TORONTO—Toronto FC manager Aron Winter didn’t have a lot of good things to say about his team following a 3-0 dressing down at the hands of D.C. United on Saturday night at BMO Field.
The Dutchman was blunt and despondent in his assessment of the Reds play.
“When you are rebuilding you are going to lose games,” he said after the match. “But, the way that we lost the game I didn’t like it. I’m upset about it.”
Toronto was down 2-0 before the game was 11 minutes old. Slow starts have been a problem for TFC all season. It’s an issue that Winter is well aware of.
“The way we start, we were losing all of the second balls and it looked like we were not sharp enough,” Winter said. “It was strange because last week we were playing well, quite well, but today the way we lost. I didn’t like it.”
Winter says he isn’t sure what to do about the slow starts. According to him, the only answer might be to keep training hard. The coach says that despite Saturday’s setback, he has seen progress from the Reds in this young season.
“We are rebuilding,” Winter said, “and the way that we were training each game we were getting better, but today nothing was going the way that we want.”
The defeat to D.C. may have longer lasting effects. Ty Harden will be suspended after picking up a red card early in the second half, while his center back partner, Adrian Cann, went down with an injury early in the first half. According to club officials, he bruised his ribs and is listed as day to day.
Forward Alan Gordon was also a scratch for the second straight game, but Winter indicated following the game that his recovery from injury was progressing well and he expects Gordon back soon.
And while Midfielder Julian de Guzman may have played the full 90 for Toronto for the first time in 2011, Winter indicated that he would have rather not used de Guzman for the entire match. Other factors forced his hand and he said that he will continue to monitor de Guzman’s minutes moving forward.
The Dutchman did give praise to one aspect of the game – the home support. Despite being a smaller than normal crowd at BMO Field those that were in attendance remained active and loud throughout the contest. Following the game, Winter made sure that the Toronto players walked over to the supporter’s sections and acknowledged the effort.
“What I appreciated from this game was the 12th man on the pitch – it was the supporters, they were good,” Winter said. “Even when we were losing 2-0, they were standing behind us. That was a positive thing.”
After four years of failing to make the playoffs, Toronto fans may not take much pride in hearing how great their support is. Winter appears to understand that and made no excuses about the way the game played out. When pressed to find a positive, he refused.
“I can accept losing,” he said, “but it’s the way you lose. I am ashamed of how we played.”