TORONTO FC 1, NEW YORK CITY FC 0: “Today was a little bit more I feel like a structured game, if you will. I am really pleased with our guys. I thought our shape defensively was good. For a vast majority of the night we strung together some good attacks. This is Game 2, so if this is what we are building from at Game 2 then we’ve got a lot to look forward to. We’ve got a lot to continue to work towards. The season is a journey and a process and so we take away what we need to from tonight and continue to build next week as we play at home again.” — GREG VANNEY



TFC – Ifunanyachi Achara 81’


NYC – Alexander Ring 22’ (Caution)

NYC – James Sand 35’ (Caution)

NYC – Keaton Parks 69’ (Caution)

TFC – Auro Jr 87’ (Caution)


TORONTO FC:                         1-0-1  4 PTS.

NEW YORK CITY FC:               0-2-0  0 PTS.


  • Ifunanyachi Achara made his MLS and Toronto FC and registered his first MLS goal.
  • With tonight’s win Greg Vanney earned the 100th victory of his coaching career with Toronto FC (in all competitions).
  • With tonight’s victory Toronto FC sets a club record for consecutive regular season matches unbeaten with 12 (dating back to the final 10 games of the 2019 regular season).


TORONTO FC – Quentin Westberg; Auro Jr., Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga, Justin Morrow; Marky Delgado, Jonathan Osorio, Ifunanyachi Achara (Patrick Mullins 90’+3’), Erickson Gallardo (Richie Laryea 57’), Alejandro Pozuelo; Jozy Altidore (C).

Substitutes Not Used: Alex Bono, Laurent Ciman, Liam Fraser, Jayden Nelson, Ayo Akinola

NEW YORK CITY FC – Sean Johnson; Anton Tinnerholm, Alexander Callens, James Sands, Ronald Matarrita; Alexander Ring (C), Maxi Moralez Gary Mackay-Steven 80’), Jesus Medina (Ismael Tajouri-Shradi 72’), Keaton Parks; Heber, Alexandru Mitrita (Valentin Castellanos 72’).

Substitutes Not Used: Gedion Zelalem, Joe Scally, Sebastien Ibeagha, Brad Stuver


Congrats on 100 wins. Was this the chess match that you wanted or envisioned?

Yes, it was.  I felt like it was a soccer game.  It was two teams and neither of them wanted to expose themselves.  I think both teams respected the other.  The tempo was kind of controlled.  Each team had its moments.  I thought we had a few more.  We had some chances that we would like to have back probably.  But a very different game than last week’s game, where guys were being chased around the field.  Today was a little bit more I feel like a structured game, if you will.  I am really pleased with our guys.  I thought our shape defensively was good.  For a vast majority of the night we strung together some good attacks. This is Game 2, so if this is what we are building from at Game 2 then we’ve got a lot to look forward to.  We’ve got a lot to continue to work towards.  The season is a journey and a process and so we take away what we need to from tonight and continue to build next week as we play at home again.     

When did you tell Achara he was going in and what did you think of what he gave?

Yesterday in training Tsubasa Endoh blocked a shot and he was a little slow getting up and finished the training session. This morning I got a text that he was pretty sore when he woke up and so it was his knee, MCL. He got here we tested him, and he couldn’t move laterally which is the challenge when you get a little bit of an MCL strain of some sort and it was Achara you’re in. Probably maybe 90 to 100 minutes away from game time and he was ready to go.  What I have to say is tonight he was fantastic.  He has been fantastic since the day he arrived in pre-season in LA.  From the day he arrived he showed that he fits in, that he’s talented, that he’s a smart player.  That he can adapt within the game.  He can read plays.  He can play on the move.  As we saw tonight, he has soft feet even when he is playing on the run and he’s got a nose for the goal.  He scored twice tonight really.  He has scored in just about every pre-season game leading up to the season.  He is a wide player that can do all the things we need him to do.  He had quite a night…He came to the US when he was 15 years old from Nigeria.  You can tell he is a man, and he understands what life is about and he shows that on the field.  

What does it mean to you to have 100 wins with this team?

I am pleased for what the 100 wins stands for.  Over the 100 wins we’ve raised trophies, many of them.  We’ve played in eight finals in just the last four years.  We’ve been in it every single year.  We’ve won a Supporters Shield, an MLS Cup.  All 100 of them are special in their own way, tonight included, and I am happy for the guys I get to work with because they are the ones who win the game. 


Were you nervous?

No, no, I was happy, excited to just get out there. Soccer is awesome, I just love playing it.  It gives me confidence.

Did you have to refocus when the goal was called back?

Definitely, I looked at the time and we had a lot of time to keep going and I know we’re going to get a lot of opportunities to score more.  It happens in soccer, so you just try to score more goals.

On your shot in the 45th min…

I thought it was going in, but it was a great save from the goalie. I thought he was positioned really well, and he made the save but I would have loved if that went in.


Jozy, you are a player that scored so many big goals in this league.  To see a rookie, play his first home game and score a goal.  What does that mean for him and the group?

It’s huge.  Huge confidence booster for him.  I think he has come in from day one as a smart kid.  He’s kept his head down and he’s worked extremely hard and I think everybody has taken to him.  You can see everybody is so happy for him.  I couldn’t be happier for him… He is a poacher a bit.  He’s got that nose for a goal.

Lot of chances tonight…What is your overall thought on the overall performance tonight?

I think it was a professional performance.  It was a tough game.  It was a tactical game.  I think both teams were technically very strong, very smart.  It was a chess match…We did enough to get one goal and one goal was enough.


First Game of the season…First game at home…. First Win. End up with clean sheet as well.  What are your thoughts about tonight?

It went well. I think it was a very tight game.  It could have gone both ways.  If you were to compare it to a boxing game, we won on points.  It shows a lot you know there was disappointment in not being able to hold onto the three points last week.  I think we did very well to bring that spirit into tonight’s game… It was just another great night and good result against a very good opponent.

What are your impressions of Achara? What does tonight mean for him and the team?

I am super happy for him.  Like I told him.  I think these are good signs.  It’s not just luck.  You don’t score two or three goals in the preseason and you don’t create chances and even if VAR took one away.  He scored another one today…. It’s a team effort and it just sets a great tone for everybody to understand what you need to bring into the team whether you start or not.  


On what he says from his team:

I think we didn’t play a good first half. I think we started ok but after a while we were getting problems especially in the midfield. They played through us and got pressure on us, but I think when we went out in the second half, we were much better in a 20 minutes period there.  We created a big chance with Jesus (Medina) and then the game was very even but, in the end, they had a couple more chances.  I’m disappointed in the first half.  20 minutes of the second half we were in better shape, we were a better team than we were in the first.

On explaining what happened:

Yeah, it’s hard to say.  We have to evaluate it afterwards and see what it was.  I agree with you, we started ok but then we got very flat very quickly and we got our play in the second half, but we have to play like that for 90 minutes if we want to get the three points.

You now have four days to prepare for the CONCACAF Champions League:

Yeah, but that is no problem, that’s good. That’s four days until the next game now.  We want to get out and get winning. It’s going to be a big game on Wednesday and I’m looking forward to it.


On today’s game:

It was a tough game against a good opponent.  I think we fought hard, everybody put in their full effort today.  We didn’t create as many chances as we would have liked to.  They capitalized on one of theirs and we lost.  That’s just how it goes.

On not playing how they wanted:

No, I think we came out strong and we played a decent game.  We had some mistakes here and there.  Again, they have a good team, they created chances for themselves and I they capitalized on one and we couldn’t.

On what makes Toronto FC style of play that makes them a particularly tough opponent to face:

They just have quality players.  Lots of teams in the league do but (Alejandro) Pozuelo, Jozy (Altidore), just a couple of guys that have a lot of quality and they play well together.


On today’s game, was it a little disjointed and they took you away from how you wanted to play:

I wouldn’t say disjointed.  I thought both teams came out and put their best foot forward.  Both teams committed to playing.  I thought we created opportunities, they created opportunities, it was just down to a game that didn’t have much between the teams I thought.  It was going to take one opportunity, defensively, offensively, but it’s just the way it goes.  We have a quick turn around this Wednesday.  We just have to get back to it and start preparing but its obviously disappointing to not leave with anything.

On the influence of Richie Laryea on the game:

I mean, I don’t want to take away from Laryea’s quality, but we have quality as well. There is no point at looking at one individual player and what they have done against us in terms of our team, our structure, our shape, our game plan, all of those things were something that we put emphasis on ourselves.  We can’t look to anybody else but ourselves. It’s just a tough moment obviously, two games away, two losses, but I think, like I said the quick turnaround and we just have to be honest with ourselves and fix what we have done wrong in the past two days.

On Toronto FC style of play that makes them a particularly tough opponent to face:

I don’t think so. They are a quality opponent, but I don’t think there is anything special.


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