Steve Nicol - Coach
Thoughts on tonight’s game…
I thought we deserved to win the game, I’m disappointed we didn’t win. I thought we played good football. I didn’t see what happened with the second goal, but I’m a little disappointed that it crossed the goal. But I thought we were the better team throughout the game and we deserved to win but we didn’t.
This is a different TFC team since the last time you played them, did your change your strategy at all?
No, not at all. We had to go out and take care of our own business, so that is what we did.
Do you see any difference in the team (TFC) from the last time you played them?
I don’t know, I’m concentrating on our team to be honest. Again, it’s about us, we concentrate on what we do. If we do what we are good at then the opposition has to change for us.
After 20-30 minute mark it seemed like your team began to dominate the play of the game…
I thought we controlled for the majority of the game. There is going to be times when the opposition has the ball for a spell and obviously they were the home team, so the fact that they were the home team I thought we had the majority of the possession.
Benny Feilhaber - Midfielder
What can you take away from today’s game?
I guess one thing you can take away is that our set pieces have been half decent I guess throughout the year. We’ve got some goals off some corner kicks and free kicks. That’s one thing that has been a positive. The second goal, I think was more opportunistic than anything. (Monsef) Zerka had a good run, but I think at one point he got kind of stuck and passed or lost the ball but it was kind of fifty-fifty, and I think it was Raiko (Lekic) that was able to get his foot in and was able I got my foot in and it kind of came to me and I just kind of kicked it as hard as I could across the box hoping that someone would get to the end of it and it was Milt (Caraglio) who was there. It was more opportunistic than anything, it wasn’t a great play or anything like that but it is always good to get goals like that when you are not getting many of those. I don’t remember one where one of our forwards just tucked it in with no goalie so that’s good. At some point you get sick and tired of talking about the positives that you had in the game, the bottom line is that you are not getting the result you wanted. There are some changes that need to be made for next year.
It’s got to be frustrating, another late goal and more points dropped..
Yeah, I mean, it’s just frustrating. This game really didn’t mean anything for playoffs or anything like that. But it’s frustrating, it’s always frustrating to not get the win. In that sense of course it is disappointing but you couldn’t have painted a more clear picture of the things that we need to improve on for next year. I’m glad that, even though as much as I wanted to win, that no one is going to be thinking that, oh we won the last game and we have something going for next year. We need to improve our team, we need to make changes that are going to help us compete at a higher level next year. It can’t be as poor a season as this one was, it’s going to take work and effort by the players, the coaches, the management, everybody. The organization is really going to have to work hard to improve the team to be competitive next season.
Coach Aron Winter
On the team’s performance:
We didn’t play a good game, we were a little bit flat. I think that the last game against Dallas, we had given a lot, and it’s the first time in our history that we have qualified in the quarter-final of the CONCACAF Champions League. I think those things together are why the team was a little bit flat. It was not a good game.
On TFC’s struggles defending against set pieces:
It’s not just set pieces, it most of the time starts with ourselves. Before the corner came, we had the ball, and we lost the ball for nothing. Its not just the set pieces, if you watch this past season we have a lot of goals against us that were unnecessary, and that needs to get better for sure, next season.
His assessment of the season:
From the moment I came I always said that the most important thing is rebuilding the team. Of course when we are building the team we have some targets. Targets in the different leagues, the Nutrilite Cup, CONCACAF, and MLS, we want to play well for all those targets. One of those targets in the league is to get the playoffs. But the main goal was building the team. Three months ago, since we have made a lot of trades, we have some better players, but also players that want to be part of the whole process. Also it was important that Torsten and Danny came in, because those things they have were missing in the team. Looking back, we won the Nutrilite Cup and qualified in CONCACAF, and did OK in the league the last three months, we have improved a lot. Looking at those things, I think the season was not so bad.
His assessment on the team going forward:
I don’t know. Come to me in February or March and we will continue talking, but I don’t know. I am not the judge of that, I am not the coaches. I am just glad to be here, I have enjoyed my first three months, I have been to some nice cities and nice stadiums. This league is a good league, and the support with fans in every stadium that we are in, except in Washington, because that stadium is too big for the amount of fans they have. But it was fantastic the first few months, and I hope last year that the season will last for eight months and that we are going to make it.
On if his expectations were different from his experiences in MLS:
I didn’t expect that much, but everybody is such an athlete, so quick and so strong. This league is at a good level. Some people in Europe think it is a Mickey Mouse league, but that is so not true. There are good quality players in this league, and you cant underestimate the level in this league.
On if the team is buying into the 4-3-3 formation:
I think we don’t play with a concrete system here at TFC. We have a system to adapt to who we are playing, so whatever works best on the day.
Overall feeling on the final week of the season:
It was a great finish to the season, everyone was happy. It is disappointing that we don’t win today, but we gave it everything and just came up a little short.
On his season personally, from Vancouver to Toronto:
I think it has been a good year. I enjoyed my time at Vancouver, we started the season really well, and we probably got carries away a little bit after our first win. I went away to the Gold Cup and played every game with Canada, and then came back to be traded to Toronto, and I have enjoyed every minute of it.