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Toronto suffers crushing loss to D.C. United

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Playing a home game against the worst team in Major League Soccer was supposed to mean three points for Toronto FC. Instead of three, the Canadian squad were left with zero as its playoff hopes took a severe hit.

D.C. United isn't used to playing the role of spoiler, but it did so Saturday, riding an 81st-minute goal from Julius James to post a 1-0 victory at BMO Field, handing Toronto its second home loss of the season.

The defeat keeps Toronto at least four points out of the final playoff spot, with San Jose holding three games in hand on TFC. The Earthquakes face FC Dallas tonight.

Toronto is now left with a brutal stretch of games to try and reach the post-season. With Champions League matches against Real Salt Lake and Cruz Azul mixed in with looming MLS matches against Real Salt Lake, Seattle and Columbus, Toronto will have a very rough road to earning the first playoff berth in team history.

The win pulls D. C. to within three points of Philadelphia in the race to escape having the worst record in MLS.

What did you think of Toronto FC losing such an important match? Think D.C. can catch Philadelphia in the standings?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Benny, TFC has always overpaid for Canadian players starting from year one when some of your subs and guys who were A-league defenders were making 6 figure salaries.

    I’m not arguing that TFC should overpay for Canadian players or if someone is local than that justifies their inclusion. But I always took a lot of pride in DC United having guys like Brian Carroll (West Springfield HS plus his 2 brothers) and David Stokes (BRYC youth club soccer) plus local college players on the roster–DC United actually had guys who had grown up and learned to play the game locally rather than just a bunch of mercenaries (which is what most pro players in all sports are). And I take pride in the youth academy signings partially b/c DCU has been a leader in that regard but again–but we’re a team with some roots. You look at most big Euro clubs and while I admire the technical ability, they do nothing for me. They basically say that if you had a gazillion Euros, you too could create a super club. Barcelona of course is a rare example with so many of their players (Xavi, Iniesta) coming up through their academy.

    TFC’s “problem” isn’t De Guzman. You might be able to get a better player for the money or someone who has more impact for the money. But there is value in having at least some local talent or National talent on the roster. I think the larger issues have been with management (ie: MoJo) who has made a series of bad coaching decisions, poor organization (unthinkable to me that Gansler was so misled coming into the team), revolving door of a team that ignores cohesion, and a complete failure to sign a good finisher and solid A-mid. De Guzman can be part of a success story, of a winning team.

    Also, I find it VERY difficult to criticize TFC fans. Sure, there are some who get on the bandwagon or who aren’t serious soccer fans who stand and chant for 90 minutes. But you know what–when soccer truly takes off in North America and dominates media coverage and water cooler conversations, it’s going to involve a lot of people who are casual/band-wagon fans. TFC as a club WROTE the freaking book on how to create demand, by having the right size (so tickets were in-demand and “hot”), by having a stadium close enough people could walk to. In 20 years, when people write about how pro soccer became dominant in North America, they will tell several stories. They’ll write about the Crew’s first SSS–blue collar, no frills but set the trend. They’ll write about the DC United supporter’s groups and energy and bouncing stands. They’ll write about Home Depot as the first of the really beautiful SSS that were entrancing and just grabbed you and helped make the game a showcase. They’ll write about Seattle and how it all came together–a city, the support, the fanbase and energy and in a larger stadium to-boot. But they’ll definitely write about the TFC story–the stadium location and design and size, the Red Patch Boys enthusiasm, the amazing atmosphere, and the support through the early years of s**t soccer, how the team created demand through scarcity and the season ticket sellouts. So no, I can’t criticize the TFC fans, even the bandwagon ones. It’s all part of an amazing story that Toronto supporters (even the passionate ones) should be proud of.

  2. This is idiotic.
    Were gonna overpay for a guy because he is local is
    never gonna work on the field.
    As for fans, these are Toronna bandwagon jumpers who dont care about winning; they were selling out before the team was even created, the result of wonderful 
    marketing. Think about it, you are a rabid fan before a team even exists… all you care about it being there.
    Just like in the rest of the city.
    5 decades of hockey mediocrity rubs off on a whole city.

  3. That comment is embarrassingly ignorant. DC United played solidly, TFC was simply outmanned, and look completely disinterested in the match. Don’t give me that crap.

  4. I’m not impressed by what I’ve seen of de Guzman the past two years. But the argument for him is that he’s Canadian. And it’s important for a Canadian club to actually have some players who can be considered heroes who are local guys (or at least Canadian if not from Ontario). That makes a big difference with youth development.

  5. That’s a wildly off-base response: RBNY has been in Toronto’s situation? Hardly. Before TFC ever rolled a ball out for the first practice they had sold ALL of their season tickets. And when they stunk the first year and didn’t make the playoffs, they still had all of their season tickets sold out for year #2. And so on.

    TFC doesn’t have a lot to boast about in terms of on the field performance in their history. But TFC is one of MLS’ biggest success stories in terms of attendance, fan energy, capturing a city’s attention.

    The point that the TFC fans are making here is that they show up in numbers for a team that historically has been bad. That’s not a position that NYC and NJ fans can claim. Instead, except for some fanatical ESC supporters, they’ve mostly stayed home. Totally different situation.

  6. The DC TFC game was poorly played. DC United this year is frankly terrible and has only a handful of players worth keeping for next season.

    That said, TFC played down to United’s level. Toronto is getting very little production from its 2 DPs – de Guzman and Mista.

    As far as de Guzman is concerned, I cannot fathom why a team that has trouble scoring invests DP money in a defensive midfielder. In addition, de Guzman from what I have seen is a minimal upgrade from someone like Sam Cronin for 10 to 15 times the price.

    Mista has talent but has not adapted well to MLS so far. Again, for the money he has not come close to producing as expected.

    I think Preki deserves another year to build his team but I agree with others that Mo has made some very poor personnel decisions and often seems to be at odds with the fans and coaching staff.

  7. For all the semi-positive press that Preki receives in Toronto about defensive organization, I think it is rubbish. The team stands still – they don’t run and there are no options for passes. That has to be addressed by the coach too. I was at the game and left at 80′. It was aweful – there couldn’t have been more than 30 yards from defenders to forwards – everyone crowded in the middle. I have to wonder if the team is giving up on Preki – the level of effort was barely higher than the pre-game training session.

  8. TFC fans also pay the highest ticket prices in the league. And today the stadium was about 1500 below capacity. Something’s got to give soon. TFC fans are loyal but at one point do you decide you can’t afford paying for crap? I’m seeing a lot more empty seats now.

    And all TFC fans want is a decent team. But every year it’s tough and the same problems exist every season.

    Time to get out the “With Mo We Blow” Banner that the RPBs had a few years ago.

  9. First, people tend to forget that the TFC fans and the Red Patch Boys helped write a very important chapter about fans in the MLS book on success. I think everyone in MLS now truly gets the value of an urban stadium. I think everyone truly gets the value of building excitement and making tickets hard to get before you roll out the first ball. TFC did all that. And no, I’m not a TFC fan (other than I’m a supporter of any MLS club and especially those with a good or even great fan base). The TFC fans have deserved better from Day One.

    Second, MoJo needs to go. I was saying that in year one. He treats the team like it was a game played on paper where cohesion and famliiarity with teach other don’t matter. And many of the personnel choices have always left a lot to desired. It’s amazing that this team has never really gone after a serious striker. I guess Ali Gerba is about as high a level striker as the team as tried to acquire (Dichio was clearly a target/hustle/non-scorer type).

    Third, Olsen actually has the team playing decent soccer. They’re not getting blown out. The biggest problem all year and it’s been an issue in every game has been finishing. Now some games there have also been issues with creating, or possession or other width or some other element of the game. But finishing is a continual issue. Case-in-point: where a 17 y.o. outside midfielder is the #2 scorer on your team with 3 goals and your #1 scorer has only 4 goals–that’s bad.

  10. Awful game… I was booing all the bad first touches and screwed up plays. At the end I was just pissed off.

    Mo Johnston sucks. 4 years and you can’t make the playoffs? Buh-bye. This team may finish with a worse point total in 2010 than 2009.

  11. This has to be worst performance that TFC has had since their thrashing at the end of last season against RBNY. It was an absolute disgrace and to be honest as the fans were chanting at the end of the game ‘We Deserve Better Than This.’ TFC fans have supported this team since Day 1 and have yet to be rewarded with a playoff experience. The only teams not to qualify for the playoffs during TFC’s existence have been the Rapids, Union and Quakes. It is sad and pathetic.

    TFC needs to take a look at the management structure especially with Mo Johnston at the top. While TFC have been a competitive team, they still lack a true striker and the mentality to close games.

    Again, at the end of the day, I was disgraced sitting in BMO and watching that performance, considering that DC haven’t scored an away goal in July 3rd or won an away game since July 10th.


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