TFC 0, REVOLUTION 0: Summary and quotes.

TORONTO FC (0) – NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (0) POST MATCH SUMMARY

SCORING SUMMARY

None

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

NE – Kelyn Rowe 38’ (caution)

NE – Scott Caldwell 41’ (caution)

TFC – Michael Bradley 50’ (caution)

MLS IS BACK TOURNAMENT STANDINGS

GROUP CWLTGFGAGDPTS.
Toronto FC1026515
New England Revolution1022115
D.C. United0023302
Montreal Impact02035-20

Bold – Advanced to Round of 16

MEDIA NOTES

  • Toronto FC extended its club-record unbeaten run in MLS regular season matches to 15 (6 wins and 9 ties) – courtesy of Opta
  • With the draw today, Toronto FC has secured one of the top two spots in Group C and have advanced to the Round of 16
  • Noble Okello made his Toronto FC and MLS debut today, coming on as a substitute in the 68th minute

LINEUPS

TORONTO FC – Alex Bono; Auro Jr. (Laurent Ciman 82’), Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga (Jozy Altidore 86’), Richie Laryea; Michael Bradley (C), Marky Delgado (Noble Okello 68’), Alejandro Pozuelo; Pablo Piatti (Tsubasa Endoh 67’), Nick DeLeon (Jacob Shaffelburg, HT’), Ayo Akinola

Substitutes Not Used: Quentin Westberg, Eriq Zavaleta, Griffin Dorsey, Liam Fraser, Erickson Gallardo, Jayden Nelson, Patrick Mullins

NEW ENGLAND – Matt Turner; Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler, Brandon Bye, DeJuan Jones; Scott Caldwell (Wilfried Zahibo HT’), Teal Bunbury (C) (Cristian Penilla 60’), Kelyn Rowe (Gustavo Bou 60’), Diego Fagundez; Adam Buksa (Justin Rennicks 77’), Tajon Buchanan

Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Jeff Caldwell, Michael Mancienne, Seth Sinovic, Antonio Delamea, Alexander Buttner, Issac Angking, Damian Rivera

GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC

Are you happy with where the team is heading into the knockout round? And we got to see a glimpse of Jozy Altidore and Ayo Akinola playing together, what did you think?

For us we are pleased and content with where we are in terms of the results so far. I can nitpick forever. We should have taken three in the first game. But for the short turnaround, guys dug down. Two 9:00 a.m. games and a game in 48 hours in between there so I’m really pleased with the guys resiliency, the battle. We did some really good things, especially in the first half, I thought, in terms of our ball circulation and made it really difficult for them. So, I’m pleased with our performances, so now our games move to night. We’re getting our legs underneath us. Jozy is getting himself back into the fold with us. Oso should be ready hopefully for the next game, to get involved. It was a little bit of a precautionary choice today. So, the team continues to build and that’s what these events are about. So, I’m pleased with where we are at. I’m pleased with where our mindset is at. These 9:00 a.m. games are brutal. And we’ve just grinded through another one. In terms of seeing Jozy and Ayo on the field together, it was nice. I think it’s a handful for defenders. We slid Ayo out to the right side, so he was kind of coming off the right wing. Jozy was then playing as the target, but at times bringing Ayo in to run off Jozy. And that’s where the opportunity and the penalty kick, almost came from right off the bat. I’m pleased. They’re two strong guys who are going to be a handful for defenders in the moments that we use them together. One of those moments today where it came out. So, we’ll see how we play it out as we move the tournament and into the rest of the year.

Did these games play out the way you envisioned them? The team seemed to never get out of second gear, and it seemed like more of a grind to just get through the games.

I’m not sure if you’ve watched any of the other 9:00 a.m. games. They all look very similar. You can start and get going a little bit. The ball is moving quick. Everybody is fresh in the early part of it. But as the game continues, it’s really a grind. There’s no other way. It’s not different for any game. Yesterday, New York and Philadelphia in the morning. Everybody is complaining about how slow the game was. I say come try to play a game at 9:00 a.m. in Florida. At 10:00 a.m. when it starts to get hot, no clouds, no cover from the sun. The guys, it’s just gritting it out. Your mind is telling you to take a rest, but you know you also can’t take a rest and you’ve got 11 guys trying to coordinate when they can be resting at the same time. It’s choosing your moments. That’s what these games are about in the morning. You’ve got to choose the moment when you sprint and when you can make a difference. And then you’ve got to take advantage of that moment. And neither team really took advantage of the moment. And that’s why it ended 0-0. Sometimes defensively both teams made a play here and there, but these games are a grind and it’s about taking advantage of that moment whenever it shows up, and they don’t show up that often because guys don’t have the capacity to repeat sprints the same way they would if it was cooler outside, or if it was even at night here. So, I’m pleased. I’d be hard pressed to say there’s a team in the tournament that’s had as difficult a schedule as we’ve had in playing two games at 9:00 a.m. and one off two days’ rest. So again, it shows the strength and resiliency of our group. Even the depth, some of our young guys coming in and helping us out. So, I’m very pleased. Now we need to take that mindset and some of the good moments we’ve had over these few games and put them into complete games and continue to build in this process of getting better in the process through the tournament. Trying to win it.

Would you have traded the clean sheet for a goal today?

That’s a good question. Winning the game was our priority. That’s what we wanted to do. That’s what we set out to do. I think getting the clean sheet was important for our group in this tournament. I think we are confident we can create chances, we can score goals. With Jozy coming back in the mix, and Oso coming, we know our attack is going to continue to do its thing. I think showing some resilience as a group, getting a shutout is very important, especially because we’ve given up some goals that we’re not very proud of in the first couple of games. So, the shutout is important. I don’t know that I can ever answer that question precisely, but I think the shutout was good for our group today.

ALEX BONO – GOALKEEPER, TORONTO FC

How did you feel out there, Alex? It’s been a bit of a long time since you’ve played?

I felt really good. Obviously, the 9:00 am kickoff is a little bit different and not something we’re used to, especially in the heat, and makes it a lot more difficult. I feel bad these guys in front of me that work so hard and have to deal with that heat. So, the preparation is a little bit different, but the instruction is the same. I’ve got to go out and play 90 minutes. And so, I was ready for it. I felt good going in and I’m happy that we’re now at the top of the group and put ourselves in a good position to move on, and that was the goal today.

Alex, can you walk us through the point blank save you made late in the game?

It was a ball that came through. Rule of thumb I use is if a ball is outside the frame of the goal, is to hold your ground unless you think you’re going to get there. So, I decided to stay in, and he had time to dribble in and play a ball across. At that point you’re not really sure who’s there to get on the end of it. So, we work on it a lot in training, to come out and make yourself big and put a block on it and hope it hits you. I was fortunate in that moment that I was able to put myself in a good position and get a block.

Alex, the clean sheet was a nice pickup. What is the takeaway heading into the knockout round?

We showed a lot of resilience today. Obviously in the first half we were on top of the game a lot. Going into the second half we found ourselves against it a little bit. And we talked about it before the game, when you get tired, it’s inevitable during these games, it’s important that we keep mental strength, and I thought our group showed a ton of mental strength today, staying tuned in all the way until the final whistle, even when we were up against it at the toughest times. I give the guys a lot of credit for staying tuned in and engaged throughout the whole match.

AYO AKINOLA – FORWARD, TORONTO FC

Ayo, when you were taken down late in the game on the edge of the box, did you think that was a penalty?

I initially thought it was, but at the same time, I saw the skid marks on the grass, and it was just outside. So, I had a feeling…I thought initially they were going to give a penalty at first, but after it went to VAR, it was just outside the box, and I actually thought it was outside the box.

Ayo, were you starting to feel the effects of the 9:00 a.m. start, the heat and the humidity, with this being the third game you’ve played?

Just a little bit, but at the same time I’m kind of used to it. So, I wasn’t overly concerned about the heat because I think just the preparation was right for me. But I think just a little bit there were times when I had a lack of concentration, little slip ups, but I thought overall it was good for me.

Ayo, you’ve been very cool and collected as you’ve had so much success in this tournament. What’s life been like, has your phone been blowing up?

Just from family and friends, just cheering and supporting me. But at the same time, I’m not going to let social media get to my head. I know if you get complacent, it’s just going to go downhill. I just try to keep a humble approach and ground level it.

-TORONTO FOOTBALL CLUB-

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