TORONTO – A brace and a break. Toronto FC hope that's the formula that turns around their season and perhaps even leads to an MLS Cup Playoffs spot.
The brace came in the form of consecutive wins against Vancouver in the Amway Canadian Championship final on May 23 followed three days later by a win over Philadelphia, their first league in the league after nine losses.
The Reds are now in the midst of the three-week break in their schedule which lasts until June 16, when they travel to Sporting Kansas City.
The pair of 1-0 victories brought questions about whether TFC would prefer to keep playing now that they are on a bit of a roll instead of a taking a break. Still, taking a break was the preferred choice.
“It’s a good thing, we’re positive now we can rest up and come back fresh,” defender Doneil Henry said.
Head coach and technical director Aron Winter echoed his player's sentiments, saying, “Yes, this is a great time, great time for everyone to push a little bit back."
The best TFC player to get perspective from is likely goalkeeper Milos Kocic, who has played every competitive game this season except the first, on March 7, in the CONCACAF Champions League. He is glad for the break “but not this long.”
“We need to get away from soccer,” he said. “There’s been a lot of games for me and for other guys as well and the need a break. Everywhere in the world there’s two parts of the season.”
But he said he does not want to be off too long. “I wish we had three or four days off and then we come back,” he said. “That’s what I’m going to do is go home for two or three days and then come back and go to work. I hope everybody comes back fresh for the second part of the season.”
A few weeks ago, Winter said he felt his team could still make the playoffs even as they were losing their way to the worst start in league history. After Saturday’s win, he said he still felt it was possible.
“But the first thing we need to do is take it game by game and get the points,” Winter said. “The most important thing is that after those very good games you play the confidence is growing from everybody.”
Added Kocic: “We still have a lot of games to play, and there is a possibility and I believe in it. I believe what Aron said is possible. You just have to be positive.”