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Toronto FC (1) - Orlando City SC (1) Post Game Summary

August 10, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Toronto FC News Release


ORL - Benji Michel 69' (Chris Mueller)

TOR - Patrick Mullins 77'


TFC - Marky Delgado 34' (caution)

ORL - Lamine Sané 82' (caution)


Toronto FC 9-10-6 33 points.

Orlando City SC 8-11-6 30 points.


TORONTO FC - Quentin Westberg; Richie Laryea, Omar González, Chris Mavinga, Auro Jr; Michael Bradley (C), Marky Delgado (Patrick Mullins 73'), Tsubasa Endoh (Nicolas Benezet 88'), Alejandro Pozuelo, Jacob Shaffelburg (Jonathan Osorio HT); Jozy Altidore.

Substitutes Not Used: Alex Bono, Laurent Ciman, Ashtone Morgan, Erickson Gallardo

ORLANDO CITY SC - Brian Rowe; Kyle Smith, Lamine Sané, Robin Jansson, Kamal Miller; Oriol Rosell, Carlos Ascues; Robinho (Benji Michel 68'), Nani (C), Chris Mueller (Ruan 86'); Dom Dwyer (Tesho Akindele 78').

Substitutes Not Used: Shane O'Neill, Sacha Kljestan, Greg Ranjitsingh, Dillon Powers


Patrick Mullins scored his first Toronto FC goal.


Thoughts on tonight's match...

I thought we really came to life when Pat (Mullins) came onto the field. I thought, in terms of the dynamic hard-running, vertical running really threatening them in a consistent way, I thought Pat's entrance into the field, and just the energy he brought and the sprinting and the running that he brought, the dynamic of the game just went to a whole another speed. Part of that is that we're now chasing the game, but I think just the vertical dynamic running to threaten the back line that ran off of Jozy (Altidore) I thought that was a great entrance. Again, I thought a lot of chances were maybe left on the table, that we would like to finish more. I could get into a lot of tactics throughout the game, but I don't think it's important. I think these games down the stretch, tactically we need to work some things out. Most importantly, especially at home, we have to come out with a higher level of energy, because we can pass the ball around, we can move the ball around a lot but I think we're a team that is capable of creating more chances than we did in the first 65 minutes at home and I thought we did more of that towards the end.

Is there a concern about an over reliance on Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo?

No, not really. That's what they're paid to do, is to be the guys to create chances and to score chances for us ... not the only guys but that is what they're brought here to do. I would imagine if you look around most teams around the league, they probably have a couple guys, two or three guys, who are at the top of the list for them, those are the two guys for us. Other guys can create chances, create setup scenarios, but for sure those two guys connecting and being a part of the final action is a big part of what we do. Do we need to find other ways to win games? Sure, but I think that's normal for a fair number of teams.

What did you want to accomplish with the substitution of Jonathan Osorio for Jacob Shaffelburg?

I think, in the first half Jacob just sits outside wide, he's just a natural winger who stays out wide and he was on an island, there wasn't anyone near him. (Alejandro) Pozuelo was drifting a lot more to the right side or middle or wide of middle and so anytime the ball came over to the left side and Jacob got the ball he was literally just sitting there, in one-one-one or one-on-two situations, which is a difficult situation for him. Occasionally, he can get something out of it but it's not an easy situation. He needs somebody in that space that who he can combine off of, who can make runs to the backline for him, who he can utilize to try to create two versus ones and different scenarios. Because that was happening, we choose to go with Oso (Jonathan Osorio) who will play a little bit more off the outside and we give the outside space to the fullback. And so now we had all the attacking spaces that we wanted filled and we used Marky (Delgado) and Michael (Bradley) more as a part of the buildup and to set up attacks. I thought that helped us in our ability to gain possession and to get the ball from one side to the next and to get into the attacks. Again, we still have to attack the end line and we have to do more, once we get the ball and unbalance them, to get to the end line and create chances. We had some of it, but I think there was more of it in this game that we left on the table that we didn't go get.


Thoughts on losing two points in the draw...

Yes, I think everyone on our end is a bit disappointed. It's a game where, frankly Orlando didn't have much, and they get a chance on one play and they score off that one play. It's disappointing that the play wasn't ended further up the field but it's on us. We have to realize the mistakes that we made. The thing that I'm happy about is that the second half is better. Like I spoke before the game, it was always a tale of two halves, first half was always solid, second half we always would fall short but not tonight. It was two good halves and we fell asleep on one play. We kept on pushing and pushing but we couldn't find the winner. Definitely upsetting in terms of our standing, we are still in the same spot and speaking of margin of error, I've said it before the game and any interviews, it's very slim and we have to stop making these silly mistakes because it's crunch time and every game is super important.

Do you get the sense the energy just needs to pick up?

I think it's about that as well. It's a bit flat the entire game really. Until they scored on us, we started to pick up the energy a little bit. I think the onus is on us to bring the energy from the first whistle because we have the caliber to do that and we just have to go for it, play smart, do the right things, be organized, stay compact, but go after teams and I think we have the ability to do that.

Any guesses why you guys came out flat?

I don't know but it's something we need to speak about within in our team.

On the importance of the few remaining home games...

Yes, exactly, we need to pick up three points every time we're at home and that's why we are all upset about tonight, we didn't lose but it feels like a loss.


On your first goal with the TFC...

My reaction said it all after the goal, I ran straight back to the halfway line because before I train in the game when I'm doing my warmup, in my head I'm telling myself we're going to get a goal back, I'm going to get a goal back and we're going to go win the game. So that was my first thought and that's why I tried to get everybody back as quick as possible so we could go after it and get at it. Looking back, a little unfortunately, I wish I could have shown the fans how truly happy I was to score a goal because scoring a goal, they're always coming and when they do it's the best feeling in the world and that's truly how I feel in the inside. In that moment I was so focused to try and get the three points because that is what we wanted to get out of the match tonight.

Do you feel like you are becoming more comfortable with the group?

The comfort is going to keep coming. The game tonight really had a tightness to it. A lot of the first half was played in the central part of the field, not many big chances, a lot of good tidy football from both sides and some good moments both ways but just not figuring out the key to unlocking the defense and very few chances. They got their first goal. We talked all week about having a strong mentality and I thought the response was very good in the second half other than the goal that we gave up. I think we came into that period of play stronger and credit to them, they had a good match. They're right in contention as well so maybe a draw at the end of the day may be a fair assessment of how the match went overall.


Opening statement coach whenever you're ready?

Very proud of our performance, I thought it was very good. Disappointing that we couldn't get all 3. Great work from the guys, outstanding performances. I thought our shape was very good tonight. Again, very proud of the commitment that the guys showed tonight.

Earlier this week you talked about the necessity of the guys coming off the bench, tonight Benji scores 2 minutes later coming from the bench, what do you think was important that his ability to just come on and give that impact?

I said to the guys, he's got something to share that is excellent. We encourage the guys who sit there to watch the games, watch how the game is playing out. We speak before the game about having an understanding of being selfless is something that the guys have been excellent at this year. Whoever has come off the bench would assume to score a goal or makes an impact defensively, he has always made an impact for us. Very pleased with all the guys and their mentality, what we coach them is starting to come through.


Benji coming off the bench what was your mentality entering the game in the second half?

The guys told me Benji go in and be as dangerous on the field as possible. I felt like I needed to bring that energy to the team.

What did you see on that play? What were you thinking with the angle you took on the ball?

I had my mind set up and I knew I wanted to take a touch towards goal, I finished and that's what happened. The ball came to me, I took a touch and finished it.


Coach said he was proud of your performance tonight, how did you feel about it?

I felt good, Toronto is always a hard place to come and play specially to get a result. Their fans really brought them to life in the second half, but we defended well and held our own. We are disappointed that we didn't walk away with all three points, because we gave up a cheap goal but we're also proud to come to a place like this and get a result.

When you are in and out of the starting rotation, when you get called up for the start how do you prepare, how do you make sure you're ready?

It's more of a habit on our team where we are always talking about the next man up, and today I was the next man up, so you always have to be ready. Throughout the week we all train hard and push each other very hard.

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