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Eastern Conference Championship

After setback vs. Fire, TFC looking to pay back FCD

FC Dallas' Jackson and Toronto FC's Andy Iro.

Photo Credit: 
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TORONTO — After a promising run of form, Toronto FC suffered another setback in what has been a disappointing season, a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Sunday.

But there will be no rest for the weary and beleaguered Reds. TFC are set to take on FC Dallas on Wednesday night in CONCACAF Champions League Group C play (8 pm ET, GOLTV Canada, Fox Soccer).

“It is good that it’s only two days away” defender Andy Iro said following the Chicago defeat. “We kind of owe Dallas from last month when they beat us [1-0 on July 20] at home.”

TFC had recently entered a decent stretch of form, posting a 4-0-2 record over their previous six games in all competitions. The results included a 2-1 victory over Tauro FC in Panama City in their Group C opener last Thursday, and wins over Real Estelí and Real Salt Lake at BMO Field.

“It’s a lot of games,” said Iro (above right). “We saw [against Tauro] the coaches aren’t afraid to put guys in and call upon guys from the substitutes’ bench. No one’s going to be able to play every game. ... It’s important that everyone stays focused and ready when called upon.”

Since losing to FC Dallas — the debut match for new Designated Players Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans — Toronto are 4-2-2. The momentum generated by that stretch came to a halt on Sunday during the loss to the Fire.

“We had a six-game unbeaten streak which we lost [in Chicago], but it’s certainly one of the more complete performances [Sunday] that we’ve had,” Iro said. “I think we controlled most of the game. I think we created opportunities and if we were a little sharper defensively then maybe we keep a shutout.”

Iro noted that the team had played four of their previous six games on the road, traveling to Panama, DC, Kansas City and Portland, and coming out relatively unscathed. The short turnaround against FCD will hardly be a change of pace.

“Even if you have lost, you have to be optimistic,” head coach and technical director Aron Winter said on Sunday. “I saw a lot of good things [against Chicago]. You have to recover well. ... Then we have to prepare ourselves for Dallas.”