For Toronto FC, Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls that ended their 17-game home unbeaten streak is not something to brood about. The fact that they must travel to Panama for a CONCACAF Champions League match on Tuesday means there is no time for too much soul-searching.
More importantly, they lost ground to Eastern Conference rivals and failed to help their playoff chances.
“We are eight points away from New York, so we’ve created a gap,” TFC captain Dwayne De Rosario said after the match. “We know that in the West, teams have 26-plus points, so we’re sitting in a difficult position.”
Toronto, who have never made the playoffs, are right now out of the postseason conversation, despite sitting in 3rd place in the East. At this time, six teams from the West would make the playoffs.
However, De Rosario refuses to worry when there are still 10 games to play on the schedule.
“It’s not time to panic or just be a little concerned about where we are right now,” he said. “It’s very important that we win the rest of our home games for the rest of the season, and if we could have the same desire on the road that we do at home, I think we’ll be fine.”
If Toronto are to reach the postseason this time around, they will hope for more luck than they had against New York.
“When the ball doesn’t bounce your way it’s going to be a hard day,” said coach Preki. “I thought we gave up a goal against the run of play, and the second one was, well, an own goal. I thought we had plenty of chances, but we let New York off the hook today. They made their plays; we didn’t make our plays. That’s how the game goes sometimes. It’s cruel sometimes.”
But again, there is not time to dwell for the Reds. On Tuesday, they face Panamanian side Árabe Unido in their second CCL group match then return to BMO Field for a tough game against MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake.
“We win together, we lose together, and today we lost together,” Preki said. “We have to pick ourselves up. We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to really get up for the next two games.”