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Toronto FC (1) - Columbus Crew (2) Post Game Summary

June 30, 2022 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Toronto FC News Release

June 29, 2022



CLB - Sean Zawadzki 18' (Jacen Russell-Rowe, Steven Moreira)

CLB - Darlington Nagbe 30' (Jacen Russell-Rowe, Lucas Zelarayán)

TOR - Jesús Jiménez 54' (Alejandro Pozuelo, Jonathan Osorio)


TOR - Kosi Thompson 37' (caution)

CLB - Jacen Russell-Rowe 66' (caution)

TOR - Jonathan Osorio 66' (caution)

CLB - James Igbekeme 90+2' (caution)


Toronto FC 5-9-3 18 points

Columbus Crew 5-5-6 21 points


TORONTO FC - Alex Bono; Kosi Thompson (Jacob Shaffelburg 78', Jordan Perruzza 90+2'), Shane O'Neill, Chris Mavinga, Luca Petrasso (Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty 55'); Michael Bradley (C), Ralph Priso (Jonathan Osorio HT) Alejandro Pozuelo; Jayden Nelson, Ayo Akinola (Deandre Kerr HT), Jesús Jiménez

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Ranjitsingh, Lukas MacNaughton, Kadin Chung, Ifunanyachi Achara

COLUMBUS CREW - Eloy Room; Jonathan Mensah (C), Josh Williams, Miloš Degenek; Steven Moreira, Darlington Nagbe (Luis Díaz 80'), Aidan Morris, Sean Zawadzki (James Igbekeme 67'), Pedro Santos (Will Sands 60'), Jacen Russell-Rowe (Miguel Berry 66'), Lucas Zelarayán (Derrick Etienne Jr. 59')

Substitutes Not Used: Evan Bush, Jalil Anibaba, Kevin Molino, Alexandru Mățan


Q. Can you give us your thoughts on the match?

Yeah, there's two parts that hurt us, a couple careless moments, and the other part is just when it came down to the final moments in and around the box.

Obviously they play a lot of the game in a low block and then our ability to right pass, right kind of finish, those kind of things. So create a lot of moments where we have opportunity to do better and I thought even when we go down, I think there's chances to go to 2-1 in the first half and we get to 2-1, and obviously there's chances after that.

Yeah, quality in and around the box was not what we need in a game like that, especially when you're behind.

Q. The substitution took a little bit of a turn, bringing out Osorio and Deandre Kerr, were those tactical substitutions?

We're playing a lot of games in a short amount of time, so you just have to do everything you can to size up where guys are physically. Ralph is working his way back to being fit. Ralph as a young player, especially being out, that is still an area where we're trying to help him improve and I think we've seen progress.

And Ayo out as well, so when you think about coming back from an ACL, coming back from the surgery that Ralph had, even when they have been back for a while, at times when the games come fast, those are factors.

Q. Do you think Bono's mistake cost us the first goal?

I think we were too deep defensively. I think we dropped into the box and when we had a chance to move our line out and get to the 18 and be a little bit higher, I think we were too slow. So now a ball comes loose. I haven't seen a good replay. It's a good shot, whether Alex sees it, but the main thing for me was, you know, they had just a little bit of possession that led up to the goal and defensively, we had an opportunity to move up three, four yards and at least get up to the 18 and I thought we were too deep.

Q. Any updates on Quentin? And what was the reason you made some changes in the defense?

Carlos has a personal situation that he's taking care of, a family situation, and he has our full support. Q took a bad knock on the leg the other day, leg was swollen and wasn't ready to play today.

Q. After a fourth game in 12 days, what can you say about the team's strength of character with the focus on Saturday?

The reminder is that, look, we are improving. Are we all the way there? No. So we have got to be strong, because we are not yet at a point that we improve a little bit, it takes off. It's got to be that we continue to improve in all categories.

You know, here I am tonight talking about just our sharpness in and around the box, not what it needs to be in a game like that. A couple of plays, you know, it's I think they had three shots on goal, two goals. You know, the way they chose to play tactically, they defended deeper, and of course, when they had the lead, that plays into what they were thinking, and then we needed to be better when we got in and around the final third and in the box. So those are things that just have to be developed and worked on.

Q. Earlier today, the team traded away Jacen Russell-Rowe, and he goes on to make a start today against TFC and gets two assists within the first 30 minutes of that. Can you explain what went on there? Because he was a former TFC home grown player. How does he end up playing for Columbus?

Yeah, when you have a bunch of guys, Ayo, Deandre, people that assessed all these guys -- you don't have them for everybody and Columbus took them for their second team with the idea that if he did well, they could move him up. It wasn't like we agreed on the deal today. You know, give it time, and if he turns out to be better than Deandre, better than Ayo, better than other players, even in training every day, if you try to develop guys as No. 9s, you can't have five No. 9s in training.

You know, we made the decision to sign Deandre to a Homegrown (contract). I think the feeling was that Jacen would be perhaps offered a second contract but didn't want to do it here. So led a discussion, and if a player has gone out, you want to make sure that if things work out for him, you get something in return.

Q. After you signed Mimmo, any getting updates him on the field?

Yeah, the first game that these guys can play is July 9. So the window doesn't open until the 7th, and we need to see them in training and see where they are physically. So we're hopeful that we can get them up and running. They both have good mentalities about getting on field as quickly as possible.

Q. I guess on that same note, how excited are you to have a player of his status, quality, experience, join such a young group here in Toronto?

Yeah, I think that Mimmo can be another guy that helps push the level every day. You know, in his career, his experience, he's a very good professional. He's a smart player. And so when you have some experienced guys like that, we have some already, and I think he'll add to that and hopefully help raise the bar for all the rest of the players.


Q. How frustrated is the team, especially you?

Yeah, just like you say. We need to decide better in the last part of the field, we have a lot of chances. I think we create good chances to score more goals. This is one of things that we need to improve to have more calm in the last minutes.

And yeah, I think we have the control of the game, first ten minutes, and they score the goal. We stay -- in the first ten minutes but after we create a lot of chances, normally take 2-2 in the game and try to score three goals, but we had a lot of chances. But we feel like we improve in the game.

Q. You yourself create a lot of chances but the team overall seems like the last couple games, you guys are playing better?

Yeah, I think we are still improving some things, like I said in the last part of the field, to make calm and to try to take the best decision, when we need to shoot, when need to do the last part. These are things we need to improve in training but the most important thing, the team feels better these last games, this is important.

So now we know Lorenzo is coming, Criscito is coming, so we have more chances to improve the team. So we are happy to have them on the team to improve and we know they are good players and they help us.

Q. Talking about getting better in the final third, Lorenzo can help --

Exactly. Lorenzo, he play a lot of games. He have the calm in the last part of the Champions League, the most important in the play when you have the calm the last minutes. Yeah, for sure, he help a lot the team. We are waiting for him.

Q. Alejandro, do you think you play different today in front of Bono?

No, they are different style of keeper. We know Q very good -- the feet is very good. But yeah, they are both different keeper. Now Q has injury today and that's why he didn't play. Yeah, they are different player and they need to have decision to play.

Q. Was it too late when Osorio came on in the second half?

He's coming from the injury and that's why the coach try to help him a little bit and watch out with him. Yeah, we know how important Osorio is for the team. He come to the second half, he change, we have more goal, we have more control, and yeah, we know the importance of Osorio for this team.

Q. Do you have any time seeing Lorenzo on the field?

Of course, I like to see the tea when he play Champions League and when he play for Napoli. I know him very good. He played with Fabian from Spain, also. He played with Betis. Yeah, I see him a lot of time, of course.

Q. How are you feeling mentally after four games in 12 games?

Wow, it's hard but I think we need to be ready and what I say, we have a young team, if they want to play and they want to improve, they need to play on Wednesday and Saturday, Wednesday and Saturday, because they always feel like they want to go to Europe, and then if you go to a good team and you need to play Europa League or Champions League and you need to be ready to play during the week and during the weekend. For me, this is no excuse.

We need to be ready to play. We are professional players. We need to be ready to play on Wednesday and Saturday, Wednesday and Saturday. We need to have good rest, good food, everything, to help the boys to be ready. If I can play Saturday and Wednesday, the players who are 22 years, they need to play every game, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. They need to push. They need to push.

Q. The signings of Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Criscito, has that uplifted the mood of the team?

Yes, of course, like I said before, they are important players, Criscito captain of Genoa, so we know they come to help. They are very happy to come here. I saw when they come to the dressing room when I speak with him, they are very excited to play, to be part of the team. Maybe I hope next week, they can start play and yeah, we are very happy to have them in the team, of course.

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