There hasn't been much for Toronto FC to enjoy so far this season. But with points in consecutive games, the defending MLS Cup champion hopes to hit the World Cup break on a high note.
Toronto FC is in position for back-to-back wins for the first time this season when it hosts D.C. United on Wednesday night at BMO Field.
Toronto (4-7-2) is coming off a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Friday, which followed a draw with Columbus less than a week earlier. It was only the second time this season that Greg Vanney's squad picked up points in consecutive matches. It was also the first road win in MLS action in 2018.
"It's a step in the right direction. It's what we wanted," Toronto FC's Jonathan Osorio, who scored both goals, told sportsnet.ca. "The objective coming in was to get three points and more than anything, I'm just happy that we got the win and now hopefully we can keep this going."
Among the positives for Toronto: finding the back of the net multiple times in a game. The club has scored at least two goals in four of its last five games and six of its last eight -- a feat it managed just once in its first five games.
"I'm happy for the guys working through things," Vanney told the team's website. "It wasn't perfect -- that's natural on the road, but we continue to work, find solutions, finish the chances that we needed to on the night. I'm happy for the guys to grind. That's what you've got to do in these moments: work hard, compete, and find the right answers."
D.C. United, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a second-half lead turned into zero points after 90 minutes against the Seattle Sounders.
Shortly after taking the lead, D.C. (2-6-3) gave up the equalizer and then conceded the go-ahead goal with fewer than 10 minutes to play, snapping the club's modest two-game point streak.
"I don't think we were good enough (against Seattle). I think we did what we needed to up until we got up 1-0. If you do that away from home, especially away from home, you need to do the nitty-gritty work and then defend it and be tight," goalkeeper David Ousted told the team website.
"But we leave one of the better players on the field today wide open on the top of the box and he finishes. ... Those are mistakes that you can't make at this level, and those cost us."
The loss kept D.C. in the Eastern Conference basement and lingering near the bottom of the overall standings with just nine points, one up on last-place Colorado.
While D.C. faces a team that doesn't quite resemble the championship squad of 2017, they know it's still an important match.
"It's another big Eastern Conference game. We're looking to pick up points there," United defender Steven Birnbaum said. "We've got to take care of our bodies now. ... But we've got to look at the film this week and correct some things."