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New York City FC (3) - Toronto FC (1) Post Match Summary

July 27, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Toronto FC News Release



NYC - Jesus Medina 5' (Anton Tinnerholm)

NYC - Valentin Castellanos 55' (Maxi Moralez)

NYC - Maxi Moralez 81' (Heber, Gary Mackay-Steven)

TFC - Patrick Mullins 87' (Jozy Altidore, Jacob Shaffelburg)


NYC - Alexander Ring 12' (caution)

TFC - Omar Gonzalez 15' (caution)

NYC - James Sands 66' (caution)

TFC - Jonathan Osorio 83' (caution)


Jayden Nelson made his Toronto FC debut and MLS competition debut tonight


TORONTO FC - Quentin Westberg; Auro Jr., Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga, Richie Laryea (Jacob Shaffelburg 75'); Marky Delgado (Patrick Mullins 79'), Michael Bradley (C), Nick DeLeon (Jozy Altidore 57'); Pablo Piatti (Erickson Gallardo 57'), Alejandro Pozuelo, Jayden Nelson (Jonathan Osorio 57')

Substitutes Not Used: Alex Bono, Laurent Ciman, Eriq Zavaleta, Griffin Dorsey, Liam Fraser, Noble Okello, Tsubasa Endoh

NEW YORK CITY FC - Sean Johnson; Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, Ronald Matarrita; Alexander Ring (C), James Sands, Jesus Medina (Nicolas Acevedo 84'); Valentin Castellanos (Gary Mackay-Steven 72'), Alexandru Mitrita (Heber 71'), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (Maxi Moralez 30') (Keaton Parks 84')

Substitutes Not Used: Luis Barraza, Gudmundur Thorarinsson, Joe Scally, Sebastien Ibeagha, Justin Haak, Juan Pablo Torres, Tony Rocha


It looked like your team was second best for stretches of the game against a hungry opponent. How did you see the game?

Similarly. I thought everything for us was too slow. The tempo of the game too slow. There's a lot of individual and collective things that I will take away from the game that are not for the press conference that we will deal with within our group. But everything was too slow. It lacked urgency, it lacked intensity. Obviously in moments where the ball was out of bounds, they slowed the game down and we should've been trying to speed the game up. But also, the ball movement was too slow. Too much dwelling. Too many touches. It wasn't what I would define as the best version of what we're trying to do and what we're trying to be. In a knockout if you're like that one night you're out and you go home. So, tonight that's what happened. They were better than us and they deserve to win, and we go home.

Was there any thought to making the changes you made at halftime instead of after the second New York goal?

There's always that thought. The whole game I'm thinking about changing things, especially when it's a night like tonight. But I made them when I made them. And we got a goal back, but we also take a goal. Any time when you put more numbers high you run the risk of giving up things on the other side. But at the end of the day when we lose passes, trying to play straight balls into people in the middle of the field, then you're going to get counterattacked. And so, there's always a give and a take here. And for me on the night here, we didn't have the urgency. We didn't play with the right mentality as a group. Tactically we didn't get to the right spots and do things the right way. There was a lot of things that didn't go well tonight and we were all a part of that. It is what it is. The subs I think brought a little more aggression, but it also opened us up on the other side as well.

Do you think the players lacked desire?

I think it's easy when you sit in Toronto and you're not here. The guys have grinded, it's not been easy. I don't think anybody didn't want to win. I don't think anyone gave up mentally. I think guys are fatigued. I think guys are tired. But I think we could've dug down a little deeper. We could've played better. I think if we played better then some of the things start to feel better. But we were inefficient with the ball. We ran more. We turned over balls in bad places, that meant we had to transition defend. That starts to wear on you. And I think some of that was the case today. I think the tournament and the games wore on us and we weren't good enough. Because of that we had to do more work. And so that's where I think it is. The things we need to work on are what we're trying to do. Continue to build on our platform of what are the principles that we play on. What is the shape that we need to be in. What are individual responsibilities. And guys need to perform within their roles. That's where we need to continue to build on. That's the individual and collective look. In terms of desire, I saw in the guys faces before the game, they wanted to win. We didn't start the game well. We started passing the ball around in our half of the field instead of putting balls deep into their half of the field and starting with some aggressive forechecking, if you will, to use a hockey term. We didn't. We started passing the ball backwards and I'm not sure we really got into their half before we took a goal. So that was a bad mindset, but the guys, for me, inside they wanted to win. It just didn't come together tonight.

Thoughts on Jayden Nelson's debut...

I was really pleased with Jayden Nelson today. We had a 17-year-old player who got his first match today. A Canadian youth international, who was the Canadian player of the year. I was pleased with him. I felt like he gave us some interesting stuff. I look forward to his career and his figure and his continued growth as a player. He deserved it. He earned it. And I thought he had a nice night tonight. It's unfortunate the game went the way it did, but I was pleased with him.


What do you think went wrong?

We started the game very poorly and never really ... we got ourselves going a little bit at the end of the first half ... but just in all ways weren't good enough tonight. So that part's pretty simple. There's not much else to say. You play these knockout games and obviously you know things are going to be tight and you know every part of the game is really important. And we got off to a really bad start and from there we never really found a good way in the game. So pretty simple.

Did the tough schedule take its toll?

It is what it is. We never made excuses along the way and we're not going to start now. Like I said, at the end of the night, it's pretty simple. When you play a big game and not enough guys have good games on the night, then the bar is going to tilt pretty far in their favour. We're honest enough with ourselves to understand that in all ways we just weren't good enough. We've now got to get ourselves back and recover a little bit from this tournament and continue to train and continue to work because there's obviously more games coming.

Were you surprised with New York's approach?

No surprise. It's a good team and like I said when you play these knockout games you understand that both teams are going to try to go after it. They were aggressive and tried to step up and close us down and we couldn't find the right ways to put the game on our terms.

What are the takeaways from this tournament?

The biggest takeaways are that we picked up five points and we have four games under our belt. And obviously after a long layoff the games are so important. Obviously, everybody was training in their home market, but without any real ability to play games other than some intrasquad type stuff. So, when you come here and you get four 90 minutes under your belt, that part is really important. So, we'll recover from this, mentally, physically and then make sure we're ready to continue to push things in training over this next stretch so we're ready for what's next.


What was your reaction when you found out you'd be starting tonight?

I was pretty excited. During the week I pretty much knew that I was going to get a start in this game, and I was just trying to mentally prepare myself for this match and I'm happy with the way I performed. It's unfortunate we didn't get the result we wanted but I'm thankful for the debut.

How do you think the team performed?

We had a game plan. I just felt like we didn't really get into a rhythm. They pressed us really high. We didn't get passes out wide. There was just a lot of unorganized plays. I felt like if we got into a rhythm the game would've gone totally different. But it's obviously a disappointing loss and we have to look forward to what's next in the future.

What do you take away from a match like this?

I feel like I can take away the pressure. When it comes to tournaments like this, I just haven't been in a lot of big tournaments like this. So, knowing how to mentally prepare and play and control the game in different types of ways. I feel like the team can take away that we can't take anything for granted. I think we started off slow and just little things like that we need to work on. But I feel like it was a good start for me and I'm just ready for the future.

What's it been like living in the bubble? Has it been strange? Are you glad it's over?

I wouldn't say I'm glad it's over. We definitely wanted to win. It hasn't been strange. I felt pretty comfortable. The food has been getting to me, but everything else has been fine. That's pretty much it. It was pretty comfortable for me.

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Major League Soccer Stories from July 27, 2020

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