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Toronto FC (3) - FC Cincinnati (2) Post Game Summary

September 29, 2021 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Toronto FC News Release


SCORING SUMMARY

CIN - Rónald Matarrita 38' (Luciano Acosta)

TOR - Jacob Shaffelburg 48' (Yeferson Soteldo, Mark Delgado)

TOR - Mark Delgado 55' (Jacob Shaffelburg, Richie Laryea)

TOR - Ifunanyachi Achara 65' (Jacob Shaffelburg, Yeferson Soteldo)

CIN - Luciano Acosta 72'

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

CIN - Florian Valot 32' (caution)

CIN - Edgar Castillo 41' (caution)

CIN - Gustavo Vallecilla 59' (caution)

TOR - Ifunanyachi Achara 59' (caution)

CIN - Caleb Stanko 74' (caution)

TOR - Yeferson Soteldo 76' (caution)

TOR - Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty 90' (caution)

RECORDS (W-L-D)

Toronto FC 5-15-7 22 points

FC Cincinnati 4-14-8 20 points

LINEUPS

TORONTO FC - Alex Bono; Auro Jr., Omar González, Kemar Lawrence, Richie Laryea; Michael Bradley (C), Mark Delgado, Jonathan Osorio; Ifunanyachi Achara (Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty 66'), Yeferson Soteldo (Patrick Mullins 90+2'), Jacob Shaffelburg (Justin Morrow 82')

Substitutes Not Used: Quentin Westberg, Julian Dunn, Luke Singh, Noble Okello, Nick DeLeon, Jayden Nelson

FC CINCINNATI - Przemyszlaw Tytoñ; Edgar Castillo, Geoff Cameron (Tyler Blackett 71'), Gustavo Vallecilla, Rónald Matarrita; Florian Valot (Haris Medunjanin 61'), Allan Cruz (Caleb Stanko 71'), Álvaro Barreal (Brandon Vázquez 84'), Luciano Acosta (C), Yuya Kubo (Calvin Harris 61'), Brenner

Substitutes Not Used: Kenneth Vermeer, Zico Bailey, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Arquimides Ordonez

MEDIA NOTES

Jacob Shaffelburg has scored or assisted on six of Toronto FC's last nine goals (two goals, four assists).

Jacob Shaffelburg recorded three goal contributions (one goal, two assists) in a single game for the first time in his Toronto FC career.

Toronto FC extend their unbeaten streak to four games in all competitions (three wins, one draw).

JAVIER PÉREZ - HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC

Q. It looked in the first half, maybe I'm wrong, but it looked like you were urging your players to move the ball faster. They seemed to do that the second half. Did that make the difference?

Yes, absolutely. I think we have players that they have quality, they can move the ball fast, and first and foremost I ask for the team at halftime when, when we were 1-0 down, told them to stay calm, to stay in the game mentally, because we were the better side and because the goals were going to come. So just stay calm, move a little faster, the ball, and our players have been a little bit closer to the back line. So we have more opportunities to play the through balls.

So I think by staying calm and moving the ball fast, we just get rewarded in the second half.

Q. Further about the question of the speed of play, how influential was Jacob Shaffelburg in that regard?

He's a very, very important player for us. He's the one who can run behind. He can make crosses. He delivers good services. He's in a great moment, and Jacob now obviously earn the respect of the whole team and the coaching staff, so it's in a good moment that we have to keep it that way.

Q. Kemar Lawrence is someone who earlier in the season when we asked him if he could play center back, he said it's not really his position but he would sort of give it a try. Obviously he played there tonight because of injuries. What did you think of him, and how much -- could he be more sort of a sent are back option going forward?

Yeah, Kemar has some good qualities. He's fast and he's good with the ball. In that regard, he's a player that he can deal with the fast players up front. This league is particular; it has that characteristic. Many teams, they have the speed up front and obviously he's fast. He can deal with that. And at the same time, he proved to work well with different pairs of center backs. It's not the first team that he plays in that position with us, and he's doing a great job.

So I think that he's a diversified player and it's paying off for us because at the moment as you know, we are thin in that position, and he's playing really well as a center back. We are happy that we can count on him. We know that he's going to -- we know that we can rely on him.

Q. We've talked about stabilizing the team and getting the defense working and then getting the offense going and all those sort of things, but I think tonight was the first time the team has won a game after conceding the first goal. What does that say about the progress this group is making?

Yeah, I think I mentioned already previously that -- in other press conferences, it's very difficult when you are down there to get out. It looks like nothing goes on your way. I think I mentioned already in the past, as well, that the team is finally clicking and probably today it wasn't as pretty because we conceded a goal even if we had more chances. We just need to capitalize at the beginning because that's part of the nature in football. When you don't capitalize, you get penalized. That was our story of the first half today.

But I think as I mentioned last week, this group of individuals start to look like a team, and that was the second half, the story of the second half of this team; that we didn't give up; that we knew we were conscious that we were the better side on the field, and then we wanted to make sure that we were going to turn around the game and we were 3-1, we scored three goals, so I think -- I think the team is now getting more confidence even after this game, and I think we are in a good place towards the end of the season.

Q. Further to James's question, you were behind and took the lead but they came back and scored the goal. How much resiliency, how much are you seeing that sort of taking shape with this team whereas maybe a week or a month ago you might have conceded another one and given up two points?

Yeah, but you see the second goal -- the first goal, I can give it. I can give it to you because the first goal is we get put out and we lose our structure. The first goal is okay. But the second goal is a very clear off-side, so I cannot give that to anybody. I think they have to start to make the right calls. I think now it's enough. Enough is enough. It's just I don't like -- as I said before, I don't like to be critical of the referees but the second goal is clear off-side and it shouldn't go to the scoreboard. It should be 3-1.

Q. Do you always have a stopwatch out during extra time?

I do, yes. Because today we could see that they were going extra 45 seconds, and the reason Fabrizio, the first official, that they were going a little bit longer is because we made a stop in the extra time. We brought Patrick but he told me it was going to be 30 seconds and we were 40, 45 seconds, and the game was still on.

So it's obviously -- just to have your own watch, because five seconds, it can make a difference. It can be the difference between winning a game or having a tie.

JACOB SHAFFELBURG - FORWARD, TORONTO FC

Q. Have you gotten a sense this season the way you've been working that if you've given a chance, you could start playing and producing the way you have the last few games?

Yeah, the team's helped me quite a bit, to have my confidence back from -- I haven't felt like this in a while. So just to have my confidence back and back to doing what I know, it's been great and I think I can continue this with the team.

Q. The last few games from what I've seen, you've formed a really effective sort of partnership with Richie and Jonathan down that left side. From your perspective, why is that sort of attacking trio click? Why is it working so well?

I think Richie and I and Oso work well together. I think I'm not a guy that when you throw in is going to disrupt them. I'm going to listen to them and try to do what they want. I think I just go in with them smoothly, and I just help them going forward. And we're just all clicking at the same time right now, so it's been great.

Q. It looks like you're always on the lookout to break past the last line of defense and Soteldo found you a few times tonight. What's it like playing with Soteldo knowing what he can do with the ball?

It's amazing. He's an amazing player and I think I'm just starting to earn his respect a lot more in the last few games, so and we're starting to pass and connect way more and it's been great. It's coming off nicely. We're going to get an assist here soon.

Q. The connection between you and Achara, curious how that came off for you?

We've had that connection since high school. So every single time I get the ball on the wing, I always look up for him because I know he's going to be coming late on that far side. And I tried to find him in the first half and it didn't come off. And then the one he looked, I just looked up and saw him there, so I knew I had to put it in the right spot and score.

Q. Did you think given a chance to play, and you're in -- obviously because one of the reason is injuries and whatnot, but did you really think that given a chance to play that you could step up like you have been; that you just needed a chance?

I always knew I had it in the back of my head but like I said it's just all about my confidence. At the start of the year, it was up and down. Midseason I didn't have the best confidence. And just coming in that Miami game and just getting my confidence up knowing that I can compete in this league and keep up the pace with everyone really helped me.

Yeah, now I feel like I can do this almost game-in and game-out with how I'm feeling right now. But obviously I've got to reset and look forward to Chicago on Sunday.


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