FC DALLAS (1) – TORONTO FC (1) POST GAME SUMMARY
DAL – Jáder Obrian 9’ (Paul Arriola, Paxton Pomykal)
TOR – Jonathan Osorio 45’ (Jesús Jiménez, Jacob Shaffelburg)
TOR – Jacob Shaffelburg 19’ (caution)
DAL – Jáder Obrian 45+2’ (caution)
Toronto FC 0-0-1 1 point
FC Dallas 0-0-1 1 point
TORONTO FC – Alex Bono; Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Mavinga (Shane O’Neill 46’), Jacob Shaffelburg; Michael Bradley (C), Jonathan Osorio, Alejandro Pozuelo; Deandre Kerr (Ifunanyachi Achara 46’), Jayden Nelson (Noble Okello 66’), Jesús Jiménez
Substitutes Not Used: Quentin Westberg, Lukas MacNaughton, Kadin Chung, Luca Petrasso, Ralph Priso, Jordan Perruzza
FC DALLAS – Maarten Paes; Emmanuel Twumasi (Kalil ElMedkhar 88’), José Martínez, Matt Hedges (C), Marco Farfan; Edwin Cerrillo, Brandon Servania (Tsiki Ntsabeleng 73’), Paxton Pomykal; Paul Arriola (Nanu 79’), Jáder Obrian, Jesús Ferreira
Substitutes Not Used: Jimmy Maurer, Eddie Munjoma, Nkosi Tafari, Facundo Quignón, Beni Redžić, Isaiah Parker
- Bob Bradley managed his first match for Toronto FC.
- Jonathan Osorio has now scored in each of his 10 seasons with Toronto FC (2013 – 2022), extending an all-time TFC record.
- Deandre Kerr and Jesús Jiménez made their debuts and first MLS starts for Toronto FC.
- Carlos Salcedo and Shane O’Neill made their debuts for the Reds tonight.
- Toronto FC’s season-opening starting XI featured five Canadians (Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, Jacob Shaffelburg, Jonathan Osorio, Deandre Kerr and Jayden Nelson).
- Toronto FC recorded its first MLS point against FC Dallas since a 1-0 win at BMO Field on May 7, 2016.
- With the draw, Toronto FC’s MLS Season Opener record moves to 5W-8L-3D.
BOB BRADLEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Bob, a lot to unpack from that game, good and bad, and that could just be talking about the VAR. What did you think of the performance?
Well, I thought that there were some moments in the first half where some of our decisions, some sloppy moments with the ball, and then those were situations that caused us trouble. But also in the first half, we were sharp, connected passes, moved up together, were able to press them that were quite good, and I thought the response after going down was important. I thought the goal we scored late in the half was really well done. A guy like Jacob Shaffelburg playing first game at left back doesn’t start well but then I think he does a very good job of playing through it and getting to the game in a strong, positive way.
I think the second half for parts were better. At the end, I thought we were, again, a little too slow with the ball and then if we wait too long and we end up playing backwards, they step up a little bit or we end up playing the long ball but it comes right back at us. I think our ability to not just play the ball but play it faster, find the right passes, move up together, I think we saw it in period of the game and that’s still positive but it’s still got to be more consistent.
You started three teenagers. How much confidence did you have in these fellas going into the match and what can you say about the way — you mentioned Shaffelburg, and Marshall-Rutty played at the fullback spot, a position you’ve been reintroducing them to this season.
Yeah, I thought both those guys played very well, as I mentioned, Jacob didn’t have a perfect start. Again he’s playing Paul Arriola and Paul is obviously an experienced player with quickness and gets into good spots. But I thought he had adjusted well in the game. I thought that Jahkeele’s first game at right back, really quite good. The things — I think we felt very good.
I’m not sure if you had a chance to review the two VAR decisions that went against you, speaking specifically about Dallas’s first goal and the office wail low decision. Do you think those calls went against you justly or unjustly?
I haven’t had a chance. The only thing I’ve heard about the penalty call is that he’s right there, he makes the call, and that nobody that’s seen it tells me that it’s a clear and obvious mistake.
That doesn’t seem to be the proper use of VAR for me.
Couple of changes at halftime, Achara and O’Neil coming on, can you walk us through the thought process and how did that play out?
Shane has played well of late. When he plays with Carlos, he moves to the right, Carlos moves to the left. I think Carlos also does a good job of giving Jacob confidence.
You know, Chris, one of the biggest — the biggest thing we continue to challenge Chris with is just his ability to stay more tuned into everything that goes on around him at times. It still means that he loses certain things. Building out of the back in the first half, we had a few moments where I didn’t think our decisions were good and we felt it was just a way of changing the game at half time.
Deandre never really got into the game. Wasn’t enough of a threat. Achara had a few moments when he came on. Couldn’t quite get a play right, the one where he gets pushed through and tries to play the ball across. It’s a good opportunity for us in the second half. But look, it’s (early in the) season, and we’ve got young guys and we’re still working on the whole group. So I think it’s important that in different moments, if we think we’ve got to make changes at half, guys are ready, and the guys that come out, it’s never easy and it’s part of the process of us growing as a team.
The other day you sort of hinted at or suggested that you wanted to see Pozuelo play with a little bit more structure, maybe a little bit more focus within the system. What did you see from him this afternoon or tonight?
Yeah, I thought he did a good job of staying connected with the other midfielders. You saw moments where he was the closest guy when the ball turned over, and he defensively reacted really well, and either closed the play down, won a ball or allowed everybody else to get back into good position. I still think that we were fairly fluid so that we found him in some pretty good spots.
Even in the first half I felt like he was still getting the ball in areas where he had a chance to be creative and make the plays that we know are special from him so overall, I thought he gave us a really good game.
Osorio scores a goal, one in each of his ten seasons with the club. What can you say about his longevity and what he’s meant to the club over the years?
Yeah, obviously I’ve watched Oso play an important role for TFC over the years. He’s been a versatile player, smart player, a guy that makes guys around him better. He’s always had an ability to get into the box in the right moment and score goals and working with him every day has been fantastic and you see on a night like tonight how he’s able to make so many different plays to help us through a tough game.
Can I get your thoughts on Jayden Nelson’s performance today there in the left wing?
I liked it. He was full of energy, he made some really good runs, he was confident with the ball. Yeah, the final moments on a few plays didn’t work out perfectly, but you know, I think Jayden is a good player and I want to see that type of, you know, when he plays like that, you see personality, you see life, you see his skill. So for me, we talked about it in preseason that that’s what he can bring, challenged him in all these different ways and I think tonight we saw a lot of good things.
Your evaluation on Jesús Jiménez making his MLS debut?
Yeah, some skillful moments, but overall, a night where some of the important opportunities, plays, didn’t quite come off. Haven’t had a chance to see the header again but that’s a good opportunity in the second half. You know, I think he’s a player that we can use in different ways and so in moments in the first half when we couldn’t quite find our way through, I think he comes off the defenders and finds some good positions to be able to receive balls and try to connect things. Not everything that went to him came off really well in the next part, so there’s still that sharpening up of things. But I think he’s still going to be an important player for us.
Your thoughts on Carlos during this match?
I always say that Carlos is a big personality on the field. On a night like tonight he makes some really good plays. He reads situations well. You know, when they clogged the middle, we had to find different solutions to play from the back. He helps, and then he also had some different passes that went a little bit off where the quality of his passes weren’t always perfect. But the fact that he sees different things in the build-up and helps us find different ways against their way of stepping up I think is important. And overall, we were still able to play forward in good ways and still have moments of control in the game.
As we’ve talked about, a lot of moving parts in this preseason and your team remains a work-in-progress. Given that, is what you saw on the pitch today pretty much what you expected?
I think football-wise there are moments in that game where I still expect that we can be sharper and better. I think that’s some of the moments in transition came from some carelessness. You could attribute some of that to the fact that the field was very slick. I think football-wise there were moments for me where we’re better and sharper than that and that would include some of the execution and final parts of plays. But I like the fact that the group as a whole is showing a commitment to be a real team. I felt good about the response after going down. The feeling after the game is that it’s not our best but it shows that we’re going in a good direction, so that part I’m satisfied.
JONATHAN OSORIO – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
Congratulations on the road draw and a goal. Just what have you learned and what do you have to say about after the preseason and fighting back from a deficit to earn a draw here, what do you have to say just about with a kind of team that you guys have this year?
I think the character that we have on the team and the fight, the togetherness that we have and the belief that we have, it’s still there when things are a little bit hard that we can fight our way back into the game, play our way back into the game. I think for a pretty new team, that’s a really positive thing to take out of this game. We know that this process is still new and day-by-day we are going to get better. Today was a big step. I think it was a good step forward. This is not an easy place to play, and with the way that the game went, I thought we did really well. I thought we did really well. We are going to take the positives and look at where we can improve, of course, this week and be ready for our home opener.
Bob deployed five Canadians and three teenagers. As a Canadian yourself, what was your sort of feeling about him showing so much trust in your countrymen who are still pretty young?
Yeah, we had very young guys on the field today. I think this is a positive for, first of all, those individuals to have that chance, and very positive for the club and for Bob trusting those guys.
I think, you know, we have to trust the young guys and give them that belief that they can go in and do the job. You know, even though we have like Jacob playing left back, which he has not really done and Jahkeele playing right back, maybe they are not so familiar in this position in their careers, but I think for him to have the belief in them to go out there and to be learning on the fly as well, we know that these are young players and we have to live with the fact that they are going to make mistakes. It’s just normal.
But I think Bob does a good job of emphasizing that they have to learn from those mistakes, and the quicker they can do that and the more they improve, the more they can help the team. I thought they did well, as well as Jayden had a great game. He’s coming into his own. Noble came in and did well. Deandre did well, first professional game. All these guys are going to get better as they play, so I think it’s great for everyone.
You’ve scored in your last ten seasons with the club with that goal. Can you put that into context of what it means to be such a part of the fabric of the club and the longevity of success you’ve had for the last ten years here?
It’s not really something that I was thinking about going into this game or anything. I think what contributes maybe to that kind of stat is the fact that I take it day-to-day and I try to improve every day and I try to do my job every time I go on the field. This is my duty as a player for this club and more so as somebody who grew up here. I love this club and I think everybody here knows every game, I will give everything for us to win.
So yeah, I don’t want to talk too much about myself or anything. I didn’t know about that stat. It’s great. It’s good. But you know, I just try to improve every game and keep going and contribute to this team. A stat is only possible with the support of my teammates and the support that I have here.
Looking forward to getting back home and having a game at our stadium in front of our fans.
Can you sort of walk us through how you saw that goal develop and was that — was some of that passage of play, some of that really neat footwork and passing at the top of the box, was that emblematic of some of the ideas you’re trying to implement?
Yeah, sure, we want to be aggressive. Bob emphasizes we want to be aggressive getting into the box when we get into the box and be positive with our play and combine — the ball came out to me from Jahkeele and I saw Ale was open in the pocket and I knew I had to get it to him fast, right away. So I gave it to him and he did a good job of controlling it and getting himself in a position to get Jacob going and when you get Jacob going like this, the ball is coming in — so I just went towards the back post in case anything dropped there, which he’s got a great touch there and if he doesn’t get that touch, I don’t get that chance and landed on my foot and open for me.
I think a great team goal. I think we will see a lot of this this season and this is what we look for. So just going and finding more ways to create occasions like this.
With such a young group out there today with the team, are you relishing the opportunity to maybe take on more of a leadership role with some of the young guys, particularly the Canadians and how much do you get to sort of impart wisdom to them in game while you’re on the field?
Yeah, of course, I try to be one of the veteran guys on the team, so I have to help whenever they need my help and whenever they ask, and I’m always available. They know that. You know I’m at a stage in my career where I’m learning to lead in the best way possible. Along with I had a very good example in Michael Bradley for a very long time now, so I’m still learning to be a positive impact in the best way possible for each individual, the way you talk to them and get them going is different, so those things I pay attention to and I’m trying to — the young guys, they did great today and we have just got to keep pushing them and keep having that belief in them so they feel comfortable on the field to express themselves and play free, because you know, that’s what it’s about. I think players are at their best when they play free and not so close-minded. This is a role I’m going to try to keep improving.
You mentioned getting back to BMO Field next week and it’s going to be your first home game in two years. What’s that experience going to be like?
It’s going to be amazing like it always is at BMO Field. We love playing in front of our fans. We’ve had them obviously for a little bit last year, but I think it just wasn’t the same with all the circumstances and where we are in the world.
So this year is going to be great to have — be home at this time of the year and BMO Field. We are just looking forward to getting back home, first and foremost to our families and to find a routine now and to perform on the week at BMO Field and give the fans what they deserve, which is a great football team and so we’re all excited here and we’re all looking forward to it. You know, we are going to take it day-by-day and it be to prepare ourselves and to arrive at that day the best possible form.
Whenever we talk to Bob or your other former coaches, they often describe you as a Swiss Army knife that can play a bunch of different roles. Wondering in the role that Bob has you playing there in the center, is there anything different, anything you may be haven’t experienced before or has it just been stuff that you’ve done in the past?
No, I think for the post part, it’s a position I played in probably most of my career. I would say what’s different is that Bob is pushing me to play it in a way that he sees is best fit for the team and for myself as well.
So yeah, Bob is pushing me to be better and to be more aggressive, pushing me on the defensive side, pushing me on the offensive side, pushing me to be on the ball more. I think in that sense, there’s definitely a different way this coach is pushing to get better. This is what I mean, and I’m going to give my hundred percent to play my best and to contribute my best in the best way possible.