TORONTO — As the New York Red Bulls beat up on Toronto FC 5-0 on Wednesday night, Dan Gargan felt as if he was experiencing déjà vu. It had been almost a whole year since those same Red Bulls put another spanking on TFC, a 4-1 defeat last August 21 at BMO Field.
“I kind of feel similar to how I felt after the game in Toronto last year when we played them,” the TFC defender said after Wednesday's loss. “But I don’t remember walking off the field feeling like we got thoroughly outplayed.”
But factor in the latest setback with another bad flashback — a 5-0 rout in the final game of the 2009 regular season that eliminated Toronto from playoff contention — and it's insult to injury with another bad loss to RBNY.
That said, Gargan doesn't think Wednesday's result is reason to get down after an encouraging previous week in which TFC signed two Designated Players and retained their Voyageurs Cup. The veteran defender thinks Toronto's current defensive problems can be fixed.
“I think simple mistakes led to all their goals,” Gargan said of the latest setback to their Eastern Conference rivals. “Mistakes that are easily correctable and easily fixable. They finished their chances last year, and they certainly finished them again [Wednesday]. And that was something that we were missing."
Help is coming for Toronto in the finishing department in the form of those two new DPs, who will be eligible to play against FC Dallas on July 20. Forward Danny Koevermans, formerly of PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, will bring a scoring touch, and ex-Werder Bremen and German international midfielder Torsten Frings is expected to bring leadership and skill.
While the new additions should sure up the offensive side of the ball, it's the back line of Toronto that needs to start playing more cohesively.
Gargan knows his Toronto side gave a plethora of opportunities to New York, but he was still quick to praise the Red Bulls attack.
“They finish their opportunities," he said enviously after Wednesday's loss, "and when teams finish, that’s when it gets ugly like it did today.”