result of Altidore's efforts.

When Altidore came off the game changed for Toronto, as they looked far less threatening in attack. However, it is important to manage the striker's minutes, and if an early exit from tonight's game keeps him healthy come playoff time it is certainly worth the wait.

What didn't help tonight was the club's defensive efforts. Even when up a man, Toronto came close to allowing what would have been a backbreaking winning goal for the Dynamo. Keeper Alex Bono had to come up big on a few different occasions to keep things level.

Drew Moor, who has been a rock throughout his time with Toronto, had one on his worst performances, riddled with giveaways and poor positions. As Moor goes, usually so goes the backline and ,in this case, Josh Williams and Nick Hagglund was not much better.

Bono, for his part, reverted back to looking like the incisive rookie he can be at times in the first half. However, he was able to do just enough to make sure Toronto got a point.

A big part of the backline's inconsistent play was the fact that they had to adjust after both fullbacks went down to injury. Mark Bloom and Justin Morrow were both taken off in the first half with what the club will be hoping are short-term ailments, although neither really looked to part.

Adding to the legitimate excuse pile is the fact that Toronto FC was forced to play today after yesterday's match was cancelled due to weather. That meant sitting around in BBVA Compass Stadium waiting last night, and not getting as much sleep as usual. Sure, Houston had the same issue, but they also got to sleep in their own beds.

Tonight's point shouldn't be celebrated by any means, even if under other circumstances a point in Houston would be considered big for Toronto FC. Yes, it was a disappointment. But it wasn't a disgrace, and it doesn't undo the momentum that the club has been putting together lately.