BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Toronto FC is only four games into their season, yet their coach feels like his team has already given up.
A go-ahead goal by Jeff Larentowicz in the 68th minute on a free kick got the Chicago Fire past a 10-man TFC squad 3-2 on Saturday.
"We played four games and we've given up, I think it's eight goals, and played two games down a man," Toronto coach Greg Vanney said. "And then (we) played two games where we gave up a goal within two minutes, sometimes one minute from when we've either equalized or gotten ahead. We can't do that. That's not a formula for winning games or picking up results."
Toronto FC's Warren Creavalle was sent off in the 67th minute after receiving a yellow card for rough challenge of David Accam. Larentowicz curled the ensuing free kick around the wall and inside the far post for the winning goal.
"I feel as a collective group, we and also individually, are too lax and don't recognize the moments where we need to defend with more urgency," said Vanney.
Joevin Jones gave Chicago (2-3-0) an early 1-0 lead in the 14th minute. Jones stole the ball from the Toronto defence, fed Shaun Maloney for a give-and-go and left-footed it into the far corner.
Toronto (1-3-0) evened the match six minutes later when Sebastian Giovinco rolled a ball through the legs of a defender and it trickled past goalkeeper Jon Busch.
Benoit Cheyrou put TFC ahead 2-1 in the 54th minute. Giovinco ran down a long ball, chipped a back pass to the penalty spot and Cheyrou finished it. It was both Giovinco's and Cheyrou's first goals in both the MLS and in a Toronto uniform.
"Sebastian I thought he was involved, he dropped in the midfield a little more, he combined with everyone a little more," said Vanney.
Chicago's Shaun Malone squared the game two minutes later with a shot through traffic.
"We played in a good and exciting manner today," said Fire coach Frank Yallop. "I felt we deserved to win the game. We tried to initiate most of the play against a good team."
Despite the loss, Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik says his team needs to look at the positives.
"I thought we played well when we had the ball in the final third," Bendik said. "Defensively there are still things we obviously need to work on. We have a weekend off and we'll work hard for the next two weeks and come out and get a result."
With files from The Associated Press