This should have been a happier moment for Toronto FC’s Doneil Henry.
The 19-year-old’s first MLS goal — an equalizer in the 77th minute against Real Salt Lake — could have been the most important goal so far in the Reds’ historically disappointing start to the season. It could’ve been the goal that ended Toronto’s winless run and given them that elusive first point.
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Video: Winter postgame on GOLTV Canada.
Instead, in the third minute of stoppage time, Jonny Steele’s shot from outside the box found the back of the net, giving RSL a 3-2 win and condemning the Reds to their seventh loss in a row.
“What can I say? It hurts,” Henry said. “We didn’t deserve it. Anybody that watched the game knows we didn’t deserve it. We should have capitalized on our chances, but we didn’t.”
There were chances. Torsten Frings missed a penalty in the first half. Eric Avila, who set up the penalty and scored a splendid goal just after halftime, hit the crossbar. Joao Plata slid a shot inches wide of the post just before full time.
“We all had our chances,” Henry said. “We could have put the game away a lot earlier.”
But they didn’t. And now they stand on the brink of some dubious history. The 0-7-0 record to start a season matches the record for futility set by the 1999 Kansas City side. They have also lost four straight by one goal.
“That is never good to see,” head coach Aron Winter said after the match. “But I think that today was a good moment because we played well enough to get at least one point. But the way that we lost is just terrible.”
TFC won’t have much time to dwell on things. They have a midweek match at Montreal in both clubs’ Canadian Championship opener. Then they host D.C. United in league play next week, with history on the line.
“Yeah, it was a very painful defeat today for us,” defender Julian de Guzman said after the match. “It’s not even a question if we are working hard or not, it’s pretty obvious that the guys are continuously giving their best, 110-percent.
“We just have to keep our heads up. Now is not the time to drop our shoulders. It’s not the time for us to lose our confidence. Every game that we’ve played this year there’s been a lot of positives to walk out with. We’ve never been dominated in any game that we’ve played.”