TORONTO – The script was supposed to change with the return of Torsten Frings, Toronto FC’s leader and security blanket.
But whatever it is that is afflicting the Reds seemed to snare the former German international as well in the first 25 seconds of Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Chicago Fire.
“I think we started very bad,” Frings said. “My fault.”
After goalkeeper Milos Kocic rolled him the ball near the edge of the penalty area, Frings was rather casual and as he started to pass it, Chicago’s Patrick Nyarko swooped in and got a foot to it.
In typical fashion for the Bad Luck Reds of 2012, Nyarko’s deflection went straight into the path of Dominic Oduro. The Fire hitman gathered it, took a touch and calmly slotted under the helpless Kocic. It was the worst possible start for a team that entered on a five-game losing skid.
It’s now six.
“We give goals away too easily,” Frings said. “My mistake too. We have to try to make it better. It’s not easy if you have lost six games in a row. It’s very important to keep working hard”
The return of Frings had been eagerly awaited. He had not played since March 17 when he strained his hamstring in the league opener in Seattle. Not only had Toronto not been scoring in that time, they were giving away goals.
That continued, even after Oduro’s opener. The Fire’s second came on a set piece just before the half; the third, a midfield turnover and quick break that caught the defense flat-footed and pulled Kocic off his line.
On Friday, Frings said the game against the Fire “may be the last chance’ for Toronto to make the league playoffs.
“I think we don’t have to speak about the playoffs now, it’s just points that are very important,” he said after the game. “We can look at what happens in the next six or seven weeks. The season is still long and now we have to look to get the first points. That’s very important.”
Frings returned and the Reds found a couple of goals. But they still allowed three and Frings was the culprit on the first one. That wasn’t in the script. Neither was an 0-6-0 start to the season.
HIGHLIGHTS: TOR vs CHI