Toronto FC announced today that Chris Armas has been named the 10th head coach in club history.
“I could not be more excited to join a club with Toronto FC’s level of excellence and winning tradition and I will work tirelessly to uphold those standards,” said Toronto FC Head Coach Chris Armas. “I’m grateful to Mr. Tanenbaum and to Bill Manning and Ali Curtis for their belief in me and for giving me this opportunity. As an opposing coach I felt the passion the fans and supporters bring to BMO Field. It is next level. I can’t wait to put a team on the field that will not only make them proud with the way we play, but also with the way we run, battle and compete every minute of every game.”
Armas, 48, joins Toronto FC after most recently serving as the head coach of the New York Red Bulls. Armas took over the Red Bulls on July 6, 2018 and finished that season with a record of 12-3-3, leading the Red Bulls to the 2018 Supporters’ Shield and an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals. He departed the Red Bulls on September 4, 2020 with a record of 33-27-11 in all competitions while his teams averaged 1.61 points per game, (7th best all-time, minimum 50 MLS games managed). Armas originally served as an assistant coach under Jesse Marsch from 2015 until he took over head coaching duties following Marsch’s departure. In Marsch and Armas’ first season with the Red Bulls, the club won the 2015 Supporters’ Shield.
“Chris has an excellent winning pedigree and is a fiery, competitive guy who wants his teams to play on the front foot. He is the right fit to build upon the foundation that’s been established at TFC,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “Our fans are going to love his intensity and how that’s going to translate into our team’s style of play for years to come.”
As a player, Armas is regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in MLS history. He played 12 years in the league, two with the LA Galaxy and 10 with the Chicago Fire. With the expansion Fire in 1998, Armas was a linchpin as Chicago won the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup double in their first season. During his decade long run in Chicago, Armas was a part of teams that won an MLS Cup (1998), the 2003 Supporters’ Shield and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups (1998, 2000, 2003, 2006).
Armas is one of only five players in league history to have been named to the MLS Best XI five times (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003). He was a six-time MLS All-Star (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004) and was named the 2003 MLS Comeback Player of the Year. Armas earned 66 caps for the U.S. National Team and won two Concacaf Gold Cups (2002, 2005). He was named U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2000.
“During my career, I have been fortunate to have had the experience of interacting with football professionals both domestic and abroad. The integrity, authenticity, and professionalism that Chris possesses is unmatched when I think of professionals in the game. Having gone through this process before, I know that Chris will be an excellent coach for the club. While I have known Chris over the years, during the interview process, he conveyed perspective, vision, and coaching qualities, which solidified our belief in him as the top candidate,” said Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “I am excited about his intensity, passion, tactics, and way of teaching. The resources and support that we will provide to Chris will be different than his previous roles, which we know will be beneficial to his vision and our success. There has never been a moment in the history of sports like we are in now. We are a team that strives to win championships, and Chris is the ideal coach to lead us now, and in the future.”
Armas’ coaching staff will be announced at a later date.
The 2020 Major League Soccer season was going to be a special one as the league was set to celebrate its 25th anniversary. What transpired was a season that will never be forgotten throughout the next 25 years of the league. “When we began 2020, it was supposed to be a yearlong recognition, something we…
ALEJANDRO POZUELO NAMED 2020 LANDON DONOVAN MLS MVP
Major League Soccer (MLS) announced today that Toronto FC midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo has been named the 2020 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player.
“I am honoured to be named MLS MVP,” said Pozuelo. “I want to thank my teammates and our coaching staff as this individual award shows we had a very good season. I am happy to be able to celebrate this award with my wife, my kids and all my friends here in Spain.”
Pozuelo, 29, becomes the second player in Toronto FC history to be named the league’s MVP, following Sebastian Giovinco who won the award in 2015. This season, Pozuelo scored 9 goals and added 10 assists, leading the league in combined goals and assists. He also led MLS in chances created (70) and game-winning goals (5) while becoming the first player in TFC history to start in every regular season match in a season. Toronto FC posted a record of 9-1-4 when Pozuelo scored and/or had an assist this season.
“Congratulations to Alejandro on being awarded the highest of honours in MLS,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “Since joining our club in 2019 Alejandro’s contributions on the field and in the locker room have been incredible. This year he emerged as one of our leaders and was the chief catalyst as our team finished with the second-highest points per game in the league. This is a well-deserved MVP award for Alejandro.”
Pozuelo was named the MLS Player of the Month for September, as he scored four goals and added two assists across six matches. In addition, Pozuelo was named to the MLS Team of the Week on five occasions (MLS is Back Round 1, Round 2, Week 6, Week 7 & 8 combined, Week 15). Last month, Pozuelo was named to his second consecutive MLS Best XI (2019, 2020), becoming the third player in club history to be named to the Best XI on multiple occasions.
“Poz had a great season, and we are very happy that he is receiving this award,” said Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “We also believe that while the MVP is given to one, it is an award that is reflective of the group. This year was challenging in so many ways, but Poz is a competitor, he’s passionate about the game, and he is more than deserving of this award.”
Signed as a Designated Player on March 4, 2019, Pozuelo has made 61 appearances for Toronto FC, scoring 23 goals and 25 assists, in all competitions. In addition, Pozuelo converted 11 of 12 penalty kicks over the course of the past two seasons.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC is scheduled to start their inaugural season in Major League Soccer in Spring 2021, but before they can do that they have to finish their new stadium. On Tuesday, the club opened their doors for a look at the progress they have made. RELATED: Austin FC begins construction on ‘state-of-the-art’…
NEW YORK RED BULLS (2) – TORONTO FC (1) POST MATCH SUMMARY
NYRB – Tom Barlow 24’
NYRB – Brian White 26’ (Kyle Duncan, Sean Davis)
TFC – Tsubasa Endoh 50’
NYRB – Dru Yearwood 15’ (caution)
TFC – Chris Mavinga 22’ (caution)
NYRB – Jared Stroud 32’ (caution)
NYRB – Ryan Meara 85’ (caution)
TFC – Jayden Nelson 90’+4 (caution)
TORONTO FC: 13-5-5 44 PTS.
NEW YORK RED BULLS: 9-9-5 32 PTS.
TORONTO FC – Quentin Westberg; Auro, Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga, Richie Laryea (Tony Gallacher 41’); Michael Bradley (C), Jonathan Osorio (Ralph Priso HT’), Nick DeLeon (Jayden Nelson 76’), Tsubasa Endoh (Jozy Altidore 57’), Alejandro Pozuelo; Ayo Akinola
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Silva, Eriq Zavaleta, Laurent Ciman, Liam Fraser, Patrick Mullins
NY RED BULLS – Ryan Meara; Kyle Duncan, Tim Parker, Aaron Long, Jason Pendant; Dru Yearwood (Amro Tarek 78’), Florian Valot (Caden Clark 90’+2), Tom Barlow (Mandela Egbo 78’), Sean Davis (C), Jared Stroud (Cristian Casseres Jr. 63’); Brian White (Daniel Royer 63’)
Substitutes Not Used: David Jensen, Marc Rzatkowski, Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Samuel Tetteh
GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Can you just comment on what this team has gone through this season and the fact that it managed to be in the hunt for the Supporters’ Shield down to the final minutes…
“It has been a journey and I appreciate the question. I think these guys, as I said to them today before the game, I’m extremely proud of the way they have handled this season. It’s been a challenging year and in many ways for everybody around the world but just as it relates to our team, the challenges of Orlando and trying to get ourselves restarted. Coming back from Orlando and being quarantined for 14 days and having to get started up again and then move away from home. And our guys, every single day came out to training and didn’t complain, didn’t moan. They just got to work. They found ways to support each other and to get on with it. We dealt with some injuries, but just managed to put it out there every single day. There are a couple performances, of course, we’d love to have back along the way. But the mentality and the commitment to trying to make the most out of this season, not complaining about stuff, just getting on with it and working every single day, being there for each other, it’s been incredible. There are only two other teams in the league who have any understanding of what we went through as a group. And both of those teams were battling today just to get into the playoffs, and we were battling to try to win a Supporters’ Shield. So, they know how difficult it is. We know how difficult it is. I’m so proud of our guys for being there till the end. With that being said, we are going to be laser-focused on trying to win the MLS Cup. We’ll try to get healthy here in this little stretch of a couple weeks. I thought the second half today was just a better response. We have to recognize sometimes, especially around playoff time, when you play these teams that really want to press high, that the game can’t always look as pretty as we want it to look. Sometimes we have to just turn them and put them on their heels and bully them back in and move the game into their half the field and play territory. And then we can settle down and play. We created some chances in the second half to equalize and I thought the guys fought to the bitter end. We weren’t going to come away with the shield today as Philly did their job and won their game, but our guys fought to the end and I’m proud of them.”
Can you talk about the second half and the team’s mentality heading into the playoffs and comment on the injuries with Jonathan Osorio and Richie Laryea?
“I thought the response was great. Again, it’s a reminder as we get into this time of year, as we’re getting guys back, and we’re getting whole as a group, against some of these teams in the Eastern Conference, you really want to be on the front foot and press. And it’s not so much about what they do with the ball it’s what they do without the ball. So, it’s a reminder that we can be aggressive, and we can play on the front foot, and we can turn teams and we can play more aggressively. And it’s not always because we have to play through them with 15 passes or 20 passes. Sometimes it’s just playing the game a little bit. And fighting back and fighting for space and then turning the game on its heels and earning the right to then play. And I didn’t think we did that the first half. We didn’t really earn the right to play. We kept trying to play but we hadn’t created the space we hadn’t shown them that we could threaten them on a consistent basis, enough to back them up. And we didn’t put the pressure on them the way we did in the second half. And I do think that even though it was 2-0, I think we could have made the first half look more like the second half had we been more committed to that and been willing sometimes to just lose balls playing forward if they didn’t connect but be able to work off of those passes. Too many of our moments were where balls lost between our lines that then came right back at us. And we don’t gain any momentum in that. So, there are some things that we take out of this game and we build on over the next couple weeks … in which we train and prepare for the playoffs. As it relates to the injuries, Oso was more precautionary. He obviously has been out for a couple weeks. We were set to play him 45 and then see where he was at the end of 45. At 2-0 he was feeling okay to go back on and we just decided that we wouldn’t. And it’s a good thing. Richie felt a little bit of a groin twinge, pull. I don’t think it’s anything serious but when he noticed that he tried to keep going but realized that it probably would be smart and take himself out. So, we’ll treat him and manage him and see where he’s at. But I think he’ll be alright. Groins aren’t as bad as hamstrings and quads so hopefully he will be ready to go.”
MICHAEL BRADLEY – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
Thoughts on the year?
“It’s been an exercise for everybody, learning how to deal with things right? Nobody would of predicted so much that’s gone on this year and so you can spend all your time worrying about things that aren’t perfect or aren’t the way they used to be or you can just try to find the right ways to move on and to still push forward. It’s been that type of year. I think, for me personally, as a team, as a club we’ve tried to get rid of all the excuses, come every day ready to enjoy what we do. When you look at everything going on all around the world, we are very lucky to be able to do what we love, to play football, to train, to compete, to play games and so yeah, look it’s a year where if you wanted to you could find something to complain about every day but we’ve really tried hard not to do that. We’re excited now for the next few weeks and the playoffs and we’re going to see if we can really be ready to raise our level as the really important games come.”
Are you encouraged by the good moments as you get ready for the post season?
“Yeah very. It’s been a weird stretch over the last few weeks. As you’ve said, not every result has been perfect but still when you look at getting more and more guys back healthy, even on some of these days when maybe the result hasn’t gone our way, for sure there are things that we look at that need to be better. But there’s also been good stretches of some of these games, where we’re pleased with what things have looked like. We’re trying to do a lot of different things at once, we’re trying to get guys who have been injured back, sharp and fit and going. We’re trying to still win games and we’re still trying to understand that as we get ready for the playoffs, making sure we understand the type of team we need to be, the way we need to play that is going to give us the best chance.”
TORONTO FC (2) – INTER MIAMI CF (1) POST MATCH SUMMARY
IMCF – Blaise Matuidi 42’
TFC – Ayo Akinola 55’ (Patrick Mullins, Michael Bradley)
TFC – Alejandro Pozuelo 84’ (PK)
IMCF – Blaise Matuidi 69’ (caution)
TFC – Michael Bradley 77’ (caution)
IMCF – Ben Sweat 82’ (caution)
Ralph Priso made his first career start for Toronto FC
TORONTO FC: 13-4-5 44 PTS.
INTER MIAMI CF: 6-13-3 21 PTS.
TORONTO FC – Quentin Westberg; Auro (Richie Laryea 72’), Eriq Zavaleta, Chris Mavinga, Tony Gallacher; Michael Bradley (C), Ralph Priso (Liam Fraser 73’), Nick DeLeon (Omar Gonzalez 88’), Tsubasa Endoh (Patrick Mullins HT’), Alejandro Pozuelo; Ayo Akinola (Jayden Nelson 85’)
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Silva, Laurent Ciman, Erickson Gallardo, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty
INTER MIAMI CF – John McCarthy; Alvas Powell, Christian Makoun (Julian Carranza 85’), Dylan Nealis (Federico Higuain 85’), A.J. DeLaGarza, Ben Sweat (Matias Pellegrini 85’); Blaise Matuidi, Wil Trapp (Victor Ulloa 85’), Lewis Morgan, Rodolfo Pizarro; Gonzalo Higuain (C)
Substitutes Not Used: Drake Callender, Mikey Ambrose, Jay Chapman, Juan Agudelo, Robbie Robinson
GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Good win against a well-organized opponent. What was your take on the evening?
“Yeah, they were in a 4-5-1. Especially in the first half, they had a lot of numbers behind the ball. For us the possessions were too slow. The movement was too methodical, too slow, the ball was moving too slow. Those were the things we talked about at half. We need to be more dynamic, our decisions need to be faster, the ball needed to move faster. Everything was too slow in the first half and because of that none of our attacks really came to much of anything. And we were turning over balls just by sheer numbers they had behind the ball. Spaces were closing up too fast and they were able to eventually get themselves into the game through our turnovers. They started to find their possession. Started to find their control of the game with the ball through the latter part of the first half. Second half, we brought on another forward to occupy more of those center backs, try to tuck in our wide guys a little bit more, to put some numbers ahead of the ball. We started to get a little bit more control of the game. Our movement was sharper, the passes were sharper. It still got open at times, but we did enough at the end of the day to get it a result. And with everything that transpired today, Philly losing, us getting a result. Means it goes down to the last game. That’s what we were hoping for.”
Is this what you envisioned when you made Richie a right back, him creating so much trouble for opposing defenses?
“I don’t know if that’s what I was envisioning. You assess his skill set and, what he’s capable of doing, with the fact that we had a need for a right back in addition to Auro. We didn’t really have anybody else to fill the position and so the combination of those things, the necessity and the skill set, starts to put him in that position and he just he’s taken to it. He’s grown with it and it amplifies his skill set. His speed, his quickness, his ability to face people up and go one on one. Week after week, game after game, he’s a menace for defenders, especially when he gets right around that box. His first step is so quick, he’s gone before guys even react to him touching the ball. He continues to grow in the position. Tonight, we chose to bring him on a little late. We were managing his minutes a little because he’s been carrying little things and we’re trying to protect him. Luckily we got him on in time for him to do his thing.”
What did you think of Ralph Priso?
“I thought he was excellent. Like everybody in the first half, the tempo of his game and everybody’s game just needed to get a little bit sharper and a little bit faster. But I thought that was a collective problem not just an individual problem. In the second half, the ball started moving quicker and more purposefully, and I thought he was excellent. I thought he covered a lot of ground, he won balls back, he was sharp in his possession to get in and out of spaces. I thought he was great, I mean for his first start in MLS, that’s a that’s a hell of a way to start. But he’s got room to continue to grow which he will, and he’ll continue to get play faster and get used up all the stuff, but I thought it was excellent.”
With everything to play for on Decision Day, will you get some injured players back?
“I think so, if we put everybody in bubble wrap and we get to the next week, we should get a couple guys back. We’ll see. That’s our hope. We’ve tried to be cautious with a couple of guys. Hopefully those guys will be ready come next week.”
AYO AKINOLA – FORWARD, TORONTO FC
Can you talk us through the goal and what did you see when Patrick sent in the high ball?
“As soon as Pat played it in, it was a just a battle between me and the defender luckily I was able to get my arm around him to hold him off. The whole the goal was set-up for the first touch on my chest, I think that set-up the whole thing. It allowed me to control it really nice and bring it down again and slide it after.”
What does the performance say tonight about this group?
“Just the resilience from our group. Obviously the previous two matches didn’t go our way but at the same time our group is so deep, and we know we needed this win. It just shows you the battle and character we still have. I’m just happy and proud of this team to be able to carry out the win and now we move onto the last game of the season against Red Bulls.”
Your ninth goal of the season, what’s clicking for you and how big is the net looking for you?
“I think it’s just me keeping my style of game. I don’t try to do stuff that’s not normally in my favour or not the way I play, just sticking to how I play, obviously makes it simple for me and what I need to do in front of goal. To your second question, it’s not how big it is, I just try to find the corners, try to find the targets, try to find an area where it would be hard for the keeper to get. I think that’s just the key in finishing just try to hit it to an area where the keeper has a hard time getting to.”
For the second time in three seasons, Dominic Kinnear is back as interim coach of the Galaxy. Kinnear, who joined the Galaxy in 2017 as an assistant under Sigi Schmid, took over for the last month of the 2018 season when Schmid stepped down. Sunday night will be his first of three games in a…
The Los Angeles Football Club’s game against San Jose on Sunday has been postponed by Major League Soccer after three of its players tested for coronavirus during the week. LAFC announced during Wednesday’s home game with Houston that a player had tested positive and was in self-isolation. On Friday, the club confirmed two more positive…
The Galaxy announced that Guillermo Barros Schelotto has been relieved of his duties. The news comes as the Galaxy sits in last place in the Western Conference with three games remaining after Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Portland Timbers. Assistant coaches Gustavo Barros Schelotto, Ariel Pereyra, goalkeeping coach Juan Jose Romero and performance coach Javier…
NEW YORK CITY FC (1) – TORONTO FC (0) POST MATCH SUMMARY
NYCFC – Jesus Medina 51’
TFC – Justin Morrow 3’ (caution)
NYCFC – Alexander Callens 45’ +1 (caution)
NYCFC – Valentin Castellanos 75’ (caution)
NYCFC – Jesus Medina 90’+2 (caution)
TORONTO FC: 12-4-5 41 PTS.
NEW YORK CITY FC: 10-8-3 33 PTS.
TORONTO FC – Quentin Westberg; Richie Laryea, Omar Gonzalez, Laurent Ciman, Tony Gallacher; Michael Bradley (C), Liam Fraser (Ralph Priso 76’), Justin Morrow (Jacob Shaffelburg 59’), Alejandro Pozuelo, Nick DeLeon (Jayden Nelson 82’); Patrick Mullins (Tsubasa Endoh 59’)
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Silva, Chris Mavinga, Eriq Zavaleta, Erickson Gallardo, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty
NEW YORK CITY FC – Sean Johnson; Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, Ronald Matarrita; Keaton Parks (Nicolas Acevedo 82’), Alexander Ring, Maximilian Moralez, Jesus Medina, Gary Mackay-Steven (Gudmundur Thorarinsson 72’); Valentin Castellanos (Sebastien Ibeagha 88’)
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Stuver, Luis Barraza, Joe Scally, Tony Rocha, Juan Torres, Justin Haak
GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Can you assess the performance?
“It was going to be a challenging night, obviously. I’m not going to make anything about players who weren’t there, but we felt like we needed to come out tonight and try to manufacture some chances. I thought right at the start, Michael plays a ball forward to Pozuelo. We’ve got to turn to get a shot off there. I thought Justin had a couple chances in the first half. They had their chances. But I would say half to three quarters of their chances were actually delayed offside calls they either called or didn’t call, which changes the emotion of the game. Because they don’t actually blow the whistle sometimes, but the linesman’s lifting up the flag after the whole thing happens. So, it feels like you give away chances when some of those weren’t actually going to be chances anyways. But having said that, the first half the game was definitely wide open with them getting most of the ball. We were trying to get some pressure on the ball. When that part of the game was over, we needed to just find our shape and defend a little bit more connected. But we’re still trying to get pressure to the ball and getting pulled apart a little bit. We dealt with a lot of that stuff and got through the half. We reorganized a bit just in terms of our set defending. In general, I thought we found our way into the game as the game continued. We had fewer chances in the second half, but we started to gain a little bit more control of the game and start to play in possession a little bit more. But we were fighting against trying to have a good response from the last game, in which we didn’t get out and compete. I thought tonight we competed. I thought guys worked really hard, some of it effective, some of it not as effective as we’d like. But we created some chances we knew we would have to manufacture. We gave up some chances too, but we’ve got to execute on the one or two that we thought we were going to get. Tough opponent, tough situation, but I’m proud of at least the effort the guys put in and then the shift that they put in to try to get something out of the game.”
Is the Supporters Shield still something you guys are discussing?
“It is what it is. We are trying to gain points every single game. Guys who are having to step into spots are trying to step in and make the most of their opportunity. And we’re trying to win games against good teams. So, at least tonight … you know the other night, I thought just the speed of it, we never really got onto it. But tonight, I felt like we did. Points are always a product of being able to execute over the course of the game. So right now, we’re pretty thin, in terms of the guys who played the majority of the minutes for us over the course of the season. And now we’re in the tail stretch. The five in 15 took a toll on us for sure and, at this point it’s Do you continue to risk guys and lose guys? For the short term … anybody you lose at this point you’re probably going to lose for the playoffs. So, there’s always that as a Catch 22. We’re trying to work with our doctors. We are trying to work with everybody that’s involved to try to make the best decisions for our guys. So that is where we’re at. And so, the key for us is to try to take as many points as we can but also to try to get our team whole. Because when all the guys are together, we have seen that we’re capable of being the best team in the league. On any given day that’s been proven. So, the question is how do we get our team healthy without losing more guys in this last stretch. And if we can win the Supporters Shield in that process, then that’s what we’re going to try to do. We’re not giving up on it, but we are what we are right now is as a group. And we have what we have. All I’m asking from these guys right now is that they give everything they have to each one of these games. And we work hard to try to get the result we can get.”
Can you talk about the young players, Shaffelburg, Nelson and Priso, who came into the game?
“I’d love to. These are big games. With a lot riding on them. So just for their development and their experiences that they’re putting under their belt. Normally this time of year they probably wouldn’t be the second, third, fourth guys off the bench. But given the circumstances they are. And they came on and they were brave. They went after the game and tried to stay aggressive both with the ball and tried to help us defensively to recover the ball. Each one of these experiences is huge for them. These aren’t meaningless games. These are important games for their learning and they’re showing that they’re willing to get out there and compete and do a nice job for us. And they did. So that bodes well for their learning and their development and their future with the club.”
JAYDEN NELSON – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
What was is like getting more minutes tonight
“Well obviously it’s a tough loss. I just wanted to get out there and try to make a difference and get a goal or something, but it didn’t happen, we worked hard the entire game, we didn’t really get in our rhythm but it was a tough loss.”
It’s easy to get down on yourselves when results don’t go your way and when the year’s been as crazy as it’s been, but what’s the mood like?
“We’re a resilient group and we work hard in training every day. We’re defiantly going to bounce back from this, we’re not going to dwell on this loss, we still have two more games to go so that’s our main focus right now, we put this behind us and we’re ready for Miami and New York.”
It looks like you’re more comfortable out there after a few appearances…
“When I first started, I just wanted to gain more trust with the coach and I feel like I am and I just wanted to show more of my abilities and see what I can do for the team and show that to everyone, so I guess that’s what you’re seeing.”
PHILADELPHIA UNION (5) – TORONTO FC (0) POST MATCH SUMMARY
PHI – Sergio Santos 27’ (Kai Wagner)
PHI – Mark McKenzie 33’ (Kacper Przybylko, Jamiro Monteiro)
PHI – Jamiro Monteiro 56’ (Kacper Przybylko)
PHI – Sergio Santos 63’ (Kai Wagner)
PHI – Sergio Santos 68’ (Brenden Aaronson)
PHI – Jamiro Monteiro 9’ (caution)
TFC – Auro 10’ (caution)
PHI – Andre Blake 64’ (caution)
TFC – Patrick Mullins 73’ (caution)
TORONTO FC: 12-3-5 41 PTS.
PHILADELPHIA UNION: 12-3-5 41 PTS.
Ralph Priso and Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty both made their Toronto FC and MLS debuts in tonight’s match, both coming on as substitutes
Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty becomes the youngest player in club history to play for Toronto FC
TORONTO FC – Quentin Westberg; Richie Laryea, Omar Gonzalez, Laurent Ciman, Auro (Justin Morrow HT’); Michael Bradley (C), Marky Delgado (Liam Fraser HT’), Nick DeLeon (Ralph Priso 64’); Tsubasa Endoh, Alejandro Pozuelo (Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty 72’), Erickson Gallardo (Patrick Mullins 35’)
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Silva, Tony Gallacher, Jayden Nelson, Jacob Shaffelburg
PHILADELPHIA – Andre Blake; Raymon Gaddis, Jakob Glesnes, Mark McKenzie, Kai Wagner; Jose Martinez (Jack Elliott 74’), Alejandro Bedoya (C) (Ilsinho 82’), Jamiro Monteiro, Brenden Aaronson (Anthony Fontana 82’); Kacper Przybylko (Cory Burke 69’), Sergio Santos (Andrew Wooten 69’)
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Bendik, Aurelien Collin, Olivier Mbaizo, Cole Turner
GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
You’re missing some big names and playing a good team but tough one tonight, what went wrong, is this the kind of performance that you have words with your team?
“What went wrong, it was wrong from start to finish. We weren’t close to them the entire night really. We weren’t in good spots for each other, we weren’t clear in terms of the stepping out in how we were going to defend, we couldn’t put passes together and they were just at a different speed then we were that’s for sure. So, part of it is we need to put it behind us but part of it is we need to recognize and just a reminder at this time of the year you physically got to be out ready to compete and battle, fight for balls and win tackles and all of those things first and foremost and then you can play, you got to be strong when you’re holding up the ball, the ball has to move a lot quicker, a lot of that stuff has to happen and tonight it didn’t. Yeah we’re missing some guys but guys had the opportunity to step in and try to show that this time of year they might be able to help us and again from start to finish it was never right and we were too far away from them for much of the night, they had way too much time on the ball. If there were duals, we lost most of them so that’s something that has to be cleaned up. So, 100% we will discuss this, but we also have to put it behind us because we got a game in another few days.”
Thoughts on Ralph and Jahkeele’s debuts…
“I wish it was in a game that was closer but in the end their opportunity came, and I thought they came on and did fine. By the time they came on in the game there wasn’t a lot left in it. I thought Jahkeele was spry, he had himself a great opportunity, the best one that we had all game, I thought he was busy and active. I think, Ralph came on and was able to get the game under him a little bit and help us to win a couple balls and help us move the ball forward a little bit. So, it was nice for those guys to just get a feel for it all. It’s unfortunate it was on a night like tonight where a lot of other things weren’t going well but I’m at least happy for them to at least get a sniff.”
Not often we see three substitutions before the second half, can you walk us through those changes?
“With the way the game was going in the first half I just felt like we needed an outlet on some level. We weren’t able to combine through them, we weren’t moving quick enough, the ball wasn’t moving quick enough for us to play through their pressure. We needed an outlet at some point so we got Pat on to try and give us at least something that if we had to play a little more direct we could compete a little bit better to hold things up or knock things down so that was the Pat scenario. Then the two at half-time were Marky, we needed to get off just to check on him, he was getting a little tight there and we needed really for precaution as well as concern we had to get him off of the field. Justin in for Auro, more to get Justin ready and moving forward, put a left footed player on that side so he could drive forward a little bit more to get us out of pressure if we needed to, nothing more than that, to get some guys going. Justin who hasn’t played in a few weeks and also to try to protect Marky a little bit, hopefully whatever he’s feeling is not anything for us to be too concerned about.”
MICHAEL BRADLEY – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
How easy is it to put a performance like that behind you?
“Anybody who has played or has been a part of football understands that unfortunately there are night’s like this. They’re not fun, there’s no excuses but unfortunately, it’s just part of it sometimes. We have a really good team and we’ve had a really good team over the past handful of years and we’ve been fortunate enough and good enough to make sure that night’s like this are as few and far between as possible but the reality is still that it can happen to anybody. The reality is very simple, we are going to make sure that we use it as a real reminder for us as we go into this last part of the season and into the playoffs of what games this time of year are like of the way that some of these different teams try to make the game hard on us, we’re going to use it as a reminder about what our mentality and just commitment and focus has to be like at the beginning of games and so were going to use it in all the right ways and at the same time we’re going to get back to Hartford and we’re going to wake up in the morning and in all the right ways we’re going to completely move on and get ourselves ready for Wednesday.”
How difficult is it to see through the 90 minutes when it seems like at every step, every turn something is going wrong?
“That part of it is real. The challenge of still finishing out a game when you’ve had a night like that, when you get into the middle of the second half and now there’s no chance to win, to still find the right way to finish the game, that part is not fun but it’s just something that everybody has to deal with. To answer the first part of your question, like I said we’re going to look at certain things, we’re going to talk about certain things, we’re going to make sure we use it as a reminder, as a recalibration of what we need to be about as we move into these last few games of the regular season and into the playoffs. But again, there’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves, and nobody’s panicking, I promise you that.”
Debuts for Ralph and Jahkeele, what did you see from them tonight and what have you seen from them in training in terms of their development and being ready for this stage…
“Let’s be honest, that’s far and away the best part of the night is that two young Toronto boys from our academy who’ve worked hard to sign first team contracts and now push themselves in this last stretch in training every single day. They both get the opportunity to make their debut, to get on the field and both of them showed that they are not going to be fazed one bit. Certainly, for all us on the inside of the group and hopefully for everybody connected to the club, the coaches in the academy that they’ve had along the way, their parents, their families, that should be a really proud moment.”
TORONTO FC AND STATE OF CONNECTICUT SET TO WELCOME FANS AT NOVEMBER 1 GAME Toronto FC and the State of Connecticut announced today that fans will be able to purchase tickets for Toronto FC’s last regular season home game at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field on Sunday, November 1 against Inter Miami CF.
“We look forward to having some fans in the stands for our final regular season game in East Hartford,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “Toronto FC is so grateful to the state of Connecticut and everyone at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field for providing us with such an outstanding facility during this unique stretch of games. Our players feel the support already and having some fans will make it even better.”
The attendance will be capped at 5,000 with two prices points in the 38,000 seat stadium. Select seating will be available in both the lower and upper bowls of the stadium. All patrons in attendance will be required to wear a mask or face covering and adhere to social distancing within the stadium.
“We’ve consulted with state and local public health officials and as long as certain health protocols are met, we believe that having a limited audience can safely be done, especially considering that this is an outdoor stadium,” Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont said. “I look forward to the day when we can fill the Rent back up to capacity. I appreciate Toronto FC and Major League Soccer for working with our administration so that we could make this happen.”
Toronto FC currently sit atop the standings for both the Supporters’ Shield and Eastern Conference with a record of 11-2-5 and 38 points from 18 matches. The Reds have five matches remaining in the regular season. TFC host Atlanta United FC on Sunday, October 18 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. The Reds will then travel to Philadelphia to meet the Union on Saturday, October 24, followed by home matches with New York City FC on Wednesday, October 28 and Inter Miami CF on Sunday, November 1. TFC will conclude the regular season on Sunday, November 8 at Red Bull Arena against the Red Bulls in MLS Decision Day.