Toronto FC is trying to avoid their scoring woes, which severely hurt them last season. The club set a record that they would like to soon forget during their first year in the MLS. On July 7th against Chicago the team scored a goal in the 78th minute. Two months and nearly 10 games went by before they would score another goal. Obviously they did not win any of those games, as it’s hard to win putting up a goose egg on the scoreboard every game. It was the end of the summer before Toronto FC would find the back of the net again.
In total the scoring drought lasted 824 minutes, which set the scoring futility record by far. They do not want that to happen this year and have made some off-season moves that they hope can remedy their scoring problems. Toronto FC forward Jeff Cunningham recently said, “Last year was a very difficult year for me and for everyone on the team. It was a low point in my career. It was as frustrating a season as I’ve ever been through.”
Cunningham came to Toronto is a trade with Real Salt Lake in may and scored three goals for his new club for the season. He hopes that things will be better this year and that Toronto will be able to garner more offense this year. Cunningham went on to say, “We need to start the season on a positive note. There’s a lot of pressure on us to score goals after a disappointing season last year. It’s very important for us to get out of the gates quickly and get some good results and get our confidence.” He also said about the scoring problems of last year, “You’re taught not to get too high or not to get too low. That’s very difficult when things are not going well. The team isn’t scoring goals and it’s your job to score goals. It’s very frustrating to keep that balance when things are not going well, so why it’s so important for us to get some good results early in the season.”
Cunningham will be one of the main attackers for the club this year, which only scored a total of 25 goals last season. Cunningham was once a member of the Jamaican national team and is 4th on the all time MLS scoring list with 96 goals in 175 games. In 2006 he won the MLS Golden Boot award scoring a league high 16 goals for Real Salt Lake. He is playing well in the pre season, but had some late serious injuries last year, which is a concern for the club.
One of the new moves that Toronto FC hopes will help is the addition of offensive-minded head coach John Carver. Cunningham said about his new coach, “He has some good ideas. There’s a lot more competition for the top 11 spots. I think they’ve made some good additions to the team and that will make everyone have to raise their game. It gives everyone a fresh start to earn their place on the team.”
One major move that would really help Toronto’s offense is if they sign former MLS MVP Amado Guevara, who is a proven playmaker. This off-season Toronto FC also added forwards Joseph Lapira and Xavier Balc and are still looking for more offensive players as the season opener draws near.