Iro's pair of atrocities costly

KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:32 PM ET

TORONTO - “Impossible” amounts of “unprofessionalism” saw TFC flush away three points after a mistake-laden match ended in a 3-3 draw in Washington D.C. Saturday night.

Head coach Aron Winter didn’t hold back following a match that saw Andy Iro produce a pair of atrocities that kept TFC winless on the road.

“We (gave) away two goals,” the Dutchman said. “We were winning 3-2. It’s impossible that you (give away) a goal in 20 seconds.”

After taking the lead minutes from full time, a single pass split seven Reds off the ensuing kickoff and led to Dwayne De Rosario converting the penalty it produced. United’s equalizer was the final mark on a list of mistakes that led to the home side’s first two goals.

Although Stefan Frei looked poor on United’s opener, much of the blame was thrust upon Iro following a number of poor decisions.

And after watching the Englishman concede a bad penalty in Portland and giveaway a clumsy handball penalty in Nicaragua, it’s no secret that four of the last six goals TFC has conceded fall squarely on Iro.

It puts Winter in a tough spot seeing as Iro’s arrival was intended to plug gaping holes in a defence, which punishes itself every time out.

Shouts for DeRo

In case any remaining De Rosario fans are still upset with management for moving the franchise’s most prolific scorer, it had to be done.

Toronto was correct to send De Rosario packing earlier this season when he publicly lambasted the front office while training with Celtic — an episode the Reds still contend was without paperwork and permission.

Just as Winter said of his defence following the shock draw in D.C., De Rosario’s time at BMO Field will forever be tainted with unprofessionalism of the highest order.

As for Saturday, TFC’s former captain took his chances extremely well, but each strike was an opportunity served up through defensive nightmares and poor ’keeping.

What now?

Torsten Frings didn’t come to Toronto to clean up issues at the back. The Reds need him pulling strings in the midfield, breaking up plays and directing those with less experience.

But with Iro appearing slow and woefully out of shape, what other options are there?

Dasan Robinson is the next in line for a shot alongside Frings, but we’ve yet to see what form he’s in. The same can be said of Eddy Viator, who hasn’t been given consecutive games at centreback since arriving.

After rotating eight players through the middle of defence in 2011, it would be a shame to see Frings forced into securing a back line that has conceded an astronomical 46 goals this year.

Even with the German back there, little could have been done to prevent the embarrassing blunders that sunk Toronto on Saturday.

At this point, Ty Harden’s rarely steady but more reliable defending is the best option after two failed attempts to replace him.

Around the pitch

Regardless of whether Bill Hamid’s ninth-minute, red-card foul prevented a goal-scoring opportunity, a tackle of that nature constitutes serious foul play. The D.C. ’keeper may not have intended to injure Eric Avila, but the challenge exceeded necessary force … With all the focus on TFC’s defence, not much was made of Avila’s first appearance. In completing more than 91% of his passes, the 23-year-old looked confident on the ball and seemed comfortable in Toronto’s free-flowing system. In looking back at what the Reds gave up for Avila, it might be Winter’s best move to date … “It’s a lot of responsibility in the (play-making spot),” Avila said after the match. “The system is great. All the guys are brand new and we’re still trying to find ourselves.” … Supporters are still trying to find out what happened to the normally steady Frei on De Rosario’s first goal. Frei got good gloves to the shot and had more than enough time to react … As for goalkeeping errors, it’s clear why reserve ’keeper Steve Cronin is United’s

No. 2. Cronin was solely to blame for each of Toronto’s three goals … De Rosario carved out another place for himself in MLS folklore Saturday after becoming the first MLS player to score with three different clubs in a single season … The Canadian’s three-goal performance moved him further up the MLS scoring ladder just behind Edson Buddle for eighth all-time.

Parting thoughts

There’s no question tired legs played a part in handing United a crucial point Saturday.

“The last week has been heavy and tough for us,” Winter said. “You could see in the final moments the guys were a little bit tired.”

But when an opponent is forced to play a man down for close to the entirety, heavy legs shouldn’t matter if you take advantage by spreading the field and controlling the pace through possession.

Instead, constant mistakes left TFC chasing the game throughout the second half.

Rather than allowing the home side to play balls into De Rosario throughout the second half, with United only attacking with just three players, there’s no reason the Reds shouldn’t have recovered with eight men on every play in order to regain possession and prevent the collapse that led to De Rosario’s late display.


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