Toronto FC’s horrid start to the 2012 just keeps getting worse, as they recorded their ninth straight loss against a rampant D.C. United side on Saturday night. United ran out 3-1 winners at RFK Stadium, as former TFC star Dwayne De Rosario provided two early goals which set the capital club on their way.
De Rosario netted his fourth and fifth goals of the season in the first half, as United won for the second time against Toronto this season.
Danny Koevermans pulled a goal back for the Reds in the second half, but their hopes of earning at least a point were dashed two minutes later, as Hamdi Salihi found the back of the net for the fourth time in his last five games, to seal the 3-1 win.
United’s opening goal came just 57 seconds into the match, the fourth quickest goal in team history. Toronto conceded a free kick on the left hand flank, and from 40-yards out, Branko Boskovic whipped in a curling ball. De Rosario found attacked the ball and slammed a header home from eight-yards out, as D.C. came flying out of the traps.
Toronto created their share of chances the rest of the first half, but failed to find a vital breakthrough that could have helped them earn their first point of the season. Winger Reggie Lambe got in behind the United defense, but Bill Hamid was quick off his line to cut out the chance.
Jamaican striker Ryan Johnson had a header over the bar, and the diminutive Joao Plata sent a free kick straight at Hamid before De Rosario scored his -- and D.c.’s second -- on the stroke of halftime. United quickly changed the side of attack through Josh Wolff, and Wolff found a streaking Chris Korb down the right flank. The right back’s cross found De Rosario at the far post, and Milos Kocic could not prevent the ball from going in, despite getting his gloves to it.
In the second half though, Toronto refused to go quietly, as they came out and pressured United from the whistle, looking to find a way back into the game. Johnson went close with a header, before connecting on another header at the far post, which went straight to Hamid.
Toronto’s persistence paid off in the 71st minute as Dutch striker Danny Koevermans, a halftime substitute, tallied his second goal of the season. A free kick from Toronto bounced into the box and after United failed to clear, Koevermans was perfectly placed to tap the ball home to make a contest out of the game.
Yet all hopes of grabbing a point for Toronto were dashed moments later, as Salihi put the Reds out of their misery after Andy Najar set up the Albanian for the goal. Taking control of the ball in the Toronto box, Najar weaved past several defenders, got to the touch line, and then sent a pass towards the middle that Salihi placed over Kocic for the 3-1 lead.
United, with 24 points from 14 games, concludes their three game home stand with a tilt against the New England Revolution next Saturday. While Toronto head back home to host the Philadelphia Union next Saturday, as the search for their first point of the season continues.
Lineups and boxscore (MLSsoccer.com)
Opta Chalkboard (MLSsoccer.com)