Toronto FC (3) - Colorado Rapids (2) Post Game Summary
TOR - Tsubasa Endoh 8' (Richie Laryea, Jozy Altidore)
TOR - Alejandro Pozuelo 13' (PK)
COL - Keegan Rosenberry 31'
COL - Sam Nicholson 62' (Keegan Rosenberry)
TOR - Jonathan Osorio 70' (Erickson Gallardo, Marky Delgado)
COL - Lalas Abubakar 10' (caution)
TOR - Jozy Altidore 59' (caution)
COL - Diego Rubio 64' (caution)
TOR - Chris Mavinga 74' (caution)
Toronto FC 12-10-9 45 points.
Colorado Rapids 10-15-6 36 points.
TORONTO FC - Quentin Westberg; Auro Jr., Chris Mavinga, Omar Gonzalez, Richie Laryea; Marky Delgado, Michael Bradley (C); Alejandro Pozuelo (Nick DeLeon 86'), Nicolas Benezet (Jonathan Osorio 40'), Tsubasa Endoh (Erickson Gallardo 64'), Jozy Altidore.
Substitutes Not Used: Alex Bono, Ashtone Morgan, Patrick Mullins, Laurent Ciman
COLORADO RAPIDS - Clint Irwin; Keegan Rosenberry, Tommy Smith (C), Lalas Abubakar, Sam Vines; Danny Wilson (Jonathan Lewis 65'), Kellyn Acosta, Sam Nicholson, Andre Shinyashiki (Nicolas Mezquida 84'), Diego Rubio; Kei Kamara.
Substitutes Not Used: Andre Rawls, Axel Sjöberg, Sebastian Anderson, Coles Bassett, Matthew Hundley
GREG VANNEY, HEAD COACH - TORONTO FC
Was the most important thing three points?
Yes, there are some days that feel like it is going to be an easy day and I think things went pretty easy at the beginning but then it looked like we got a little bit relaxed. We started to interchange too much and lose our positions and structure that got us the 2-0 lead. It became a real battle after that but days like this, for me, these are the three points that solidify your spot in the playoffs. These are three big points at home in a really busy part of the schedule. In some ways it doesn't matter how you get them, you just have to get them.
It seems like whenever Endoh gets a chance he takes advantage of it...
He brings a lot of energy onto the field. He is busy, he is running behind, and he is a beneficiary of great passing. He is a good technician, a busy runner and for our passers to have a guy that is busy and running like that, they will find him. He has come a long way over the course of the last year.
You must be pleased with the team's persistence as they missed a lot of good opportunities...
I think that was a bit of "New York City" too where we had some really good looks that would have given us a different outcome. In Cincinnati, although they aren't one of the best teams in the league, we finished our chances and the score line looked a lot bigger. Tonight, we had a few of those chances. Q (Westberg) made a few big saves too but as we get closer to playoff time, we got to put some of these chances away. Also, defensively, the goals we conceded night we need to be better at. We got a little casual and a little loose when we had the 2-0 lead.
How has your team grown over the course of the season?
A big part for us is that we have been able to be consistent in terms of our starting group, tactics, approach and this consistency has allowed us to get settled in from a defensive perspective. In the summer, with a lot of guys away, we were scrapping. Now we have a nice balance in our team, and everyone has to trust everybody, and we have to stick to our structure and our principles of play. When we do that, we are a really good team. Tonight, I thought we started that way, but we got a little loose and casual, but we settled back in a little bit and were able to mount some attacks, keep possession and keep control of the game a bit better.
QUENTIN WESTBERG, GOALKEEPER - TORONTO FC
It must feel good to come up with some big moments here tonight...
It feels good to win to be very honest. Great leap in the standings for us these past games. There are things that we still need to work on but obviously you are never satisfied, never comfortable, never satisfied in soccer. But today it was an important three points and that is really what matters.
Is this game a reminder to tighten things up down the stretch?
Absolutely. Emotions are a big part of soccer and we can't allow ourselves to get too emotional to hope for something, to expect something to happen without working hard for it and keeping our calm and staying as composed as possible. I think this is what we lacked tonight for sure, we lacked composure, we lacked just being a little calmer. Managing everything and taking the game to ourselves, the second half we were just hoping for the result and we scored on that great chance. It's good that we keep creating chances, but we get too caught up in our emotions defensively I think and this we definitely need to work on.
Do you think saving a penalty is the same feeling as scoring a goal?
I can't wait to get the feeling of scoring a goal, I never experienced it. I did when I was 13, or 14 years old but that's too far away for me. If I had wanted to be a striker, I would have been a striker, but I want to be a goalkeeper and there are a lot of emotions in this position also.
MICHAEL BRADLEY, MIDFIELDER - TORONTO FC
On the supporters paying tribute to you prior to the game...
It was incredible. Since the day I got here I've tried to spill everything I have into the club and the team and the city and hopefully along the way people have respected that. I think that the relationship that I have with a lot of those fans behind that goal is pretty special. They've been there for me, for us on a lot of days, good and bad, more... good but a lot of days and they've always been there. I try every time I play to play in a way that they can be proud of, to play in a way that they can look on the field and respect. It was incredible. I thank them and the support they give the team is second to none and so at this time of year the atmosphere in this stadium counts for so much and today was incredible and we're going to need to make more of that as we go down the stretch here.
What do you make of the 90 minutes tonight?
It's one of those days you have to take three points. Anything less than three points is a huge disappointment and we can talk about some details now, we can talk about some things that should have been better, but we talk about it with three points. And like I said, if we had lost our way and not come away with full points on a day like today then you would have really let yourself down. The mentality to stick with it, to keep going, that part was great. It keeps us going on a good stretch of results here and we have just got to keep building, keep improving and understand that the biggest points are to come.
Eight points up with three games to go, have you moved on from thinking if you're in the playoffs...
It's a league where things change quickly so we are absolutely shooting to start with a home playoff game, without a doubt, but we also understand that if you get ahead of yourself and you lose your way then you can be right back in the thick of a fight really quickly. We're not going to get ahead of ourselves, we're going to try to push and really go after things so that we are in a position to play our first home game in this stadium in front of our fans, but we are not going to take anything for granted in the meantime.
ROBIN FRASER, HEAD COACH - COLORADO RAPIDS
Robin, a back and forth 90 minutes, a lot of goals, a lot of action, what did you think of the whole game?
I felt we didn't start as aggressively as we needed to and as a result we got pinned back pretty early and gave up some chances and some goals. I thought our response after that was fantastic. By the half we scored a goal, had a penalty kick, had another very good chance and we got ourselves really right back into the game and then we talked at halftime about being more aggressive without the ball and as a result I thought we really at times were able to turn the game in our favour. I'm really proud of the resiliency they showed and ultimately disappointed to work our way back into it and really be in a position to be on the front foot and then giving up the third goal. Even after the third goal we kept coming, we kept creating chances, we continued being aggressive. I was proud of them, I was really proud of them.
That slow start in the first 15-20 minutes or so was there anything specific that led to it and afterwards how were you able to break out of it?
They started to realize, we started to realize we can be more aggressively defensively, and we can confront them a little higher and as a result we can disrupt their timing. I think the belief just continued to rise and as our belief rose, we got more aggressive and we were able to influence the game a bit more.
Personally, how did it feel to be back on the touchlines at BMO field?
In the beginning it was really weird. At the middle of the game it was just another game with Toronto.
SAM NICHOLSON, MIDFIELFER - COLORADO RAPIDS
On your goal there did you know it was yours or did you think Diego got on the end of it?
I thought Diego got on the end of it but when he got up, he said it was mine, so I was delighted. It's been a long time coming as I've had shots that went into the stands and have hit the post and that was more of a cross then a shot, but it's got my name on it, so I'll take it.
In the first 15 minutes of this game Robin said that you guys got off to a slow start, did anything contribute to that?
No, I think it was our third game in a week and travel and stuff, that's the only way you can think of it. I think mentally we were switched on but yah he's 100% right the first 15 minutes were too slow especially with the run we've been on we've played well. After the first 15 minutes we started coming into it and creating chances which is what we're good at. It's disappointing, it's very disappointing as we're on a good run and playing good football so it's tough to take.
You mentioned that you guys broke out of it and scored that first goal to get back into it, was anybody saying something on the pitch to keep you guys going or where did the resiliency to overcome that adversity come from?
It's strange, but I think obviously talk from the bench and something just clicked that we realized we weren't doing what we're good at, weren't doing what got us results the last few weeks and something just switched and we realized we got to press higher and start being more brave and I think eventually we grew some confidence and changed our play.
KEEGAN ROSENBERRY, DEFENDER - COLORADO RAPIDS
You get your first goal today, how did that feel?
It's good, a little bittersweet obviously but it's good anytime I can get involved in the attack. Obviously, I've got to take care of my defensive responsibilities first, but I know at times I need to get on the score sheet.
We talked with Coach Robin about the first 15-20 minutes of the match, was there anything that you felt like contributed to the slow start to this match?
It's tough to put your finger on it, obviously the PK was unfortunate. Anytime you're on the road mistakes get magnified and it wasn't that it was a mistake, or we can pinpoint it on anything but at the same time a slow start gets kind of blown out of proportion on the road against a good team, so we'll look at the video and try to get better from it. At the end of the day we did well to come back from it and probably deserved a point in the end.
Everyone's been talking about overcoming adversity or responding to it. Getting out of those 15 minutes is it ingrained in this team's DNA to fight for the full 90 every time out?
I think we need to stop digging ourselves these holes but at the same time that's something you want on the team. You want guys that are going to fight for each other and that's something that Robin has talked about since his first day here. We play like we want to play for each other, and we want to be on the field together and that's not something you can always install as a coach, that's something that's innate and you either have it or you don't. I'm proud to be a part of this group and you know we're going to bring that every game and if we don't dig ourselves these holes, we're going to be a pretty good team.
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