WASHINGTON - For the ninth straight MLS match in 2012, Toronto FC came up on the losing side.
And it was a former TFC player punishing his old club, as Canadian international Dwayne De Rosario led the way with two goals in D.C. United's 3-1 win over the Reds at RFK Stadium on Saturday night.
De Rosario scored in the first and 43rd minute, and Hamdi Salihi added a third for D.C. in the second half. Danny Koevermans provided the lone goal on the evening for the Reds.
Things started off poorly for Toronto. After a cheaply conceded free kick, D.C. midfielder Branko Boskovic served in a curling ball into the middle of the box that De Rosario headed in past goalkeeper Milos Kocic in the first minute.
"It's a lack of concentration," Toronto defender Adrian Cann said of the first goal. "I don't know who was marking (De Rosario) but he slipped off.
"Ultimately that shouldn't be the reason that we lost the game. It's a mental battle as well as a physical game. We've got to go out there have a physical presence out there with every tackle and we didn't do that today."
Despite being a goal down on the road, Toronto kept the pressure on, looking to hit back. Ryan Johnson flashed a header well high of Hamid's goal, Joao Plata had a free kick sail over the bar as well, and Canadian Julian De Guzman took a shot from distance that went wide.
Toronto paid for those missed chances in the 43rd minute when De Rosario struck again. D.C. forward Josh Wolff spotted the run of defender Chris Korb down the right flank, and sent in a perfectly driven low cross that De Rosario smashed home. Kocic was able to get a hand on it but couldn't keep it out.
The second half started much better than the first did for Toronto FC.
The entrance of Koevermans up front gave another threat to the attack to compliment Ryan Johnson.
Another chance fell to Johnson in the 62nd minute when he peeled off D.C.'s defence and had a free header in front of goal. But he glanced the shot straight into the hands of Hamid.
Koevermans gave Toronto a glimpse of hope in the 71st minute, latching onto the end of a De Guzman free kick, redirecting his shot past Hamid to cut the deficit to 2-1.
But the hope was extinguished just two minutes later when Hamdi Salihi restored D.C.'s two-goal advantage, bundling home an Andy Najar cross.
"I don't know it anymore," Koevermans said after the game. "It's so frustrating — you're back in the game, and one minute later it's gone.
"We're setting a record that we're the worst team in the world, and it's painful."
The chances were there for Toronto, even after D.C.'s third goal on the night, as Johnson poked just wide of the goal with Hamid beaten, and the D.C. 'keeper tipping over a fierce shot from Reggie Lambe.
However, they couldn't get back into the game, and with the loss, fell to 0-9 in MLS play this season.