TORONTO – Toronto FC signed center back Darren O’Dea last month for his leadership on the pitch and he has shown it in abundance.
The 25-year-old Irish international’s leadership also extends into the dressing room. He gave a glimpse of that after Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire at BMO Field, a result that officially put the Reds out of the playoff picture for a record sixth consecutive season.
“You can’t get away from it, it’s not good enough,” O’Dea told reporters afterward. “It’s not been good enough for a while.”
He said the preparation for the games by head coach Paul Mariner and his staff has been excellent.
“The manager is ready to pull his hair out, because we’re so ready for games it’s incredible,” O’Dea said. “We’re as prepared as we can be prepared and at the end of the day it’s the 11 players that step over the white line that aren’t doing the business.”
WATCH: Toronto fall to Fire
Toronto spotted the Fire two goals Wednesday in an inept first half that had Mariner calling out his team for a lack of professionalism.
“I’d agree,” O’Dea said. “When you’ve one or two players off the pace you can carry them through at times but when you have five, six, seven eight players, you have no chance.
“I’m looking at our team, with no disrespect, I’m thinking we are where we are for a reason and it’s we because we make mistakes at silly times. Even if we come in at 1-0 we’ve not played well, [but] we come out in the second half and you’re still in it. But you give up a second after playing so poorly in the first half ... It’s nothing new, that’s the worst thing about it. If it’s once off or even twice... but we’re doing it every game.”
O’Dea played for the Republic of Ireland last Friday in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory at Kazakhstan, then made the long flight back so that he could be at TFC training on Monday morning. He passed up a chance to play in a friendly for Ireland against Oman on Tuesday so that he could play against Chicago.
It was a long trip for a disappointing game.
“Certainly, for large parts of that game we were poor to say the least,” O’Dea said. “Where do you start? I don’t know. But we certainly need to get together and figure it out because the run we are on at the minute is so far off anyone’s standards, it’s incredible.”