TFC is firing blanks

Toronto's Maurice Edu tries to wrestle the ball away from Kansas City's Kerry Zavagnin on Saturday...

Toronto's Maurice Edu tries to wrestle the ball away from Kansas City's Kerry Zavagnin on Saturday April 28,at BMO Stadium. (Dave Thomas/Sun Media)

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:00 PM ET

Somewhere in the bowels of the Major League Soccer offices in New York is a dusty old record book that lists feats of futility.

Yesterday it was opened to document a mark set by Toronto FC in the first four games of its existence: Longest goal-scoring drought to start a season by a first-year side.

By dropping a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Kansas City Wizards before a home-opening crowd of 20,148 at BMO Field, TFC managed to complete a streak of four games -- all defeats -- without a ball entering the enemy net.

Yet, despite the obvious lack of scoring punch, the expansion side had the crowd on its collective feet as it tried in vain to score on consecutive corner kicks in the dying seconds of the game.

But coach Mo Johnston said afterwards that there are no points awarded for nice tries in the MLS.

"Obviously, the last four games we haven't scored and we need to step up to the plate and score some goals," he said. "There is a lot of hard work to be done here."

The 3-1 Wizards scored when Eddie Johnson -- one of the most dangerous offensive players in the MLS -- had a shot deflect in behind Toronto goalkeeper Greg Sutton in the 81st minute.

And it came after Sutton had stoned K.C.'s leading scorer on three separate occasions in close.

"Johnson is a threat to score every time he has the ball," Sutton said. "He got through a few times. I just tried to get as big as I could and to cut the angle down."

Sutton, however, said he wasn't using Johnson's skills as an excuse for the loss.

"When you are playing in this league, winning home games is vital," the 6-foot-6 Hamilton native said.

Johnston said that the team appeared to go on the defensive in the second half after pressing for a goal in the first 45 minutes.

"I was very pleased at the way we played in the first half," he said. "But in the second, we were very, very negative."

Johnston blamed the change in style on players wanting too much to please the fans in sold out stadium.

"I think the lads were nervous in the second half," Johnston said. "I think they were afraid of letting down the fans."

The coach did say he was happy with several other aspects of the TFC game.

"The effort was a vast improvement over the previous games," he said, pointing to Sutton's superb play in holding the fort, despite facing 13 shots.

TFC directed just seven shots at Wizards 'keeper, Kevin Hartman.


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