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Toronto FC (3) - New York Red Bulls (1) Post Game Summary

July 18, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Toronto FC News Release



TFC - Jozy Altidore 6' (Tsubasa Endoh)

TFC - Alejandro Pozuelo 26' (PK)

NYRB - Tom Barlow 63' (Derrick Etienne)

TFC - Ashtone Morgan 72'


NYRB - Michael Murillo 23' (caution)

NYRB - Kemar Lawrence 25' (caution)

TFC - Tsubasa Endoh 51' (caution)

NYRB - Marc Rzatkowski 69' (caution)

NYRB - Bradley Wright-Phillips 86' (caution)


Toronto FC 8-8-5 29 points.

New York Red Bulls 9-8-4 31 points.


TORONTO FC - Quentin Westberg; Richie Laryea, Laurent Ciman, Omar González, Justin Morrow; Michael Bradley (C), Marky Delgado, Jacob Shaffelburg (Jonathan Osorio 55'), Tsubasa Endoh (Chris Mavinga 76'), Alejandro Pozuelo (Ashtone Morgan 63'); Jozy Altidore.

Substitutes Not Used: Alex Bono, Auro Jr, Jay Chapman, Patrick Mullins

NEW YORK RED BULLS - Luis Robles (C); Kemar Lawrence, Tim Parker, Michael Murillo, Aaron Long; Vincent Bezecourt (Bradley Wright-Phillips 64'), Cristian Cásseres Jr; Alex Muyl (Derrick Etienne 56'), Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Marc Rzatkowski; Tom Barlow (Daniel Royer 69').

Substitutes Not Used: Amro Tarek, Ryan Meara, Sean Davis, Connor Lade


Ashtone Morgan scored his second career MLS goal for Toronto FC, and his first MLS goal at BMO Field.


Greg you guys got an early goal on this one, how much did that allow you to play your game as opposed to reacting to them?

Yeah, it's important. For one, in general to get ahead especially during these summer mid-week games where it's humid, it's hot. We've just played before and these games are physically taxing, so it's better to play from the front than the back in a game like this. To get out in front is important, I think that we handled the pressure right off the start quite well and we were moving the ball quickly. I think as the game progressed, we got a little slower, bogged down in some of that and ended up defending it out a lot just because some of our activity level and the ball speed were kind of slow. Yes, these games are important to get the first and get the second goal to get back on top. Both goals come from wide play, which is something we've been pushing and when we get good wide play the middle opens up and then we were able to find some space in front of the goal. What a finish by Jozy, that was an incredible touch, I don't know how else you get the ball into the net their but do that. Incredible effort and a gritty effort by the guys just to see that one out.

How important is it to have both Pozuelo and Jozy on the field at the same time?

It's obviously very important, their quality separates them. Jozy gets a couple chances today and puts one in the back of the net, same for Pozuelo he doesn't need many chances, but also his ability in these games when there's a lot of pressure to wiggle away from the pressure and find a guy who has a little bit of time, it immediately breaks the pressure they were putting on us and that helped a lot. The more they can play together, the more that relationship continues to develop. I think again the more our wide players can provide us with good play, than the more space that Pozuelo and Jozy and the midfielders will have in the middle of the field. Teams can't just clog up the middle because we can hurt them wide and we need to continue that theme.

Greg there were lots of good things tonight, but some loose play giving the ball away in some bad situations. How much is there still to do on the to-do-list?

Yeah, I think some of that is concentration, us being a little bit casual when we can't be casual. This is a team that you absolutely cannot be casual against because of the way they play the game. It was something that we talked about and we had a couple moments of pull, I think there's also sometimes where we need to put the pride away in the back pocket and put the ball up the field and just move. Sometimes we take the position, we put ourselves under pressure and try to play out some things we didn't need to down the stretch. That's just a little bit of closing out games, I think a little bit of getting our legs under us, like this was Omar's second game, he was cramping at halftime and just gutted out the second half for us. You could tell our line wasn't moving quite as sharp as we would like it to. Again, all of us are trying to get on the same page we've had a lot of guys in different plays and not just like tactically but physically get on the same page. We immediately get hit with 3 games in a week as soon as everybody gets back. Again, some of it is concentration and some of it is physically us being a little bit sharper and taking care of things. There's still plenty for us to work on and get better at both sides of the ball.


Two back to back big wins. How does it feel and the momentum for the team right now?

Feels good. Feels good to build on the six points now. Both of them were pretty difficult wins. We showed a lot of strength mentally. When it came back at 2-1, you know we could have been doubting and we actually scored. That's great proof of character. Apart from that I'm really happy for the points and character we showed tonight.

You've had some matches with Omar Gonzalez, how do you think the back line is changing and how is the chemistry with your defenders now?

It Omar, it's Michael, it's Jozy, it's everyone stepping up you know. We were a little short in numbers a few weeks back now everybody is back on board. The competition is greater for spots and that brings the level up for our team and that's what is really helping us right now.

You continue to make big saves; do you feel like this is the best form of your career right now?

I'm just really happy to be here. You know sometimes it's just about the place where you are at and the way you've been welcomed so I'm just trying to give back.


It was a big goal at the end. How does it feel?

It was good. Happy to get that last goal and put the nail in the coffin for the game and pick up the three points. So, I'm going to take it and move on.

Do you think that goal took a lot of pressure off your side? New York seemed to be pouring on the pressure.

Definitely, I think the third one came, definitely like I said it took the sting out of the game for New York and eased the game for us and helped us get over the hump.

Talk us through the goal.

I went for the one two. Unlucky that I didn't connect on it right away and I just didn't give up on the play. They gave me a gift and I took it.


Strange to walk away with no points on a night where you dominated statistically?

Yeah really disappointing because I told the guys what my dad told me, if you are going to do something do it right, which means do it all the way, which means you have to do it for 90 minutes and you have to have a good start on the road and you can't take plays off. So, when that happens, part of it is decision making, part of it is alertness, part of it is not being ready, not being ready. And it wasn't the whole team right, a few plays that we take off and now you're on the road against a good team and you to chase it, which we are more than happy to do because what else can you do. So, we talk about if you want to win games, what's necessary so you can do most of the things most of the time. You can win some derby matches but if you want to be the last team standing, it's an all the time thing. We'll learn from it, but the best thing is that we know we are a good team and to come on the road, and yeah 20 something shots and 15 corner kicks, and yeah maybe it is the little more out there, it's going to be hard. When you give away a few goals, especially at 2-1 when we are right there and we make few changes with fresh legs, and it seems like a blunder of a goal.

A positive on the night is you get a good performance out of Tom Barlow, his second goal, 6 from Brian White and two from Tom, and those guys are starting to come along.

Yeah look there is a lot of belief in each of those guys and I think our confidence in Tom to start him tonight in a big game, and I think he met the demands against a tough game against good centre backs, top centre backs, and we know that Brian has contributed in a big way. We keep moving some of the younger players along and get more minutes for Brad and we'll re-group and we can see that rely on certain guys more and more.

Orlando on Sunday, the third in a week, another one in the Eastern Conference, a 6-point game, how do you bounce back from this one?

Yeah, we get home and we get the extra day of rest, this was short rest, and so we don't play until Sunday. We get ready in every way, we learn from this performance, we take a hard look and we reassess where we are at and come up with a plan to go to Orlando and put in another performance on the field that we can feel good about. Overall, we have just had to clean up. Some of the games in the last couple of months, that we haven't gotten the results, and you can throw the open cup in there, and talk about Philadelphia when were up 2-0. There are certain moments when we let ourselves down. We'll get ready for Orlando. It takes a lot and the guys put a lot physically and emotionally into the Atlanta trip and game and then the New York City game, its right there and of course we are coming from behind in both of those games, to win and tie in Atlanta. I was asked the other day, "Is this a trap game?" Certainly not, but sometimes to ramp it up again is a challenge. We'll be ready for Sunday, and in many ways, this gives a lot of hope to where this thing can go. And I've said we've put in different types of game this year, long ball and another team that was probably 25% long on the day. In many ways they abandoned the principles in what they are doing, and they win 3-1, good for them, I'm sure they feel they executed their plan.


So many numbers where in your favour tonight, certainly frustrating to walk out with no points.

Yeah very frustrating. The plan is always to win your home games and get a tie or a result on the road and we felt tonight was a great opportunity to do that and to start the way did is concerning. It is the second game in a row that we have given up a goal so early, and then not to play well the first half, we'll address it. The second half was great, you can't fault the effort, we created a lot of chances, even the last twenty minutes of the first half, we were creating chances and making it very uncomfortable. And then for us to get the goal to make it 2-1, it felt like we were in it and then to concede the third goal it was tough to overcome, very tough to overcome.

That third goal, it was just kind of a bizarre play...

Yeah it is still a little tough to swallow. Their guy makes a hustle play, he never gives up on it. We should have done better to make it difficult for him. I felt like in the situation between Kemar and myself, we didn't make it difficult. Kemar knew I was coming for the ball and it was just one of those things, when it was happening in real time, and him and I are going for the ball, there is that moment, I realize I am not going to get to it and for it to go off of Kemar's heel the way that it did is unbelievable. But it is inexcusable, we are professionals here, for us it is not about limiting mistakes, it's about not making mistakes. And unfortunately, we made one and it sort of made it an even a more difficult battle to come back from. Because I thought at 2-1, it was there, the game was there for us. I got to be better on this play, I have to make that play, so my team stays in it. So of course, it is a difficult one to digest at the moment.

In this stretch, all these 6-point games in the Eastern Conference, points are obviously important at this time.

Yeah there is a lot of teams in the East right now that are playing really well. Atlanta won tonight, New England is a completely different team, we saw them in the open cup just how dangerous they are. That is just to name a couple. Then of course teams behind, like Orlando, we have them on the weekend. It's not going to be an easy task. Then of course Toronto, they have made some really good moves, they have put together a good team, so they are going to be competitive. But I love this team, and I feel like we have everything it takes to be competitive and to be a top team. We're still figuring it out, but I am very confident through this development and progression, we are going to get there and hit our stride and we're going to be dangerous.


It's been a while since the back four have been together, the best back four in the MLS last season, how difficult is to have everyone on the same page on a night like tonight.

I think collectively it wasn't good enough. As a back four of the three goals we give up, we give up two easy ones, and then the first one, collectively wasn't good enough to get pressure on the ball to deny the service, and then obviously Jozy makes the most of it. But it's not as hard as it is to get back together, it's more of us finding that rhythm that we have to find.

The knock you had a month ago, physically how are you feeling?

I feel great, it was a weird injury, a little ankle roll that kept me out for a week and a half. But I recovered quickly, I didn't miss much, I didn't miss too much of beat. It felt good to be back out there.

A night where they took advantage of the limited opportunities they had, and you don't take advantage of the opportunities that you had.

That is the way we looked at it as well. We didn't give up much, we had a bunch of shots, a bunch of little chances here and there, make some half chances thrown in, that if we convert early on it might be a different game.

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