Toronto, ON – Toronto FC managed to avoid a loss earlier this week, but it was outside of Major League Soccer.
Toronto opened defense of its Canadian Championship title with a tie Wednesday against the Montreal Impact, and has a win and three draws in non-MLS matches.
But in league play, Toronto (0-7-0) has tied a record for most losses to begin a season. Seven straight losses to open a season matches a mark first set back in 1999, when the Kansas City Wizards lost their first seven games.
"That is never good to see," Toronto coach Aron Winter said.
TFC will try to avoid taking sole possession of the record Saturday, when D.C. United (4-3-3) visits BMO Field. But another defeat, and Toronto will move one game closer to the record of 12 straight losses set by the MetroStars in 1999.
"It's not even a question if we are working hard or not, it's pretty obvious that the guys are continuously giving their best, 110 percent," said Toronto midfielder Julian de Guzman said.
"Every game that we've played this year there's been a lot of positives to walk out with. We've never been dominated in any game that we've played."
While Toronto can look to its 0-0 draw with Montreal, an expansion MLS team, and other non-league results, it has yet to produce a similar result in league play.
Toronto started the season with a 2-2 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy in the CONCACAF Champions League, then won in L.A. 2-1 in the second game to advance to the semifinals.
TFC was ousted by Mexico's Santos, but did post a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Toronto. Now with the result against Montreal, Toronto will try to start over in MLS.
D.C. United also played midweek, and has been in good form this season. United was unbeaten in seven straight before a 5-3 defeat at the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday.
United performed well with Perry Kitchen and Robbie Russell playing in central defense, even though neither is true a center back.
"We have to survive. There are a lot of teams with players in key positions out. We just have to make it work," said United coach Ben Olsen.
Dwayne De Rosario scored his second goal of the season and collected a pair of assists to take over the league lead with seven, but he was not pleased three goals was not enough to secure a win.
"Away from home, three goals, you think that's good enough to at least come away with a point, and we didn't," he said. "We came away with nothing, and we're disappointed about that part."
"I was disappointed in the loss, but there was a lot of fight in this team," Olsen said after the loss to the Western Conference leaders.
"I love the character of this team."