Toronto FC-United Preview
The last time Toronto FC competed in MLS action, it secured the
worst start in league history with a defeat to D.C. United.
Following a loss forward Ryan Johnson called “embarrassing,”
Toronto has played well outside of league play and will look to
build off that success when it visits D.C. for the rematch Saturday
Toronto (0-8-0) became the first team to lose its first eight
games of a season following a 2-0 defeat to United on May 5 in its
last MLS game. It broke the mark for the worst start in league
history – Kansas City had lost seven straight to open 1999 – and
moved closer to the all-time worst MLS losing streak of 12.
“We can’t go on like this. I can’t go on like this,” Johnson
said following the loss to D.C. “It’s eating me up inside. I can’t
handle it any more. … It’s embarrassing, I think. It’s
embarrassing that the fans come to watch us and we’re just playing
Toronto, though, is 2-0-3 in matches against fellow MLS clubs in
CONCACAF league play and the Canadian championships. Toronto beat
Montreal 2-0 on May 9 to reach the Canadian tournament’s two-game
aggregate final against Vancouver, playing to a 1-all draw in the
first leg Wednesday.
“I don’t look at the standings anymore but when you do you still
see zero points,” forward Danny Koevermans told the league’s
official website. “It was fine to finally get a victory and to make
it to the (Canadian) final and we’re going to try to win this one,
too. … But I would like to get some points in (MLS), too. We
still feel pressure, of course.”
United (6-4-3), tied for second in the Eastern Conference, got a
goal from Hamdi Salihi in their win over Toronto, and he also
scored in a 2-0 victory over Colorado on Wednesday.
Dwayne De Rosario netted a goal for D.C., which improved to
4-0-2 in its last six at RFK Stadium. United had played their
previous three games on the road, losing two with the only victory
coming in Toronto.
“We are at home, with our home crowd and it’s a whole different
scenario,” defender Robbie Russel said. “It’s a set chance to cut
loose, and I think we did a good job. We came ready, (the win) is
huge for us, and now we have to do the same this weekend.”
Salihi came off the bench against Toronto, but his developing
chemistry with De Rosario may lead to coach Ben Olsen starting them
together at forward for a second straight game.
“When you score is always good, it gives you confidence. I’ve
said this before, I’ve always believed in myself and in my
quality,” Salihi said. “I work the same way every day, it doesn’t
matter if I score in one game or if I don’t, I work the same
D.C. is 3-1-2 in six all-time home meetings against Toronto. De
Rosario netted a hat trick in a 3-all draw Aug. 6 in the most
recent meeting at RFK.