Coach unloads on players

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston is losing patience with his players, who have yet to score a goal in...

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston is losing patience with his players, who have yet to score a goal in four games. (Sun File/Michael Peake)

DEAN McNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston blasted his team yesterday as underachieving and coddled in the wake of their 1-0 loss to Kansas City Wizards before a sold-out rambunctious audience at BMO Field on Saturday.

Johnston said the fans that stood through a chilly, cloudy afternoon cheering on their new heroes deserved better than a fourth consecutive shut-out loss -- a Major League Soccer record -- to start a season.

"My goal for this team is to develop character, a steely resolve to win and to get people working harder," Johnston said after the expansion squad's first workout since the home opener. "The fans of this city deserve better than what they got (Saturday)."

The coach said that the TFC players have been showered with all kinds of gifts from team owners Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and supporters

"Look it, they all got brand new designer suits; they get great meals every day; they were all given video iPods the other day," Johnston said.

"I don't begrudge them those things but they had better soon start winning or they won't deserve them."

Johnston let loose with a parade of angry shouts at both individual players and the team as a whole as they played a half-pitch intra-team game yesterday.

"There are some guys on this team who just came back from playing overseas who aren't prepared to play at the level that is necessary to succeed in the MLS," Johnston said.

"They will soon learn to play better or they will be watching the game from the bench."

Johnston said Ronnie O'Brien -- who was signed to be a star in the team's midfield -- finally had a full hard practice yesterday and looked ready to play after a four-week recovery from a strained right knee.

"Ronnie will make a huge difference to our offence," Johnston said. "He will make both Danny (Dichio) and Alecko (Eskandarian) better, even though I thought the two of them played well on Saturday."

It will not get much easier for Toronto FC. The club's next opponent, the Chicago Fire, is off to a 3-0-1 start. The Fire visits on May 12.

"They are a quality team," Johnston said. "We'll have to come at them early in the game -- like we did against K.C. -- but keep it up the whole game. We want them to be afraid to play against us."

Dichio did exactly that, pushing, hitting and generally creating mayhem wherever he went on Saturday.

"Teams are going to come in here and fear him," Johnston said. "He had K.C. defenders talking to themselves as they left the pitch after the first half."

Johnston figured once the team scores its first MLS goal it will open the flood gates.

"There's no doubt we have to start scoring," Johnston said. "And we will, but we will have to work harder than we have been to get it done."


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