In signature Toronto FC fashion, one of their best performances of the season came in a loss. After generating the majority of the chances against one of the league's best sides, Toronto fell 2-1 at home to Sporting Kansas City. With the loss, Toronto FC's record falls to 7-6-5.
The salt was further rubbed into the wound as Jacob Peterson scored the winning goal. The midfielder is one of the less popular former members of TFC to say the least. Graeme Zusi had the other goal for Sporting KC, while Jackson should have had at least four for Toronto but ended with only one.
Here's Jackson's goal, the Gilberto foul and Hagglund header, the full highlights and quotes and stuff.
Ryan Nelsen - Head Coach, Toronto FC
Are you upset?
I'm not upset; I'm more frustrated for the guys because the game should have been over by half time. If it was a boxing match the referee would have stepped in, well he did step in actually in way that was interesting and very confusing to tell you the truth. But saying that we had all the obvious chances to win the game and we didn't do it. But I suppose in one way we can look at it, in where we have come from, for Toronto and the fans, the reigning champs come in here and it was a performance that was extremely good. Unfortunately two very soft goals, we haven't got our balance right yet in that midfield and we were missing a couple of key players. But the balance wasn't right in those two goals, we were spectators, we were waiting for somebody to do their job. That was unfortunate.
What role do you see Dwayne De Rosario play in this team?
The role of a squad player of Toronto FC, just like every 24 other players. He wants to win so do 24 other guys. We got a good team, and it's hard to get into that team. And as you saw that front four, the two strikers and the wide guys, you can see why. I thought Dominic Oduro was absolutely brilliant, and that guy should have been sent off way earlier. Collin should have been sent off, that's just saw a...an under 12 ref could have picked that up, that's pretty basic. The strikers were dangerous, out wide, Jackson had a great goal and he was dangerous as well. So it's a tough team to get into not only for Dwayne, but for Andy Wiedeman and for all these guys. So they just got keep going and working hard.
Where would you put this on your list of frustrating nights as a manager?
I'm more with the guys, it's more frustrating for the guys; we are a good team and we just need to get over this little hurdle. We are so close, and I think everybody knows that, and can see it. I think you would have to be an absolute idiot not to see it. We just can't get over that little bit, and that's probably what the most frustrating thing is for me. But this is why it's such a great game, nothing is given to you and you got to keep working and take little steps, and eventually these results will go your way and you will learn from your mistakes. We got some young guys and we had a couple of young players out in the backline, and new players coming into the team. I feel bad for the guys because we are very close.
Michael Bradley - Midfielder, Toronto FC
Not the result you wanted....
It was a big game for us as we certainly had this one circled on our calendars. Knowing that we have games in hand and getting the best team in the conference, maybe in the whole league, at our home ground is a big chance to come away with a good win and make some ground up and set the tone for the second half of the season.
The start was obviously really good; we got the goal and should have had a second and maybe even a third goal right away. In the second half, we gave them two goals that we never ever should have given away.
Then we found ourselves down in a game that we were clearly the better team in. On too many days, we are the team coming away with no points.
Did you feel all the yellow cards in the first half made it difficult for the team in the second half?
No, it's by no means an excuse; it was the same for both teams. The refereeing was questionable.
It feels like this team is ready to be able to kill games off when you are up, but that was not the case tonight.
We think that because when you watch the first half it is clear to see. We went up early 1-0 then hit two posts. Collin (Aurelien) should have been sent off but he doesn't and like I said at the end of 45 minutes, we were the better team but were only up 1-0, at the very least.
Dominic Oduro - Midfielder, Toronto FC
You played well tonight but did not get the result you wanted I'm sure......
Yeah, it was a tough one, I thought we were the better team out there but at the end of the day it is the goals that count. It was very unfortunate for us as we fought hard and had our chances. I felt we should have buried the game. That's how the game goes this time and you just got to keep your head up and keep positive.
Do you feel the red card on Besler was deserved?
I was just trying to do my job and the rule is the rule where if you get 2 yellow cards then you get a red card. I try as much as possible to be a threat on the field and that's what I did.
Peter Vermes - Head Coach, Sporting KC
Tough place to come in to, your team put in a fair performance in the first half but in the second half seemed to turn it on a bit more, why is that?
The one thing that this team has over the years is building up a good culture at the club, a really strong mentality. It is difficult to come into a place like this and get points when it is 11 vs 11 and more importantly when you lose a man. It just goes to show that not only is the experience starting to come out, that strong mentality of you might bend me a little but you aren't going to break me. Guys are showing that here, a lot of the young guys were getting experience early as we were missing so many guys, are now contributing and helping us get points.
It must have been frustrating with the amount of calls in the game, but your team was still able to push forward and win?
Yeah, sometimes that is the way it goes! I thought the referee did a good job tonight that is my personal opinion; I don't think it was an easy game to ref. I really liked his management of the game, the things that you can control the ball going out of bounds and the guy trying to steal 15 yards. Those are the things that drive us nuts as coaches, the little calls you might miss or might get, but those things he did a good job of and kept the game going on both sides.
Now sitting at the top of the table, how do you keep pushing to remain there for the rest of the season?
It's really internal motivation; you have to know what you are going after. Last year the thing that really resonated with our team was that if you put yourself in a good position towards the end of the season in the table and through the playoffs, there is a chance of home advantage in the MLS cup final. That notion is a very big carry at the end of the year.
Dom Dwyer - Forward, Sporting KC
It's a tough atmosphere to come to Toronto, then to go down a man, how did things go so well for your team?
We've been in this situation a couple times this season and we have responded very well. It is fantastic from the guys tonight and we are very delighted right now.
You have a good goal scoring pedigree, were you having a tough time tonight or was the delivery not there?
No, I think I was just off myself a little bit in the first half; a couple times I could have put my head up a bit and tried to find someone that had a shot. We cleaned it up in the second half and started bringing people into the game and it was a good team performance all around.
TFC- Jackson (Oduro) 16'
SKC- Zusi 48'
SKC- Peterson (Dwyer) 80'
TFC- Jackson 32'
TFC- Morrow (Caution) 35'
TFC- Oduro (Caution) 44'
TFC- Henry (Caution) 45'+2
SKC- Besler (Caution) 51'
SKC- Igor Juliao (Caution) 69'
TFC- Michael Bradley (Caution) 73'
SKC- Besler (Red) 75'
Toronto FC: 7-5-5 (26 pts)
Sporting KC: 10-5-5 (35 pts)
Toronto FC- Bendik, Hagglund, Orr (De Rosario 82'), Henry, Morrow, Jackson, Bradley, Warner (Osorio 80') , Oduro, Moore, Gilberto
Unused Subs: Konopka, De Rosario, Osorio, Bekker, Creavalle, Wiedeman, Lovitz
Sporting KC- Gruenebaum, Sinovic (Ellis 55'), Belser, Collin, Juliao, Olum, Feilhaber, Lopez, Zusi, Sapong (Saad 71'), Dwyer
Unused Subs: Kempin, Peterson, Zizzo, Dovale, Bieler