ORLANDO CITY SC (1) – TORONTO FC (0) POST GAME SUMMARY
ORL – Tesho Akindele 12’ (Silvester van der Water)
TFC – Yeferson Soteldo 21’ (caution)
TFC – Auro Jr. 63’ (caution)
ORL – Tesho Akindele 77’ (caution)
Toronto FC 1-3-2 5 points
Orlando City SC3-0-3 12 points
TORONTO FC – Alex Bono; Richie Laryea, Omar González (Eriq Zavaleta 81’), Chris Mavinga, Kemar Lawrence; Michael Bradley (C), Auro Jr. (Jacob Shaffelburg 69’), Mark Delgado, Jonathan Osorio (Nick DeLeon 55’), Yeferson Soteldo; Jozy Altidore (Ayo Akinola 70’)
Substitutes Not Used: Quentin Westberg, Justin Morrow, Jayden Nelson, Ralph Priso, Patrick Mullins
ORLANDO CITY SC – Pedro Gallese; Kyle Smith, Antônio Carlos, Rodrigo Schlegel, Robin Jansson; Jhegson Méndez, Júnior Urso, Chris Mueller (Benji Michel 70’), Mauricio Pereyra (Alexander Alvarado 87’), Silvester van der Water (Andrés Perea 59’); Tesho Akindele (Joey DeZart 87’)
Substitutes Not Used: Brandon Austin, Michael Halliday, Rio Hope-Gund, Matheus Aiás, David Loera
CHRIS ARMAS – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Q. It seemed like tonight you created chances against a good Orlando team but couldn’t finish them and on the other end you paid for one defensive let down. What do you take from the performance tonight?
I think we will be disappointed in the goal that we let up, but the attitude, the approach, the pressing, the commitment when we don’t have the ball, the ability to create chances, the structure, I think there’s a lot of positives.
What’s not so positive is the way we feel right now. The locker room is down, yeah. It’s a big effort. You want to get rewarded for the effort. On the night, disappointed but there’s some positives that we’ll just keep building on.
Q. You said earlier this week that goals were going to come for Soteldo and he did a lot play making and almost scoring tonight. Can you just give us a comment on the way he played?
Listen, I think — I’ve said it from day one because I watched a lot of Yeferson before he got here, that our league, our club, our supporters, the players, we should be really excited about him because he’s a guy that gets you on the edge of your seat because he can unbalance, he can unlock a 1v1 attack. It’s a very rare quality these days in a footballer. We thought he was dangerous all night long, getting in line, making plays, giving us chances to score.
He got really close on one. I don’t know if he gets blocked off the goal line in the first half but it’s going to keep getting better with him. I think it’s important he played 90 minutes and physically he’s coming along but we’re happy with him and he’s going to help us. He’s going to help us big time create and score goals.
Q. Obviously this is a very difficult Orlando team you were playing. They are just so solid defensively. But in terms of Urso and Mendez, how difficult did they make it for you guys today because it seemed like they were beasts in that central midfield for Orlando.
I don’t know, we had 20 shots, I think they had ten — it’s a good team. Defensively it’s such a good team. It’s maybe the most amount of shots we had all year.
We thought we could find spaces, create spaces wide. We thought we could move the ball. We thought we could put them in a fast game and those guys, they are a very athletic, powerful midfield and you can throw Pereyra in there as well.
But against a really good team, we thought we’d created chances and as the game went on, we thought we won the midfield. Yeah, I think those guys are credible and very athletic and a presence, but I think we put those guys in a hard game in central midfield.
Q. What was it like having fans in the stands for this match? I think we saw a bit of the energy that had been missed from playing in empty stadiums in tonight’s match.
We like the energy. And credit to Orlando and their organization, the fans. They make noise. They are knowledgeable. We thought it was a really good atmosphere. They come to see a performance and some entertainment. They got that tonight and they got to see their team win, but yeah, it was good energy in the building.
Q. You have two more games against Orlando coming up, how much are you guys looking forward to having another look at them after the way today’s game went?
Yeah, look, looking forward to next weekend. Roll out back out there against Columbus and keep improving, keep getting better. Keep getting better, keep getting guys healthy. I’m looking forward to the next game.
I won’t look too far ahead. Orlando is off to a good start this year. They are well-coached, and they have a good team. When we meet them again, we’ll look to win that one. But for now, it’s on to the next one.
Q. I know you wanted to restrict Osorio’s minutes on his return, but he looked to be in a bit of discomfort when he left. Is he okay?
Yeah, he was getting looked at after the game by the doctors. He had just a couple of soft tissue injuries this year. He’s just trying to get himself going so we’ll have to see was it just some cramps, fatigue, not sure yet what exactly but obviously an important piece for us and we’ve got to help him stay healthy because you know — he shows up in good spots, yeah, we’ve got to get him healthy here. We came into the game thinking 45 to 60 minutes. We got that. But we’ll take a look and see where he’s at.
Q. Wondering about Omar Gonzalez because he came out late. Was that injury-related? Precautionary? What can you say about that?
Just that Omar asked to come off. He gave us the substitution sign and I think it was just cramping with Omar. Hopefully that’s just the case but we had to make a change at that moment.
KEMAR LAWRENCE – DEFENDER, TORONTO FC
Q. What are your thoughts on the result tonight and how your team played?
I’m a guy that likes to be honest after the games, win or lose. I try to wait a little bit before I process everything through my mind, so it’s always a little bit harder to speak to media directly after the games to tell you exactly what I want to tell you.
But we created chances. We didn’t finish. That’s a part of the game. I know that will come with the quality we have and the depth we have. But for me it’s like we’ve got to be tighter in the back line in our field. That’s one of the hardest things with any team and that doesn’t come overnight. We have to be like really hard to play against, not give away any chances.
And if you think about it, they didn’t really create much. It’s just that one. You know, they got off and it’s 1-0 and this is football. This is how it goes. You only need one at times, and you walk away with three points.
Q. How difficult did Orlando make it for you guys? Obviously, you did have chances, but I mean they are a pretty well defensively organized team. How difficult was it to break them down?
To be honest it wasn’t that difficult because, well, we did, we got isolation out wide and we keep beating our man and when we got out wide, it was just that final pass or somebody making that killer run inside just to get a little foot on one of those crosses that was coming in. Their keeper made a couple of saves.
You know, so if you get chances, you can’t really say, you know, it was difficult to break them down if you understand what I mean. But they are a pretty solid team around there. I’ll give them that.
So there was a few difficulties, but as soon as we kind of kept our cool a little bit more around the ball, we figured out what we need to do and then our selection of passes got better as the game progressed.
Q. It’s early days, but how are you enjoying playing with Yeferson Soteldo?
It’s easy and clear. You can see both of us love football. We hate losing and we’re passionate. So it makes him eager to learn about me and it makes me more eager to learn about him. That way we can just play seamlessly. And so far, I feel like we’re doing that. I know where he wants the ball and I try to play him quick as possible but at the same time, I know some time he’s isolated with two or three guys. So then it gives me an option to pick a different pass, and when I pick a different pass, he comes off perfectly most times because he’s occupied by three guys or two guys. He leaves other people free on the field.
Q. How valuable and how important can nights be like this for a team that’s still coming together and figuring themselves out in terms of the information you get and the repetitions?
I said it in the locker room. We’re a bunch of intelligent guys, smart, not only players, but smart people in that locker room. I just said to the guys, if we started off winning every game, winning every single game for the year, then when you lose one and close to the playoffs or stuff like that, it’s more difficult to deal with. Whereas if you start off early, you learn from your mistakes right now. You build up the right way and you know what losing feels like and you know that hurts. You don’t want to go over it through it again and again. The players and coaches learn from it as well as the players and we progress as a team, not as individuals.
So nights like this are really valuable, especially me, it shows me what I need to do or who I need to back up a little bit more or touches I need to take. Like I said, as a footballer, I’m learning and I’m growing every day. There’s a lot to learn and a lot we’ve got to do this week coming up because we know going into Columbus, you know it’s not going to be any joke. They want their three points, especially since we just beat them a couple weeks ago. It’s going to be a rough one.
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