TFC's effort was 'a disgrace': Carver
There wasn't any smoke coming out of John Carver's ears.
He didn't stomp his feet, kick any trash cans, or pound his fist on the table.
It was a calm and composed Carver, someone who was in complete control, who fielded questions in the media room at BMO Field following Toronto FC's 2-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday.
Toronto's coach was famous for wearing his emotions on his sleeve and letting the heat of the moment overcome him in the majority of post-game news conferences last season.
Not this time.
Carver was furious, but instead of going off on a 10-minute diatribe as he did in the past, what he offered was a precise diagnosis of his team's performance over the previous 90 minutes.
His tone was measured, his words full of bile.
"I thought it was a disgrace," Carver quietly responded when asked to characterize his team's overall effort.
That was Carver's opening salvo. There was more to come.
Nobody on the team stood out for Toronto, according to Carver.
"I'm sitting here thinking if there's anybody who's come out of the game with any credit, and I can't think of anybody," the Englishman admitted.
The weather wreaked havoc and didn't make for ideal playing conditions (strong winds made it feel like -4 C) but Carver refused to use that as an excuse.
"I thought we lost to the better side," Carver said. "They adapted to the conditions far better than we did. It just shows you when there's a gale-force wind you can still play football, and hats off to [Seattle head coach] Sigi [Schmid]'s men, they did that."
The dissection continued, as Carver took his players to task for too easily conceding possession of the ball and losing the physical battle in midfield.
"We looked a yard slower, we didn't win any second balls. We didn't compete. What else can I say? All in all, it's a hugely disappointing game and result," Carver stated.
Apology to fans
Carver couldn't account for his team's poor effort, only saying that he plans "to get to the bottom of it" before offering an apology to the team's legion of fans.
As for the players, they were also at a loss for an explanation for the game's outcome.
"We couldn't get it going today," said captain Jim Brennan, pointing out the obvious.
"We simply weren't good enough, individually and collectively," opined midfielder Carl Robinson.
Carver said there was equal blame to go around for all of his players, but he singled out Amado Guevara and Robinson by name.
The central midfield duo was the backbone of the team last season — Guevara providing the creative inspiration as the team launched forward, Robinson mopping up behind him in a more defensive, ball-winning role.
But against Seattle, Guevara and Robinson were mere spectators, unable to make any significant contributions.
Carver said the game just "passed right by" Guevara, and that he had "never seen Carl give the ball away so much."
Dwayne De Rosario, who made his BMO Field debut for his hometown club, didn't exactly wrap himself in glory, either.
"There was an awful lot of hype coming into the game, there were a few guys returning home, a big occasion, and it just didn't come together," Carver said.
'Lot of work to be done'
And what about all of the talk among fans about Toronto FC being a playoff contender after it earned four points in their first two games of the season, both of them on the road?
A load of rubbish, as the Brits would say.
"There's still an awful lot of work to be done," stated Carver. "People keep talking about playoffs this and playoffs that, but you keep performing like that and you'll finish bottom of the league again."