Toronto FC goalkeeper Milos Kocic mentioned the playoffs after a win over the New England Revolution on Saturday, a topic that seemed impossible nine matches into the MLS season.
Toronto lost its first nine matches, but has been a different squad since with an impressive 4-2-4 record in its last 10 games. Although TFC is still sits in last in the Eastern Conference - and the overall table - the playoffs remain a possibility.
Just 12 points out of fifth place, which secures a playoff spot, Toronto hosts the struggling Colorado Rapids on Wednesday at BMO Field.
"We have a home crowd next game and obviously," Kocic said following a 1-0 win at New England, "(and) we need to win ... to compete for playoffs."
Under new coach Paul Mariner, who took over after 10 games, TFC has compiled a 3-2-4 record. But Toronto (4-11-4) has another obstacle to overcome as forward Danny Koevermans was lost for the season with an ACL tear against the Revs.
Koevermans leads TFC with nine goals, six more than the second highest in Ryan Johnson. To put Koevermans' offensive output in perspective, he has nine of 22 goals scored in league play by Toronto.
"Someone's going to have to step up and become a goal scorer for us," Mariner said Saturday night, before it was confirmed Koevermans tore his ACL.
Luis Silva scored against New England has goals in his last two games and will need to help fill the void.
"(Danny is) definitely a great player, and he has been playing fantastic the last few games, so it hurts," Silva said.
With its bad start in the past, TFC will not buckle now. And Colorado (7-11-1) visits at the right time for Toronto FC, as the Rapids have lost five of their last six.
The Rapids lost 2-1 to FC Dallas, which snapped its 13-game winless skid, over the weekend.
Colorado coach Oscar Pareja tried to remain positive, but the remainder of the month, which includes matches against Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC, will be crucial.
"We do a lot of good things, but then we don't finalize the job and then that happens. It is frustrating, but we cannot lose our heads," Pareja said.
"Now we need to get results and get things done."
Rapids defender Drew Moor said the team would "try to put this one behind us," as Colorado focuses on Toronto, while goalkeeper Matt Pickens hoped a win can spark a turn around.
"This is the toughest stretch I think I've ever been on as a soccer player," Pickens said. "But you can't do anything but get back on the field and keep working. And one of these is just going to turn around for us, hopefully it comes on Wednesday."