If only the Columbus Crew showed as much intensity in their first halves lately as they did in the locker room after a second straight leaky and demoralizing defeat.
The Crew fell into a 2-0 deficit against Toronto FC en route to a 4-2 loss on Saturday, their first ever defeat at the hands of their Canadian rivals. The match follows on the heels of an August 27 loss to the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field, a match in which they trailed 4-0 on the way to a 6-2 rout.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
“It’s disappointing – it’s embarrassing, to tell you the truth,” captain Chad Marshall said. “To come back here after a week off against the worst team in the league and give up four goals – that’s not good enough.”
The Crew (11-9-7) have thrived on making comebacks this season. Prior to Saturday’s loss, Columbus were 3-1-2 when trailing at the half. The team has outscored opponents 26-19 in the second frame this season, but has been outscored 15-7 during the first 45 minutes.
“I don’t know why we can’t come out and start the game the way we play after we get scored on,” Marshall said. “I don’t understand. The warm-ups are fine. We just need to come out with the right mentality. That’s something that has to change. We just didn’t compete. They came out with nothing to lose, really, and they took it to us.”
Nick Soolsma and Ryan Johnson gave TFC (5-12-12) the lead by the 42nd minute. Tommy Heinemann cut the deficit to 2-1. Julian de Guzman regained a two-goal edge, but Andrés Mendoza made it 3-2 in the 87th minute before Danny Koevermans scored in the 92nd to end the scoring.
“We have to make sure we are more aggressive,” coach Robert Warzycha said. “In the second half, we were a little more aggressive.”
It wasn’t enough to placate goalkeeper William Hesmer as the Crew are now tied for first in the Eastern Conference with Sporting Kansas City.
“We thought the game was going to be easy,” he said. “We came out and were very soft and they were hard and physical and took us out of the game.
“Ten goals in two games honestly makes me sick,” Hesmer added. “It makes me want to go to Obetz [training center] right now and train with the team. It’s a lot of things right now. It’s not just our back four. It’s not just our forwards. It’s all of us.”