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.
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
Courtesy of Amil Delic/soccerly
TFC defender Richard Eckersley makes his lonely walk off the pitch after being ejected as fans at BMO Field look on
Toronto FC striker Ryan Johnson (middle) and Chicago Fire Jalil Anibaba chase down a ball in the air in a match at BMO Field Saturday afternoon. Chicago prevailed with a 3-2 win prolonging TFC's woes to start the MLS season with a sixth straight loss
Toronto FC forward Ryan Johnson hangs his head in frustration after a missed opportunity in a 1-0 loss to Chivas USA on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field
Canadian striker Olivier Occean lunges forward to knock the ball just out of Byron's reach for the first goal of the game
Canadian striker Olivier Occean goes up for a ball along with Puerto Rican goalkeeper Brandon Saldana
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.
Canadian midfielder Josh Simpson (right) ponders his options while being watched by defenders Cristian Arrieta (left) and Scott Horta (centre)
Players from both teams watch Marosevic's shot go past sliding goalkeeper Odin Patino on the opening goal
A few Crew fans made the journey to Toronto from Columbus and were not disappointed as their team hung on for the win
Canadian striker Simeon Jackson (right) pushes the ball forward as Puerto Rican defenders close in on him
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
FC striker Danny Koevermans battles a Pumas player for the loose ball
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
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
Ryan Johnson jumps over top of former Red Dan Gargan and heads the ball towards goal. It was as close as TFC got to tying the game as the ball bounced off the base of the near post
Canadian captain Dwayne De Rosario stares down St. Kitts and Nevis goalkeeper Akil Byron as he finishes his penalty kick in the first half
Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and defender Darrius Barnes look on helplessly as TFC striker Danny Koevermans knocks in the game-tying goal
Toronto FC players and supporters celebrate as Jermain Defoe's goal lifts them past D.C. United in their home opener at BMO Field