TORONTO (AP)—Toronto FC’s winless streak reached 13 games with a scoreless tie against the Montreal Impact in its home finale on Saturday.
Toronto’s last MLS win was a 2-1 victory over Colorado on July 18. It has earned four of a possible 39 points during its lackluster stretch, going 0-9-4.
”You look at the wins and losses and obviously it’s depressing,” coach Paul Mariner said. ”There’s nobody more depressed than me.
”But I can’t wait for next season, I can’t wait for Jan. 19 when we get together (for preseason). We’re already working on the squad for next year. So it’s an exciting time. The type of football we played this year with the players that we’ve got in is nowhere near what I want to play.”
Mariner, who took over for Aron Winter in June, was asked after the game if he had any concerns about his future.
”Not one bit, my future’s great,” he said before leaving the news conference.
Montreal’s winless run now stands at five after its third straight draw. It is 0-2-3 since a 3-0 victory over D.C. United on Aug. 25.
”We had great chances at the beginning of the game and great chances at the end of the game,” Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier said.
The Impact (12-15-6) controlled most of the play Saturday but could not convert that edge into goals. Marco Di Vaio had two strong chances in stoppage time but his close-range shot hit a defender before a volley bounced high over the Toronto goal.
”Because of his quality, I thought it was going to be curtains for us,” Mariner said of Di Vaio’s volley. ”But we got a little bit of luck.”
Toronto FC (5-20-8) played its first game since it announced two days ago it was reducing season ticket prices to match those of its 2007 expansion campaign, when the team went 6-17-7.
The news from Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment did not placate some fans. One sign in the supporters’ section read ”MLSE are crooks.” The game drew an announced crowd of 16,151, which thinned considerably after grey clouds gave way to rain during the first half.
Assistant coach Mike Sorber was in charge of the Impact with coach Jesse Marsch serving a suspension for being ejected in Houston.
Montreal had a chance to go ahead in the 34th minute but Davey Arnaud’s shot was cleared by a defender and Bernier’s attempt went wide on the ensuing corner.
Toronto’s Reggie Lambe almost dribbled through the Montreal defense in the 43rd but Matteo Ferrari’s sliding tackle ended the threat. Impact goalie Troy Perkins then stopped Eric Avila’s long-range shot.
Aaron Maund and Eric Hassli came close for Toronto late in the half on headers but could not find the target.
Toronto wraps up the season in Columbus next week after a midweek CONCACAF Champions League game in Mexico against Santos Laguna. Montreal’s finale is at home against New England.