Toronto, ON – Toronto FC returns home to the Rogers Centre on Saturday for the first home match of the Ryan Nelsen era, but it comes against a formidable opponent in Sporting Kansas City.
Nelsen began his TFC managerial career with a 1-0 road defeat against Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend.
But the boss saw plenty of positives in the game and feels that his side will only improve.
"They worked their socks off and put a real shift in," Nelsen said of his team. "They had a really good first half in which I really feel they dictated the game and had a couple of very good opportunities. If we had taken one of those, it would have been a whole different ball game. We've played away from home and delivered a very good account of ourselves and had some very good chances. This team will only get better."
Nelsen will hope his side gets better quickly in order to snap a league winless streak of 15 matches, dating back to July 28th of last season.
TFC is now three matches away from the all-time MLS record set by Real Salt Lake in 2005-06.
In order to snap that run of futility, Toronto must become more dangerous in front of goal, with new faces like Robert Earnshaw and Hogan Ephraim needing to get acquainted quickly with MLS.
Sporting Kansas City had no such issues in its opening game of the season, a 3-1 win at the Philadelphia Union.
Kansas City fell behind in the first half to a Sebastien Le Toux goal, but Sporting gradually took over the game from there and tallied three unanswered goals behind the play of Graham Zusi, who scored one goal and assisted on the other two.
"A game like that can provide quite a bit of confidence for a team on the road," said Zusi. "Statistics aren't very good for a team that goes down on the road to come back and win, so I think it will bode well for us if we're ever in that situation again."
Sporting has now won its last three season openers, which have all come on the road.
Another bright spot for Sporting was the play of Designated Player Claudio Bieler, who scored in his debut and helped fill the void left by striker Kei Kamara, who is on loan with English Premiership side Norwich City.