It’s safe to say that the last week in Toronto FC land has been one of the most somber in recent history.

A third defeat in eight days for the Reds came at Stade Saputo on Saturday night, where TFC fell 2-0 to bitter rivals CF Montréal. Having lost to CFMTL in midweek during their Canadian Championship quarter-final clash, 401 Derby bragging rights firmly belong to the Québec-based club.

With 10 first-team players unavailable, including late scratch Raoul Pettreta, Bob Bradley was forced to put out a makeshift starting XI, highlighted by Mark-Anthony Kaye slipping into a back three alongside Richie Laryea, and Aimé Mabika. 

The first 30 minutes at Stade Saputo were arguably as timid as they could get in the context of MLS’s Rivalry Week. Moreover, neither side registereed a single shot on target in the first half as TFC recorded just one in the entire match.

The obvious positive from the first 45 was that the game was still goalless, which left the door wide open for either club to pounce and take control. As the second 45 got underway, it was the hosts who took full advantage. 

In the 53rd minute, Finnish international Lassi Lappalainen latched onto a well-placed pass from George Campbell before slotting the ball past Sean Johnson for Montreal’s opener.

From there, it all went downhill for Toronto FC.

Two minutes after going a goal down, the Reds found themselves a man down after Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty was given a second yellow card for time wasting.

The circumstances put TFC’s character to the test once again, but a lackadaisical approach to the remainder of the game saw the visitors record just one shot in the second half, and none on target.

Chinonso Offor, who scored at BMO Field just four days prior, doubled CFMTL’s lead in the 68th minute, ultimately sealing three crucial points for his side.

It was evident that Bob Bradley had given up on the game in the 80th minute when he subbed out Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi, and Richie Laryea at the same time.

The defeat, TFC’s third in four MLS games, sees the Reds drop to the bottom of the Eastern Conference following the New York Red Bulls’ narrow 1-0 victory over New York City FC.

If you thought Toronto FC would have a week to get set for their next match, you thought wrong. The Reds are right back in action this Wednesday, May 17th when they welcome the Red Bulls to BMO Field.

‘Must-win’ will be an understatement for TFC’s next handful of games as Bob Bradley’s men are now five games away from the halfway point of the season having taken just 12 points from their opening 12 matches.