TORONTO FC (1) – NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (0) POST MATCH SUMMARY
TFC – Ayo Akinola 29’
NE – Tommy McNamara 40’ (caution)
NE – Henry Kessler 48’ (caution)
NE – Brandon Bye 63’ (caution)
TFC – Auro 71’ (caution)
TFC – Richie Laryea 84’ (caution)
NE – Teal Bunbury 90’+3 (caution)
- Alex Bono made his 100th start, earned his club leading 50th win and set a new club record for clean sheets with 29 (all totals in all competitions)
- Toronto FC recorded its first win in New England since August 4, 2013
TORONTO FC: 10-2-4 34 PTS.
NEW ENGLAND: 5-4-7 22 PTS.
TORONTO FC – Alex Bono; Richie Laryea, Laurent Ciman, Chris Mavinga, Tony Gallacher (Auro 56’); Jonathan Osorio (C), Marky Delgado, Nick DeLeon (Liam Fraser 70’), Pablo Piatti (Omar Gonzalez 85’), Alejandro Pozuelo; Ayo Akinola (Patrick Mullins 86’)
Substitutes Not Used: Quentin Westberg, Eriq Zavaleta, Erickson Gallardo, Tsubasa Endoh, Jayden Nelson
NEW ENGLAND – Matt Turner; Brandon Bye (Kelyn Rowe 68’), Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler, DeJuan Jones (Alexander Buttner 80’); Scott Caldwell (C), Tommy McNamara, Tajon Buchanan, Lee Nguyen (Cristian Penilla 68’), Diego Fagundez (Teal Bunbury 80’); Adam Buksa
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Michael Mancienne, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Seth Sinovic, Kekuta Manneh
GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Three wins in a row and unbeaten in six, you must be feeling good about your squad?
“Yeah, tonight is a different kind of proud. This is a tough place to play. It hasn’t been friendly to us over the years. And this was a tough game. This was a scrap it out battle for every inch kind of game. You’ve got to protect your goal, protect your box. You’re fighting for space just to move the ball and you’re trying to break on the counter sometimes. A little different look, but I’m proud of the guys. They stood strong and resilient and we created some good chances in the transition. I know Ayo when he came off said, “I should have had three.” But that’s him being humble and being the kind of worker that we need at the top right now. The release that he was able to give us throughout the game when everybody else was working. You’ve got to win like this, especially in places like this and I thought it was an incredible effort.”
Can you talk about the job Richie Laryea did on the defensive side?
“This is a tough game for both fullbacks. They’re a team that really gets their fullbacks pushing high. If you don’t get a lot of pressure on the ball early, they get those fullbacks high and there are a lot of decisions to be made. You get put in a lot of one on one situations with the overloads they put on one side and Richie did a phenomenal job of making good decisions, which is showing more of his progression in the position. His ability to close down, get tight to guys and defend one on one, to stand guys up at the right times, I thought he had a very mature performance, and a different kind of performance. Usually, in games he impacts a lot more on the attacking side. Tonight, he showed that he continues to grow on the defensive side. I thought he was excellent.”
Was there a particular reason for Omar Gonzalez not starting?
“No, not really. Just a little bit of a rotation. We have to play these games back to back on turf. So, with that being said, I don’t really want to put any of these guys, if I don’t have to, two games in a row on turf, especially with the way these games are coming so fast. So, it’s more of a management choice. I thought Laurent stood strong tonight. He did a great job. He and Chris are a nice pair. They do well on the field. They have such a good relationship on and off the field that they did a nice job. We saw it in the playoffs. I have full confidence in those guys. That gave us a chance for Omar, who has played a ton of minutes through all of these stretches, to catch his breath tonight and it was nice for us to not have to put him on the turf two games in a row.”
Can you talk about Alex Bono and what kind of teammate he has been?
“Yeah, Alex came in the offseason. He went off and trained somewhere and he just gained some experience in that trial. He also gained some perspective. He came back talking about how happy he is to be here, and he saw things from a little different perspective. He just came back ready to work every single day. What I’ve seen is him get back that full level of confidence that he had, that certainty. He has belief, but I think now he’s confident and really believes that he is again back to where he was. I don’t need to document it, but he had a tough stretch, where everybody had a tough stretch in 2018. And I think over the course of this time and a bit at the end of last year, he’s really just found some peace and some confidence again, and assuredness. He looks solid back there. I know there were a couple of crosses he’d like to have back. That’s one of his bread and butter strengths and one of the reasons why we thought he would do great in this game, to help us snatch some of those crosses that were hanging up there. But he just looks really assured out there and he has three shutouts, and all three of them were great performances. He continues to compete. We’ve got two good goalkeepers right now. Two goalkeepers I believe are in form and we’re going to try to keep it that way and see where we go.”
ALEX BONO – GOALKEEPER, TORONTO FC
Every time you’ve been called on you’ve done the job, you haven’t let a goal in, how difficult has it been this season?
“Yeah, it’s obviously difficult but I just want to start off by thanking this organization. Thanking Toronto FC, thanking the front office and my coaches for allowing me to have the opportunity to play as many games for such an awesome club. This is all I know from a professional standpoint and I’ve learned so much here along the way. I’ve been here for six years now, if you told me that six years down the road I would have started 100 games when I first walked into the training facility, I probably would of thought you were crazy and I’m so honoured and I’m so blessed to be part of this organization and so grateful for the opportunity they’ve given me. 100 games is 100 games, whether you get it in three years, four years, six years, it’s 100 games and I’m obviously very proud and very honoured. It has been a different role for me and all I’ve been focusing on is going in day in and day out training as hard as I can, try to put myself in the best position that when I do get these opportunities that I take them with my full ability because I’ve lived it as much as anyone, you don’t know when the next one is going to come, so for me to be able to take them one at a time. I thought I was a little sloppy today but at the end of the day, it’s another shutout, that’s a full team shutout, full team effort and I’m really proud of the game today.”
What are your thoughts on passing Stefan Frei for most clean sheets in club history?
“I’ve played against him a few times and in the limited conversation, he seems like an awesome guy. He was obviously before my time here and he’s a fantastic goalkeeper, so I’m not going to speak to his tenure at Toronto FC. For me again, I’m just so incredibly honoured and grateful for the opportunities that have been put in front of me from the team and the organization and the coaching staff. I can’t say enough that it is the guys around me that make my job easy. You’ve seen these last few games that I’ve been playing have really been scrappy games, fights, dog fights from minute one to minute 90 and you can’t keep zeros on the board if all 11 guys aren’t on the same page, so I can say that for every single shutout that we’ve accumulated that I’ve been in net for. From that perspective, I’m not too focused on the individual records, I just want to play games and I want to have fun and I want to win, that’s all that matters to me. So as long as I get opportunities to do that, I’m a happy man.”
Greg said your training stint with a club in England left an impression with you, what impact did it have on you?
“Yeah definitely. The first day I went back in the training ground that I got back, I walked in the doors and said we’re so blessed to be part of this Toronto FC organization. The way that this club treats the players, the facilities that we have, all the people that surround us day in and day out all the resources we have as a club and as an organization are simply unmatched and that’s not just in North America. Granted, it was a Championship club that I was training at and they were fighting to stay in the Championship but it’s still a high level of soccer. For me to come back and walk back into our facilities and see the guys and girls that help us day in and day out from top to bottom it’s just a first-class organization and to be part of it I’m so incredibly honoured. I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it when I went to train, I learned a lot in the couple weeks I was there but at the end of the day I walked back in the training facility and said this is really really special. I hope that guys that have been other places that come here, obviously notice it. It’s the one thing I tell the young guys and the one thing that was told to me when I came in was listen it doesn’t get much better than this across the league and that really is the truth, you can’t say enough good things about this organization and the opportunities they provide for us.”
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