Toronto FC suffered far more than a 4-2 defeat against English premiership's Aston Villa in a friendly last night at BMO Field.
Coach Mo Johnston announced later that starting goalkeeper Greg Sutton is all but finished for this season.
Sutton, who sustained a concussion in last month's Gold Cup for Canada, still is suffering the after effects and likely won't be able to play for at least six months.
"It's not just that we are worried about missing one of Major League Soccer's top 'keepers," Johnston said. "We are worried about his health. That comes first."
Sutton still is getting severe headaches, his second concussion of his pro career.
In last night's friendly before another sell-out of 20,147 at BMO, Aston Villa showed its superiority early with quick goals from striker Luke Moore, who had three on the night.
But it was Sutton whom everyone in the TFC locker room was concerned about after the match.
Midfielder Ronnie O'Brien said he was in shock.
"Greg is a fantastic 'keeper," he said. "It's a real blow to the team. He has taken control of the back end for us all year."
The immediate concern for Johnston is to find a starter for the playoff-contending team.
TFC signed Canadian Srdjan Djekanovic from the Vancouver Whitecaps earlier this season to back up Sutton, but the 23-year-old had never started a regular-season game prior to subbing this past month.
"Djekanovic has done a good job for us," Johnston said. "But he doesn't have the experience we will need going down the road."
Making things even tougher is the fact that with most top English and European leagues ready to start their new seasons, there isn't a lot of quality to choose from.
"If we can find one it would be great but if not we are going to have to go with what we have,'' O'Brien said.
Last night, Richmond Hill's David Monslaves played but he has been on the reserve side since spring training.
Meanwhile, Johnston has three other key players injured, Jeff Cunningham and Marvel Wynn are both out and star striker Danny Dichio is playing with a bad back. He's expected to play on Sunday.