SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney knows what you’re going to say.
Barely 15 minutes after losing 2-1 to a San Jose Earthquakes team that scored the game-winner with only nine players on the field at Avaya Stadium, Vanney was trying to soften the inevitable question:
How could you conspire to not win a game when you went up one player before halftime -- and saw another opponent ejected with more than 37 minutes remaining in regulation?
“We’re not going to make this bigger than it is,” Vanney said. “It seems like it’s bigger than it is because it was eight-against-10 [field players], but at the end of the day, it was three points and it was on the West Coast. We should have taken more out of the game . . . and we didn’t. But it’s time to move on.”
“We let each other down,” said Toronto defender Steven Beitashour, who delivered a sparkling cross to help the visitors equalize through Justin Morrow in the 44th minute. “This team has gone through a lot of ups and downs. This was a great opportunity to get seven points out of the past three games [in eight days]. We let the other team off the hook.”
TFC couldn’t find a go-ahead score after the departure of Quintero even though leading scorer Sebastian Giovinco was back in the lineup. The Italian international had 10 shots on the night, but only two were on target and nine came from outside the penalty area.
Toronto outshot San Jose 15-1 in the second half, but that one was a killer: Simon Dawkins sprung free as part of a 2-on-4 break and cut in from the left wing before delivering a knuckling shot that beat backup goalkeeper Alex Bono.
“In some ways, it can be understandable that you don’t score a goal, because they were doing a good job of protecting their goal,” Vanney said. “But it’s not OK to give up a goal in a transition like that. There was a series of errors that compounded the situation, one after another, leading to the ball being in the back of the net.”
In the end, there was no reprieve for TFC, who suited up Jozy Altidore but weren’t tempted to use him, according to Vanney, who is “optimistic” the US international could start to be reintegrated into the squad next weekend.
“I think that, as a group, we’ll put it behind us in the next couple of days,” Vanney said of any hangover from the defeat. “We have nine of  at home now. . . . We’ve got a lot to look forward to and a lot to play for."