Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Toronto FC advances to the 2021 Canadian Championship Semi-Finals – Post Game Summary


Toronto FC advances to the 2021 Canadian Championship Semi-Finals


TOR – Jonathan Osorio 34′ (Jacob Shaffelburg)

TOR – Ifunanyachi Achara 41′ (Jacob Shaffelburg)

TOR – Yeferson Soteldo 84′ (penalty kick)

TOR – Noble Okello 89′ (Michael Bradley)


TOR – Mark Delgado 30′ (caution)

YRK – Michael Petrasso 55′ (caution)


TORONTO FC – Alex Bono; Auro Jr., Omar González, Chris Mavinga, Richie Laryea; Michael Bradley (C), Mark Delgado, Ifunanyachi Achara (Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty 61′), Jonathan Osorio (Noble Okello 87′), Jacob Shaffelburg; Yeferson Soteldo (Patrick Mullins 86′)

Substitutes Not Used: Quentin Westberg, Eriq Zavaleta, Kemar Lawrence, Dom Dwyer

YORK UNITED FC – Nathan Ingham; Chrisnovic N’sa, Dominick Zator, Roger Thompson (C), Diyaeddine Abzi; Isaiah Johnston (Cédric Toussaint 77′), Noah Verhoeven, Max Ferrari (Nicholas Hamilton 77′), Sebastián Gutiérrez (Jordan Wilson 59′), Michael Petrasso (Álvaro Rivero 76′); Lowell Wright (Ijah Halley 87′)

Substitutes Not Used: Niko Giantsopoulos, Julian Ulbricht


Jacob Shaffelburg registered multiple assists (two) in a single game for the first time in his Toronto FC career.

Yeferson Soteldo and Noble Okello each scored a goal at BMO Field for the first time in their Toronto FC careers.

Toronto FC recorded back-to-back wins at BMO Field for the first time since a pair of wins against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on August 18 and August 21, 2020 (3-0 and 1-0).

Toronto FC advance to the semi-finals of the 2021 Canadian Championship and will take on the winner of Cavalry FC versus Pacific FC next week.


Opening comments.

Thank you, yes, I think it’s been a solid performance. We needed this. Everybody was engaged. And I think it’s one of these games that we knew from the beginning that we needed to match the intensity. We need to match the level of effort, and then get the result at the end.

It looks like it’s an easy game but it’s not; it’s far from that. All the credit to the players that they took it really serious, this game, and they wanted badly to go to the next round.

  1. Pretty miserable night out there but was it an evening where your team’s quality just shone through?

Yes, the night, it was rainy, and you know, for fans that were here, it’s greatly appreciated. We’re happy to see that everybody was engaged.

And at the end, as you mentioned, the quality imposed, but the quality comes after the effort. I think the effort, the intensity, the mentality of the team was there tonight like I think it was in the past few games.

Really good performance. I think the team starts to click. Thankfully now towards the end of the season, it’s been a difficult season for us. And we need it. We need it because I see that the players really want it. We go every day to train, and everybody is making good training sessions. Everybody is engaged and I think it’s time to be rewarded for that.

  1. Obviously you watched game film so you had some idea how they played. Now that you saw them in the flesh, what did you make of them?

Yeah, I think it’s exactly what I thought about they were going to be, because it was a lot of speculation that maybe they were going to come and they would sit back. But it’s against their DNA. It’s a team that they have like a good flavor of football. They like to play good football, and tonight they were faithful to their style.

And to be honest, I think they gave a good game. At the end, the result reflects maybe the difference in quality but I admire that they came and they presented a game that is faithful to their style and they gave us a really, really good and strong game.

  1. I wanted to get your thoughts on Jacob, two performances in the League back-to-back that were strong performances and he comes out tonight and bags a couple assists and was dangerous tonight in the left wing. What can you say about his performance tonight?

Jacob I think is in the same boat as many of the younger players. I said previously that this is probably my toughest season in my career, so it’s for many of the experienced players and coaching staff in this locker room. And I think it’s not that bad for younger players to go through an experience like the one this season because I can see many of them, they are maturing, and one of them is Jacob.

I think this season he is maturing a lot, and I think now that he has been putting consistent, good performances, one game after the next, and tonight I think is the first time that he gives two assists in one game. He was a threat from the first minute and creating a lot much 1 v. 1 situations. I think when he gets the assist, to Achara for the goal, it’s an excellent cross. The other one, he made a really good cross, as well, to Yeferson inside the box when the pair of the center backs from York United, they are all a bit deeper. I think it’s he’s becoming a really class player. So I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in the next matches.

  1. Wondering how important it was sending out the message to put out a strong lineup like that on a night like tonight.

Yes, it was very important. I think putting a strong lineup, send the message to everybody in the team, in the club, how important this competition is for us, how important was the game for us, and there is no small opponent. To take it seriously, you have to send that message. You have to put the strongest team and let them know that we have to go and get the result, get the job done.

And I think the players tonight, they show up and I’m very happy because it’s another game that they show a strong performance, and as I said before, the team looks to start clicking. If you want to see results and win titles, you need to have solid and consistent performances one after the next.


Congratulations on tonight’s result. Can you take us through how the match played out from your perspective?

It was good. I think we started on the front foot. I think our plan was to get a goal early, much earlier than we actually got but we stayed with it. We stayed with it. I think we did a good job to stay with it and not panicking or anything. Those games are easier when 15, 20 minutes goes by. It’s easy for the other team to gain confidence and get themselves in the game.

But I think our team, we are an experienced team out there on the field and we stuck with it. After we got the first goal, we knew that it would open up and that’s what happened, and I think we took advantage of those chances. Then we did a good job of closing out in the second half.

  1. In light of how things are going in MLS, how big of a victory is this for the club and how confident are you that the team can hopefully build off this and build some momentum going down the season stretch?

It’s a big win. We knew it was a big game for us this season, the way the season’s gone everything and. This trophy means a lot to us. It was a big game for us. You know, these games against the CPL teams haven’t gone easy for MLS teams. We saw Montréal struggled a little bit and we saw what happened with Vancouver. We knew this wasn’t going to be easy.

But to win like this, I way the way we are supposed to, yeah, it’s a big confidence boost. I think the last two games have been very good in the season. I think we win the last game, and it’s the second-place team in the east, and then you know, the game before that, I think was a little bit of controversy and we deserved to win that game as well even with a man down.

These are all three positives performances in a row. This is good for the team and we just want to end the season strong, and then of course, in this championship we are looking to bring it home. Yeah, very important win for us today.

  1. In the Canadian Championship, you always seem to find your scoring touch. Can you tell us what you saw on your opening goal there?

Yeah, just the ball went out wide and I knew Shaffelburg is very good in the 1v1 and he always puts in a good ball. So I just tried to put myself in a space that was difficult for the defense and so I put myself between the center back and their left back. Shaff put in a good ball — a great ball, perfect ball, and I got the jump and redirected it into the net.

Yeah, honestly, it was a good goal by the team, great by Shaff, made it really easy for me, and it was good to get that first goal I think. It was important with the way the game was going. Time had been passing and we did want the early goal. Didn’t come, but in the first goal, it was important to get us going and then the game — for us to close it.

  1. I know you were focused on the win and the performance tonight, it has to be a good night for Canadian soccer, and you Richie and Jacob combined nicely and you were playing against a young side with ten Canadians in the starting lineup. That has to bode well for the future.

Of course, this is great. It’s great. It’s a great night. It’s great that their team got to experience playing against a team like the MLS even though this season maybe it’s not going well for us, but still, in the MLS, any team can beat any team, and the level is pretty high.

So it’s a good chance — I think it was a good chance for them to feel that, feel the players and feel the atmosphere, the little bit of atmosphere that was there in BMO. These are experiences that these players are going to take and get better from. Yeah, great.

Actually I like a few of their players. They have really young players on that team and I see the sport is growing here. The sport is growing. The CPL keeps growing. The level of the CPL is growing each year. You know, I keep — this result went the way it went, but you know, York, they are doing well. They are right there in the mid-table fighting in the league, and there’s other teams that are doing well against the MLS teams in this tournament.

This tournament is really great for that I think and for the growth of the sport here in our country and yeah, like I said, I am for the CPL — if I had to choose a team, I spoke with Jim Brennan and got to catch up with him a little bit and told him good luck for the rest of the season and if there’s a team I support, it’s them. Yeah, happy with the win. Happy, also, for the young players on their team to get that experience.

  1. In terms of the young Canadians, we talked about Jacob and the job that he did tonight, as well as Jahkeele and Noble coming on and scoring a goal, what can you say about their involvement and what they were able to continue tonight?

It was good. It’s very positive for our team for the club to see those young players being productive for our team in a game like this. This is what we want from them, and this is what we need to do, you know, moving forward each game, taking it as an opportunity to show that they need to be on the field, and yeah, so obviously we are all really happy with them.

Jacob has been in a good form the last few games and he’s gaining confidence and he needs to improve a lot still, and he needs to improve and he can. As long as he keeps working hard and learning from every game.

Then Jahkeele is a very young kid, I think he has so much potential. You know, we saw today him winning the penalty for us was great.

And then Noble coming on in the little minutes that he has and finding the goal, that’s what you need to do as a young player. These are the things that gets you playing time and little by little, you need to be productive and earn the trust of the coach and the club. So this is a great game. It was a great game by the young players, and you know, they have to keep going, though. They can’t be just satisfied with this happening. They need to look to do this every game.

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