insoccer.ca

TORONTO FC (2) – SPORTING KC (1)

Scoring Summary
TFC – Robert Earnshaw 3’
TFC – Robert Earnshaw 21’ (Penalty)
SKC – Claudio Bieler 77’

Misconduct Summary
SKC – Paulo Nagamura 24’ (caution)
SKC – Aurelien Collin 39’ (caution)
SKC – Seth Sinovic 75’ (caution)
TFC – Danny Califf 77’ (caution)
SKC – Benny Feilhaber 78’ (caution)
TFC – Richard Eckersley 86’ (caution)
TFC – Darren O’Dea 95’ (caution)

Lineups
Toronto FC – Joe Bendik; Richard Eckersley, Danny Califf, Darren O’Dea ©, Ashtone Morgan; John Bostock (Darel Russell 85’), Jeremy Hall, Terry Dunfield (Jonathan Osorio 82’), Reggie Lambe; Hogan Ephraim (Kyle Bekker 87’), Robert Earnshaw
Substitutes not used: Stefan Frei, Gale Agbossoumonde, Andrew Wiedeman, Emery Welshman
Sporting KC – Jimmy Nielsen ©; Seth Sinovic, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Chance Myers; Paulo Nagamura, Oriol Rosell, Benny Feilhaber (Soony Saad 82’), Bobby Convey (C.J. Sapong 46’), Graham Zusi; Claudio Bieler
Substitutes not used: Eric Kronberg, Ike Opara, Lawrence Olum, Peterson Joseph, Josh Gardner

Ryan Nelsen- Head Coach, Toronto FC
Thoughts on the game?
We’re still a long way away from where we want to be. More importantly it was a step forward. I think there was improvement in Vancouver, there is improvement today and we got to take baby step to become a very good team. This will help in a lot of ways but we’ve still got a lot of work to do. We need to improve the team. We need to improve everything and we will still be working very hard to do it.
Did the team press as much as you wanted after the first twenty minutes?
It’s something that naturally happens when you are up two nil sometimes you kind of sit back on it. They weren’t really breaking us down in open play. Corners and set pieces were obviously a major factor, but they weren’t really breaking us down. It’s a very good Kansas City team, Peter (Vermes) has done a fantastic job with them and they’ll be there about the top this season. You can’t get too greedy.
What vibe did you get from the fans?
It was an amazing turn out. Considering what has happened in the past for them to come out in those number the whole team can’t thank them enough. I think it really helped to see them over the finish line. I know a lot of the guys were saying at half time and afterwards how much they wanted to do it for the fans because they have been with them through thick and thin. I’m pleased in that they can have a good night on the town with a win behind them.

Danny Califf- Defender, Toronto FC
Coach talked about the fact he liked that you gave up the goal and there was some adversity there rather than winning two nil. I don’t know if you would necessarily agree with that, but now that it’s over how did you feel?
I would have rather had a clean sheet and not had the stress at the end. I think that says a lot about the character of the group of the guys. We talked about culture change and the first step in that process is not to lose and I think we’ve shown through preseason and especially tonight that we took a step in the right direction. The quality of the group and the personalities of the group are such that we just need a few of these and build up the confidence and feel that we can go anywhere and win.
You seemed like you frustrated Kansas City, things seemed to get really chippy towards the end. Did you feel that you were frustrating them?
Yes a little bit, they were whining a little bit which is standard when things aren’t going your way. I think we did a good job standing up for ourselves and not feeling intimidated.

Robert Earnshaw- Forward, Toronto FC
Robert you talked about the minutes you got in Vancouver to just get into the mold and get back into match fitness, obviously a loss out there but a good game and talk about how you built on that today.
We needed to step it up. We said before the game to forget about last weekend, we worked hard did well and lost so we just needed to step it up today.

John Bostock helped contribute by earning that penalty kick that you were able to convert.
I was very happy about it because I changed my mind right at the last minute because I just saw the goalie take a step and it was nice because I was thinking of going to that side and I just changes my mind the last minutes. Overall I think it’s just a day I think we can all celebrate because there was a lot of hard work there, a full team effort.

Peter Vermes- Head Coach, Sporting KC
Thoughts on today’s game…
I thought Toronto came out flying. It was their home opener, the crowd was good for them. They pushed the game and they made the most of their opportunities. We made a big mistake early on to get them into the game that gave them some confidence. Getting the second goal early on put us behind the eight ball pretty early. Two goals is a big deficit to come back from. I thought they closed the half out well, they slowed the game down and didn’t give us much to get into the rhythm or anything. The second half I thought our guys did a very good job of changing the pace of the game and pushing the tempo a little bit. We created quite a few opportunities, maybe a little unlucky here or there, but at the end of the day they did well in the first half we did well in the second half, they got two and we got one. It was a good one.
Did you say anything to your team at half?
Quite a few things. The biggest thing was that our movement off the ball wasn’t good enough. We were letting them dictate the tempo. They guys did a good job in the second half so that was a good thing.
Was the substitution made at the half intended to give your team more size and speed up front?
We definitely needed to change something, I don’t know if whether it was a change for a different mentality or it was the difference in the way everyone was playing, but it wasn’t just one guy. C.J. (Sapong) was a good spark for us at half, kind of changed a lot of the game for us so it was good to see.
Is it difficult to scout a team with players that you haven’t seen before?
Yeah, you don’t really know what their tendencies were as a group so you don’t know coming into the game who is going to play where. I would say that regardless of that you still have to be able to play your game and you should still have good fight and intensity in you and I think in the first half they had it a little more than we did.

Jimmy Nielsen – Goalkeeper/Captain- Sporting KC
Thoughts on today’s game…
I thought we didn’t play very well in the first 45 minutes. We lost it in the first 45. I think we played a very good second half. I hope that will be a lesson for us, everybody would have that in their minds, what to do and what not to do. It’s definitely not what to do what we did in the first half. Absolutely a great performance by our side in the second half but unfortunately not enough, we gave it away in the first half with a very, very unacceptable and sloppy 45 minutes. It’s very disappointing.
Did coach say anything during the half to get the team going in the second half?
No, it was not a question about tactical, about the quality of what we did, it was our attitude on the field that was wrong. We were not ready to battle; we were not ready to fight. That surprised me a lot because that is what we talked about just before we went on the field. We should be ready right from the first whistle but it took us 45 minutes to get ready.
What is the difference in the Toronto team from last year to this year?
We got to give them some credit too. It’s not just bad stuff from us in the first half. It was their home opener, coming out full of energy and we gave them a lot more energy. They were all over us at one point and we didn’t have any response to that.
Was it something that Toronto’s defence or the lack of finish from your players that kept the team to one goal?
It was a mix. I think the second half we created a lot of good chances, we created enough opportunities to get a point, unfortunately we didn’t get that equalizer. But again, this should be a lesson for us.

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