TORONTO FC (4) – D.C. UNITED (4) POST-MATCH SUMMARY
DC – Yamil Asad 12’ (Luciano Acosta, Paul Arriola)
DC – Paul Arriola 17’ (Zoltán Stieber)
DC – Darren Mattocks 45’
TFC – Jonathan Osorio 56’ (Ryan Telfer, Víctor Vázquez)
TFC – Victor Vazquez 64’
TFC – Nick Hagglund 86’ (Justin Morrow, Sebastian Giovinco)
DC – Yamil Asad 90’ (Patrick Mullins, Ian Harkes)
TFC – Nick Hagglund 90’ + 2’ (Jonathan Osorio, Víctor Vázquez)
TFC – Auro Jr. 39’ (caution)
DC – Paul Arriola 89’ (caution)
Toronto FC: 4-7-3 15 pts.
D.C. United: 2-6-4 10 pts.
TORONTO FC – Alex Bono; Auro Jr.; Eriq Zavalet (Tosaint Ricketts HT), Nick Hagglund, Gregory van der Wiel; Nicolas Hasler, Michael Bradley ©, Jonathan Osorio, Ryan Telfer (Justin Morrow 57’); Victor Vazquez, Sebastian Giovinco
Substitutes Not Used: Clint Irwin, Jason Hernandez, Mariano Mino, Liam Fraser, Ager Aketxe
D.C. UNITED – David Ousted; Oniel Fisher, Frederic Brillant, Steve Birnbaum, Joseph Mora; Christopher Durkin, Christopher Durkin, Zoltán Stieber (Ian Harkes 80’), Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta (Júnior Moreno 61’), Yamil Asad; Darren Mattocks (Patrick Mullins 82’)
Substitutes Not Used: Steve Clark, Jalen Robinson, Jared Jeffrey, Bruno Miranda
GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Thoughts on the linkup between Bradley, Vazquez & Giovinco?
I thought the first half was a little tight. DC did a good job at getting numbers behind the ball and clogging things
Well that was a rollercoaster?
It was a wild game, but given the way it started can't be too picky about taking a point away from this one. Just to touch on the game about a week ago with Columbus, where we were on the other side of it. It was a good fight from our guys in the second half, we have to continue to build on that.
Where did it go wrong?
I think in the first half, to be fair we didn't set up the team to be against a strong wind and we didn't have an outlet in terms of size. We kept finding ourselves playing backwards and as we played backwards the ability to release the ball wasn't really there due to the wind. Plus we didn't have size and the ability to stretch. We setup to play by having Seba, Oso, Vazquez up there, we set up to play but on the counter attack we became a little less sure of some of our passes in-between lines and that resulted in backwards passes. We didn't really have a release pass or an outward pass. We didn't have a target on the field, and some poor choices. Too slow to clear balls, back passes when we needed to move forward. Play like you're playing against the wind, a little naive with some of our choices in the first half.
Second half we readjusted our shape, the first half a lot of times was Nick and Eric starting our attacks. We weren't always comfortable getting that first pass into a good spot for the next guy a chance and at halftime we re-adjusted that. Auro and Oso were starting more of our attacks in the second, which means they were getting more comfortable moving forward with the ball and into the next line. We really readjusted in certain ways to build momentum and carry through the momentum finishing on some of the attacks to win balls back higher and build pressure, getting into some good positions in the back. With just Tos in the box though I didn't think we had enough presence. Sometimes you call for some things and they work out in your favour and sometimes they don't. Obviously, Nick getting up in the box was a huge reason why we were able to get something out of this game. To carry on with my droning, it was a relentless second half (from the team) that you have gotten to know this team very well over the last couple years. Getting Justin back on was huge, his aggressiveness was really important. Building those relationships and getting guys back into the fold is where we are looking.
The message at halftime, was it tactical based or?
I think when I try to read off a team and what the team needs, for me today wasn't the day where they needed a yelling. It's interesting because I felt like they needed a clear plan, a little push to believe they could do this. They've done this before and we needed to be confident and aggressive, play without fear, play without concern of losing a ball, moving forward. Between pushing them in that way and readjusting the group in a way we could be more aggressive on the attack but still cover us in a reasonable way which I thought was a good solution for us. For me, I look for very specific things, I know people think I should've made changes at halftime but I'd like to think I know that that's not where we were at. They needed something different and they responded well to it.
JUSTIN MORROW – DEFENDER, TORONTO FC
How did it feel to be back on home soil today?
It had been a long time for me so it felt good to get back out there and give the team some energy.
What do you think was behind the tale of two halves tonight?
In the 1st half they came out on top of us and had a couple bounces go there way and they had some good play on the end of it and they finished their chances and found themselves up. In the 2nd half we just put our heads down and went to work. We talked about just forgetting the 1st half and going out there to make a statement and getting ourselves back into the game.
Does the break come at a good time? Obviously there’s physical exhaustion but is there mental exhaustion too?
I think it comes at a good time. It’s nice that the whole league has the break. It’s not like some teams are still playing and gaining momentum, everyone’s off and we’ve got a big stretch coming up after the break so it’s good for us to regroup and get ourselves ready.
NICK HAGGLUND – DEFENDER, TORONTO FC
Talk us through those two goals that you scored tonight?
With 5 minutes left in the game Greg told me to abandon centre back and head forward. I just got on their backs and waited for some great balls.
How did it feel to be back on the home pitch tonight?
It’s nice to be back on the new pitch, it felt great. Obviously we want a little bit more but I think the 2nd half showed the grit and determination we have and if we could take those qualities into the second half of the season I think we’ll look good.
What do you attribute to the tale of the two halves?
I think that we came ready to go and we played good football but there were a couple of mental lapses from everyone on the team and collectively the same mentality to step forward in the 2nd half and be aggressive and do the things that we’re normally used to attributed to a strong second half.
BEN OLSEN – HEAD COACH, D.C. UNITED
What are your thoughts after a match like that?
It is tough to get a hold of your thoughts after a match like that. It was pretty wild. It was always going to be two halves. Obviously there were some elements out there that that let one team have a little bit more joy in that far end. But to end up being up a goal with a few minutes to go and to then give up the fourth is a tough blow. But if I can step out of the moment for a second and the emotion of the game, we came from Seattle two days ago. It has not been an easy first part of the season from a travel standpoint. This was probably the most difficult leg of our journey up until this point. Getting a point in Toronto against a very good team that’s okay. But given the circumstances it hurts a little bit to not to get more.
After a match like this to you focus more on the positives or the negatives moving forward?
I think there is going to be both. I think we are going to have to show what it was and there are still moments where we need now to understand that one point isn’t good enough. If we are going to get to where we need to get to and that’s in the postseason. There has been times this year where we had teams on the ropes and we haven’t been able to capture all the points and that starts to add up. That is something we need to learn as a group and I think we will. We’ll find the right recipe of guys to help us in those moments that are tough. But again there is a lot of good out there. That’s for sure. They are a good team. When they throw that type of numbers forward and Giovinco starts to get on the ball that much and starts to take over the game, it is a difficult team to hold off.
I thought there was some clinical finishing from your side. Just comment on that if you will.
We’ve been pretty efficient this year. When we turn balls over we grow in confidence and our ability to be efficient with our chances and that was the case tonight. We could have had one or two more in the first half. But they could have had one or two more in the second half. A wild night. I’m not sure how to sum it up.
STEVE BIRNBAUM – DEFENDER, D.C. UNITED
Thoughts on the match?
It is unacceptable being up 3-0, the 4-3 away. If we get 4 goals we have to win the game. It’s tough, I thought the guys tried really hard tonight, I thought there was a lot of grit throughout the game but we have to be sharper in certain moments. People have to make some plays in the end to not let that happen. So we are going to have to look at some film. It is a point on the road but it feels like a loss right now.
Can you find positives in this?
Positives are we scored 4 goals away against a good team but that is about it. Like I said, we can’t give up 4 goals away. It is more devastating than it is positive.
Pretty explosive first half in terms taking chances. Paul Arriola, goal and an assist. Speak about that…
I think we got a good group of guys in the attack, we know how to press as a group and force mistakes to create those goals. These guys obviously put them away. I think the wind played a big factor today. I think it was tale of two halves from both teams. Obviously, they had a couple chances in the first half, but we dominated the game in the first half and they dominated the game in the second half. I think the wind was a big, big factor in that.
PAUL ARRIOLA – MIDFIELDER/FORWARD, D.C. UNITED
Thoughts after a wild match like that?
Definitely wild, feels like a loss. We go up 3-0 in the first half, which has been a common theme for us to go up in games and give it up in the end. Credit to Toronto, they started throwing numbers forward, started to overload the outside. When they have quality like they do on that team, we have to be a lot better defensively collectively.
Difficult to take the positives out of that, what were they?
We’ve constantly started games pretty well and it is good to continue that. It is a tricky thing, all we have really done is play on the road this year and it is very frustrating to come away with a point. I wouldn’t even say after the 3-0, but after we go up 4-3 and you have 6 minutes of extra time. Then it is pretty much the same goal as the third one, where their centre back picks off our outside back, I just think we need to do a lot better collectively. Look, it is done with, we will take the point and we will move forward. Right now we have the Open Cup and we will focus on that and then we will focus on New England.
Goal and assist for yourself, do you get to enjoy it the context of the game.
I definitely don’t enjoy it. If I can erase the second half I would say I would enjoy the goal. To me right now, it is such a hard time for us, it is about the team and I would take 3 points over a goal any day, especially in the difficult situation we are in right now.