Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Being winless three games into the MLS season for the first time since 2012 is not sitting well with Toronto FC.

“We want to win. This is a room full of winners,” coach Chris Armas said with passion Tuesday. “When you look around the room, this is what it is. And I’m with those guys.

“We’re not sore losers. We’re bad losers.”

Story continues below advertisement

Toronto (0-2-1) looks for its first victory Wednesday against defending champion Columbus SC (1-0-2) in a matchup between two clubs that have had to balance MLS and Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play while dealing with a lengthy injury list.

The good news is Toronto’s training room is beginning to empty. But reigning league MVP Alejandro Pozuelo is still working his way back from a thigh injury suffered before an April 2 pre-season game against Columbus. The Spanish playmaker, adept at unlocking opposition defences and making his teammates better, has been sorely missed.

“It’s a quad issue,” Armas said. “So it’s some soft tissue, a tendon in his quad. It doesn’t give him much pain, but we know it’s there.”

While the injury is “relatively minor,” it needs time to heal so it doesn’t become something bigger.

Pozuelo is currently training on his own.

“If you ask him, he’s ready yesterday. He wants to be out there,” Armas said.

Midfielder Jonathan Osorio (thigh), another important part of the TFC puzzle, is listed as questionable, with Armas suggesting he may need a little more time to recover.

Story continues below advertisement

Star striker Jozy Altidore is back in full training after having recovered from the bout of illness that has kept him out of the past two games. Altidore has 74 goals in all competitions for TFC, nine short of Sebastian Giovinco’s club record.

Newly signed Jamaican international fullback Kemar Lawrence is available and Venezuelan international winger/forward Yeferson Soteldo is expected to see more action after playing 34 minutes off the bench in Saturday’s 2-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls.

Columbus is without Kevin Molino (hamstring), Aidan Morris (knee), Marlon Hairston (knee), Perry Kitchen (thigh) and Milton Valenzuela (thigh).

Striker Gyasi Zardes (shoulder), who has seen just 33 minutes action in the past two games, is questionable with a shoulder injury but says he will play through the pain. Midfielder Pedro Santos (knee) and former TFC defender Josh Williams (shoulder), who both started last time out in a 3-1 win over D.C. United, are also listed as questionable.

“With the injuries we have we don’t have a ton of options” Columbus coach Caleb Porter said. “So can we find a way to get a result in this game knowing that we’re probably going to be in the next three days in a better position in terms of personnel decisions and selections and health.”

Porter says given the current schedule crunch, rotating his roster is important. The Toronto match, at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium, is Columbus’s fourth in 12 days with a trip Sunday to New England to follow.

Story continues below advertisement

“This is one [game], for sure, that we have to be smart with because guys are starting to get cooked,” Porter said. “And this is where you get injuries.”

Toronto is playing its third game in nine days with a match at New York City FC to come Saturday. Armas’s club is 1-4-2 in all competitions in 2021.

While Columbus has just one win and two ties in MLS play, it can point to being unbeaten in eight straight matches (6-0-2) counting last season’s playoffs. The club has outscored the opposition 14-4 during that run with five clean sheets.

Both sides were involved in Scotiabank Champions League play and would have met in the final four had they survived Mexican opposition in the quarter-finals. But Columbus was beaten by Monterrey (5-2 on aggregate) and TFC lost to Cruz Azul (4-1).

While it is a small sample size, TFC’s defence needs to tighten up. It is 26th in the league in goals conceded, averaging 2.67 a game. Goalkeeper Alex Bono has been in goal every minute so far and has not played poorly – but compare his 2.67 goals-against average to Columbus ‘keeper Eloy Room’s 0.33.

“I know we’ve been in every game,” said Armas, who sees the bigger picture.

Story continues below advertisement

“The talk and the feeling was we have to make the work start adding up. To keep minimizing some of the mistakes and maintain our focus and concentration. And then just reward ourselves, with some of the good work being done.

“The effort is there We’re going to start making the work into points. It starts [Wednesday] night.”

Columbus opened the season with scoreless draws against the Philadelphia Union and CF Montreal.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies