TORONTO FC (2) – CHICAGO FIRE (2)
Toronto FC Report
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, April 29, 2018
TORONTO FC (2) – CHICAGO FIRE (2) POST-MATCH SUMMARY
TFC – Jonathan Osorio 8’ (Sebastian Giovinco, Víctor Vázquez)
TFC – Víctor Vázquez 22’ (Michael Bradley)
CHI – Bastian Schweinsteiger 69’ (Kevin Ellis, Diego Campos)
CHI – Alan Gordon 90’ + 4’ (Bastian Schweinsteiger, Johan Kappelhof)
CHI – Aleksandar Katai 73’ (caution)
TFC – Jason Hernandez 80’ (caution)
Toronto FC: 1-4-1 4 pts.
Chicagpo Fire: 2-3-2 8 pts.
TORONTO FC – Alex Bono; Auro Jr., Gregory van der Wiel, Michael Bradley ©, Ashtone Morgan; Marco Delgado, Nicolas Hasler (Tosaint Ricketts 75’), Ager Aketxe (Liam Fraser 81’), Víctor Vázquez (Jason Hernandez 75’), Jonathan Osorio; Sebastian Giovinco
Substitutes Not Used: Clint Irwin, Ryan Telfer, Jay Chapman, Jordan Hamilton
CHICAGO FIRE – Richard Sánchez; Kevin Ellis, Johan Kappelhof, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Grant Lillard, Brandon Vincent (Alan Gordon 82’); Aleksandar Katai, Dax McCarty (Jon Bakero 76’), Mohammed Adams; Nemanja Nikolic, Elliot Collier (Diego Campos 67’)
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick McLain; Jonathan Campbell, Tony Tchani, Drew Conner
Do you think that fatigue led to the run of play changing in the 2nd half?
A percentage of the run of play that comes down to that but I don’t think the game is decided by that. The game was decided by a player who was offside. Not necessarily Schweinsteiger but the player beside him who makes a play on the ball and is 2 feet from Schweinsteiger in an offside position. The referee doesn’t take the time to review it and make a decision on his own and it’s a goal. I think he’s offside and he certainly took his time to review ours so it would be respectful to do the same for us but he didn’t do that. As I look back at it he’s offside. That is the first goal and it leads to momentum shift as now they’re back to 2-1 and therein lies the game being about chances and goals and not the run of play.
This is the second game that Bradley played in the back 4. Might of be more out of necessity but how important is it that he can shift into that role quite easily?
He’s enormous in our ability to adapt to circumstances. Michael’s just a great soccer player so he’s able to assume a lot of different responsibilities for us and that’s huge. For a good chunk of the match we were in control and with Michael in the back it’s difficult for teams to figure out how to initiate pressure on us as he’s able to start and initiate our attack.
Despite the result Bono made a huge save on the penalty shot along with some other key saves today. Seemed kind of a bounce back game given the Champions League games. Do you think he’s back on track and where he needs to be?
I think Alex made one mistake in CONCACAF and it was a tough one when the ball sails like that, a tough decision. Other than that I think he’s been very good, he’s been big in moments where we needed him to be big and I think no different today. He’s matured a ton over these last few years and he understands how to put a mistake behind him and move on to getting his job done.
MICHAEL BRADLEY – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
How much did fatigue and travel from Mexico impact the game?
We should do better at the end of the game, frustrating from that standpoint. You know it’s going to be a difficult day that gets thrown even more out of whack with the field, with VAR, there are just a million things on a day like today. Having said that, at the end we should know how to close up shop and take our three points and today we couldn’t. That part is frustrating.
How did it feel in front of the home crowd today?
Great. We love to play here. We have incredible fans, fans that follow us everywhere and support us no matter what. I’ve said it many times, the bond that this team has with its fans is something very unique and very special.
How was the field?
JONATHAN OSORIO – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
How did it feel to play at home?
It was nice obviously. We’ve been on the road a long time. A lot of our time was on the road in the first couple months of the season. It’s only good if we take advantage. We need to win all of our games and we let one slip away today so we have to focus on the next games. The next games are crucial to take maximum points.
Was fatigue a factor?
Guys are tired, it’s pretty obvious. It’s normal, we played a final in Mexico. There were a lot of emotions during that game, it was very intense and it was very different from today’s game. The travel and everything is tough. Guys are tired but we’re warriors so we don’t use fatigue as an excuse. We had the lead and fatigue wasn’t a factor at the beginning of the game. We shouldn’t let it become and excuse because we let things slip at the end.
Thoughts on VAR
I don’t really understand it 100% yet. I think it is good to get the right call. I think VAR comes in when it is a clear mistake. If it is something that’s close it should be left to the ref being paid to do the job. You have to let them ref the game. You can’t use VAR for every goal. If not let’s create a robot to ref the game then because we can do that in this day and age. I’m pretty sure.
VELJKO PAUNOVIC – HEAD COACH, CHICAGO FIRE
Thoughts on the match…
It was very intense. This is the reason why we love this game obviously, and when you have games like this, sometimes when you don’t win you feel happy coming back two-zero against a great team, reigning champions. The huge performance from the guys, and the effort they showed in this game, makes you feel very, very satisfied. Obviously I’m very proud of their effort, proud of the game and the reaction we had after we conceded two goals.
On what Alan Gordon brings to the team…
I think that is the most important part, he brings everything in every game. He knew today he had 15 minutes to play and he brought everything. He put everything on the field, his heart, his experience, his quality and he is a specialist in these kinds of situations. Two times he was close to scoring, the second one is obviously what you expect form somebody that has had such a great performance so far in the league and so much experience.
Four points from two road games, what is your mood about that?
I’m satisfied with the progression we had after the second game. After two losses we had in the start of the season, from that moment we had a meeting and said this is a brand new start. It was early in the season and we kind of restarted from that point, started to build our momentum and we are very satisfied with this progression. Obviously we still have a long way to go, just next week we have a great opponent in Atlanta, it’s one of the best teams and another hard week for us, hard challenge and test for this group but this group is growing, this group is getting better, it’s building getting points and good results and capable of playing two away games against two very difficult fields in the Red Bulls and Toronto today, getting points, winning and getting a draw in this hard game I think is huge progress for the team.
BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER – MIDFIELDER, CHICAGO FIRE
Thoughts on the result…
I think that Toronto is the best team in the league, and even though they had a game during the week you could see the quality of the team. I have to say, our team, great reaction, great spirit especially from the players who came in helped us a lot and I think we deserve today that point.
On your role in the game…
I started over there (on the back line), but then the result changed, we were down and so we tried to change a little bit and I played higher up. But of course, it depended on the first and second goal.
On Alan Gordon’s goal…
It was very important, he had a great chance before and he is very dangerous, especially when you cross the ball into the box.
Four points from two road games, what is your mood about that?
We are pleased with how we played against the Red Bulls and also today. As I said, the mentality is great, how reacted today was fantastic. We could have also deserved three points today because we had very good chances but overall we are on the right way and hopefully we can continue next week against Atlanta.
MO ADAMS – MIDFIELDER, CHICAGO FIRE
What is your mood after the match?
Absolutely thrilled. I think anytime you come to Toronto and get a result against the champions I think is always great. To say we are slightly disappointed with a two-two draw says something, I think we could have nicked things towards the end. I think it’s another step forward for us.
How does it feel to get out there and get another start like that?
Very pleased. Obviously anytime you can help the team in anyway it’s absolutely brilliant and for me to get out on the field and to perform well in both games, to see my hard work paying off pleases me for sure. First and foremost, everything is about the team and I’ll respect the coach’s decision to whether I play of whether I don’t, I’m just happy about the four points in two games.
What do you think you guys did better in the second half?
I think the transition first of all, winning the ball and going forward was a lot quicker than the first half. Our service into the box was always going to put them under a little bit of pressure and that’s where the goals in the match came from.