TFC goes from bad to worse

RYAN WOLSTAT, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:07 AM ET

Just in case anybody thought Toronto FCs season to forget couldnt get any uglier, it did Saturday night.

Having already lost to MLS cellar-dweller D.C. United earlier in the year, the Reds somehow dropped a humiliating 3-0 decision to Chivas USA, merely last in the West.

TFCs season ended before it even took the pitch in Carson, California.

But the schedule says there are still games to be played, so the team had to suit up against Chivas knowing that San Joses 2-0 victory against D.C. United had knocked them out of the playoff picture for the fourth time in four seasons.

Chris Wondolowski scored both San Jose goals, putting him in second-place in the league behind only ex-Red Edson Buddle, ahead of Reds captain Dwayne De Rosario.

De Rosario got a great chance to catch Wondolowski early after being sent in by Chad Barrett, but could not beat Zach Thornton, the former MLS goalkeeper of the year.

TFCs best chance of the first half came when Jacob Peterson sent a goalmouth pass to ex-Chivas striker Maicon Santos who could not direct the ball into the open net keeping the scoreboard blank at the half.

Unlucky defending led to the opening goal of the match. Adrian Cann headed a pass right back to Chivas Rodolfo Espinoza, who found Jorge Flores who made no mistake in beating Stefan Frei.

TFC came right back and a long De Rosario boot bounded off the crossbar before Maicon Santos failed on his third point-blank chance of the night.

Unbelievably, Santos had a 73rd-minute opportunity to equalize into another open net, but his on target strike was booted off the goal line by an alert Chivas defender covering for Thornton.

Former Red Danny Dichio was booted from the match after giving the officials a piece of his mind.

The big man had a point, as the referees were the usual MLS calibre - that is, sub-par. Most noticeably, the refs missed an elbow to the nose of Adrian Cann that should have been a red card. Cann had to leave, putting TFC a man short.

TFC had gone 2-6-2 in its previous 10 league games, knocking itself out of playoff contention after being in the mix all season.

Jesus Padilla blasted a shot past Frei late in the game for the insurance tally. The goal came after De Rosario turned the ball over deep in Chivas territory, leading to a break the other way.

Espinoza scored less than a minute later to complete the embarrassment for the visitors.

Offensively, the Reds displayed the frustrating inability to finish that has been a problem all season.

Maicon Santos was sprung by De Rosario early in the second half and had Thornton diving the wrong way but shot the ball off the post. Simpy put, it was an opportunity Santos - who had an evening to forget like the rest of his teammates - needed to put away.

Especially since Chivas opened the scoring a couple of minutes later.

Lack of finishing class has been the major problem for the team almost since its inception and should be the first thing addressed this off-season. Star strikers will be available, including, perhaps, New York Red Bulls standout Juan Pablo Angel.

Toronto hosts the Columbus Crew and Arabe Unido in CONCACAF Champions League play before ending the season against D.C.

De Rosario will miss the final home MLS contest of the year after picking up a needless yellow card.


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