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Toronto FC (0) - D.C. United (0) Post Game Summary

May 16, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Toronto FC News Release





D.C - Ulises Segura 61' (caution)

R - Justin Morrow 82' (caution)


Toronto FC 5-4-2 17 points.

D.C United 7-3-3 24 points.


RON FC - Quentin Westberg; Eriq Zavaleta (Jay Chapman 72'), Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga; Auro Jr., Marky Delgado, Michael Bradley (C), Jonathan Osorio (Terrence Boyd 80'), Nick DeLeon (Justin Morrow HT); Alejandro Pozuelo, Jordan Hamilton.

Substitutes Not Used: Alex Bono, Ashtone Morgan, Richie Laryea, Liam Fraser

D.C. UNITED - Bill Hamid; Frédéric Brillant, Jalen Robinson, Steven Birnbaum (C); Ulises Segura, Chris Durkin, Russell Canouse, Chris McCann (Paul Arriola 62'), Akeem Ward (Luciano Acosta 48'); Quincy Amarikwa (Wayne Rooney 48'), Zoltán Stieber.

Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Leonardo Jara, Marquinhos Pedroso, Lucas Rodríguez


Toronto FC's 20 shots in the first half against D.C United is a club record, beating the old record of 12 shots in a first half of a regular season MLS game.

Prior to tonight's 35 shot effort, the most shots in a game by Toronto was 28 on 4/21/2012 against Chicago.

Toronto FC's 35 shots is the most shots without a goal ever recorded by an MLS team in a regular season game.

Entering tonight there had been two instances in MLS history of a team having more than 35 shots in a regulation game:

06/03/1998 MetroStars against Tampa Bay: 38

08/19/1998 Dallas against Miami: 36


General thoughts on the match?

I think the only thing that was missing today was a goal. I mean the guys couldn't play any harder, especially this is the fourth game in a short period of time. I think they dominated the game from the first minute to the last minute. I think their only real chance at goal was probably 12 seconds into the game and not much really more as a threat for the whole game. I honestly don't know, I think we had 35 shots, the most ever was 37 I think I heard (it was 38). This was as dominating of a performance as there has been, but we don't have the goal to show for it which is the only frustration in that room is that we didn't get the goal and the 3 points to show for it. But I think everyone is proud of the effort and work, I asked them to come out tonight and go for the game from the beginning because I thought we were very slow and getting started in the last home game and games before that. I felt like they had their foot on the gas from minute 1 to the last minute. Sometimes you need a little touch of quality, a little touch of luck, some qualities maybe on some of these final balls, balls that are bouncing around the goal, opportunities on goal. Some more quality and luck in the final product but I couldn't really be happier with the effort and performance really.

It's just one game, but given the shock to disparity, do you have enough fire power when Jozy is not on the field?

I think we need more, I think that's been evident for a while now. That's something we have to consider and talk about, we have to work on that.

Do you think players are being a bit too tentative inside the 18 with the ball?

I don't think it's tentative, I think sometimes the way teams are playing us at home we got, a lot of numbers, a lot of guys in front of the goal. It's not like it's an open shot, and they're trying to get a better shot. It's just number between the ball and the goal. I see a little hesitation not necessarily because I think they just don't see the path that the ball will take to get to the goal, so they try to re-adjust it and re-adjust it and half those times we don't end up with a shot at all. I think its again, teams have committed a lot of guys behind the ball against us at home especially and I think in some of these situations we aren't seeing the clear shot, and were hesitating a little bit to find a better shot. Sometimes that just means no shot too often.

Was Jozy's heel injury a last-minute occurrence?

Well, the last couple days in training he had been in and out, switched to running shoes to get his work in but his soccer shoes were bothering the heel. It was kind of a game day sort of thing to see if he could turn the corner in a short period of time, but he said he felt the same as he did yesterday and yesterday, he didn't make it through training. He didn't feel like he could get it done so we had to go a different way.


First game back, how do you feel?

Disappointed that we didn't get the three points. We played really well. It's funny coming away not scoring in that game where we were knocking on the door the whole time so. I feel good being back, but I wish we gotten all three.

How do you move on from here going on this stretch?

Yeah, we're getting on a plane tomorrow. So, we got to put this one behind us and build off of it. Again, a lot of good things to take away from it. We just got to be a bit more dynamic, a bit more ruthless, just put teams away when we have the opportunities.

Regardless of the result, is it a satisfying having a defensive performance like that as a club?

Yeah, I thought everybody, it wasn't just the defenders and the midfielders, it was everybody. We pressed extremely really well. We were the aggressors. When we lost the ball, we tried to press high up the field and we were extremely successful at that and that is what we wanted to do going in. I think a lot of teams will play similar how DC played against us here at our place. They know we possess the ball well so when we can be the aggressors like that and really stay switched on the ball and not get hit on the counter attack then we give ourselves good opportunities to win.


How do you think the team performed tonight?

I felt we played very, very well. I thought in terms of putting the game on our terms, playing aggressive, playing in their half, trying to win the ball back quickly, re-pressing, doing it over and over and over again for 90 minutes, I thought we were very, very good. Obviously frustrating not to be able to make a play and get a goal. We said it amongst ourselves afterwards, Greg (Vanney) said it, if we continue to play like that, if we continue to play with that mentality, we continue to play with that aggression then we're going to be in a good spot.

Thoughts on the schedule...

It's football. Everywhere around the world, every team has periods where there's games, lots of games. Personally, I enjoy stretches like this. I think the league needs to continue to look at little details. More charters. More mandatory charters, especially during periods like this. I think the product on the field has to be the most important thing. When you talk about recovery, keeping players healthy and fit, ready to play over and over and over again, certainly travel is a big part. So, I think that is something that has to be looked at. Not to digress too much. I'm not a fan of the shortened season. I think the league should continue to look to make the season as long as possible. If you want to be one of the best leagues in the world then you should play ten, eleven-month season like the rest of the world. Those are just my opinions on certain things but again regardless of those things every team in the world has periods like this.

Is this one of those games where hours later you will shake your head later and go how did we not win that?

I'm not sure I'll need hours to do that but that's how it goes. Like I said, I still choose to look at the way we played, how aggressive we were, how dominant we were. You know we've not played a game in that way in a long time. Maybe ever. So, I guess that I think that if we can continue on this path, if we continue to sharpen up on little details in terms of making chances, making better chances, then we can put it all together and we're going to be in a really good spot.


What went into the lineup and tactical decisions for today's game?

We were looking at these two games collectively, away at Toronto and away at Houston. It starts to get dangerous if you start to play guys too much with the travel. I've played a large number of guys a lot this year and with the Sunday, Wednesday games and only 2 days in between something had to give. Put some guys in who deserved the start, they've been training really well and I thought they did terrific. It wasn't what we hoped for coming in here to draw but I think we would of took the draw and we were pleased with the overall effort and group mentality we showed. They had a lot of the ball and shots of course, they put out a pretty good group.

It got a little harrowing there at times as you expected?

Yeah it was always going to be a game where we'd have to block shots, grind, and deal with sustained pressure, but I thought what we did, our bunch of defenders were fantastic. I thought Russell was very good. Stephen had a great game. All in all, I'm very very happy with the effort.

Were you happy with what you saw from Quincy and some of the other guys you put in today?

Yeah, yeah. In some ways you set these guys up to fail because they don't get a lot of minutes up to this point and you throw them out there in a new system to counter what they're trying to do and I felt that everyone engaged everything they had and we went about the game plan in a great way and managed to keep it 0-0 at halftime and then make some changes with some guys we didn't want to play 90 minutes. I thought the subs came in and did a very good job. Very few chances on our end but there were some opportunities to really break on them but they're a good team, they're gonna be just fine. It was our first time seeing Pozuelo and he's the real deal. His ability to find space, no matter how many holes you try to clog up he just kind of finds the next one. When Jozy comes back I think things will change.


Did you expect to be that busy today?

I just think we came with a plan and they are a possession-based team, they spray the ball around, they got some really good players. So, we had a defend a little bit more than we wanted to but at the same time we made a change at half time and we were able to get the ball up the field a little bit more. That's just the way the game goes sometimes.

You went off to Europe and came back again, how different was the DC United you left and the one you returned to?

Completely different, you know, just a different atmosphere, vibe about the club, we got the new stadium...over the line. So, you know the fans were excited, the players were excited to have a new home. So, we have successfully made it a fortress.

Just completely different on pitch expectations with that?

Yeah, the pressure is on for us to perform at home, and our crowd they support us through thick and thin, we have to give them solid performances, we have to perform well and get wins. We always approach each week with that mentality.


A hard-working endeavour went into earning that one...

Yeah it did, probably not the most entertaining game to watch, but most importantly we got the point. So, we knew this week was going to be a tough week, two tough away games. So I think the lads worked really hard and thankfully we came away with a point.

What did you like about the guys were able to do in the first half, under so much duress defensively and just hanging in.

Yeah, I think that's it, hanging in there. I don't think, I don't think Toronto had that many clear-cut chances, they hit the crossbar, and Bill made a couple of saves but nothing really clear cut then the one where it hit the crossbar. So, we defended the box really well and I think we can do a bit better with the ball when we want to. There was so much space there, I think that Toronto had that much of the ball at times they forgot that they had to defend as well. There was space there for us to exploit that we did not take advantage of.

Getting a point out of this game, with some guys resting including you, how does that affect things going forward with another game on Saturday.

Yeah, I think Toronto is a good team, they are close to us in the league with the games in hand...and coming here is always difficult to win the game. So, I think before the game with the changes we made, we would have took a point. And then we kept a few players fresh for Saturday, which at this point, it only becomes a good point if we take three on Saturday.

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