While Toronto FC continues to stumble, coach Ryan Nelsen believes it's only a matter of time before his team gets going.
Road-challenged Toronto tries to snap a seven-match winless stretch Wednesday night when it faces the San Jose Earthquakes, who also have had a rough go of late.
Since beating Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on March 9, Toronto is 0-3-4. After falling 2-1 to New York on April 27, Toronto (1-4-4) allowed the game's only goal in the 86th minute of Saturday's 1-0 loss at Colorado.
"I haven't kept count, but we've had a few games like this," goalkeeper Joseph Bendik said.
With seven points in its first nine games, Toronto finds itself in an eighth-place tie in the Eastern Conference.
"One day when hopefully we bring in a witch doctor or the black cat leaves, we'll turn these games into wins," Nelsen told the club's official website. "The effort is there and you can see that they have made progress. We're learning as a team and we'll always stick by the boys. They really tried hard and worked their socks off."
With every match so far within a one-goal margin, his club can't seem to get over the hump.
"That is what is probably so frustrating," Nelsen said. "Everybody involved with the club can see how far the team has come. We are so close to turning draws into wins and losses into draws or wins as well. We're really close. We just have to keep on the path and it will turn."
Getting on track could prove all the more difficult on the road, where Toronto has scored two goals in going 0-3-1. The club has compiled a 3-24-11 record on opposing fields since 2011.
Toronto now turns its attention to a San Jose team mired in a disappointing stretch of its own. The Earthquakes (2-3-5) dropped to 0-2-4 over their last six matches after recording their third consecutive draw, 2-all versus Montreal on Saturday.
San Jose fell behind 2-0 before rallying behind Sam Cronin, who set up Adam Jahn's goal and then scored in second-half stoppage time.
Cronin, selected by Toronto with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 SuperDraft, started 30 of 33 games with the club before getting traded to the Earthquakes for allocation money in June 2010. He has two assists in three matches against his former team.
Reigning league MVP Chris Wondolowski has six goals and an assist during San Jose's 2-0-2 run versus Toronto. He leads the Earthquakes with four goals and recorded his first two assists Saturday.
San Jose also could get a boost from forward Marcus Tracy, who earned high praise from teammates following his MLS debut Saturday. Named college soccer's best male player in 2008 at Wake Forest, Tracy's career was derailed after undergoing three separate knee surgeries.
"It's just the beginning for him," Cronin told the team's official website. "If you couldn't tell from (Saturday), he's got a lot to offer the team. I'm excited to see how he continues to progress."
- Sports & Recreation
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Toronto FC
- Ryan Nelsen