New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps
It was just a disappointing night. The start that we had put us in a hole. Unfortunately, you can’t give a goal away in the first two minutes of the game, but we should have been able to get back in it. We didn’t. But I’m not going to sit here and not credit Toronto. They got the win, and we didn’t.
I think there are a few things (changed at halftime). We were still creating chances, but it was more about where we were trying to win the ball back and where we were possessing the ball. We made a few changes positionally—pushed Saer (Sene) a little higher, tried to talk about where we could get him the ball more dangerously. As the half went on, we were talking more about what we would need to do to go to a 3-5-2 – it was more like a 3-4-3 – but to try to get more guys around the box for opportunities. We had chances. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t our night.
[The goal of the formation change was] To get a goal. We practice these things – game situations. It’s all semantics, the starting points. It was just a matter of taking [Stephen McCarthy] off, getting another player on the field that can score. Chad Barrett, we thought was going to give us a good opportunity. I thought that Chad went in and fought well. Unfortunately, our final pass was – I thought in the first half our final balls were good. I think they had two balls they threw off the line. I credit their defenders because their defenders made a couple good plays and their goalkeeper made a couple good saves. That’s not easy to do, and they did it and we didn’t.
That was why we didn’t want to change too much [because two balls had been cleared off the line]. I thought D.C. was a different story. I thought we weren’t playing well. But other than the first mistake early, I thought we rallied well, and we had a lot of opportunity and a lot of chances and some special stuff – some interesting stuff with (Andrew) Farrell’s bicycle kick to almost a goal. You don’t really draw it up that way. That’s a chance I thought we should have finished and we didn’t. Our reaction could have been better, but in the end we have to just move forward, got to keep going. We didn’t get what we wanted tonight, but we have to have a short memory and move forward.
I thought [Joe Bendik] was great. I think he made a lot of great saves. Credit the defenders, too. The defenders blocked a lot of stuff in front of him. He managed the game well and came out, got some crosses, figured out that the referees weren’t going to add any time. That was smart. He figured out the referees weren’t going to add any stoppage time. I felt bad for the crowd, because a lot of the game was played by the goalkeeper running side to side, not kicking goal kicks in. He was smart. You got to give a guy credit. You hate when you see the game go like that and the referee doesn’t speed it up. But credit Bendik for having the wherewithal to speed the game up.
We had plenty of chances to rally and fix the mistake. We’ll go over [their scoring play]. I’ve got to see that again, because I have to still try to figure out where we’re going to go. It’s a tough one because we haven’t given away a lot of goals this year and when you do, it hurts.It doesn’t matter who it is. We gave them opportunities to make the play and they didn’t. It hurts and so we have to rally and come back and move on. That’s one thing I think we have is a short-term memory. We have to just get on to the next play.
New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen
We gave them a gift in the first two minutes and it’s always tough to climb back like that. We fought hard, tried to put ourselves in a position to tie in the first half and try to get a goal. It just wasn’t our day today.
We created plenty of chances in the first half. None of them were able to fall. We kept putting ourselves into a deeper hole in the second half by continuing to not being able to finish. It was a frustrating night, but now we’ve got to focus on next week.
We’ve just got to get together and refocus. We started slow in D.C., we started slow today. We can’t afford to start slow in KC.
It was just the way of Toronto’s game plan. They were happy to come out with 1-0. It’s just unfortunate that we gave a goal up early and that fell right into their game plan. It’s always tough to breakdown a team that plays 11 men behind the ball like that. We’ve just got to put it together and collect ourselves for next week.
New England Revolution defender Chris Tierney
The goal just killed us, giving away an early goal. We’ve been talking about starts and how we need to improve them. Same thing tonight, we just didn’t start well. I don’t know what the issue is but just such a poor goal for us to concede. Especially, when we knew that they were going to try to nip one in the counter and sit in which is exactly what they did, it’s their game plan to a tee. It’s just so disappointing to concede early and then we had plenty of chances to tie the game, especially in the first half and we just couldn’t convert. It’s just an extremely frustrating night all around.
Looked like two or three goal line saves they had there. We just didn’t get that slice of luck to get us back in the game. I think if we score in the first half and it gets back to 1-1, then we’re in decent shape again, but chasing the game is not a position you want to be in. Especially against a team that you know is going to fight as hard as Toronto does. That first goal just killed us.
We’ll look at what we did wrong and what we need to improve on and then it’s on to the next one. We’re going to hang our heads for too long. We know there are still plenty of games to be played. But, there’s definitely a lot to look at that we can improve upon. In the same way we look past winning games like we did the last two, we’ll look past losing this one.
We’ve got to look at the way we’re starting the games. It’s not good enough. We’ve talked about it. D.C. we concede early, again tonight and it’s just tough to chase games in this league. We need to be smarter to start the game, turn them around instead of try to play 50-50 ball in our own half. That’s something we’ll work on, being smarter and it’s just between the ears you know. We’re playing well, the first half we played well but just that one crucial mistake cost us.
We just lost our rhythm a little bit. They sat even deeper in the second half and left some physical guys up top that were chasing balls down. It was tough for us we couldn’t get a rhythm, couldn’t figure it out. Service in the box wasn’t good enough, from myself included, and we didn’t finish the few chances we did get.
Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen
That is 7 points in 3 games. It is something that we are building on. We are always trying to get better and better each game. The guys showed today that sometimes when it is not going as well with the ball, you have our foundation to fall back on, our organization and our structure and working really hard for each other. That is what won us the game with a little bit of brilliance against the goal.
Of course, we have to defend as a team and attack as a team. Some days you don’t get one side as good as the other. This day our defending was absolutely brilliant I thought. Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry, Steven Caldwell, actually Joe (Bendik), all the back were brilliant. Guys held their shape. New England is a really good team. Jay (Heaps) has done such a great job with them. It was a real difficult game on a field that we are not used to, the artificial field. We knew it was going to be tough, we knew we were going to have the ball. We just had to be patient and organized and we would be able to get them on the break, which we did.
[Joe Bendik] made a couple of really good saves. As we expect from Joe, he is such a world class keeper to tell you the truth. I am lucky to have three really good goal keepers in this club.
Well, I don’t think it was lucky. It could have gone under him and straight in the back of the net. I think it might have been lucky that the goalkeeper got it. You are saying he is lucky that it just got over on him a little bit. But he followed it up. That’s what [Matias Laba] does. He never lets anything die. He followed it up and got a really well-deserved goal. For me, it was a magical goal; had everything about it. Read the pass, the pressure, then the acceleration with the ball, the burst, the composure to beat the man. And then to finish that any striker would have been proud of and then he followed it in. So it was a magical goal. All the rest of the boys worked ever so hard. They’ve got such great character, they worked hard to get the club back to back wins.
[Magic] is probably what we have been a wee bit short of most of the season. But we are evolving as a club. We are trying to get better and better and the plans that we have are going really great job. We’re getting better. We are a really young team as well and each game you see improvement. You see mental improvement more than anything and we’ll keep going.
Yeah obviously we got this game Wednesday and it gives a lot of the guys an opportunity to play against a world-class team, which is a great experience for them. They will really enjoy it. And then we have another big game at home and we want to keep this little run going as much as we can.
Toronto FC defender Ashtone Morgan
We came here with one goal and that was to get three points. We got it and succeeded with that early goal and we saw the game out after that.
We wanted to regroup from the last game here. We showed everyone that we are a team capable of three points on any given day.
We train with weathering the storm every practice and training session and we succeeded. We did it and got three points.
[The defense] are all getting use to each other. You can see that we are getting some clean sheets now and its good to see and it’s a positive vibe we are trying to build from the back to the front. It’s been good so far.
[Seven points in three games] Feels really good.
Toronto FC defender Richard Eckersley
I think we’re coming together now. Everyone knows how I play. I know how everyone else plays, as well. It’s the getting together and playing together often and you get results like we did tonight.
Joe (Bendik)’s been brilliant all season. It’s about time he had a bit of a day off and we started doing a bit.
It’s important that you keep fit and keep playing together as a unit, and that’s how we can grind out results in a tough place like Boston
It’s huge. We’ll enjoy it. We are not going to get carried away. We know we’ve got a big game, actually we play Wednesday, but (we play) Seattle the next weekend. They’ll be up for it. They’ve got (Clint) Dempsey back and you know it’s going to be a big play from them. We’ve got that in the back of our minds, but we are going to enjoy it tonight and go from there.
Sometimes it can be difficult when you’re winning earlier on because then its backs to the walls a little bit. We managed to hang on and I think its good for the future as well because Matias (Laba) is a great player.
We’ve been working a lot on organization and I think to win games you need organization. You can’t just be running everywhere, and I think we are starting to develop that now as we grow older and grow in together, as well.
Of course, the back four is so important as well as the midfield and everywhere else in the pitch.