DC United undone by Giovinco's big night as winless string reaches four

TORONTO – Some nights, a club just has to hold their hands up and marvel at their opponent's accomplishments.

Saturday was one of those nights for DC United, who fell 4-1 to Toronto FC at BMO Field on the strength of an unforgettable three-goal performance from Sebastian Giovinco.

“Everybody that prepares for Toronto has one big name on the board: Giovinco,” United coach Ben Olsen said in his postmatch news conference. “If you can do a good job on him and he's not in the mood, you have a chance. If he's in the mood and you aren't hyper-aware of him, he can do that to you. And he certainly did tonight.”

D.C. United, now on a four-match winless streak, went into Saturday's game shorthanded, with goalkeeper Bill Hamid nursing a wrist injury and defender Bobby Boswell out sick.

Neither is expected to miss extended time – “Bobby has strep throat and Bill re-aggravated his hand,” explained Olsen – but their absence was felt.

“I don't know if anybody had bad nights on our team. It was a bad performance,” Olsen said. “When you're down 3-1, [Toronto] is a tough team to chase. You leave more space for Giovinco, and you're in trouble.”

Even with the absences, United had hoped to pick up three points against a Toronto side coming off last weekend's embarrassing 2-1 loss to nine-man San Jose. By halftime, though, they trailed 3-1 and had seen Giovinco drive home two beautiful free kicks.

“It is frustrating when you have been on a run where you haven’t won in a while and I thought today was a chance for us to get some points,” said Sean Franklin, who captained the side in Boswell's absence.“I thought we played some pretty good soccer. But we gave up two dangerous set pieces and we're chasing the game. At the end of the day, it wasn’t good enough.”

Olsen did reserve some words of encouragement for goalkeeper Travis Worra, who stepped up to keep the match respectable. Worra made six saves against a Toronto attack that unleashed 20 shots, 10 of those on frame.

“He made three or four very good saves that let us hang in there,” Olsen said. “We hung him out to dry once or twice in the second half and he stayed big. Overall a good night.”

Otherwise, there were scant positives for United, who wrapped up a four-match road swing with the loss.

“Another game where we incorporate Lloyd Sam into the group, we get Patrick Mullins some valuable minutes,” Olsen said. “Besides that, I'm having trouble finding any. We'll put it to bed. We have Montreal next week at home. We've been on the road for a month, so it'll be good to get back to RFK.”