Postgame quotes: Toronto 1-1 Union

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Note: All quotes provided by Toronto FC

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Jim Curtin

Opening Statement

I thought overall it was a very strong performance from my guys. We are at the stage of the season where I rather win with a crappy performance than a good one. But at the same time, a hard fought point, two very good teams going at it. Toronto is the top team in the East, we knew it would be a fight today. A couple guys missing from their lineup, a couple guys missing from our lineup but, still, I thought we had a lot of opportunities, especially in the first half, to get the second goal. We talked a lot about that as a group and the importance of that in these big games, to get up with the second goal. We didn’t, we let them hang around and had the one good chance in the second half. And then really what I thought was a our first real mistake that we made all day, we got punished for it. Again, good teams will punish you and Toronto is a good team, the crowd gets behind them and the atmosphere gets loud in here, and it can be intimidating. So all in all, a good point for us and a point that will go a long way in terms of pushing towards the playoffs. But still, always disappointed to not take all three, once you have a lead.

What was the thought process in playing Alejandro Bedoya up field?

So Toronto gave us a lot of problems in our building playing with their wide midfielders, that really don’t play wide, that come inside. So we wanted to clog up the middle with two defense-first guys in Brian Carroll and Warren Creavalle. And the heart of their team is Michael Bradley, he makes them go, it is no secret. Michael is a friend, except when we play them. We knew Alejandro would be up to the task, of kind of following him all over the place and trying to cut out the heart of the team. I thought we did a decent job, we lost him a couple of times, but for the most part, things worked. The idea of moving him to the 10 was twofold: he is a defense minded guy but he also in the transitions can be very dangerous when he runs with the ball. You saw him score a great goal tonight, but I thought his work defensively dealing with Michael was important. But the biggest issue we had in our building with a team that plays with two forwards, which there is not many in our league that you would be surprised to hear. We thought that it would be important to have two guys holding in the middle protecting our center backs. It worked out okay; not perfect, but okay.

Coming in here taking the lead and getting a draw, does this give you confidence if you have to come here in the playoffs?

Listen, this is a great team and obviously it is no secret that [Sebastian] Giovinco is not here. He is a great player and makes them difference for sure, just as any great players do, just as [Tranquillo] Barnetta makes us a little difference. Yeah, this is a place that is tough to come to. I played in the first game here, the Dichio game, so I have a recollection of how loud it can get, how crazy it can get. They didn’t have any seat cushions to throw on the field today but the new building is amazing, the noise stays inside. We were able to keep it quiet in the first half, we did a good job of silencing the crowd. But this will be a tough place to play and you obviously see the standings now and somebody is going to have to come through this building and get a result. Otherwise, Toronto will find themselves in good spot. They are a very good team.

Alejandro Bedoya

Thoughts on the game

Tale of two halves really. I thought the first half Toronto was pretty poor, but I think that’s a credit to us, that we made them work really hard and caused them to make some errors. We were able to pounce on them. To be up 1-0, we had another chance to kill the game right before half and then also early in the second half but we weren’t able to kill the game off by scoring another goal. Toronto sticks around and they showed their class; like their game before against the Red Bulls, they were able to come back and get that goal and tie it up. Like I said, tale of two halves: first half we were the better team, controlled the game, and in the second half they were the better team.

On scoring your first MLS goal

It feels great. Because of the injury to Tranquillo Barnetta I was able to play further up the field, get more in the attack. It was just one of those goals, I kind of even surprised myself but Fabian [Herbers] got the ball in the middle, he was able to turn and I was able to just stay onside and when I got the ball I was able to take a good touch-turn, I looked up and it was one of those where the angle wasn’t the best angle for me to just shoot straight so I went for the chip and it didn’t go in off the back post in the corner but it went in.

Do you anticipate playing more up field in the future?

No, not really. I think with Tranquillo Barnetta there, he is your quality player, and with his injury I was able to step up in that position. But, obviously, I would like to play further up and be more offensive minded and get in the attack. But I like my role also, that No. 6 or nNo. 8, where I’m able to get the ball deeper and play passes to our attackers. My whole career I’ve been a versatile player so I’m willing to play anywhere, whatever it takes to help the team.

Brian Carroll

Thoughts on the game

Well it was a competitive game. I thought a little bit more of the run in the first half than in the second. We made some good defensive plays and created enough chances to score the second goal. I think not scoring that second goal allows them to have some life and have some chances and they put one away and evened it up. These games, especially towards the end of the year and heading into the playoffs, they’re not going to be easy so any chance we get to try to kill the game off, either by possession or scoring the second goal, we need to try and take advantage of it. It was a good competitive game.

Thoughts on Bedoya scoring his first goal and what he brings to the attack

He found some great spaces all night long. He probably doesn’t have any other options but what he did to score that goal was pretty special. I’m happy for him and happy for the work the guys put in tonight.

Toronto FC postgame quotes

Greg Vanney

On the finish of the game and the game overall

Yeah, a little disappointing I think, we were pushing toward the end there and the ball is in the box. I think Jozy [Altidore] did a great job to step in front of the defender and win position. For me, defender goes to the ground, he doesn’t have access to the ball and he kind of goes into the back of Jozy’s leg. I think everywhere I have been before that is a PK, but unfortunately Ismail [Elfath] didn’t see it the same. So that was it in terms of the ending and all the stuff that was going on at the end of the game was that particular play.

But I thought first half, everything was too slow, too many of our numbers were too deep in our half trying to pick up the ball at their feet. Once we were able to get forward we didn’t have any numbers moving forward. It was too easy for them defensively, because everyone else is kind of behind the ball and there weren’t enough numbers ahead of the ball. We had to adjust that at halftime and take a more aggressive posture, I don’t know exactly why, I guess players were trying to find spaces on the field and they ended up working in sort of in backwards positions, in reverse positions to find the ball. We changed our mentality obviously, pushed our guys, and wanted them to take higher positions in the second half. Play a little bit higher and between lines and get more numbers into the attack, and getting more numbers working some of the outside channels. We were able to move the game, and be the aggressors in the second half and create far more chances. I think the defending side of it became a little easier because we were able to dictate the field position a little bit more with the appropriate number and people in the right positions. So we did a better job defensively, as well.

The first half cost us the three points today, just our performance, referee aside. Our first half was not good enough and we put ourselves in a little bit of a hole. Once again we came back and had a strong second half to get something out of the game.

Justin’ Morrow scored his fourth goal of the season. Why are your defenders scoring so much this year?

Justin had been very aggressive in these recent games and the timing of him moving forward has been great. Sometimes when you play a diamond, you ask your fullbacks to play really high positions and it is important that our midfield and our players that are a little bit behind the ball are responsible and able to keep the ball and release our fullbacks behind the back line. I think on that particular instance, Jonathan [Osorio] did a good job in getting inside of their defense, and was able to hold the ball up long enough that Justin could build up some speed into the attack and he slipped him in and finished it. I think that has been pretty reminiscent of Justin’s goals over the course of this year. We had one in San Jose where he came onto the back post from a cross from [Steven Beitashour] from the right side. So we ask a lot from our fullback from the attacking side and we benefit from that.

Jozy Altidore

Tough way to end the game, what did you see or feel from your perspective?

We started bad again, we didn’t start well and we let Philly into the game. If we don’t start like that I think we win the game quite easily but if you give teams a sniff like that, a little bit of quality, and we’re chasing the game after that.

The call didn’t go your way at the end, what did you feel at that time?

Yeah, it’s frustrating obviously but all the frustration boils down. I had a chance earlier I should have scored. When frustration boils down to that one moment…Maybe it’s a penalty, maybe not but, at the end of the day, I had a chance to win the game. At the same time, we put ourselves in that position which we shouldn’t have.

The referee claimed you fouled the player, did you see it that way?

I just tried to get to the ball first, turn and shoot. Sometimes in our league we have different calls that sometimes we don’t agree with.

Jonathan Osorio

Things got emotional at the end of the game, how did you see things play out?

Yeah, we had to come back. We were down and we wanted to win this game. It was a big game for us and we put ourselves in a hole. At the end it was very emotional and obviously we got the goal and it was probably a questionable call at the end. It’s unfortunate but we put ourselves in this position.

How difficult is it to control your emotions at at time like that when you feel like you got the short end of the stick?

It’s really hard. Sports are always emotional no matter what sports it is, especially when you are playing for very important things. It was a tough one today, a tough one to swallow. But, like I said, we put ourselves in that position in the first place.

On the play that led to the goal

Justin [Morrow] gave me a ball down the line and I saw that the center midfielder came out to defend me and I knew that I had an advantage there so I went at him with confidence, took him one-on-one, and he gave me the space. I drove by him, and if I could dribble by a few more defenders something would open up, and then I heard Justin Morrow from behind me scream my name so that is why I didn’t have to look, and just by the sound of his voice I knew where he and I slipped him in and he did a great job of finishing it.

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