Home MLS Toronto FC TFC’s loss in Kansas City is a rewind of so many other setbacks

TFC’s loss in Kansas City is a rewind of so many other setbacks

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Toronto FC has seven games left on the schedule. The Reds trail the fifth-place Columbus Crew by 21 points in the MLS Eastern Conference, ahem, “race.”

So, on Sept. 1, with two months of regular-season soccer left to play, TFC is a single point from being mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase. That is the result of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City.

Yes, TFC fans have known since about May, when it was winless two months into the season, that the playoffs were just a tease. But the loss that puts the Reds on the mathematical precipice was just so typical of the team. A late goal surrendered that was more the result of TFC’s errors than it was brilliance from the opponent; an ex-TFC player scoring against the Reds.

In fact, we have seen this script more times than a Star Trek rerun.

With TFC up 1-0 at Livestrong Sporting Park (as an aside, how long does that name remain, now that Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his Tour De France titles?), Sporting Kansas City responded with two second half goals that both had some odour to them.

An SKC corner was well-met by Reds’ defender Aaron Maund, but the ball came to the top of the box to Paul Nagamura, who hammered a half volley into the grass. The ball bounded over TFC keeper Freddy Hall and into the goal. Nagamura was a season one Toronto FC original, joining the ranks of Dwayne De Rosario, Julius James, Conor Casey, etc. as ex-Reds who have come back to haunt the old club.

Hall’s positioning wasn’t the best on the Nagamura goal — nor was his command of the box on the corner. But TFC obsevers will likely be too busy to criticize him for the winning goal to bother too much with the Bermudan over the first.

Paulo Nagamura

The winner came on a late low shot from Oriol Rossell that hit Hall in the hands but still managed to go in. It will be a replay that Hall, playing in his fourth consecutive game, will not want to see again.

TFC opened the scoring in the first half when a perfect diagonal ball from Richard Eckersley found Ryan Johnson, who had got the jump on SKC fullback Chance Myers. Johnson buried the chance.

Apologists may point to the fact that the Reds had two great second-half chances fall to the feet if Luis Silva; one forced SKC keeper into an excellent diving stop and the other was blasted wide. They may point to the fact that SKC’s Kei Kamara got an early yellow forms two-footed challenge, when it could have been red.

But, SKC had more than 71 per cent of the ball. And that kind of possession will lead to fatigue for the team that’s constantly chasing the ball. And that will lead to late goals.

And just another loss in TFC’s record books that looks like so many others that came before.


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