Toronto FC-Earthquakes Preview

While Toronto FC continues to stumble, coach Ryan Nelsen

believes it’s only a matter of time before his team gets going.

Road-challenged Toronto tries to snap a seven-match winless

stretch Wednesday night when it faces the San Jose Earthquakes, who

also have had a rough go of late.

Since beating Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on March 9, Toronto is

0-3-4. After falling 2-1 to New York on April 27, Toronto (1-4-4)

allowed the game’s only goal in the 86th minute of Saturday’s 1-0

loss at Colorado.

“I haven’t kept count, but we’ve had a few games like this,”

goalkeeper Joseph Bendik said.

With seven points in its first nine games, Toronto finds itself

in an eighth-place tie in the Eastern Conference.

“One day when hopefully we bring in a witch doctor or the black

cat leaves, we’ll turn these games into wins,” Nelsen told the

club’s official website. “The effort is there and you can see that

they have made progress. We’re learning as a team and we’ll always

stick by the boys. They really tried hard and worked their socks

off.”

With every match so far within a one-goal margin, his club can’t

seem to get over the hump.

“That is what is probably so frustrating,” Nelsen said.

“Everybody involved with the club can see how far the team has

come. We are so close to turning draws into wins and losses into

draws or wins as well. We’re really close. We just have to keep on

the path and it will turn.”

Getting on track could prove all the more difficult on the road,

where Toronto has scored two goals in going 0-3-1. The club has

compiled a 3-24-11 record on opposing fields since 2011.

Toronto now turns its attention to a San Jose team mired in a

disappointing stretch of its own. The Earthquakes (2-3-5) dropped

to 0-2-4 over their last six matches after recording their third

consecutive draw, 2-all versus Montreal on Saturday.

San Jose fell behind 2-0 before rallying behind Sam Cronin, who

set up Adam Jahn’s goal and then scored in second-half stoppage

time.

Cronin, selected by Toronto with the No. 2 overall pick in the

2009 SuperDraft, started 30 of 33 games with the club before

getting traded to the Earthquakes for allocation money in June

2010. He has two assists in three matches against his former

team.

Reigning league MVP Chris Wondolowski has six goals and an

assist during San Jose’s 2-0-2 run versus Toronto. He leads the

Earthquakes with four goals and recorded his first two assists

Saturday.

San Jose also could get a boost from forward Marcus Tracy, who

earned high praise from teammates following his MLS debut Saturday.

Named college soccer’s best male player in 2008 at Wake Forest,

Tracy’s career was derailed after undergoing three separate knee

surgeries.

“It’s just the beginning for him,” Cronin told the team’s

official website. “If you couldn’t tell from (Saturday), he’s got a

lot to offer the team. I’m excited to see how he continues to

progress.”