COLUMBUS CREW (2) – TORONTO FC (1) POST GAME SUMMARY
TOR – Jesús Jiménez 14’ (Alejandro Pozuelo, Jonathan Osorio)
CLB – Lucas Zelarayán 56’ (Derrick Etienne, Steven Moreira)
CLB – Derrick Etienne 65’ (Jonathan Mensah, Lucas Zelarayán)
CLB – Jonathan Mensah 29’ (caution)
TOR – Jayden Nelson 64’ (caution)
TOR – Ralph Priso 79’ (caution)
CLB – Luis Díaz 82’ (caution)
CLB – Artur 84’ (caution)
Toronto FC 0-2-1 1 point
Columbus Crew 2-0-1 7 points
TORONTO FC – Alex Bono; Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty (Ifunanyachi Achara 12’, Ralph Priso 55’), Michael Bradley (C), Lukas MacNaughton, Kadin Chung; Noble Okello (Kosi Thompson 82’), Jonathan Osorio, Jayden Nelson (Jordan Perruzza 82’), Alejandro Pozuelo, Luca Petrasso; Jesús Jiménez.
Substitutes Not Used: Greg Ranjitsingh, Quentin Westberg, Shane O’Neill
COLUMBUS CREW – Eloy Room; Steven Moreira, Jonathan Mensah (C), Miloš Degenek, Pedro Santos; Artur, Darlington Nagbe, Yaw Yeboah (Luis Díaz 53’), Lucas Zelarayán, Derrick Etienne; Miguel Berry (Gyasi Zardes 68’).
Substitutes Not Used: Evan Bush, Jalil Anibaba, Will Sands, Marlon Hairston, Alexandru Mățan, Aidan Morris, James Igbekeme
- Lukas MacNaughton and Kadin Chung made their first MLS starts for Toronto FC.
- Kosi Thompson made his debut for Toronto FC.
BOB BRADLEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Once again, it seemed like there were lots of good things from your team today. But no reward. What did you think of the performance?
I thought we started well. Some good control. Some very good ways of moving the ball quickly, moving forward, creating some chances.
First goal, very well done by Ale and then Noble moving into the box. I thought as the half continued that we still had a couple of good chances to get the second goal. But I thought there were some periods, some moments as the half went on where the sharpness of our passing and the ability to move the ball quickly and have a little bit more control started to get a little bit away from us.
And then some of that continued into the second half. At that point you’re trying to just get a little bit more control. Hold onto the lead. We allow a ball then that gets whipped across — turned loose at the backside. And Zelarayán does a very good job finishing. And then disappointing on a second phase of a lateral free kick for the second goal. So that’s still an area where we’ve got to improve ourselves.
What was your take on that yellow against Jayden Nelson, which ultimately led to a free kick and Columbus goal? You guys looked like you might have been running out of gas a little bit in the second half. Was that a turning point? And what is your take on the call?
I need to see it again, and it’s far away from me. But at first I thought Jayden had actually gone through and won the ball and that in some way that happened first. So I was surprised by the call and the yellow card.
When we spoke to you earlier this week, you talked about one of the things you were looking for is for your team to do a little bit more to create chances, specifically through the middle, as opposed to through wide areas of the field. Just wondering in that regard what did you see from your team? Were you pleased in that aspect or not?
It’s still not as good as it needs to be. If you look at the sharpness of certain plays, the ball, then when you create a little bit of an advantage, the timing of certain passes and moves to get into the box and make more of it, I still think that’s something that we’ve got to work harder at.
What do you say to the group after a game like that where you had the lead and just couldn’t see it out?
I speak with this group in a way that says, always that, look, to become a good team is hard work. And we have still some new players. We have some young players. And so this is going to be something where we’ve just got to, week by week, keep making sure that we find ways to work through details and improve.
Along the way, yeah, you need points. You need points for confidence. You need points just to keep fans happy. But I really talk about the process. And so I said that I thought we started well. I thought that we had real opportunity in the first half to nail down a second goal. We didn’t.
I think in the second half we lost a little bit of football when we needed to bring subs on. I didn’t think it helped us enough. And that everybody’s got to understand that the work is going to continue. That’s just the way we’re going to become good. I totally believe we’re going to be a really good team.
But I knew that this group, given starting points, given a lot of different factors, that this is going to be hard work to get it there. So the idea that the season has started in a rough way, yeah, that part is disappointing, but it doesn’t change the ideas and the approach.
That’s two goals in as many games from Jesus. How have you sort of seen him integrate himself with this side? And what do you make of his burgeoning partnership with Pozuelo?
I think Jesus is a good player. And look, we know that when Ale has the ball at his feet, he’s clever, he’s creative. And so I want that to be something that we see regularly from different players on the field, from when Oso has the ball, when Noble is playing in the midfield, and Ralph.
Our attacking ideas, those things are important. But certainly so far you see that there’s a good understanding between Ale and Jesus. And it’s something we have to try to keep building upon.
Couple of first career MLS starts for Lukas MacNaughton and Kadin Chung. What did you think of their performance in the back?
I think they both did a good job. Obviously we played a little bit in training with three. That is not Kadin’s main spot. But he’s been there in training, and I thought he responded really well. I thought the understanding between Kadin, Michael and Lukas was good. I thought they handled situations in a good way.
I thought we were able, in a lot of moments, to play from the back when we needed to. I thought both stepped on the field in their first starts and did well.
I know it’s early, but is there any update on Jahkeele? And also can you just update us on, I understand Mavinga had a knock in training and O’Neill was also not 100 percent?
Shane was not 100 percent. And he was on the bench just in an emergency but didn’t feel that he was far enough along and therefore we did not use him.
Chris, yes, in training, sliding to block a shot. So, sore from that. We’ll see how he responds to continued treatment. And I don’t yet have a report on Jahkeele.
Just wondering about the substitution early in the second half for Perruzza for Achara. Was that tactical or was Achara injured?
That was tactical. I thought that we still, with Ralph in there and then Oso in there, with Ale, I thought we could do a better job of connecting more passes in there. And that it was going to allow us to establish greater control.
LUKAS MACNAUGHTON – DEFENDER, TORONTO FC
Obviously not the result you guys would have wanted. But first start in MLS for you. Just wanted to get your perspective on how you felt you did in your first career start in the league?
I think maybe it was you that asked me last time, how was it moving to the MLS. But I thought there were moments that were great. But I thought also there were moments, as a team and individually, that need to be a lot better, especially in the second half. It became a quite open game — a lot of transitions, a lot of balls given away. Just a little bit of sloppiness when we were up one, we can stay tidy, close out the gaps and keep it a clean sheet.
So on a personal level I think there are some positives. But always a lot of room to improve.
Lukas, it’s only minutes after the game, but can you say what the mood of the team is now after three games? You guys haven’t won yet, though, you’ve had a depleted lineup and you guys certainly played well at times. Do you have a sense what the players are feeling right now?
We’re obviously disappointed. You go into halftime 1-0 you expect to win the game, especially when you’re playing well and you’re creating chances, and we had a chance, one or two at least, to go 2-0 up. And if we do that it makes the game quite easy.
We’re disappointed, but like I said there’s moments that were very, very good. And so we don’t think that it’s not like we’re playing horrible football. It’s not like we’re creating chances, it’s not like we’re getting dominated in the last three games. We’ve had very good games.
We’re disappointed, but we’re not demotivated. We know if we keep working, it’s going to come in, and it’s going to come together very well.
We talked a lot about transition defending after the Red Bull game, and the two goals today were very different. What did you see on those two plays? How did they work out?
The first ball comes across, and Jayden goes out to block the shot. And everybody knows in the league that guy has got a fantastic shot. It goes in, I think. I think the keeper doesn’t really see much.
And then the second one, we don’t win the first ball and it drops the second ball and they’re on top of it; they won it.
And I think that’s kind of the theme of the second half. The second balls, the transitions, they were a little bit quicker and they get those chances. Unfortunately we don’t finish ours. They put away theirs, and that’s it.
That’s quite a shiner you’re sporting there. Can you say what happened on that play?
I went up for the header and I just got his elbow. I don’t know how that’s not a yellow card, but that’s how that happened.
-TORONTO FOOTBALL CLUB-