CF MONTRÉAL (4) – TORONTO FC (2) POST GAME SUMMARY
MTL – Mason Toye 3’ (Zachary Brault-Guillard)
MTL – Romell Quioto 24’ (Joel Waterman)
TFC – Mark Delgado 44’ (PK)
MTL – Victor Wanyama 54’ (Mustafa Kizza)
MTL – Djordje Mihailovic 71’ (Erik Hurtado)
TFC – Richie Laryea 88’ (Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty)
TFC – Michael Bradley 18’ (caution)
TFC – Ralph Priso 45’+1 (caution)
MTL – Victor Wanyama 67’ (caution)
Toronto FC 0-1-0 0 points
CF Montréal 1-0-0 3 points
TORONTO FC – Alex Bono; Richie Laryea, Omar González, Luke Singh, Auro Jr.; Michael Bradley (C), Ralph Priso (Liam Fraser 59’), Mark Delgado (Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty 76’), Noble Okello (Nick DeLeon HT), Jacob Shaffelburg (Justin Morrow 59’); Patrick Mullins (Jordan Perruzza HT)
Substitutes Not Used: Quentin Westberg, Eriq Zavaleta, Griffin Dorsey, Tsubasa Endoh
CF MONTRÉAL – Clément Diop; Joel Waterman, Rudy Camacho, Kamal Miller; Zachary Brault-Guillard, Samuel Piette (C), Victor Wanyama, Mustafa Kizza (Aljaž Struna 79’), Djordje Mihailovic (Amar Sejdič 79’); Romell Quioto (Bjørn Johnsen 69’), Mason Toye (Erik Hurtado 57’)
Substitutes Not Used: James Pantemis, Zorhan Bassong, Clément Bayiha, Emanuel Maciel, Joaquín Torres
- Luke Singh made his MLS debut and first MLS start for Toronto FC.
- Noble Okello made his first MLS start for Toronto FC.
- Jordan Perruzza made his MLS debut for Toronto FC.
- Richie Laryea scored a goal in the team’s MLS season opener for the second consecutive season (February 29, 2020, against San Jose Earthquakes)
- Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty registered his first assist for Toronto FC.
CHRIS ARMAS – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Q. I wonder if you can give us your thoughts on the team’s performance today, and I guess in particular, about the goals that were conceded.
Well, look, I would say that our team has experienced in just a few days, maybe the highest and the lowest. It quiet in that locker room, much different from a few nights ago and, yeah, in some ways it will be good for our team to feel what that’s like and for all of our players to understand that it’s not just about showing up because you’re Toronto FC, and it comes easy, just because.
Look, when you look at the game, I think the starting point is we just finished second all day long. Start with the coaching, the tools, tackles, coming in second all day long. You know, in moments we look like we are out here for a pass, right, just not good enough. And when you’re not good enough against a team that can hurt you in transition, that’s what it looks like, right. We knew that. We knew that no matter which structure we played, transition would be their thing and with some speed and we played into their hands. I think you could see that in three of the goals, you know, its transition moments, some bad giveaways, losing the race down the field and the set piece. We clawed our way back in, 2-1, made a push and fell short. But on the day, not good enough.
Q. We know you don’t like to make excuses, but do you think fatigue came into play at all in the match, how you played on we had night, hot again, that kind of thing?
No. I think we just weren’t ready for the match. We’re not ready for the match. We knew that we could push guys certain minutes, we knew we had reserves, we could go to them quicker, but on nights like this or days like this, what was stalked about is — is although we can play with 90 minutes intensity physically, that we have the intensity in our minds. The times we can be intense physically, we do it and other moments, with the ball, without the ball, we can have recharging periods and still the intensity at our minds could be at a high level.
So, no, I’m sure, I’m sure Montréal was tired, too, today, in moments. We’re not accepting that as the reason.
Q. What did Montréal do right, do you think? How did they sort of get at it today and sort of make life difficult for you guys?
I think they took their chances well. I think they were dangerous in transition. They forced some mistakes and with the ball they moved us around a bit and we chased too many back passes which is something that as we grow as a team and we want to be a pressing team, we have resetting moments and moments where it’s not time to go.
But they opened us up at times and we expended a lot of energy chasing in moment that is we shouldn’t have and overall, they executed without the ball and with the ball especially in transition.
Q. Tough matchup, but is there any silver lining you can take from a loss like this?
There’s always information. That’s the silver lining, you find out where we’re at, and you know, on our way to becoming a great team. We’re on our way to understand days like, this how to show up and as you are fatigued and like that, all the things that become important against a team like that, right.
It’s a derby match. It’s opening day. We understood where they could be dangerous, and yeah, we gathered information. It’s especially valuable for young players that are out there to understand these types of games, right. When things are tougher or different types of stock positions.
So, there’s certainly value, and I think on the inside, that I think the silver lining may be as a coach and even for a team, as we see Ayo stick to it. We had a play early on that gets away from him but he’s the one sliding and running back 60, 70 yards to put out a fire, Omar Gonzalez, Michael, still pushing late.
So, we are a team that understands we don’t get too high, and we don’t get too hoe. One thing for sure, we don’t give in. We don’t quit. We don’t give in and the third goal is there, and we had a couple of big chances, and it could have got interesting on a day when our good stuff didn’t show up. But we don’t quit. We learned that today for sure.
Q. A couple of valuable minutes at the end for Jahkeele, picks up his first assist. Maybe did he do enough to warrant some more minutes from you next time and what did you see from the young man?
We saw today and what we’ve seen in training, he’s clever and tidy and in interior spots, he’s very shifty and elegant with the ball. He helped build some promising attacks, and yeah, I thought it was important to get him out there and not just for the experience.
I know I wasn’t the only crazy one thinking we are going to score the first one and next ones are going to follow. I think he had a good relationship with Richie out there, and with Richie overlapping, he had some really good moments.
But Jahkeele, he’s shown some good moments in training. He earned those minutes today.
Q. You’re missing some important pieces like Pozuelo, Mavinga, Altidore. Will you have them back for the next game?
It looks like we’ll have a few of our reinforcements, if you will, back for the next game. And that will be good for those players, good for our team, and each day, it seems like every few days we are getting healthier, we’re getting stronger, yeah. We’ll get back to full strength real soon.
Q. Luke Singh, big occasion for him, especially coming off the Champions League sort of on display in mid-week in his MLS debut tonight. What did you make of his performance overall? Are there still learnings there and growth to be made?
I think we know, yeah, there’s so much — our veteran players will still learn and grow. Imagine a player like Luke, we’ve thrown a lot at him. We discussed not starting him today because it could be a lot for a young player early on, but we wanted to expose him to this type of game, and he held up in many ways, he did. It’s just a big challenge on the day as we had to put out a lot of fires in transition. So, with two strikers, with good moments, with quickness that he’s dealing with all year long, I think he’s growing quickly.
So, it’s a couple of really difficult games, you know, that he’s had to face, but I think it will pay dividends for him moving forward.
Q. Three different games in short order, a lot of valuable information for you to go over. What do you do with that as you look ahead to the next match?
Like always, this is when we played a USL team in preseason, and now that we play our opener and even Leon, we look hard at ourselves. We look at video. We just assess individual performances, collective performances, keep implementing. It’s still early for us. It’s still early for us. We need time to all get on the same page and understand what it takes to be a team, what it takes to play a certain way, to understand all the details and nuances of when you have the ball and you don’t, when you lose the ball, when you win it, yeah, so what does the next week look like, we get home, we take some rest, it’s been a tough stretch, we take some rest and we look hard and we put it right back to work. That’s what this team is about. When we get right back to work in a real way, and it requires taking a hard look.
But that one’s passed us. It’s passed us. We’ll be looking forward after a few days of rest.
MICHAEL BRADLEY – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
Q. Obviously a tough day, tough result. Wanted to get your thoughts on the performance, what you thought of the effort from the team.
Yeah, I mean, look, it’s a frustrating day. We never really gave ourselves a chance with the way we started the game. I mean, obviously we spoke a lot before the game about understanding that — we knew we would be playing a team that’s motivated for their first game this season. Obviously, the fact that we have played two Champions League games means that, yeah, in some ways, we have a little bit of match rhythm under our belt. But that doesn’t count for something when the whistle blows today.
Like I said, it’s a frustrating day because for me, you know, we never really gave ourselves a chance in the game, and on a day like this, you know, with all the — with all the factors that go into it where, you know, you find yourselves behind 1-0, a hundred seconds into the game and from there, you’re chasing.
Q. I’m not sure any of those four goals — happy to be conceded. If you could sum up what went wrong in general?
Oh, we are not happy to concede any goals. So obviously, yeah, the frustration to give away four is big. Yeah, obviously, it’s nothing new but you have to understand that when you play teams on certain days, they are going to be looking to take advantage of the fact that we want to play in their half and we want to be aggressive in how we play and also how we — how we, you know, close down our ability to be good with the ball and to not — to not give battles away. But then our ability to be — our ability to put out fires and our ability to react and counter press quickly, all these things get put under the microscope. Obviously on a day like today, we are just not good enough. That’s as simple a way to say it as there is.
Q. A lot has been thrown at Luke Singh in the last couple of weeks. What can you say about the young man and how he’s risen to the challenge?
He’s done really well, really well. They have all continued to grow. They continue to come in every day with the right mentality. They continue to push themselves and listen. Yeah, listen to the — listen to the coaching staff, listen to their teammates. They have personality, they are not afraid and so I think they have all taken big steps forward in the last, you know — in the last few weeks, but really, the entire preseason and many of them going into the end of last season.
So you know, we are going to continue to push these guys and move them forward, and obviously Luke has done a really good job in the last few days being ready when he was called on, you know, and now for all of them, it’s continuing to use the experiences in training, in games and continue to push themselves forward.
But we are really, really happy.
Q. Jahkeele picks up his first assist as a professional if I’m not mistaken tonight on Richie’s late goal there. As a player who has been linked with some pretty big name clubs, what’s your message to a guy like that and what have you seen from him in this preseason?
Well, continuing with what I just said, all of these guys are doing a really good job. They have to just continue to come every day ready to work, ready to — ready to commit to what we are doing, enjoy the — enjoy the part about just being ready to go for it every single day. You know, to push themselves with how they train, to listen, to take in information, to not be afraid when they get their chances to show their personality.
So, you know, whether it’s Jahkeele or Ralph or Noble, Luke, Jacob, Liam, go down the line, the message and encouragement for all of them is the same in that regard.
Q. An off-field question if I may. As you know, things are not going very well up here with COVID-19. I’m wondering if you’ve been able to get your family down to Florida, and if more of your teammates are looking to bring their loved ones down given what’s happening north of the border?
Yes, my family got down two days ago as I mentioned. Everybody’s plan was slightly different. Had schools stayed open and had things been relatively normal there, the idea for my wife and kids was to be around there and to, you know, let the kids enjoy being in school every day, be with their friends, activities.
But obviously with the way things have played out over the last few weeks, we wanted to just, you know, use the opportunity to be together as a family again. So they were able to get down in the last day or two. And I think, again, everybody’s situation is slightly different, but you know, when all said and done, I think a good number of guys will try to get their families down here at one point or another.
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