Toronto FC Report
BarnBurner Sports Writer

Saturday, April 21, 2018





Scoring Summary


HOU – Mauro Manotas 3’ (Romell Quioto)


HOU – Leonardo 7’


HOU – Eric Alexander 46’


TFC – Mitchell Taintor 52’ (Ager Aketxe)


HOU – Alberth Elis 60’ (Romell Quioto)


HOU – Romell Quioto 77’ (Alejandro Fuenmayor)




Misconduct Summary


TFC – Mitchell Taintor 29’ (caution)


TFC – Jordan Hamilton 79’ (caution)






Toronto FC:  1-4-0     3 pts.


Houston Dynamo: 2-2-2     8 pts.






TORONTO FC – Clint Irwin; Julian Dunn, Jason Hernandez © (Aidan Daniels 78’), Mitchell Taintor; Nicolas Hasler (Mariano Miño 65’), Ager Aketxe, Liam Fraser, Jay Chapman, Ryan Telfer; Tosaint Ricketts (Ben Spencer 65’), Jordan Hamilton


Substitutes Not Used: Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Ayo Akinola




HOUSTON DYNAMO Joe Willis; Andrew Wenger, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo (Alejandro Fuenmayor 75’), DaMarcus Beasley; Eric Alexander, Darwin Cerén, Alberth Elis, Tomás Martínez (Óscar Boniek García 65’), Romell Quioto; Mauro Manotas (Arturo Álvarez 69’)


Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Charlie Ward, Memo Rodríguez, Mac Steeves








On what he expected about the game knowing that most of his 18 weren’t going to play


“I expected us to compete. It was an opportunity to get some guys that haven’t played a lot of minutes this year but are important parts of the team. It was also an opportunity to see some of our younger players play. So it assesses where everybody is at, and that’s what we took out of the night.”




On taking a couple of losses and if they’ll get some points back when the CCL is done


“Yeah, I think so, I think we have a good team. Last year at the end of six games we had seven points and won the league by 13 or 14 points, so it’s doable, it’s not something we had planned for but sometimes when you play games in between CONCACAF finals you have to do what you have to do. We were fortunate enough that the league was able to move some of the earlier games around but somehow not in the stretch here in the final so we prioritized trying to win the final for the CONCACAF, and it is what it is. It was a great opportunity to get some guys out there and assess where they’re at because in the normal season some of those guys maybe don’t get a chance, so it was a good opportunity for them. Once we get through Wednesday, then our attention will turn back to the league.”




On if any player that impressed today and if we would consider to play him during the CONCACAF Champions League


“Yeah, I think they did pretty well. (Midfielder) Liam Frazer continues to show that he understands his role and is competent with the ball, very good passer, composed and I think he did a nice job. There are other guys who I think did well. (Defender) Jason Hernandez didn’t have a preseason, it’s only his second game, and he’s probably had about six sessions with us so you could tell he’s trying to work through all the details. There’s also a 17-year-old center back Julian, he’s trying to deal with (forwards Romell) Quioto and (Alberth) Elis but I thought he had some good things to learn from, he has the physical attributes, and I think he has a lot to give us in the future. (Defender) Ryan Telfer on the left side, he did a nice, solid job and he shows that he’s capable of playing at this level. For a lot of them, it’s little details, being a little less naive in some moments but I think some guys did alright. In the end, I think the game probably should’ve been seven or eight to four, so having said that we had good moments in the attack, but we had too many breakdowns defensively."




On the Second Leg of the CONCACAF Champions League


“I think I would be a fool if I told you our tactics for the game but I’ll tell you that we are confident; that we can get a result and get ourselves to win the championship or get ourselves into a shootout. I think we can score goals and we left a lot of opportunities on the table in the last game. We made two or three mistakes in the whole game, and it cost us two goals. I watched the game back twice now and for anyone who doesn’t think we should’ve won that game didn’t watch the same game I’ve watched twice, and I think I’m pretty critical with our team. We left some opportunities to slip, but they’re a hard team to play against. They have a unique style and a game never really looks like what you expect it to look like just because of the way they do things which are a little bit different than some other, but we feel like we have the pieces which can create chances. The key here is going to be managing all the other things in the course of the game and executing when we get those moments."




On anything different he expected Chivas to do during the First Leg of the CONCACAF Champions League


“No, not really. They're a very good defending team. It’s a little bit unique in that they don’t like zone man, they get very personal, but I think that when you look at their marking positions and how they defend guys, they’re very disciplined and competitive. They’re a feisty group, and it makes it difficult. It’s not as clear when you play a lot of teams whether it is in MLS or teams around the world where they zone, and then they find men at appropriate times. Chivas is just locking in at guys and being very clear about the fact that they have no problem marking guys wherever they go which is one way to do it, it’s just not something you see all the time. They’re very well versed in it, and they do a great job making the game different and difficult."




On how they prepared for Houston’s speed


“I think Houston is a very straightforward team. I don’t think they’re trying to create a lot of things in possession and are trying to release their wingers who are very fast and have a little action that they do there. For us it was about getting to appropriate positions and appropriate making distances to deal with the likes of (forwards Romell) Quioto and (Alberth) Elis who are very fast and will lay balls off if you give them 30 yards of sprints, and race they’re going to get you in things like that. They're going to get caught cheating because they’re looking to transition quickly. Sometimes they don’t do all the defensive work because they’re looking for the moments in transition where they can hurt you, which is why we should’ve scored four goals and them too because I think we can hurt the team, but also they can hurt you on the other side so for us at halftime. It was discussing especially with Julian  who’s a young guy, is how tight he should be with Elis and Quioto when they’re receiving the ball versus giving himself a little bit of cushion in the second half I think is a little bit too much cushion when they’re running at him so he’s learning on the fly on how to deal with guys that have special qualities like that. You don’t get to see that in the academy or USL soccer all the time so for him it was a learning process and for a lot of the other guys."








On his thoughts after the game


“It’s a tough loss because we wanted to get something else, but this only tells us that we need to keep working. We faced a team that likes to attack and likes to have the ball. Today they had their chances, and they were able to take advantage of them, and that’s what cost us the game.”




On being at the bottom of the table


“I think the team’s focus right now is the CONCACAF Champions League. The last couple of games some of us who might have had the opportunity to play has been playing, in my case, this is my first game, but there is a reason we are here, and we need to show why.”




On how they show head coach Greg Vanney that they are a maximum performance level

“This result makes it tough to show, maybe not so much in the other games. I think today it was a tough loss, but that’s how soccer is. We need to work during the week to show our coach that we want to play every game and that’s our path to follow.”