Toronto FC’s tactical flexibility has been questioned on several occasions this season. Ryan Nelsen’s reluctance to stray away from his preferred 4-4-2 is odd, but the return of Michael Bradley, and a congested fixture list forced his hand.
One of the main themes that dominated European football over the past 12 months was the success of reactive football. Teams dominated games through negating space in the final third, and attacking on the counter in some of the biggest matches this season.
Toronto FC suffered their second defeat of the season against the Colorado Rapids in a dull encounter at BMO Field. Poor field conditions can be held accountable for the lacklustre showdown, but the match was also dire from a tactical perspective.
A win is a win. It may not have stopped the bleeding in league play but Toronto FC was finally able to taste victory once again knocking off the Montreal Impact 2-0 in the Amway Canadian Championship (ACC) semifinal.
After five straight losses to begin the MLS season and the worst start in franchise history, the hope of turning its fortunes around and the goal of a playoff spot is looking faint for Toronto FC.
Columbus Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum leaps up to grab a ball in the air on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. The Crew capitalized on a Toronto FC mistake in the second half and hung on for a 1-0 win
Julian de Guzman tries to keep up with De Rosario in the first of Saturday's game. The TFC midfielder shadowed his old teammate and shut him down in the opening 45 minutes
TFC forward Reggie Lambe celebrates his second goal of the afternoon with his teammates Joao Plata (right) and Ashtone Morgan (left)
FC forward Ryan Johnson collect a pass while United's Andy Najar follows him closely. Johnson was very critical of the team's game plan after the game and said change was needed
Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski is congratulated by teammates after opening the scoring in just the ninth minute. He added another goal in the second half to ice the game and now has three goals on the season
Courtesy of Amil Delic
TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic (centre) reacts to the header on the game-tying goal
Reds captain Torsten Frings (left) made his return to squad after missing five weeks with a hamstring injury. He started in the backline instead of his usual midfield position and made a costly mistake in the first minute leading to a Chicago goal
TFC defender Richard Eckersley makes his lonely walk off the pitch after being ejected as fans at BMO Field look on
Toronto FC starting lineup (l-r) - Back row: Nick Soolsma, Danny Koevermans, Andy Iro, Ty Harden, Milos Kocic and Ryan Johnson. Front Row: Peri Marosevic, Richard Eckersley, Julian de Guzman, Matt Stinson and Ashtone Morgan.
Toronto FC forward Ryan Johnson (right) is defended closely by San Jose Earthquakes defender Steven Beitashour. Johnson was fresh off being awarded MLS goal of the week for his effort last weekend in Seattle. On Saturday, like his teammates, he had little success on the pitch in a 3-0 loss at BMO Field
Players from both teams watch Marosevic's shot go past sliding goalkeeper Odin Patino on the opening goal
Canadian captain Dwayne De Rosario stares down St. Kitts and Nevis goalkeeper Akil Byron as he finishes his penalty kick in the first half
TFC forward Peri Marosevic celebrates his goal directly in front of a group of Mexican fans on Tuesday night at BMO Field
A few Crew fans made the journey to Toronto from Columbus and were not disappointed as their team hung on for the win
Toronto FC's Ryan Johnson (centre) wins the battle for a header against teammate Doneil Henry and Montreal Impact's Matteo Ferrari (left) and Shavar Thomas (right). TFC won 2-0 against the Impact on Wednesday night at BMO Field
Koevermans (left) celebrates his game-tying goal in the 83rd minute on Saturday
Canadian striker Olivier Occean goes up for a ball along with Puerto Rican goalkeeper Brandon Saldana
DC United Captain Dwayne De Rosario celebrates a 2-0 win with his teammates against his old team at BMO Field. In the background frustrated Toronto FC forward Ryan Johnson walks off the pitch
TFC striker Danny Koevermans is unable to get to a loose ball inside the Crew's six yard box. The Reds dominated play but could not get the equalizer before the final whistle