At least Toronto FC got goals from a couple of their new recruits on Saturday, both playing their second game with the club.
Former Dutch international Danny Koevermans, signed as Designated Player on June 29, and Jamaican international Ryan Johnson, acquired in a trade with San Jose on July 14, both scored against Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park.
The problem for Toronto FC is that the more things change the more they stay the same: They lost and remain winless on the road this season after falling to SKC, 4-2.
“I saw a lot of good things in the second half,” head coach Aron Winter said. “It’s coming.”
This was the second match for Toronto with their revamped lineup. There have been seven players added in the past month, five of them in the past week or so. TFC had five new players in the starting lineup last Wednesday in a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas and the same five started against Kansas City.
There was a promising start when Koevermans nearly scored in the third minute but he was thwarted by a save from Jimmy Nielsen.
“If you saw how we started the game, in 15 to 20 minutes, we had to make at least one or two goals,” Winter said. “But we didn’t do it and after that we gave the opponent an opportunity to make the first goal.”
But then Toronto let Kansas City take hold of the match.
“We did a bad job in the first half,” said Johnson, who assisted on Koevermans’ goal. “We gave up too many goals. We did a better job in the second half, but it’s got to be a 90-minute effort.”
Johnson nearly added a late goal on an overhead kick that Nielsen saved.
“Most of the guys in the second half, I was very satisfied about them,” Winter said.
There isn’t much time for TFC to dwell on another loss. They play Real Estelí on Wednesday at BMO Field in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League qualifier.
“There’s a lot of positives for the coming games,” Winter said. “Our disadvantage is that when we get the chances then we are missing the sharpness. But we are training on those things. I think it’s normal that when things are going bad everything is going bad.”
Koevermans said it might have been different if he had converted his first chance.
“It started out, and I missed the chance,” he said. “It was 0-0. I had to score the goal and the game should have been different. We had a good first 20 minutes and second half, but we have no points again.”