Another beyond disappointing game for fans of Toronto FC, but unlike the previous six, this one stings a little extra. Offensively? Horrible. Defensively? Even worse. This was a record-breaking game for the reds, but not in the way Toronto supporters would hope.
Despite a goal right before the halftime whistle, Toronto FC could not overcome their trademark 10-minute collapse, which has recently become all too familiar.
The ONLY positive from the game would be that Pozuelo and Soteldo were both on the field at the same time, and for almost an entire half! This small milestone is extremely indicative of the season that Toronto FC is having, and celebrating such an irrelevant fact is something that Toronto FC fans of the last few seasons would never have dreamt of.
Before the game could really develop, the reds found themselves down a goal in the second minute after a cross found its way across the entire box to the back post, before being emphatically smashed home by Paredes.
It was not long after that DC United scored their second after coming close in the fourth minute. In the ninth minute, Junior Moreno slipped an easy pass through an unnecessarily discombobulated TFC back three, and Robertha made no mistake with the finish.
Toronto struggled to create anything as DC was dominating the midfield, and Osorio looked like he would rather be watching the game from home. There were absolutely no positives from the first 15 minutes, and it could have easily been worse for TFC had the home team not let off the gas slightly.
After being given a chance to breathe slightly, Toronto had their first decent chance of the game. In the 19th minute, Jacob Shaffelburg got down the line nicely and put a good ball towards the back post for Osorio, who could not direct his shot on target.
Minutes after doing so well to get a ball into the box, Shaffelburg got sent for a sausage by Najar, which led to a layoff to an unmarked Canouse, and his shot resulted in an unfortunate own goal.
Through the first 25 minutes, there were some very noticeable trends that are not unique to this performance. As usual, the back three were extremely unorganized, and at times, it looked as if it was their first game together. TFC were “pressing” as individuals, leaving acres of space in between the lines and out wide as well, which led to other chances that DC could have converted into goals. Armas’ tactics, and players’ failure to execute, continued to work wonders for the opposition.
Akinola gave the reds a glimmer of hope in the 38th minute after finishing a beautiful chance created by Bradley. The captain read the play extremely well to make an interception, and put it on a plate for Akinola with a perfectly weighted pass. Vintage Michael Bradley.
At the half, the score definitely could have been worse, and the late goal could have been used as a rallying point for Armas and the squad.
That definitely did not happen.
Pozuelo and Soteldo both made appearances in the second half, but despite having both creative DPs on the field for the majority of the second half, the game opened up in favour of DC. Their returns were overshadowed by the last 20 minutes of the half, and rightfully so.
Toronto FC fell apart in the second half, and that is putting it lightly. The smallest bit of optimism that some fans may have had went completely out the window after DC made it 4-1 in the 71st minute after Mavinga put in one of the most half-hearted tackles I have ever seen. If Armas wanted to make a statement, taking him out of the game after that lack of effort would have shown some sort of intent. That did not happen.
5-1 in the 81st.
6-1 in the 85th.
7-1 in the 90th.
Full time result: 7-1 in favour of DC United.
A complete collapse, in the second half, and one of the worst nights in Toronto FC history. This loss keeps them at the bottom of the table, and on top of that, it is the worst defeat in franchise history. If you think it couldn’t get any worse, it was also a new club record for goals conceded in a game.
On top of all of that, Zavaleta got sent off in the 78th after receiving 2 yellow cards within four minutes of each other. You can decide whether or not that is a good thing for the next game against New England.
Although it is usually tough to lay the blame after some matches, it should not be tough after that performance. The key players in the team needed to step up and do more. Osorio, Laryea, and Mavinga were not good enough for players who are so heavily relied on, and for players who have proved that they are amongst the league’s best.
Bradley did not do enough to keep his teammates in the game, and ensure that they played out the 90 without conceding such embarrassing goals in the last 10 minutes. He played decently, but the same cannot be said about his leadership today. The entire team was not good enough though, and the only player to have a slightly above average performance was Akinola.
In my opinion, Chris Armas’ time as manager of Toronto FC has to come to an end after that game. This should not, and can not be debated. The squad has seemingly lost their respect for the manager, and he has obviously not done enough in key moments of games to ensure the players keep their heads. The tactics are off. The starting XI’s are off. The way the players handle themselves on the field is off. All of these things have something in common, and that is the manager.
The excuses of injuries, not being at home, and the “positives” after each horrendous performance cannot be enough to keep him in the job any longer.
If that is the case, TFC fans should remain hopeful though, as a managerial change and an. ensuing purple patch of form after appointing a new manager could result in a late push for a playoff spot.
The reds, who have picked up just five points this season and have lost six-straight games, are back in action on Wednesday when they take on a strong New England Revolution side.
Will Armas still be on the touchline? We’ll have to wait and see.