It is time for thorough introspection.
"I think we've tossed enough (games) out already," said goalkeeper Troy Perkins after the Montreal Impact lost 4-0 to the New York Red Bulls.
Montreal, which is 1-3-2 in its last six games, fell to 9-5-4 overall. The Impact and Red Bulls (9-7-7) have the most points in the Eastern Conference with 31 points apiece. However, Montreal is still first overall in the conference because it has played two fewer games than New York. The Red Bulls also have two more losses than the Impact.
"When you're afraid like this — we (knew) we had to score some goals and (earn) some points here — but when you don't believe in something, you don't have a chance," said Impact manager Marco Schallibaum. "The team that comes from far away to be in first place is good. But to stay there is very difficult because everybody wants to beat you.
"We must be stronger on the field. That's why I say they (were) too afraid. When you're (in) first (place), you must play like a top team and in the first half we weren't a top team."
Facing a New York team that had entered the game having lost three of four, the Impact had eight shot attempts on goal and Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles only had to make four saves. His most difficult saves were diving stops in the 49th and 71st minutes.
"We didn't score tonight," said Montreal midfielder Justin Mapp.
That was somewhat problematic as New York spent the majority of the match dictating play. The Red Bulls finished the game with 11 shots on goal.
"At some point it is probably frustrating," Perkins said of the New York attack. "Over the past four games it's been like that."
Thierry Henry, Eric Alexander, Tim Cahill and Peguy Lyuindula scored for New York. Henry also added two assists.
Henry was directly responsible for New York's first three goals. He set up Alexander's game-opening goal at the 10 minute mark with a quick pass. Alexander split three defenders in the box before driving a shot past Perkins to the far left corner to give New York a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, Henry doubled the advantage when he tapped Fabian Espindola's crossing feed into the net.
New York midfielder Tim Cahill headed Henry's corner kick in the 63rd minute past Perkins to increase the Red Bulls' lead to 3-0.
"He's a good player," Schallibaum said of Henry. "He's been showing us for 20 years he's a good player. We know the quality (of) Thierry Henry and he (showed) us again tonight. Congratulations."
Lyuindula ended the scoring with a penalty kick goal in the 87th minute. The forward was taken down in the box and he converted for his first goal in the MLS.
"Peguy has a vision of the game that's better than most people," said New York coach Mike Petke. "He sees things, his control is great; he's a setup man he hasn't been able to find the back of the net. As a forward that's frustrating.
"I think it's very important that Peguy stepped up and took that shot and converted it. It's all about (scoring streaks) and it's all about confidence for forwards specifically. So now hopefully we could count on one more (forward) that's going to get on a roll. That would be great."
Midfielder Davy Arnaud (45th minute) and Defender Matteo Ferrari (61st minute) were assessed yellow cards.
The announced attendance was 17,235 included a small but energetic Impact cheering section in the upper deck.