TORONTO — It’s hard to grasp for positives from a 5-0 loss, but since Wednesday’s flop against the New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC have tried as hard as they can to do it.
Perhaps the biggest one was the Reds’ strong opening to the match, even if they failed to capitalize and take an early lead. The early start was encouraging because so often this season, the team has started slowly and found themselves chasing a game.
This time, they showed early energy, then collapsed so badly that the game was beyond chasing. The lack of finish has been a TFC trademark.
“That’s something we are missing,” defender Dan Gargan said. “Maybe the outcome [Wednesday] is changed [if the early chances are made], maybe not, but we need to put away our opportunities.”
There was a silver lining in their lack of final touch only the absence of easily their two best scoring threats: Alan Gordon and Maicon Santos. Gordon is on the mend from a groin injury and is traveling with the team for their match against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online), but Santos did not travel.
Midfielder Jacob Peterson, who has battled a recent hamstring injury, was on the bench Wednesday and might see the pitch in Houston as well. Both Gordon and Peterson could add to the offense and Gordon’s finishing ability might improve TFC’s chances against a Dynamo team they beat 2-1 on May 7 at BMO Field.
“We had some key players out,” Gordon said. “Any time that happens, it becomes tough, especially with how many games we had. Everybody seems to be coming around. We’ve just got to be smart and come back at the right time and prevent any further injuries.”