Toronto FC (3) - Columbus Crew SC (1) Post Match Summary
CLM - Chris Mavinga 40' (OG)
TFC - Jozy Altidore 48' (Alejandro Pozuelo, Richie Laryea)
TFC - Alejandro Pozuelo 59' (Richie Laryea)
TFC - Richie Laryea 76' (Marky Delgado)
TFC - Jozy Altidore 28' (caution)
CLM - Lucas Zelarayan 60' (caution)
CLM - Aidan Morris 67' (caution)
TFC - Marky Delgado 86' (caution)
TORONTO FC: 8-2-4 28 PTS.
COLUMBUS SCREW SC: 9-2-3 30 PTS.
TORONTO FC - Quentin Westberg; Richie Laryea (Tony Gallacher 89'), Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga, Justin Morrow; Jonathan Osorio (C), Marky Delgado, Pablo Piatti (Liam Fraser 89'), Alejandro Pozuelo (Jayden Nelson 89'); Ayo Akinola (Patrick Mullins 89'), Jozy Altidore (Nick DeLeon 83')
Substitutes Not Used: Alex Bono, Laurent Ciman, Eriq Zavaleta, Erickson Gallardo
COLUMBUS CREW SC - Eloy Room; Harrison Afful (Chris Cadden 78'), Jonathan Mensah (C), Josh Williams, Hector Jimenez (Milton Valenzuela 57'); Sebastian Berhalter (Aidan Morris 62'), Artur, Luis Diaz (Derrick Etienne 62'), Lucas Zelarayan, Pedro Santos (Youness Mokhtar 78'); Gyasi Zardes
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Tarbell, Aboubacar Keita, Emmanuel Boateng, Jordan Hamilton
GREG VANNEY - HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Given the fact that your team is essentially homeless right now playing in Hartford, you must feel pretty good about how the team is looking right now?
"Yeah, I was very pleased, obviously, as I'm sure everybody was just with the response form first half to second half. So that's how our mindset needs to be always. The work was good, the reaction, the proactive work was good. It's just where we need to be all the time. And then sometimes we just need that little kick in the butt we got it. Kudos to the guys, they stepped out and really took charge in the game and imposed themselves on the game and started to win duels and started to really take care of the ball. Our engagement level was high. We were proactive in what we were doing. And we took back control of the game. And when you take control of the game, it gives your special players who can do things more of an opportunity to do those special things. And those guys answered that call too. Very pleased with that. As we all know, times are not as easy, being away all the time. Every game is an away game, but we did our best tonight to try to make this feel like a home field and we will try to carry that each time that we come out, here just for our own mentality. As a group I think we are looking forward to just a quick break and a stop in (Toronto) and reset with our families. Then get back on the road and start another stretch and try to take some more points. But it's a nice night to build off of. It's a nice night to have when you're going to go into a couple days of a little bit of rest."
What did you say to your team at half?
"A lot of it was just emotionally, we were carrying our frustrations from one place to the next. If something happened, it was impacting people. And there was a lot of that going on. If there was a call that we didn't like, it was impacting ... and our reactions were leading into us getting disconnected, guys showing their emotion on the field, going from working together to maybe walking at the wrong times. And we weren't a cohesive unit and a lot of it, I think, was just frustration for a lot of different reasons. So we just needed a reset and we needed to drop that and we needed to not be our own worst enemy on the field and we needed to move proactively and we needed to move proactively and to stay connected and be positive to get from one place to the next play. That was a big part of it to be honest and the guys took a deep breath. They came out and they reconnected and went after it. Obviously, we made some tactical adjustments in what we were doing. I think those obviously give us a good structure to work with, but it doesn't matter what the structure is if your mind's not in the right place. And or you're letting things frustrate you. And tonight, we had in the first half we let it go up for the second half and all things kind of came together into a great second half performance."
Alejandro Pozuelo has been involved in 63% of your goals this year. Is he the best player in MLS right now?
"Yeah I mean it's hard to argue. The best players are guys who score goals, create goals, set up opportunities. You know, the other night, and even in stretches tonight he just did things that the team just needed him to do defensively. And some work that the guys who are creating the most chances don't want to do. And he did. So, when everybody's doing that ... then we have a great team, a really great team. And tonight, everybody was doing it. Poz was one of the leaders of that. So, the short answer is, it's hard to argue that ... when he's putting up the numbers and every game he comes out and is impacting those games."
Was tonight a statement win given where Columbus is in the standings?
"What I care about, honestly, is the statement that it makes inside of our team. And tonight, the statement was, again, emotionally when we stay in the right place, we work together, we stay positive, we stay connected ... we can be really good. If we're not, we can be our own worst enemy and that's not what we want. And so that's the message that I want to be loud and clear. And that's in our locker room. I don't really care what everybody else thinks. The message in our locker room was clear, they responded to it in the second half, and they proved in a lot of ways what they're capable of doing when we're all in the right spot. And so that's the only message I care about tonight. We got three points and the response was fabulous."
RICHIE LARYEA - DEFENDER, TORONTO FC
What was going through your mind on the goal?
"I saw that I was pretty open on the wing and the outside back was drawn pretty far out so I thought it was the perfect time for me to try to take him on and see if I could do something. Because in the first half I wasn't really getting in those positions and I wasn't able to go at them. So I thought it was a good opportunity to do so and yes, a little bit of improvisation once I got close to the goal because different things open up and there's different solutions and I went with the one where I thought was the most comfortable for me at the time."
Your confidence seems to go up each match. Are you surprised with how well you're playing and how good you're becoming in this league?
"I have a lot of confidence in myself and my teammates have a lot of confidence in me and I have a lot of confidence in this team. These performances, the team is trying to challenge each other to up our performances every game and step up in big games and big moments. I have it set in my mind where the guys and the coaches have instilled in me and the rest of the team where we have to be ready for moments like these. So, I don't know if it's quite a surprise for any of us, we're just trying to continue to up our performances."
What was the message you took heading out for the second half?
"It's only 1-0. It's not the end of the world. We have quality out there, we have very good players and we also have to understand it's been a pretty long nine days or whatever it's been, so it was fair for us to maybe not be as sharp in the first half, we said to each other we need to give it our all in the second half and that's exactly what we did."
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