NEWS
04/14/2012 06:37 EDT | Updated 06/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Bad luck, bad record: Toronto FC makes franchise history with 5th straight loss

TORONTO - Manager Aron Winter appeared shell-shocked. Forward Ryan Johnson was disbelieving. Goalkeeper Milos Kocic looked like he could spit.

Toronto FC made franchise history for all the wrong reasons Saturday, losing a fifth straight MLS game 1-0 to Chivas USA. Worst of all, Toronto had a slew of second-half chances and could probably have won 5-1.

Johnson could easily have had a hat trick while fellow striker Danny Koevermans could have walked off the pitch with a pair.

"Bad luck," said Winter, still shaking his head at how his team didn't score.

"They're doing the job but the ball is not going in the net ... We deserved to win the game because we were the better team," he added.

Down 1-0 on a 31st-minute goal by Oswaldo Minda, Toronto outshot Chivas 10-2 (5-0 in shots on target) in the second half and many of them were glorious chances.

But one ball after another deflected off a defender, bounced the wrong way, hit a post or found Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who combined skill with a dose of good fortune.

"Goals will come eventually ... Points will come, I'm sure of it. It has to," said Koevermans.

"I think everyone saw again today we didn't deserve this loss. But the score says different," he added.

But the bottom line is Toronto (0-5-0) has yet to win or tie, score at home or even hold a lead in MLS play this season. And it has a 1-6-2 combined record in league and CONCACAF Champions League play, having been outscored 20-9.

Toronto lost four straight to kick off its debut season before beating the Chicago Fire 3-1 on May 12, 2007. The Fire visit Toronto next Saturday.

Languishing in the MLS basement, Toronto has been outscored 10-2 in league play this season. But Winter has insisted that while his team has made costly defensive errors, it was creating chances at the other end — and that goals would come.

His side tightened up defensively Saturday — with one exception — but could not buy a goal.

In contrast, Chivas (3-3-0) has now won all three games on the road and lost all three at home.

A tidy defensive side with few attacking options in the absence of the injured Juan Pablo Angel, the Los Angeles-based team made the most of its limited chances. Toronto didn't.

"Toronto played really well, especially in the second half, they dominated play," said Chivas' Canadian international fullback Ante Jazic. "We defended pretty well. Our goalkeeper made two or three big saves which you have to do in this league. Your 'keeper has to come up (big) and Dan Kennedy's been great for us all year. Defensively we're pretty solid.

"We started to bend but we didn't break. Last year we probably would have lost this game, or at least tied it. And we were able to get three points."

Johnson looked certain to the game it in the 80th minute when, found alone in the corner of the box, his left-footed shot went through Kennedy. But somehow defender Heath Pearce flew through the air to clear the ball as it was about to go in.

"A miracle," said Winter, who called it "a 100 per cent goal."

"It's just unbelievable that the ball didn't go into the goal," added Johnson.

A Johnson header off a Eric Avila cross went just wide in the 84th. And Kennedy made an amazing reflex stop on Koevermans in the 89th minute.

Kennedy also stopped a Koevermans backheel from close range in the 70th minute, probably without knowing too much about it. All Koevermans could do in response was kick the goalpost in frustration.

Toronto did not manage a shot on target in the first half. But the home side came out aggressively after the break and Miller Bolanos had to head a Johnson header off the line from a Toronto corner in the 48th minute as Chivas faced a stiff wind.

Winter said he remains positive but it was clear that he was feeling the pain of the franchise's worst ever start and its longest losing streak.

"I'm seeing a lot of good things," he said before adding: "It's never happened in my coaching career — five games, zeros points."

Perhaps the only other good news for the announced crowd of 18,476 at BMO Field was that captain Torsten Frings dressed for the first time since straining a hamstring March 17 in the season-opening loss in Seattle.

The former German international, however, was rooted to his seat and did not warm up with the other substitutes as the game wore on.

Winter said he did not want to put Frings at risk by playing him, but wanted him on the bench for the team.

Frings and fellow designated player Julian de Guzman were part of a bench with more than $3.2 million in combined salary last season. Frings is expected to return next week. De Guzman's future seems cloudier.

The lone goal came in the 31st minute off Minda's downward header from a corner created by a glorious attack by Chivas. Johnson was attempting to mark the Ecuador international but appeared to bump into acting captain Richard Eckersley.

The visitors stroked the ball around and had several touches in the penalty box before Eckersley poked the ball out.

Minda had been influential from the get-go in his role as holding midfielder.

Defender Adrian Cann returned to the lineup for the first time since ripping up his knee in training last July. Ty Harden made way for the Canadian international.

Said Kocic: "You can't pick one player who didn't do their job today."

The goalie was left to wonder what might happen if Toronto could take a lead and then pressure a team like it did Chivas.

Winter, meanwhile, was left to answer questions about whether the losing streak could impact his job security.

"I'm here to succeed and get the team in the playoffs," he said.