The clock continues to tick on Toronto FC's playoff hopes as they are now level with the New England Revolution on points, the very club that dealt them a stunning 3-0 loss at home tonight. The loss was among the worst of Toronto's season. TFC are now playing .500 soccer, as their record drops to 9-9-6.
Lee Nguyen was the catalyst of Toronto's destruction, striking just two minutes into the match. He then proceeded to play a brilliant 1-2 with Kelyn Rowe to set up the second goal, which will be in the conversation for goal of the week. Teal Bunbury, as if things couldn't get worse for the home crowd supporters, had the third goal.
A more in depth look at the game will be up later in the night. But until then, there weren't really any highlights in this match for TFC. So here's the kickoff, because that was about the only thing they didn't screw up. Also post game quotes, as sent out by TFC, somehow not inclusing anything about Nelsen shitting on Bez.
RYAN NELSEN - HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
What did you think of the way your team conceded the opening two?
Well they were pretty soft. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work that out but as I said the guys keep trying and they kept working hard. They just needed something to fall their way, just one of those finishes, just something, a bit of luck. It didn't come. In saying that, we write this one off, this is football. We are still in a lovely position, we move on and we have a really important game on Wednesday.
Did you think the team responded mid-way through the first half and into the second? Do you think their energy level was up where it should be, was the urgency there?
As I said I just think that they probably felt sorry for themselves. It's because it kills the players when you give up goals like the ones we conceded, they are a bit of our own doing and they are kind of a double whammy and its hard to get up from that. But they kept working hard, looking for that one little break, that one little something and it kind of never came. Even in the second half we had three or four good opportunities that didn't fall. That's life. We have to dust ourselves off and forget about it. The good thing about football is that you got to have short term memories and move on.
Ryan, you are 2-2-1 in August but do you see a worrying trend with these soft goals and bad passes that led to the first two? Both times the New England players had an unimpeded path to the penalty box, nobody closed them down. Do you see any worrying trends?
Yes I do. I've been saying that the last x number of games. Unfortunately when you have a few key pieces missing. They are influential when you are salary capped. You wish you had cover in every single position. Of a Steven Caldwell type, of a Justin Morrow type but we don't. So then guys are going to have to put the jigsaw puzzle together. We are trying to play some position based football and keep the ball which ironically we did really good and are losing games now. But you are right it is a concern and we try to talk about it and all that. But the guys came out a bit stiff, they came out looking a little bit aggravated mentally.
MICHAEL BRADLEY - MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
Thoughts on team's performance...
Not very good. Obviously it was a big game, and important game and the idea is that we start well. We certainly didn't but that is going to happen sometimes. You hope that you can respond in a good way, a positive way, and still come back into the game in a strong way and try to get something out of it. We just weren't good enough.
Did you think tonight's game was a must-win game?
Must win? No. There are still a lot of games left, a lot of football to be played and a lot of points on the table. It was a big game but they all are. Whenever you play at home against an opponent you want to feel more times than not that you are coming away with points. That was certainly what we set out to do today but we weren't good enough right from the start so we have nobody to point the finger at, nobody to blame but ourselves. The important thing is to respond in a strong way and get ourselves ready for Wednesday.
Why do the soft goals keep happening to this team?
It's normal that in a long season you go through different periods where at times goals are hard to come by, you feel like you are creating a lot of chances and you are having trouble scoring. You can go through moments where you feel like every little mistake gets punished dearly and I think we're certainly in a run like that at the moment where maybe concentration isn't always at its highest or where it should be and when we do make little mistakes the other teams are ready to make us pay. It's frustrating. We hold ourselves to high standards, we feel like we have a good team, we want to be a good team but unfortunately like I said, in the moment we're struggling. We're giving away goals a little too easily and when you do that you make it hard on yourself.
BRADLEY ORR - DEFENDER, TORONTO FC
How do you feel about tonight's match?
We feel gutted at the moment. Really disappointed but we've got to shake that off immediately because we got a game Wednesday. We can't feel sorry for ourselves, we have to dust ourselves down and go again. We have to show a bit of character now and go up against Philadelphia on Wednesday and win. We can't dwell on it.
Did you expect New England to come out as strong as they did?
We didn't. We wanted to start well and put ourselves in the game but we did the exact opposite, we started sloppy, we gave them chances which led to goals. Again, we gave ourselves a mountain to climb, certainly at home it's something we have to eradicate as we are moving into crucial stage now. As I side, everyone is gutted and really disappointed but at the same time we've got to step up to the plate and turn things around, go and get some wins and we can do that starting on Wednesday. That's the good thing about the next game coming so soon, it's a chance to right the wrong immediately.
Did you feel that today was a pressure game?
No I didn't. To be honest it's just another game. We knew we wanted to get the three points because of previous results and what not. We're still just thereabouts with a lot to play for. It's just one of those things we've got to forget about it and move on. As I've said we've got to be positive now with the game coming up so soon.
JAY HEAPS - HEAD COACH, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Road victories don't get much better than that, do they?
No, we started very well; we wanted to be in a good spot defensively. Our shape was really good to start the game and the 2 goals in the first half came from our positioning.
Talk about Lee Nguyen, he had an outstanding game running the midfield.
Yes, Lee has been excellent for us all year. The harder he works and the more plays he breaks up, it gives him the freedom to attack. When he (Nguyen) is at his best he is receiving the ball off of turnovers in between their defense and midfield.
What was your overall plan coming into this game which allowed you to have this success?
I think it was a little bit about watching film and putting a game plan together that worked to our strengths. Each team is different how you play them so we pivoted our triangle a little bit to put pressure on certain players. Toronto has had some backline injuries and that is tough to deal with; part of our plan was to put them under pressure early.
Talk about getting Jermaine Jones some minutes.
Jermaine has been really good all week and for us it is all about fitness. Jermaine has been excellent with our group and we wanted to get him in there and fit him in like a training session.
LEE NGUYEN - MIDFIELDER, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Talk about the performance by your team on the road.
We have to give credit to our defense as they have done very well the past couple games; it's another clean sheet for them as Bobby came up with some big saves, the backline played well and Scott (Caldwell #6) played a great game. Offensively, we put away our chances and we were able to get a big 3 points.
It seems you guys built a lot off of turnovers tonight...
That is credit to our defense and Charlie (Davies #9) did well up front closing down space and making it hard for their defense to play the ball out. We played great defensively as a team and we were able to create some chances off that as a result.
This is a great time for the team to be finding its form...
Yes, we needed it, it is a good time right now and we still have KC on Wednesday and Chicago on Sunday but we need points right now and 3 points away is a great result.
JERMAINE JONES - MIDFIELDER, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Talk about getting some minutes in near the end of the game in a perfect scenario with a 3 goal lead...
It was easy to come in being up 3-0 but I know I still need to get to 100%.
What is it like being with your new team?
It's a lot of fun with New England, it is a very young team and I am one of the older guys . There is a lot of talent on this team and today was a perfect game. The first 20 minutes was amazing and I would say there was only one team who were going to win this match and we showed it.
NER- Nguyen 2'
NER- Rowe (Nguyen) 21'
NER- Bunbury (Davies, Rowe) 58'
NER- Bunbury (Misconduct) 4'
NER- Rowe (Misconduct) 36'
NER- Caldwell (Misconduct) 47'
TFC- Gilberto (Misconduct) 82'
Toronto FC: 9-8-6 (33 points)
New England: 10-12-3 (33 points)
Toronto FC: Bendik, Bloom, Orr, Henry, Hagglund, Warner, Bradley, Oduro (Jackson 68'), Osorio (Lovitz 62') Moore, Gilberto
Subs: Konopka, Richter, Bekker, Dike
New England: Shuttleworth, Farrell, Soares, Goncalves, Barnes, Caldwell, Bunbury (Neumann 65'), Kobayashi (Jones 65') Nguyen (Fagundez 76'), Rowe, Davies
Subs: Knighton, Alston, Mullins, Taylor