TORONTO – In a fit of frustration after this past Saturday’s 3-1 loss to D.C. United, Toronto FC striker Danny Koevermans said his team is “setting a record as the worst team in the world.”
While some of his teammates were willing to debate that on Tuesday, no one can dispute that Toronto FC are off to the worst start in MLS history at 0-9-0.
Yet, if they beat the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday at BMO Field in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final (8 pm ET, Sportsnet One), they will win the Voyageurs Cup for the fourth year in a row. Last Wednesday’s first leg ended 1-1 and Toronto expect to have Torsten Frings back in the lineup after missing two games with a shoulder injury.
Koevermans still stood by his words from Saturday.
“Name me one team in the whole world that is 0-9,” Koevermans said after Tuesday’s training at BMO Field. “That’s what I was referring to – that there is not one team in the world who have lost nine times in a row.”
Goalkeeper Milos Kocic, however, was the first to disagree.
“That’s his opinion,” he responded. “I have a different opinion. I think my team is the best in the world. It’s as simple as that. I talk to Danny, he’s one of my best mates on the team, but I don’t agree.”
Center back Adrian Cann also disagreed.
“It kind of bothers me,” he said. “I can say we’re the worst team in the world but it’s harder to say we’re the worst team in the world and do something about it. Actions speak louder than words.”
Head coach and technical director Aron Winter said Koevermans was probably speaking from frustration.
“I don’t agree and I think he has to be smarter and not say those things,” Winter said.
There was agreement, however, that winning the Canadian Championship could help salvage the season because it would mean a return to the CONCACAF Champions League.
“To make something out of the season we have to win tomorrow,” Koevermans said. “Because then you’ve got some nice games coming up from say August until November.”
The draw in Vancouver prior to the loss in Washington was just another example of the difference in the way the Reds have played in cup competitions and the league.
“Maybe it’s because the players feel we have more time in MLS to catch up, which I don’t think we will have,” Kocic said. “But maybe this is like we’re fighting for life generally. It’s a cup game, so if you lose you’re out so you are trying to push yourself.
"I think we’re a very tough team when we play cup games compared to MLS games. We are conceding goals in MLS too easily.”