“Keep the zero.”
That's been the rallying cry frequently heard among members of Toronto FC during the club's early season struggles. The hope is that keeping opposing teams off the scoreboard will lead to the first points of the 2012 season.
GOAL: Koevermans pulls one back
TFC have become very good at keeping the zero. Unfortunately it is the zero in the points column that stands out when you glance at the standings.
Their losing streak to open the season now stands at nine after D.C. United defeated them 3-1 on Saturday night at RFK Stadium.
“Every week we play well, we do fine,” striker Danny Koevermans said. “I want to play really bad and get a result.”
As far as keeping the zero on the game sheet goes, Toronto couldn’t do that for more than a minute against DC. Their former captain, and Toronto native, Dwayne De Rosario scored his first of two first-half goals after just 55 seconds.
Then when second-half sub Koevermans scored off a 50-yard Julian de Guzman free kick to give Toronto life, they let the hosts restore their two-goal advantage within a couple of minutes.
“I don’t know anymore,” Koevermans said. “It’s so frustrating. You are back in the game, only one minute later it’s gone. It’s painful. What more can I say? It’s the worst ever. Every week is the same: ‘You played well, decent’. What do we have? We have nothing. It’s all nice words. Chelsea won the Champions League with just defense, but they won the prize. I want that.”
It is unlikely Toronto will be winning any prizes for their defensive work anytime soon.
HIGHLIGHTS: DC 3, TOR 1
“We gave away the goals very easily; the first, second and third,” head coach and technical director Aron Winter said. “I think that in the first half there was a moment, after the first goal when we were losing, there was a great opportunity from [Joao] Plata in the middle.
"He was not offside. If they don’t call the offside maybe he scores and then the whole game is different. We worked hard and created a lot of opportunities, but in the end it was not enough.”
TFC’s next game is on Wednesday when they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship at BMO Field. The tie is evenly balanced after the first leg, a 1-1 draw in Vancouver which provided Toronto a slight edge. Defending that advantage will again prove to be the recurring theme for Winter's men.