RED BULLS 2, TFC 1: Summary and quotes

NEW YORK RED BULLS (2) – TORONTO FC (1) POST MATCH SUMMARY

SCORING SUMMARY

NYRB – Tom Barlow 24’

NYRB – Brian White 26’ (Kyle Duncan, Sean Davis)

TFC – Tsubasa Endoh 50’

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

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)

RECORDS

TORONTO FC:                         13-5-5   44 PTS.

NEW YORK RED BULLS:            9-9-5   32 PTS.

LINE-UPS

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 FOOTBALL CLUB-

TFC 1, NEW YORK RED BULLS 1 — SUMMARY AND QUOTES

TORONTO FC (1) – NEW YORK RED BULLS (1) POST MATCH SUMMARY

SCORING SUMMARY

TFC – Alejandro Pozuelo 23’ (PK)

NYR – Caden Clark 77’ (Marc Rzatkowski)

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

NYR – Dru Yearwood 22’ (caution)

NYR – Marc Rzatkowski 52’ (caution

TFC – Pablo Piatti 53’ (caution)

TFC – Ayo Akinola 60’ (caution)

NYR – Amro Tarek 71’ (caution)

RECORDS

TORONTO FC:                         11-2-5   38 PTS.

NEW YORK RED BULLS:            7-8-3   24 PTS.

LINEUPS

TORONTO FC – Quentin Westberg; Auro Jr., Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga, Richie Laryea; Jonathan Osorio (C), Marky Delgado, Nick DeLeon (Patrick Mullins 82’), Pablo Piatti (Tsubasa Endoh 67’), Alejandro Pozuelo, Ayo Akinola

Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Silva, Laurent Ciman, Tony Gallacher, Erickson Gallardo, Liam Fraser, Ralph Priso, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty

NY RED BULLS – Ryan Meara; Kyle Duncan, Tim Parker, Amro Tarek, Jason Pendant; Jared Stroud (Caden Clark 59’), Dru Yearwood, Florian Valot, Marc Rzatkowski (Sean Davis 82’); Brian White (Daniel Royer 59’), Tom Barlow (Samuel Tetteh 68’)

Substitutes Not Used: David Jensen, Mandela Egbo, Aaron Long, Sean Nealis, Mathias Jorgensen

GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC

On the Red Bulls goal, it’s a spectacular strike, but could your players have done a better job of nipping that play in the bud?

“Yeah possibly, I mean I would like to get pressure to the ball. When you play the Red Bulls it’s all about where you lose the ball and we lost the ball in our half of the field, which turns into a little bit of a quick counter where we have to reorganize and figure out how to get pressure to the ball. I have to see it again to see who should have stepped, and what happened but…it’s a great strike too. So, you have to give credit for that. But we should have gotten out of that transition and not lost the ball in the position that we did and then we put ourselves into a defending scenario in transition and we didn’t get pressure to the ball. So now, having said that, we had more than enough chances in the game … especially leading up to that point … that it would’ve been nice to pick up the second one. I think that would have iced it for us. But I’m proud of the guys to put in a shift today because this is a game on three days rest and the fourth one in a series of five here and the guys battled. No matter what Red Bulls team, they’re always gonna be chaotic. They’re just launching the ball up the field. You have to win first balls and second balls. If you try to get pressure to the ball then they’re gonna try to play through, over the top and pick up second balls so it’s always going to be a little bit funky and tonight we lost a few too many balls in our half of the field that we don’t like to lose. A couple guys taking too many touches and getting caught in possession that led to transitions. But having said all that, we had four quality chances to get ahold of the game on the second goal and just weren’t able to put it away.”

Given the schedule did you expect this game to be a grind?

“I was concerned about this game. We’ve been on a great run. They’re a team coming off of one day extra of rest. There were a number of other things that concerned me a little bit about this game, as it being one where we really needed to try to get on the other side of it in a positive way. Every point matters, so I’m not going say anything bad about us being able to take a point away tonight, which is a good thing. Now, we get the extra day of recovery and as we go into the final game of the stretch, we’ll get guys turned around and a group ready to compete again on Sunday. So, every point matters. So that’s critical. Our guys are disappointed because they want to win every game and we had the chances to win the game. That’s the way we look at it but we’re going to regroup. We will be ready to go for the next one against Atlanta.”

You’ve been able to win a lot of 1-0 games, but does that become tough to do repeatedly?

“Yeah, for sure. I would say especially against a team like the Red Bulls who are super opportunistic. That’s their whole game for ninety minutes, it is about being opportunistic.  It’s about second balls, transitions, short possessions where they can win the ball in turnovers in the attacking half of the field. Or if they can clean up a second ball when they lump it up to the forwards, then they’re trying to play for direct off of that. And set pieces obviously. So, for them, those are the moments they play for. That’s the whole style. And so, they’re trying to create a little bit of chaos within the game and utilize those transitions and so that’s the team that you always want to put away when you have the opportunity. Because the game never looks as clean as you’d like it to, especially when you have guys with a little bit-tired legs and just are not as sharp, as clean as you would like them to be.  For sure, you want to get the second one and you want to try to put the distance in between when you have those opportunities.” 

QUENTIN WESTBERG – GOALKEEPER, TORONTO FC

Red Bulls goal was a terrific strike into the top corner, could anyone of stopped that?

“I wish I had. Sometimes you need to give the goal scorer credit for doing what he did, and I think that’s the case tonight. It looks like he turned in a very tight space and in a small pocket and he released a nice strike. I wish I made the save but sometimes you need to appreciate the game and goods goals being scored and I think tonight, this young guy had a banger, so congrats to him. It’s just unfortunate it happened against us but in the end, I love soccer, when I look back, I think it’s a beautiful goal.”

In a game where you made a number of good, key saves, do you let that goal linger in your mind or do you get on with it and take solace in the fact that you kept the team in the match?

“As soon as you take it, it’s part of the past. You maybe take 5-10 seconds to reassess to realize it, but it’s onto the next. I like to think my position in particular you need to be struck by amnesia a little bit. You need to forget on one hand the good saves but also the mistakes or goals taken, you need to concentrate on your task and do what’s necessary for the team and make good decisions. If you want to make good decisions, you need to have a clear mind so whether I take a goal or whether I make a save it’s all part of the past as soon as it’s done. Being as calm as possible, being as lucid as possible to make good decisions, to give good information and if you’re still under the emotion of this or that then maybe you’re taking away a little something that can create another chance for the opponent or that can create a little bit of frustration for your teammates or yourself. As soon as it hits the net it’s finished and it’s onto the next task.”

What were some factors that decided the game tonight?

“There are a few, but it was a particular style of play they have and we were well prepared, we knew they were going to come out hard or it was a possibility, which they did, they were very aggressive but they still left us with a few chances in transition, so it was a game of styles. For sure, we didn’t play our best football tonight, but we did alright adapting. We created chances without possession which is always a good sign but also it’s a little different for us to not have the ball that much and it was a challenge, it was a challenge for sure and you need to give the Red Bulls some credit for their mentality and their efforts. They created a lot of chaos and trouble for us but at the same time, playing the long game, I like our style of play better and we just need to be very well aware that whatever the conditions, whatever the press, whatever the team this is where we find refuge, our style of play, our possession based football, our position football needs to be established whatever the context.”

-TORONTO FOOTBALL CLUB-