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Toronto FC (1) - New York City FC (0) Post Match Summary

September 23, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Toronto FC News Release

SCORING SUMMARY

TFC - Alejandro Pozuelo 90' (PK)

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

NYCFC - Alexander Callens 23' (caution)

TFC - Pablo Piatti 25' (caution)

NYCFC - Valentin Castellanos 36' (caution)

TFC - Nick DeLeon 40' (caution)

TFC - Jozy Altidore 56' (caution)

TFC - Jayden Nelson 64' (caution)

NYCFC - James Sands 72' (caution)

NYCFC - Nicolas Acevedo 89' (caution)

RECORDS

TORONTO FC: 7-2-4 25 PTS.

NEW YORK CITY FC: 5-6-2 17 PTS.

MEDIA NOTES

Chris Mavinga made his 100th appearance for Toronto FC tonight (all competitions), he becomes the 12th player in club history to make 100 appearances for TFC

Jozy Altidore made his 150th appearance for Toronto FC tonight (all competitions), he ranks 6th on the club's all-time appearance list

With the clean sheet tonight, Alex Bono ties a club record with 28 clean sheets (all competitions)

Tony Gallacher made his Toronto FC and MLS debut in tonight's match

LINE-UPS

TORONTO FC - Alex Bono; Richie Laryea, Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga, Tony Gallacher (Justin Morrow 61'); Jonathan Osorio (C), Nick DeLeon (Erickson Gallardo HT'), Pablo Piatti, Alejandro Pozuelo; Ayo Akinola (Patrick Mullins 87'), Jozy Altidore (Jayden Nelson 61')

Substitutes Not Used: Quentin Westberg, Eriq Zavaleta, Laurent Ciman, Jacob Shaffelburg, Tsubasa Endoh

NEW YORK CITY FC - Sean Johnson; Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, Gudmundur Thorarinsson (Ronald Matarrita 70'); James Sands, Keaton Parks, Jesus Medina (Alexandru Mitrita 70'), Valentin Castellanos (Heber 57') (Nicolas Acevedo 88'), Alexander Ring (C); Gary Mackay-Steven (Ismael Tajouri-Shradi 70')

Substitutes Not Used: Brad Stuver, Sebastien Ibeagha, Joe Scally, Tony Rocha

GREG VANNEY - HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC

Was this a case of a good team winning on a night when it didn't play its best?

"Yeah very much so. We had a bit of a makeshift group, a makeshift midfield. We tried something a little bit at first just to get ... because we just don't have many midfielders, to get a couple forwards on the field. The game just worked out that way. We just didn't have much possession and because of that it wasn't a good shape for us to defend in. So, we had to make some adjustments. Credit to the guys, because guys are playing roles that they don't usually play. They are doing things defensively that they don't necessarily always do. The guys, they just gutted it out, they grinded it and they did whatever they had to do. Bones made some big saves, and we had a few chances through the course of the game as well. Even though the game wasn't perfect, for me, wins like tonight are sometimes more valuable than the wins you get when you play teams off the field. Just for our group, we know we have a group that can play good soccer and tonight is just a character win. I think the guys feel more proud of this win than sometimes, you know, the other wins when we play well. So, I'm really proud of that, just the effort and just a couple of adjustments which slowed them down on the attack in the second half, which gave us a little bit of a chance to recover from a first half that was quite wide open.

Did you have a hunch that Alex was the right man to play against NYCFC tonight? Was it his turn?

"I don't know if it was his turn. It was something that we had kind of mapped out. We're just getting these guys opportunities. We've got to get everybody games. This season has to be something where everybody is able to move forward. Bones been outstanding in training. He was very good in the game against New England when he played earlier in the year. So, you know he's showing why he's capable of playing. So, we're going to keep getting him games in order to keep both of them ready to go at all times. And we've got to continue to build in our depth, so tonight we saw a few more guys that haven't played in a little while. But they came on and helped contribute towards an important win. So, we've got to do that with the goalkeeper position. We've got to do that with other positions. We have to turn around in four days and we emptied the tank tonight for sure. And we're going to turn around and do it again against another good team. So that's just the nature of where we're at right now and the way the league is setting up."

How important was it, after the way the game ended the other night, for the group to get the late result today, and get the win? And then talk a little bit about Jayden's performance...

"Yeah, it was big. You know there's obviously been games this year where we've had leads and we didn't close out. We've talked about that this week ad nauseum. Just closing out games. But I also think it was just the character of the whole game, just hanging in there. Again, problem solving throughout the course of the game, figuring out better ways to deal with situations. Again, we're a bit of a makeshift midfield, guys in different positions, and everybody just had to put in the work. So, huge win as far as that. As far as Jayden, I thought he came in and he kind of grew into the game. At first, it's a tough game to come into. Because we don't necessarily have control the ball and control of the midfield. So, he came into the game with a lot of defensive work. I think he learned, even as the game was going, he was learning a little bit positionally. He met the competitive level of the game. He made some good solid plays down the stretch. So, I think these experiences are important. This is where these guys are going to learn. Tonight, was a big game and a big win and he was a contributor. I'm proud of him and he's going to keep earning his chances."

What does it say about Alex, being that was just his second start since May 2019?

"Alex has been extremely focused all season. You know, in fairness to him, he trains hard every day. His mentality has been great just. He's just buying his time for his opportunity. And the two opportunities gotten so far this year, in what's obviously been a stop-start season, he's been fantastic. So, I think a lot of that is a tribute to just where his mind has been during the season. He just works every day. He is working to get better and he's been a top team guy. And so, when he's got his opportunity, he's answered the bell and shown his quality. So, I'm proud of this guy because he's hanging in there and he's really doing the work, and tonight he was huge. He really made some huge saves for us."

ALEX BONO - GOALKEEPER, TORONTO FC

Impressive performance tonight, what's been the key for you to stay sharp and focused

"I feel like I'm training as well as I ever have and that's the honest opinion that I feel. I feel really good about my game right now, I feel really confident about where I'm at. Everything seems to be coming together for me. That helps with confidence and obviously everyone knows confidence is a big part of goalkeeping. That's something that I lacked a lot of in the last few years but from the middle of last year on I felt really good about the way I've been playing and really good about my shape, feel like I'm in shape, feel like I'm in form right now I'm grateful to get a game here and happy we were able to get all three points."

Is that the type of gutsy win that you can build off of?

"Yeah. The game by no means went the way we wanted it to. We adjusted and at a certain point we realized that it wasn't going to be a game where we could play through them and play out of the back a lot. I told the guys early, we got caught in the back last game, let's play up early, let's let the big guys eat, let Jozy and Ayo eat and give them a chance to play us into the game because first 10-15 minutes we were just kind of launching it and letting those two fight and scrap and trying to pick up second balls and that kind of set the tone for our physicality and our fight going into the game. That was the plan from the start by no means was it an awesome performance from us but we found a way and that's what this is going to be about for the rest of the season it's extraordinary circumstances and for us to be able to fight and scrap and get three points on the road and not having been in Toronto for a while, that's what it's going to be about."


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