Taking two weeks off after a devastating loss will be unbearable for Impact defender Heath Pearce.
Montreal blew a lead and conceded four first-half goals in a 4-2 defeat to D.C. United on Wednesday at Saputo Stadium.
"It's torture," said Pearce, whose team won't play again until the end of the month due to Major League Soccer's World Cup break. "It's torture to go two weeks without a game. The good thing about this sport is usually you play every week and you get a chance to correct things.
"We've seen what it takes for us to be good, the tools that we have and what happens when we don't implement them."
Pearce and the Impact backline were sloppy on Wednesday, giving D.C.'s forwards and midfielders too much space and time with the ball in the final third.
On the opener in the sixth minute of play, striker Fabian Espindola tricked Pearce and centre back Wandrille Lefevre with a no-look pass to Luis Silva, who put away his first of the season en route to a first-half hat trick.
Espindola caught the Impact ball watching again in the 23rd minute as he sent a seemingly harmless low cross into the box. The pass evaded three Montreal defenders and fell right to Nick DeLeon, who tied the game 2-2 with an easy tap-in.
Silva gave the visiting team the 3-2 lead with a breathtaking strike from about 30 yards out in the 39th minute. Unchallenged, and with Montreal's back four dropping off, D.C.'s attacking midfielder curled a shot just past a diving Troy Perkins' fingertips.
The 25-year-old, who had gone nine games without a goal prior to Wednesday, completed his hat trick from the penalty spot after Steve Birnbaum being brought down Hassoun Camara.
"What do you want me to do?" asked Impact manager Frank Klopas. "Jump on the field and play for them? I'm a very competitive person, and this is not the team I want. I want a team that's going to go on the field and compete. I want a group of players that will go out there and leave everything on the field."
Tough to swallow
Klopas said he likely wouldn't shuffle his backline during the break given the string of good performances over the last few weeks.
Fresh off its Amway Canadian Championship victory, Montreal came into the match unbeaten at home in its last three games in all competitions and riding consecutive clean sheets. Klopas's men hadn't conceded at Saputo Stadium in 206 minutes.
The stretch of positive results after a devastating start to the season made the loss to D.C. United tougher to swallow.
"We would be foolish to think that we weren't going to have more setbacks along the way," said Pearce. "You don't correct a system overnight. But that result was unacceptable for us. In any league, on any team, you have to have enough guys on any single day having good games. Today we didn't have enough, if any."
D.C.'s win, the team's seventh in its last 11 games, propelled United (7-4-4) to the top of Eastern Conference standings.
At the other end of the table, the Impact (2-7-4) are dead last with only 10 points from 13 games.
Jack McInerney and Andres Romero gave their team a chance to take points from Wednesday's encounter, scoring back-to-back goals to give the Impact a 2-1 lead.
McInerney found the back of the net in the 12th with a tight-angle shot that grazed the post to goalie Andrew Dykstra's left before Romero gave the Impact a short-lived lead in the 21st with a great individual effort.
Down 4-2, Impact captain Patrice Bernier had a golden opportunity to ignite a comeback in the 76th minute, but his penalty shot hit the post, went off Dykstra's back and trickled out of play. The shot came after Davy Arnaud was called for a hand ball.
Pearce tried making the most out of the loss.
"As bad as it is, it gives us a chance to really reflect, and each guy to go home and take a look in the mirror individually and think about what we can do better and how we can help the team more, all of us, from A to Z," he said.
This was only the second time Montreal conceded four goals at home in the MLS era.