A promising performance, with familiar frailties popping up to show there's still work to be done. Toronto got a point form a game in New York, first time they've done that in a long time and I'm sure we'd have all taken it before the game started, but ugh, to bunker as they did, then give up the equaliser deep in injury time? It doesn't feel good. But hey, give it a little time and instead we'll remember this for Defoe and Gilberto fighting over a free kick, and then things got super crazy as Gilberto smashed it into the roof of the net, and then they all had a good giggle about it. Fun.
We'll have a full report up later on, for now, enjoy the goals and highlights
New York: Péguy Luyindula (Oyongo Bitolo, Henry) - 36.
Toronto: Jermain Defoe (Oduro, Osorio) - 55
Toronto: Gilberto - 72
New York: 'Bradley Wright-Phillips (Cahill, Miazga) - 90 (+3)
11' Justin Morrow (Foul)
Toronto FC - Bendik; Bloom, Caldwell, Henry, Morrow; Warner, Osorio, Oduro (Gilberto 65 (De Rosario 89)), Jackson; Defoe, Moore (Orr 81)
Unused Subs - Konopka, Morgan, Hagglund, Bekker
New York Red Bulls - Robles, Oyongo Bitolo (Convey 86), Olave, Duvall, Miazga, Alexander, Luyindula (Cahill 78), Sekagya (Steele 66), Sam, Wright Phillips, Henry
Unused Subs: Meara, Armando, Kimura, Apkan
RYAN NELSEN - HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
On the 2-2 draw with the Red Bulls
Well, take away the result and just look at the performance on the whole was extremely good. I thought the guys played very well and deserved the lead, deserved to be in a position where they could have won the game. Unfortunately we didn't see it out. In the end they won that first ball and it fell for them. Sometimes it falls for you and sometimes it doesn't. On the whole I thought [Toronto's] performance was very good.
On the disagreement between Gilberto and Defoe before the former's goal
Sometimes as players you just get feelings for things, you know, and, obviously, [Gilberto] had a feeling [that] he was going to do something. Players understand that. [Gilberto's] English is not the best so he probably couldn't say ‘Jermain, I've got a funny feeling [that] I'm going to rocket this into the top of the net.' That happens. For Gilberto that was a little glimpse on kind of what we saw and what his potential is. It'll be shown all around the world for a long time because it was a fantastically taken free kick.
On Gilberto's injury status
That's kind of what messed us up. I think we had the momentum of the game. We were looking good, we were looking like a team that was going to get a third goal. Obviously the hip was bothering him. We thought we could see out the game [but] I don't want him injured for three or four weeks and do something more serious. I think in this league, you've got to take care of any point away from home, in a league full of parity it's priceless. Unfortunately we didn't. Three points is, obviously, extremely good but a point against the MLS Supporters' Shield holders is still very valuable for us. It makes our record against Eastern Conference teams very, very good.
On Toronto winger Dom Oduro's first start for the team
Yeah, he showed glimpses of how dangerous Dominic is. He hasn't had the match minutes so, obviously, his fitness levels aren't where all of us would like but I thought he was really good. It was his first time in a system that he, kind of, we're trying to teach him. It's why we brought him in and I think it was pretty plain to see that once he gets to fitness he'll be even more dangerous.
JERMAIN DEFOE - FORWARD, TORONTO FC
On tonight's game
Well, yeah, obviously a point on the road is good against a good team. But I think the way that the game went; we thought we won the game. It was just unlucky, to be honest, they got a late goal. Obviously we're disappointed because we thought we got the three points. Like I said, it's a good point but we thought we won the game so we're disappointed that we didn't win.
On Toronto controlling the majority of the match
I thought we were the better team but it's a good side and a difficult place to come play. I think throughout the game, we felt like we were the better team. We had more chances, especially in the second half. We got a second goal and then I thought we controlled it after that but we just got to see it out. We got to see it out. But, you know, they got a late goal, they pushed and, yeah, they made it difficult, but, like I said, we're just disappointed we didn't get the three points.
On Gilberto taking the free kick
Yeah, it's football and he looked very confident. When he stepped up, I had that feeling that he's going to score and, you know, you could see from the celebration that I'm so happy for him.
On the confidence of the team
Yeah, [we're] very confident. Just disappointed that we didn't win today. I think we deserved to win the game. It's always hard when you concede late-minute goals but it's difficult [and] we're going to regroup. We've got a lot of games coming up in a short space of time so it's important to keep our heads and regroup. You learn from your mistakes and hopefully next time we see the game out.
MIKE PETKE - HEAD COACH, NEW YORK RED BULLS
On today's match
I thought it was a tough start to the game. We were behind the ball and they were real enthusiastic, they had the energy. We didn't seem to. I think right before the goal it shifted a little bit and once we scored the goal it opened up a bit more. The second half it comes down to mistakes again. We thought we cut a lot of those out but there were some individual mistakes that turns into team mistakes because everyone is trying to overcompensate. Toronto's a good team. Then Tim Cahill gets his head on the ball, Bradley puts a nice finish, it was a back and forth game. It's the first game in three and a half weeks for both teams so exciting game for the fans, we got a point.
On playing Tim Cahill right after arriving from FIFA World Cup in Brazil
I was hoping to bring Tim on in the 88th minute, up 3-0 so the fans could clap him for the wonderful World Cup he had. Obviously things change with the score, with the way the game went and we felt to bring Tim on for 15-20 minutes perhaps something could happen and obviously it did at the end.
On playing a young back line
The thought process is that since I took this job a year and a half ago I preached about giving young kids, giving academy kids opportunities. Last year I didn't. I felt I wasn't able to at times. Things worked out for the better during the season. This year, I think giving Chris (Duvall) that opportunity and seeing how he took it gave me the courage to give Matt (Miazga) the opportunity and he took it well, and gave me the courage to give Ambroise Oyongo the opportunity. This is a league that we play plenty of teams that are young and enthusiastic and have energy. If you don't match that, I've been preaching this for a year and a half, if you don't match that you're behind the eight ball from the start of the game. I'm going to do what I feel I need to do to get that energy. I feel that in certain instances, a lot of players, we have the talent on this team but we need to have an effort every game.
On Toronto starting fast in tonight's match
I don't have an answer for that because I'm not in Toronto's locker room, I'm not in practice with them all week. Their ball movement was better than ours, we were chasing shadows at times. All it takes is two or three yards for them to shift every time they pass the ball and you see how much better a team can pass the ball if players move around and get in pockets. Credit to them they're a good team, they did a phenomenal job rebuilding their team and they made a lot of changes and have some good players. They walked out of here with a point tonight, I feel like us being the home team that we lost two points. Not necessarily in the way we played tonight, but just being the home team you feel like you lose two points. But good finish to the game, we rescued a point and now it's on to Houston.
On giving more young players opportunities
Since I took the job I've made it very clear that the club is the most important thing, results are the most important thing. With my history with this club, I don't give a damn what anybody says, or comes to me and says why is he not playing or why am I not playing? People will play when they show they've earned it in practice. Not to take anything away from the players you've named, I've given them shots in the past, but right now Duvall, Miazga and Oyongo have deserved to get their opportunity and they got it.
On position in Eastern Conference, other teams with games in hand and not defending the home field as well as last season
Anytime I lose it's very disappointing and very frustrating. We made an effort from last year to this year of keeping the team intact. It's virtually, minus two key players that are not here plus a couple additions, the same exact team from last year. We haven't done much differently in the coaching ranks, on the practice we look to introduce new things but it's virtually the same as it was last year, and we had success during the season last year. I can't stop saying it, it's MLS. It really is any given day. Right now we're not in a slump we came in with a win and a tie so it's just eerie at times to sit back and watch replay of the game, just little things here and there but at the end of the day last year's bad team is this year's good team most of the time. You know they're able to rebuild, they're able to get money, allocation money. We have 18 games left right now, 18 games to get it done. It's not an issue right now as far as I'm concerned.
TIM CAHILL - MIDFIELDER, NEW YORK RED BULLS
On being ready to play in this match
I spoke with the boss and he said "will you be available" and I said of course I'll be available, and here we are tonight, got fifteen minutes, or whatever it was and just happy to be able to contribute to the team's result today.
On if the jet lag and World Cup play affected his play
No, no. Straight away he knew that I wasn't set to start, but I said if there was any way I could contribute, even just for team morale or just to be around the boys, but if you need me to play half an hour I'm ready. I don't play for plaudits, but tonight it was important, we were winning the game and then come back into it and overall when you contribute like that it makes a big difference to the result. And that's pretty much what I wanted to do tonight. So for me it's a good feeling that I could help the team get a good result.
On the crowds ovation when he subbed in
The crowd's fantastic. I think one of the biggest things for me was just to try and get this connection with the fans, for them to understand how much we appreciate them, and over the course of two seasons I have done that, and they respect that. They see how hard you work when you fly back every time from international duty they appreciate the commitment and effort, regardless if I'm playing or not. So, they mean a lot to me, and obviously the boys as well. But overall, they sung from the start and it's the passion of American fans, and the local fans here as well, and you see that at the moment at the World Cup for America.
On the assist that tied the game at 2-2
It's simple, I could see what happened. They come to challenge a few times before hand and couldn't win the header, and I thought that it'd be smart to back off and get my second ball. But overall, that's the mind games you play with center backs, Caldwell and the other guy at the back are massive and they won everything all day. But, as soon as I won two headers before that they didn't want to come and challenge and have the physical battle, but once I seen them peel off they went backwards without looking where there man was, and it was just nice to put it in a good area for Bradley (Wright-Phillips) to finish. The way he finishes he just need the ball in front of his body, and it was nice that he could execute the finish off the flick on.
On how tough it is coming back from the World Cup to MLS
I suppose it's tough to an extent, but it's something I've done my whole career. I think the best thing, more than anything, was my decision to come to the MLS, to play internationally in my third World Cup, and the calculated decision being great domestically. The league, the club, the fans, the success we had last season now looking for more success, and on top of that, having two of the best moments in my footballing history with a goal against Chile, and one agains the Netherlands. I'm proud that the MLS and New York Red Bulls have played a part in that. I know people were questioning, I left the Premier League to play in another World Cup, to be in a great league, and you look at the way the American national team's going, the amount of MLS player's playing there, it's justified for these boys and they're really flaying the flag well, and hopefully they can do us proud again by going to the next level.
On if he was happy with his World Cup
Yeah, I regret nothing. I played in three World Cup's, had some good times, but overall, yeah, I'm happy. That's the way football goes, you just look forward to the future and enjoy your time as a footballer.
Possibility of playing in Asia Cup next year
Yeah, we'll see exactly what the plans are for the coach. But overall, for me, I'm committed to playing as much football as possible and trying to do the best I can for my club.
AMBROISE OYONGO - DEFENDER, NEW YORK RED BULLS
On his first MLS start
The first match I found it to be a lot more tactical compared to some of the other ways I've played in which are a little bit more amateur. This was at a higher level. Just evaluating how the other team attacked and everything like that. I'm very happy to take part in my first MLS match and I thought it went really well.
On if anything about Toronto surprised him
Its football, you kind of have to be prepared for everything. There was nothing really that they did that surprised us. We thought that we played well and it all comes down to training. We're just trying to take everything we did in training and take it to the game.
On his performance in training
In football there are young players and there are old players, but ultimately it's the best that play. I worked hard and did everything I could in practice so that I could earn my spot. I made it onto the A team, started my first MLS match, so I'm really proud of what I was able to accomplish in training and that brought me here and I'm going to continue to work hard.
THIERRY HENRY - FORWARD, NEW YORK RED BULLS
On Toronto's Jermain Defoe
You don't see him a lot in the game but when you see him he usually does score. As you can see today he tried to put the ball on target, 35 times. That seemed often. He doesn't look too much to see who's around him and he tries to smash it. He got a good ball from (Dominic) Oduro. We were a bit lazy. I don't know how Oduro found himself alone like that. He pulls the ball back and he buried it.
On New York's back line
They played well. Matt's been playing well, he's a good young kid, played well against New England. Oyongo played well also. Great ball on the goal when Peguy (Luyindula) scored. But overall it's a bit weird because, okay, we come back, 2-2, but they got away with one today the first goal and the second goal, it was a free kick, but the way we lost that ball to get that free kick and the way we lost that ball on the first goal. I would have rather them to score in the first half when they were outplaying us. Not the way we conceded the goals in the second half. But again we came back and it's annoying because it's only a point.
On the team's difficulty on defending at home
Today if you look at the goals, you can avoid them, especially the first one. We gave the ball away cheaply and we conceded a goal and the second one the same way. And usually you pay the price. But we have to work as a team and try to do better. And I go back to that, we went on a good draw against Kansas City away, winning against New England but we didn't capitalize on getting the points by winning today. The league is a weird one. Hopefully we can bounce back and have a good result against Houston. We all know that it's not easy to win there.
On the younger players bringing an energy
They did. Oyongo has been great in training. You guys obviously don't see him a lot. But great energy as you saw. He always wants to go forward. He defends well. He needs to work on his positioning and other stuff but he's still young but definitely fresh. Matt Miazga and him and some of the guys that played before, whenever they have to play, they do it well and they did well tonight.