Earnshaw injures hamstring while ending goal drought

The Welsh striker scored his first goal for Toronto FC in nearly three months, and left the pitch almost immediately afterward with a hamstring injury.
TORONTO -- It wouldn't be a Toronto FC game without a negative cancelling out a positive.

On Wednesday night, TFC played the visiting Chicago Fire to a 1-1 draw on the strength of a 23rd minute goal by Robert Earnshaw. It was the Welshman's first tally after a prolonged goalless streak, and -- given that he's a Toronto player and seemingly not capable of good luck -- was accompanied by a leg injury that forced him to leave the match just two minutes later.

"He felt his hamstring, but I don't think it's anything major," TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said after the match. "It's one of those little tweaks where if you keep going on it, it'll probably tear. But he was smart to come off."

It's just the kind of luck the Reds have become accustomed to in a season where goalscoring has been arguably the number one deficiency for a club full of them.

Earnshaw started the year off brightly, scoring six goals over the first couple of months of the 2013 campaign. But a nearly three-month drought saw the striker stalled at the half-dozen mark, which made it all the more strange when his long-awaited seventh on the year didn't lead to his customary front flip goal celebration.

"Probably 10-12 years ago was the last time [I didn't celebrate]," Earnshaw said with a laugh. "I've probably [not] done it two or three times in my whole career. In over 200 goals or so, probably two or three times that I've [not] done that."

Earnshaw explained that he actually injured his hamstring before slotting the ball past Chicago 'keeper Sean Johnson, as he felt it "tweak" as he planted his foot to shoot. The pitch at BMO Field was very slick on Wednesday night following a heavy thunderstorm that passed through Toronto a few hours before kickoff.

"That's what's more annoying," he lamented. "It wasn't because I was sprinting or something like that, it's just because the ground gave way."

Still Toronto's leading goalscorer, Earnshaw said he hopes to be back on the field soon, but hesitated to give a timeline for his return.

"[The away game at] New York [on Saturday] I think I'll be very doubtful, and we'll just see how it recovers over the next ten days," Earnshaw said. "It's just a little bit of bad luck but hopefully I'm back soon."