Toronto getting defensive to avoid dubious record vs. DC
TORONTO – Toronto FC are one loss away from a dubious record.
Should they fall to D.C. United on Saturday at BMO Field (4 pm ET, watch LIVE online) it would be their eighth in a row, good – bad, really – for the worst start in league history.
“Maybe it’s not the best way to make history,” team captain Torsten Frings told reporters Friday after training. “We’ll try the best to get some points tomorrow.”
After losing 3-2 on a last-minute goal at Real Salt Lake last Saturday, the Reds tied the 1999 Kansas City Wizards for the worst start in league history at 0-7-0.
“We have to be positive,” the former German international said, adding that he feels the effort is there. “You could see it in Salt Lake – we played well, we fought for every meter but I think we deserved more. Unfortunately we didn’t get something there.”
In that game, Frings had his first-half penalty kick hit the left post and deflect out. He's usually deadly accurate from the spot, and said that miss snapped a string of “21 or 22 in a row” he'd converted.
Though converting those kinds of chances will be important, the mantra for Toronto entering the game is to keep the visitors – including former Reds Dwayne De Rosario and Maicon Santos – from scoring.
Frings feels the first step towards righting things could have been taken on Wednesday when Toronto played a defensive game to pick up an ugly 0-0 draw with the Montreal Impact in the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinals.
“In Montreal, we got a point, I think it was very important for us,” he said. “I know it looked very bad, but in our situation, it’s important that we got something and it will give us a little bit of confidence.
“Zero-zero is not the worst result for an away game, but tomorrow it’s different. We play at home before our fans. I think if we play like we did at Salt Lake, with passion, we’ll get something.”
To obtain that something, the team will look to Frings, who is a leader both on and off the pitch. To that effect, he has emphasized to his teammates that it is important to maintain a positive outlook.
“You have to stay together like a team,” he said. “That’s the most important thing. Then you start with little things like the zero-zero in Montreal ... for the confidence. It’s not that we’ve played bad, we’ve played well. We dominated most of the games. We have to get three points and then I think we change the direction.”
Forwards Danny Koevermans (groin) and Nick Soolsma (hamstring) trained with the team on Friday but are still considered questionable for Saturday.