As Mitchell Tierney expertly put it on the latest episode of Waking the Red Weekly, Toronto FC are winless in six, and winless in ‘the 6ix’, and you can make that seven after this weekend’s defeat to CF Montreal.
After a week that saw two disappointing losses against teams below the playoff line, do players and fans alike have to face the reality that this MLS season is officially over for TFC?
Michael Singh took up the challenge of diagnoses TFC’s ills and where the conversation from here:
They’re so far out of a playoff spot at this point. We have three wins in the entire season. I go back to a comment Bill Manning made when he was firing Chris Armas - it’s not just the fact that they’re losing games, it’s the fashion that they’re losing them in.
Against Atlanta United, the team looked like they lacked urgency. It was the fact that they were not playing - with their season on the line. It was a one-nil match but at times felt like it was three-nil because TFC looked defeated and frustrated, with thirty minutes still to play and having just brought on some of their best players.
Then we played Inter Miami - I mean I don’t think we need to dive into exactly what the heck that was. But it’s gotten to the point where Omar Gonzalez was basically calling out his teammates after the game - saying some of us were not up to that game, we need to take a hard look in the mirror at ourselves, and that he was out there dying for the team.
So there’s clearly a separation in the dressing room where some players are now pointing fingers at each other and I think we’re seeing that on the pitch as well.
A few episodes back, Mitch said something that was bang on: you can make a really good roster but that doesn’t necessarily make you a good team. I think that’s the perfect way to sum up what this Toronto FC team is, and not to pick on him, but I’ll use Kemar Lawrence as an example.
Kemar Lawrence was brought into this team in April or May while Chris Armas was still around. We knew the identity that Chris Armas wanted to instill in this TFC team. They wanted to be more vertical, to play off the counterpress, to inject energy and make the games hard to play.
Kemar Lawrence isn’t a guy who can play in tight areas. He’s not good at keeping possession. And now that Javier Perez is in, that’s who they’re stuck with at left back - someone who likes to play vertical. Lawrence is a very good player - he made the 2018 MLS Best XI. But he looks like a player that’s completely disconnected from the rest of the squad. And if you go through TFC’s 11 that’s really what the narrative is right now.
Everyone is quick to point out that we can’t score but there’s also a burden of injuries up front that people like Pozuelo, Soteldo, and even Osorio at times are working with. They’re trying to play off Patrick Mullins - who doesn’t have an MLS goal this season.
If your option is either laying the ball off to Patrick Mullins or trying to do everything yourself, at this point you’re going to try and do everything yourself because you’re just frustrated. I think Pozuelo, more times than not, is looking for Soteldo because there’s a lack of connection overall in this TFC roster. It seems like there’s a real lack of camaraderie in general.
So where do they go from here? It’s what Jeff has been screaming - now lets see just what we have moving forward.
For everything TFC - check out the full episode of this week’s Waking the Red Weekly now, also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify! Kindly like, rate, and subscribe!