Saturday, September 23, 2023
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Nashville SC (3) – Toronto FC (2) Post Game Summary



TOR – Jonathan Osorio 26′ (Auro Jr.)


NSH – Jack Maher 62′ (Hany Mukhtar)


TOR – Patrick Mullins 81′ (Michael Bradley)


NSH – Luke Haakenson 83′ (C.J. Sapong)


NSH – Luke Haakenson 90’+2′ (Daniel Lovitz)






TOR – Eriq Zavaleta 2′ (caution)


NSH – Aníbal Godoy 32′ (caution)


NSH – Alex Muyl 41′ (caution)


TOR – Auro Jr. 53′ (caution)


TOR – Michael Bradley 69′ (caution)


NSH – Luke Haakenson 90’+3′ (caution)






Toronto FC                    1-6-2    5 points




Nashville SC                 3-1-5    14 points






TORONTO FC – Quentin Westberg; Auro Jr. (Tsubasa Endoh 90′), Eriq Zavaleta, Chris Mavinga, Kemar Lawrence; Michael Bradley (C), Mark Delgado, Richie Laryea, Alejandro Pozuelo (Noble Okello 46′), Jonathan Osorio (Justin Morrow 59′); Ayo Akinola (Patrick Mullins 79′)


Substitutes Not Used: Alex Bono, Omar González, Ralph Priso, Jacob Shaffelburg, Dom Dwyer




NASHVILLE SC – Joe Willis; Alistair Johnston, David Romney, Jack Maher, Daniel Lovitz; Randall Leal (Rodrigo Piñeiro 81′), Dax McCarty (C), Aníbal Godoy, Alex Muyl (Luke Haakenson 59′); Hany Mukhtar, C.J. Sapong


Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Jalil Anibaba, Taylor Washington, Dylan Nealis, Matt LaGrassa. Handwalla Bwana, Abu Danladi


Mark Delgado made his 200th appearance for Toronto FC in all competitions, which is fourth all-time in club history (behind Jonathan Osorio, Justin Morrow and Michael Bradley).

Quentin Westberg made his 50th MLS appearance for Toronto FC.




  1. Looked like your team was offered a happy ending but things went south quickly. What happened do you think?


Listen, you felt the energy in the building, building. You know, we get the second goal, I think we give a second goal I think in the 84th minute so we are up 2-1, and we have to grind that out, right. We are all thinking of ways to help that out, fresh legs, try to bring — get more width to deny crosses. You’re a little bit in survival mode there and we didn’t get it done. So they make a push that does us in. So yeah, listen, got to grind it out. Got to find ways to manage that, grind it out, even if you give up a goal grind that point. So it’s disappointing to have the lead late and not walk away with the points.


  1. Can you tell us your vision to take Pozuelo out of the game in the first half, did he pick up a knock or was it a caution for so many games this week, the same for Osorio, I guess?


Both of them had tight hamstrings. They asked to come off, so you have to protect them. So the players know their bodies well and when we know information like that, we don’t tell them to suck it up, type thing. We say, okay, we’ve got to get him out. That’s what happened with both the players at those very moments. Those are guys you need. You could see moments in the first half you could control things a little more with the ball.


  1. Two games in a row now where you conceded late and let valuable points slip through your fingers. How frustrating is this to see you put in somewhat decent performances and you come away unrewarded both times?


You know, the players are putting a lot into it. You know, to put themselves — we are in a tough situation in many ways, and then in games, you’re on the road here, it’s tough, we score first, which is a big one, they get one, we battle back to get the corner kick goal. Of course it’s just frustrating. But we’ve taken a lot of hits. We’ve taken a lot on the chin here. And it’s demoralizing, I know, for the entire — for all of us. But it’s — we’re going to pick ourselves up and be ready for Saturday because that’s what we have to do. The strength is within our team and we’ll find the answers by being together, sticking together. We’re hitting our storm early in the year here. We’ll be stronger for it in the end but yeah, it’s frustrating. That’s the emotion. But disappointing to have the points and let it go.


  1. Obviously a tough loss, what’s the mood like in the locker room, how do you get the team ready for Cincinnati?


There’s not a lot — the locker room is quiet. It’s quiet. It hurts. You can see everyone, it’s hard to swallow, right. It just is. There’s a physical and emotional component to it that the guys are putting in a lot and we all know it feels close. Sometimes it’s far. It feels far. So just got to get that first one, that first victory and build some momentum. We will pick ourselves up. I said sometimes a quick turnaround is the best thing.


  1. I thought it was a good response from Quentin tonight.


I think he had a solid game and showed what he’s all about. It was never about repaying faith in him. I have that. I had that. I have that. That’s why we went back to him. We know what he’s about. I wasn’t here all along in these last years. I see the quality that he has. He kept us in the game. Even the other night, he kept us in the game with a couple of big saves and tonight he really kept us in the game. It’s a shame the points aren’t there for him after the performance.




  1. Is the frustrating compounded by the fact that the last few games, your team has done some really good stuff, some of the goals tonight were really beautiful. The first goal by Osorio with a did you meany run, but things can suddenly go south. Does that add to the frustrating when you seem to be so close?


Listen, we’re in the business of trying to win football games here. You know, it’s about results and of course then performance, so if the result doesn’t come yet, already you want to win ugly, but you have put together good stretches. That’s how much of a battle. You want it to add up to something, so at our club here, we want to win a certain way. We want to win by playing good football. We want to be able to defend in an organized way. We want to play with some intensity. We are getting ourselves fitter and yeah, do that for longer stretches and concentrate for longer periods of time. Even on longer goals tonight when you look back at it, we’re there. We’re there to make the play and they are trying, right. Just it’s not going our way and we have to make it happen.


Yeah, look, I’m not looking for things to make me feel better because nothing does. We want to win. That’s the first part. We’re going to take it a game at a time here and maybe some good stuff will add up and feel good about that.


  1. With the results not coming, does it give you pause for thought in terms of changing other tactics, personnel? Approach? Anything like that?


Listen, we are going to keep asking those questions. Our team has had a lot go against it. It has. We have another road game. Our guys, and zero complaining in our locker room, zero. Like nine for nine road games, right. It’s unprecedented. It difficult and our guys are sticking together. If you watch what we did to Orlando, it is right there. I’m not making that up. You can look at analytics, the one we don’t have is the victory, but I think that, yeah, tactically, substitutions, it’s all — it’s all part of it. So yeah, my job is to look hard at it and to find the solution because I know we have enough. I see the way the team — we don’t get blown away, I’m not sure. You probably have those stats you can share with people, right. I mean, every game is right there. So if it’s that close, it’s got to be percentages here and there and little ways. I think that we all can give more and we’re going to keep working to find that but we are asking those questions and I’m going to find a solution. The guys are running through the wall for me. They are running through the wall for me and it just to get knocked down but I’m going to help them get up and we are going to roll it out Saturday.




  1. Nice goal tonight. You looked like you might pull off a win here with eight or nine minutes left but obviously gave up the two goals. Can you tell us what the mood in the locker room is right now after that loss?


Everyone wants more. We can feel we’re close to those moments when we’re getting into the last ten minutes of games and we have a chance to get a point or three points. That’s something everyone wants real bad in there.


  1. When you look at the last four games during this losing streak, there are common, I don’t know, themes or things that come up that have struck you that the team has to address going forward?


I think each day we come in and we look to get better at little areas. We recognize where we are in the season. And like I said, everyone in there is looking at themselves and looking at each other as a team and sticking together but also wanting to correct things to get points at the end of the day. We are putting ourselves in positions where we’re playing against quality teams and really putting them under pressure and creating chances and just making things very difficult for them. We’ve just got to find a way now to really tighten up a few little things to get us across the line.


  1. Do you relish the opportunity to get back on the field with the quick turnaround on Saturday and not a lot of time to think about this last one?


For sure, we are going to assess quickly this match, and take some positives from it, some great moments and obviously taking the lead a couple times in the match to quickly move on to the next game that’s coming very quickly here. Seems like all the games are coming pretty quickly.


  1. It’s got to be strange for you guys playing in a stadium like that, fans cheering on the opponent, jealous isn’t the right word but how much do you guys need some of that comfort in your lives right now?


You know, we’ve said all along we miss our fans. We feel them from afar. Can’t wait to see them. Nashville’s stadium and atmosphere here tonight is a very good atmosphere. You know, it’s something that as a footballer, you always want to play for your fans and really can’t wait to see ours again soon sometime hopefully.


  1. Following up, I know you guys don’t like excuses and you don’t make them, but just how old has this extended road trip become for you guys at this point with preseason Orlando and your own games in Orlando and not just getting any home games, is that just — how much has that worn the team down, would you say?


Everyone is abrasive with our situation and yes our situation is ours alone but there’s plenty of other teams. I’ve been on a team in the past — had had a lot stretch of away games and I believe Austin had a similar stretch of games this year before they moved into our new stadium. Our situation is ours and ours alone. We keep looking for ways to get better and tougher after this stretch of games to really hopefully to get on a run here going forward.

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