Late April/early May have not been kind to Toronto FC, and in all of the one of the matches during this time period, they have once again been the architects of their own demise. Late goals continue to haunt the Reds, and the fact that it is happening on a continual basis is what is the most staggering issue of this whole debacle.
For most of the 2012 Major League Soccer season, TFC was prone to mental lapses in defending late in matches, and conceded goals past the 80th minute in ten matches last season that cost the club points, and that trend is already ahead of pace this season as they have conceded beyond 80 minutes in six of their last seven MLS matches to drop points.
Late mental lapses can be the undoing of anything else a club does right over the course of a full match, and when a team is having troubles taking their own chances in matches, the defending can ill afford to make mistakes, yet that is exactly what is happening for TFC this season.
Some of the recent culprits of these lapses in defending include Logan Emery last Saturday night against the Rapids in Colorado. In the 86th minute, the ball dropped to Emory’s feet in his own penalty area, and instead of clearing the ball, he somehow managed to fall over backwards and former Red Edson Buddle made his former team pay by powering the ball into the back of the net.
Last evening, The Reds gave up an 81st minute goal to last season’s MLS MVP and Golden Boot winner, Chris Wonodolowski, that cost TFC to drop even more points this season. A goal off of a late set piece once again led to the downfall of the side, leaving points on the table that should have been theirs. Leading 1-0 after 45 minutes, TFC failed to put an opponent away once again, and into the final 10 minutes it came back to haunt them yet again.
Once again, this lapse in defending highlighted another key issue that The Reds are having this season, as they lack the quality to finish in the attacking third, as they spoil chance after chance during matches. The key culprit on this front is striker Robert Earnshaw. While Earnshaw has potted five goals so far this season for TFC, in the last few matches the number of missed opportunities has sky-rocketed for the Welshman.
Going into the 2013 Major League Soccer season, TFC fans knew it was going to be a rebuilding year and that it could wind up being a long campaign, but some early positive results may have increased hopes and dreams of the supporters, but with the current roster and some injury concerns, these results have been found to be not sustainable.
I’m not sure if this is a result of poor training, poor conditioning, mental breakdowns, players just not caring or what the cause is, but one thing is for sure, there is something seriously wrong with Toronto FC at this time, and Kevin Payne and Ryan Nelsen have some hard work ahead of them trying to resolve the issues and change the culture of the club.
As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer. Cheers.