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Follow Southern California Newspaper Group’s Kyle Goon as he covers the Lakers during the NBA Finals inside the bubble in Orlando. Follow for updates, highlights and social media takes from Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Heat, 4:30 p.m. But first, ready today’s previews and what they’re saying on social media.…What they’re saying before the Lakers vs. Heat, Game 3 — Press Telegram
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TORONTO FC (2) – PHILADELPHIA UNION (1) POST MATCH SUMMARY
PHI – Sergio Santos 5’
TFC – Ayo Akinola 58’ (Tony Gallacher)
TFC – Alejandra Pozuelo 76’ (Pablo Piatti)
PHI – Jose Martinez 83’ (caution)
TORONTO FC: 9-2-4 31 PTS.
PHILADELPHIA: 8-3-4 28 PTS.
TORONTO FC – Quentin Westberg; Richie Laryea, Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga, Justin Morrow (Tony Gallacher 39’); Jonathan Osorio (C), Marky Delgado, Pablo Piatti (Tsubasa Endoh 86’), Alejandro Pozuelo; Ayo Akinola (Patrick Mullins 86’), Jozy Altidore (Nick DeLeon 53’)
Substitutes Not Used: Alex Bono, Laurent Ciman, Liam Fraser, Erickson Gallardo, Jayden Nelson
PHILADELPHIA – Andre Blake; Olivier Mbaizo, Jakob Glesnes, Mark McKenzie, Matt Real (Andrew Wooten 86’); Alejandro Bedoya (C), Jose Martinez, Jamiro Monteiro, Brenden Aaronson (Anthony Fontana 66’); Sergio Santos (Ilsinho 71’), Kacper Przybylko
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Bendik, Aurelien Collin, Jack Elliott, Matej Oravec, Michee Ngalina
GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Third win over a tough Eastern opponent. Do you applaud your team for finding ways to win or do you think, ‘we’ve got to stop giving up the first goal to put us in a tough situation?
“Both. We do need to stop conceding the first goal. We need to start better. That’s one. But I do think that, by and large, in the last couple of games specifically, not so much in the New York game, we’re starting to control games. We controlled the game, we played the majority of it in the attacking half. We’ve had good possession, we’ve pinned the opposition back. The first half we didn’t create as many chances as I’d like for the amount of the ball that we had. So, we tried to adjust a little bit of our movements for the second half, to try to open up some spaces. I thought we got a little bit better at doing that and creating chances. But with the way the schedule is, with the way everything’s going, and good opponents and teams that specifically defend well like Columbus and Philadelphia, you have got to attack really well and you’ve got to really execute, because you’re probably not going to get as many chances as you get in some other games. And we executed in some moments today. So that’s really good, so you have to applaud the guys for finding ways. But to answer the first part of the question, we do need to stop playing from behind and stop giving up early goals. And they’re not even great goals, that’s the problem. They’re goals that one hundred percent need to be cleaned up.”
You take pride in being able to win in a variety of different ways with this group. How would you characterize this win, because it looked like there were a few themes on the night?
“Yeah, I think that there was some patience involved. Like I said, I felt like in the first half we controlled a lot of the possession, we played a lot of the game in their half of the field, that’s how I felt. But having said that, we didn’t create a lot of chances, a lot of great clear chances. But we are in good areas on the field. We had to manage the transition a few times and crosses things like that, we had to deal with it. Obviously, Q had to make an important save. Part of that was just in the transition, us getting a little bit pulled apart and them having too much space. But every now and then you’re going to give up a shot from distance and Q made an incredible save. But I thought we stayed patient in the idea that the chances and the goals were going to come if we just did the right things and made some adjustments in terms of how we were moving. The opportunities that we were looking for would come. But we had to also be solid defensively. They have two big forwards who are mobile, who are a handful to defend. And for a lot of the game, Aaronson, who plays underneath them, who is quick and shifty. And I thought we did a nice job of making it really difficult for him to impact the game. But those two forwards are handful, especially on balls that are served into the box. Or balls that are played out. But I thought we did a lot of things solid on the night. It’s the first game back after being away for eight days, and so we have to rebuild that rhythm. But it was a good start against a good team. Good start to the five-game stretch. Not a good start to the actual game itself.”
Can you give an update on Jozy and Justin?
“I don’t have great information yet. Jozy, it seems to be it looks like a minor hamstring issue. I don’t know how minor or not minor. He says that soreness is there. We’ll have to see. We don’t exactly what the time frame looks like until we get a scan and we get a sense of what it is. As far as Justin, it was more just calf tightness that started to build a little bit in the warmup. So, we were aware that he was feeling sort of the onset of it, but he felt like he could go, and he could give it a go. He wasn’t sure how long, or if it would continue to tighten. So, we were communicating because he was right in front of the bench, as things were going. He was going to go as long as he felt like he was in a safe zone but if it started to progress then we were going to get him off. So that kind of happens a little bit there before the end of the first half. But he thinks he’s fine. We will get him some treatment. We will try to loosen it up. We don’t think it’s anything specific. We think it might be just a byproduct of a change of surface, or something that’s maybe causing a little bit of that. So how it changes the rotation … obviously we’re down a forward if Jozy’s out for some period of time. That puts Pat back into the rotation. Maybe it brings, at times, Poz back into the middle. There’s plenty of things that we will do to adjust. We’ll miss Jozy because I really felt like he was starting to pick up his rhythm with everybody. I thought he was starting to move in a good way. He was maybe a little bit away from the goal through the course of the first half, but I think that was just a product that Poz was inside a lot so that Jozy was drifting a little bit wider and that was one of the things that we wanted to adjust a touch in the second half but it didn’t last too long for Jozy. So, we ended up moving Poz to the inside and bringing Nick to deal with the outside, and I think that opened up a few things for us.”
JONATHAN OSORIO – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
Two wins against two top teams in the conference is Rentschler Field beginning to feel like home?
“Yeah, a little bit for sure. We’re doing our best to use it to our advantage and make it a home advantage and we’re trying to do that with the way we play here and getting two wins against two big opponents helps a lot. It helps for the confidence of the team to play on this field and we’re getting comfortable in playing in this environment. It’s not easy, of course we wish there was fans and it’s a much better atmosphere when there is and for our supporters and everything. It is what it is. We’ve been dealing with it for most of the year now, but these two wins definitely help get us more comfortable playing here at The Rent. It’s always nice to win.”
What does this team remind you of?
“I think a little bit of the 2017 team. We’re in a good rhythm right now, we’re playing really good football. I think we played well in the last game and a half against two really strong teams, two teams that are top of the league. I think this team is coming together now. We went through a little bit of a transition in the beginning of 2019. I still think that throughout the whole year we always had that quality it was just getting the system down, getting used to a little bit of a different system and players getting used to the philosophy that we play with here. Once that happened and everything started clicking and guys got healthy towards the end of last year that’s when you saw the quality that we had. Like you said, we were resilient, and I think we’ve brought that over to this year and you’ve seen over the last two games with the come from behind wins. But I think this year we’re dominating games in a better way, in the way we want to and we’re playing really positive football.”
ALEJANDRO POZUELO – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
Another big game from you, is this best you’ve ever played?
“No, I don’t think so. I had a good period in another team, I know I feel good. The more important thing is the team. We play very good football, we started losing but we kept going and pushing and the three points is the most important.”
Do you set any type of goal to have an MVP caliber year?
“No, this is not my goal. My goal now in this moment is to be fit because we have a lot of games and the most important is not to be injured and try to play all the games possible and working for the team. This is my goal in this moment. If you’re thinking about the MVP (award) this is no good. Now in this moment we need to keep working for the team, we need to keep working in training and this is a good example for the young guys also.”
-TORONTO FOOTBALL CLUB-