Must win, against a very beatable team missing two of it's best 3 players, playing with ten men for a good 40 minutes. And THAT's what we get out of it. Shocking stuff really. Jermain Defoe's been totally worth the money. Anyway, here's the game summary, highlights, and some quotes where everyone tells you that everything was great, we just didn't get the luck, and don't be silly, that's not piss, it's merely raining. Fuck these guys.
GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
What were your thoughts on the game?
I thought from the team’s perspective, I thought everybody put everything in it to get the result. I think at the beginning of the match, if you told me it was going to come down to a penalty shot from Defoe and couple of nice setting balls for him and 26 attempts at goal is what I read, then I’d think our chances were pretty good. At the end of it we have to execute when we get into the box and get around the box. I think we had enough opportunities. I asked the guys to lay it out there like it were their last game and I think we did. At the end of the day the game comes down to executing in the box and we just didn’t do that today.
Given the small number of games left, how damaging a result was this?
My message to the guys was, what we lost today was our margin of error for the rest of the season. We now have to go out and we have to win. That’s it. I think we had a slight margin of error coming in to this game for the next four games, but now we don’t have that. Now we’ve got to pick up wins on the road in addition to the one home match we got against Montreal. For me we’ve got to be almost perfect from here on out. Which means if we play like tonight and we finish our chances then maybe that’s enough?
Despite the missed penalty, Jermain Defoe seemed to be lively on the pitch and he had a lot of chances. Are you happy with what you saw?
I was pleased with him. I think the partnership between him and Luke (Moore) had some interesting moments with them combining off each other. One of the things we tried to do in the 2nd half was to keep the right midfielder a little bit wider to try to open up that pocket a little bit more for the two of them. I think he’s going to have to get sharp we know he hasn’t played a ton of games over the last two months and I think that’s unfortunately what got him a little bit in this match. Just sharpness in and around the goal. But I think overall his performance was good. He showed that he is dangerous and that he’s getting back to form.
MICHAEL BRADLEY – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
What are your thoughts about the game and where it leaves you?
It’s frustrating for sure. You get to this time of year and every game is important and the margin for error is very small. I thought we came out and played well. The organization was good, the energy was good, and the willingness to step out and close down and get after them was good. I thought our football was good. The passing and movement in terms of creating opportunities was all there. Obviously at times we could have been a bit sharper with the shot, with the cross, with the final pass, certainly that would have gone a long way. It was just one of those nights where unfortunately the ball does not want to go in.
Where does this leave the team?
There are three games left with nine points on the table. Take nine points and I’m pretty sure we’re going to be right there. I think taking seven points gives us a really good chance. Until somebody tells me that mathematically we are no longer in it every single guy in this locker room is still going to believe.
NICK HAGGLUND – DEFENDER, TORONTO FC
Leading up to the goal by Barnes it seemed that you were pushed.
Ya when I went up I got a stiff arm to the back, I went down and I thought that the ref would make the call but didn’t. That’s how the game goes sometimes.
How do you assess the evening?
Unlucky the goalie had a great game and they kept us off the sheet. Credit to them, they were organized and figured out a way to keep the clean sheet. I think we just need stay together, I mean we are not out of it. Destiny is still in our own hands but it makes it a little bit harder the next three games. We have to win so we have to be precise and stay together and this is something we can learn from.
DOMINIC KINNEAR – HEAD COACH, HOUSTON DYNAMO
Talk about that night that game had a little bit of everything…
It really did, chances on both sides. We had a good chance to go up 2-0 right at the end of the second half, obviously the penalty. Tyler really did a number for us tonight. They missed some chances but we defended pretty well and Giles Barnes had an excellent game and at the end Brad and Tyler Deric was excellent tonight too.
How big is that exactly, three points on the road, especially where you guys sit right now making that push?
Yeah I think obviously we don’t win the game tonight the season is going to be dwindling down to possibly just playing games out and hoping. But now it gives us a good chance, we have jumped I think Philadelphia and pulled right up next to Toronto here. So we are still within a good chance of making this and that’s all we ask ourselves.
GILES BARNES – FORWARD, HOUSTON DYNAMO
How big was that one?
It will keep us in the play-off race. I thought the team was fantastic. A massive three points on the road. It was a great team performance with a man down as well.
Talk about Tyler’s performance, he stopped everything that went his way…
Tyler is a monster. It’s unfortunate the way he got his chance but he is like that every day at training. So I don’t expect anything less from him, any game, any chance he has to play. He is incredible, he is a great keeper.
TYLER DERIC – GOALKEEPER, HOUSTON DYNAMO
Where does that performance rank in your MLS career?
I’ve only played a few games but you know it’s good to get a win, especially the team’s first win in Canada. But you have to give credit to all the boys tonight, we were very discipline and we had great shape. We put a good shift in tonight, a great shift.
Talk about the PK, and what you saw there. You had a good step right even before the ball was kicked
We have a system with our goalie coach here. We do a lot of scouting to make sure we can see what players do on their approach to the ball. I got great advice on if a PK happens this is what you should do and fortunately I got a hand to it.
HOU - Giles Barnes 35' (Kofi Sarkodie)
HOU - A.J. Cochran 55' (ejection)
TFC - Daniel Lovitz 90'+5 (caution)
Toronto FC: 11-13-7 40pts.
Houston Dynamo: 11-14-6 39pts.
Toronto FC - Joe Bendik; Mark Bloom, Steve Caldwell ©, Nick Hagglund, Justin Morrow (Daniel Lovitz 90'+1); Jackson (Dwayne De Rosario 80'), Kyle Bekker (Dominic Oduro 65'), Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio; Jermain Defoe, Luke Moore
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Konopka, Warren Creavalle, Bradley Orr, Collen Warner
Houston Dynamo - Tyler Deric; David Horst, Kofi Sarkodie, A.J. Cochran, DaMarcus Beasley; Andrew Driver, Ricardo Clark, Servando Carrasco, Brad Davis © (Brian Ownby 83'); Omar Cummings (Eric Brunner 58'), Giles Barnes (Jason Johnson 90'+7)
Substitutes Not Used: Alexander Lopez, Anthony Arena, Michael Lisch, Will Bruin