TORONTO – Jeremy Hall’s injury-delayed Toronto FC debut didn't quite go the way he had hoped.
It was bad for two reasons – an injury and a loss. Neither was his fault, but the fourth-year utility man, like the most of his teammates, is tired of seeing the hard truths of the scoreboard every weekend.
“We still have no wins, so it was a frustrating day,” Hall told reporters after Saturday's 2-0 defeat to D.C. United. “It’s frustrating because we’re not playing bad. We’re playing good, we’re creating chances but we’re not finishing them.”
Hall entered Saturday’s match in the 67th minute, replacing team captain Torsten Frings, who left with a shoulder injury the extent of which will be known on Tuesday after further evaluation.
That compounded the indignity of TFC’s eighth loss in a row, giving them a dubious place in the record books with the worst start to a season in league history.
What could have been a big moment for Hall, who was injured during preseason training, instead became what he referred to as “another tough one” for Toronto.
“It’s always tough to come in in the second half and the try to find the pace,” Hall said. “It was a little fast. I was a little winded. It was my first minutes just coming back from injury. I still have a ways to go for me personally to get to 100 percent, but I think it’s a step in the right direction.”
The 23-year-old Tampa, Fla., native was acquired in a trade with FC Dallas on Nov. 29 for a second-round draft choice in 2013.
He joined the Reds for training in Toronto in January but did not accompany the team for the next phase of training in Orlando. He was held back with the injury and eventually had sports hernia surgery.
Hall, who can play in midfield or on the backline, has made 50 league starts since 2009 after the New York Red Bulls made him a first-round pick in that year's MLS SuperDraft. He also has played for the Portland Timbers and FC Dallas.
When pressed for any positives from Saturday’s game, head coach and technical director Aron Winter said one of them was getting Hall into action at last.
“He came back well after his injury,” Winter said. “He made some good deliveries. For me, that was very positive.”