For the first time since coming into the league in 2011, the Vancouver Whitecaps lost their opening match of the MLS season. Turns out third time is the charm for Toronto FC, after losing the season opener against Vancouver in 2011 and 2013 they finally got their revenge. It was a tale of two halves, with TFC looking rough to start but then finding a way to take over in the second half and dominate. The win puts them 1-0-0 to start the season.
Jozy Altidore matched Jermain Defoe's MLS debut, at least statistically. He scored their opening goal and added a cheeky late penalty for a debut deuce. Robbie Findley had the winning goal, expertly set up by Justin Morrow. Giovinco also had a solid start to his MLS career, providing the set up on the club's opening goal of the season. Octavio Rivero had the game's opening goal from Vancouver.
As always, a further breakdown of the match will be up later. Until then, enjoy some DP magic as Sebastian Giovinco finds Jozy Altidore.
VWFC- Rivero (Kah) 19’
TFC- Altidore (Giovinco) 32’
TFC- Findley (Morrow, Cheyrou) 59’
TFC- Altidore (PK) 90'
VWFC- Koffie (Caution) 77'
TFC- Creavalle (Caution) 78'
VWFC- Kah (Caution) 89'
Toronto FC: 1-0-0 (3 pts)
Vancouver: 0-1-0 (0 pts)
Toronto FC: Bendik, Creavalle, Caldwell, Perquis, Morrow, Cheyrou, Bradley, Osorio, Giovinco (Moore 80'), Altidore, Findley (Warner 77')
Unused Subs: Konopka, Morgan, Hagglund, Zavaleta, Chapman
Vancouver Whitecaps: Ousted, Beitashour, Waston, Kah, Warner, Laba (Hurtado 83'), Teibert (Koffie 64’), Rosales (Mattocks 65’), Morales, Manneh, Rivero
Unused Subs: Tornaghi, Rodriguez, Adekugbe, Mezquida
GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Thoughts on Jozy?
“He played like a monster; he showed you what he could do. He proved something today that he’s going to be a handful. And the ball he took down for the penalty kick was ridiculous. And being able to protect the ball like that was just a world class play. So I thought he was outstanding.”
Defining moments of the first half?
“With Warren there, Warren is picking up one of his first few games. And he was looking to get advanced in some attacking positions. We needed to get organized a little bit, maybe not be so aggressive on the outside. We had to drop and give ourselves a little space, and make them play in front of us and we did.”
On the substitutions?
“I thought Colin and Luke were both outstanding. Two guys fully capable of starting in this league. They came on the field and got into their positions. Great passing from Colin. Luke gave us a chance to get forward and get out of our defensive shape a bit, created some fouls and I thought he was excellent. It’s the depth we have and the guys we can grab off the bench to add to the game is excellent. I’m very pleased with that as well”
MICHAEL BRADLEY – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC
Thoughts on last year’s opening win in Seattle compared to this year?
“I thought the performance was different in a lot of regards. I thought early on here, they caused us trouble with their speed and their athleticism and their mobility. I thought, once we got a grip on that, we handled the game professionally, and pretty well. I especially thought in the second half in terms of understanding what the game was about at that point, being able to play, find little pockets, move for each other, and then defensively control situations, I thought that part was all very good. In the end for me, great way to start the season, a great road performance”
Happy for Jozy Altidore scoring?
“Absolutely, nobody knows what he’s all about more than me, nobody believes in him more. He is a guy who on hard days is always going to be there, and so happy for him, but again today was more than just about him. It was 11 guys, few substitutions that stepped on the field and really understood what a difficult game was going to be like and found a way to start the season off really in a positive way. We’re mindful that that it is just one game, certainly a great way to start, but have to continue to improve, and continue to push ourselves along. In this group, we’ll do that.”
Did it feel good silencing the home crowd?
“Yeah, for sure. Atmosphere here was great. Obviously, playing in Vancouver is always special for us and so I think in the end to come away with three points like we did, it’s a great way to start.”
JOZY ALTIDORE – FORWARD, TORONTO FC
Odds stacked against you:
“It’s difficult to travel, it’s not easy, but it’s the things you have to deal with when you play here we’ll get used to that but I thought we battled well and showed a lot of character and we started the season off how we wanted to with 3 points.”
Debut for yourself:
“It was good it’s a new formation its new teammates for all of us so I think that transition will be difficult for everybody but I thought today we showed especially in the second half we have the quality when we set things and slow down to unlock the game.”
On the penalty kick:
“It was my first (chip) but it’s a little bit easier when you’re up 2-1 and there is a little bit less risk, it’s good to get the win and start the season off on the right foot.”
CARL ROBINSON – HEAD COACH, VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Thoughts on the second half being different from the first half:
“You’re right. It certainly changed didn’t it. It was a very interesting game as I said it would be. First half I think it was really only one team in it – could have scored a couple of goals but we didn’t, scored one goal. Second half, I think they used their experience to keep the ball. They’ve got good players and we just didn’t react right in the second half.”
Thoughts on the team’s defence:
“I thought the backline played very well. I think if you look at the number of chances, we had more chances then them. They take their chances and we don’t take out chances and that’s what the game is all about. The game is not about what you do in the middle thirds, it’s about what you do in the boxes. Good thing is you get to go back to work on Monday and we go again next week.”
Thoughts on the equalizer changing the game:
“I don’t think so. I think even after they equalized in the first half, you know it was a good game. It was a very good game of football. It had a little bit of everything – it had goals, it had two teams taking the mode via possessions, it had a penalty, it had some good and some indifferent decisions. When they score their goal, suddenly obviously they get a spring in their steps and they play well for five or six minutes, but we had three or four chances after they scored to get the second goal but we didn’t take it. They hung in there in the first half and that’s credit to them. In the second half they then obviously took control when they got their second goal. It was a good goal. When they are 2-1 up you can see the experience they have in their team comes out.”
Thoughts on Concerns he may have after the loss
“Nothing gives me cause for concern. We lost the first game on the season, we were outstanding in the first half and I think we were okay in the second half. Probably the way we’ve come out in the second half if anything [is a concern]. I didn’t think we passed the ball well enough, not like we’re used to passing the ball. Players are trying things too hard maybe. We’re trying to hit a killer ball when we didn’t need to do that. We got through them in the first half but in the second half they sat with two banks of four and they’ve done very well, defended very well. In the second half coming out we had no spring in our step.”
Thoughts on disappointment on sellout crowd on opening night:
“I actually enjoyed watching it the first 45 minutes. I’m probably like you in the second 45 minutes. I was pulling my little bit of hair that I’ve got out. Two halves are never the same in football. If we would have played that well in the second half we would probably be talking here with a big smile on my face and positivity and things like that but we take a defeat on the chin and we move on.”
Thoughts on having the players to breakdown other teams
“Yeah I think so. We’ve worked on it, and we do work on it. We know it comes down to personnel as well. We know we’ve got a fantastic personnel, young players with great transitional strengths. Obviously older players have got more guile, more experience and things like that. Credit to Toronto. They came in and sat in and when they got ahead they managed the game very well. Sometimes it’s not about what you do, it’s about what the other team do and when they went ahead they managed to see out the game.”
Thoughts on Pedro having an off day
“I think first half all the boys played very well. Second half, not just Pedro, but a number of players did not perform to their levels. You don’t perform to your levels and the other team does perform to their levels then you don’t get the points and the performance you want. I don’t single players out as you know. Can he do better – yes he can. Everyone can do better, including myself.”
OCTAVIO RIVIERO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR) – FORWARD, VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
On scoring in his first game:
“I’m content I scored my first goal but very sad for the team for the result we got. We played very well in the first half and maybe I should’ve gotten another goal.”
On missing on a chance on the eighth minute:
“I tried to get the ball but it just got underneath my feet. I’m still getting used to the pitch. It was disappointing we didn’t score there.”
On the difference between the two halves:
“The first half we played very well. It’s hard to tell what the issues are. In the first half, we got after them, in the second half, we just found it more difficult.”
RUSSELL TEIBERT – MIDFIELDER, VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
On the tough loss:
“It’s a game of taking opportunities and missing opportunities. The game is won over the course of 90 minutes. Toronto was clinical with their opportunities. We did create some chances which is a positive thing. We’ll have to continue doing that. Eventually things will go our way and it will become a different match.”
On what the team can take away from the match:
“We can break down teams, we showed that in the first half. We can do it at will, I think we dominated the first half of the game. Those are all positive things, I think if we can do that over the course of 90 minutes, we can give ourselves a good chance.”
On the difference in the second half:
“It’s hard to say what happened. We went away a little bit from what we’re good at, which is passing the ball, creating chances and being clinical. It is the first game and there are a lot of positives that we can take away from that match.”
PA-MODOU KAH – DEFENDER, VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
On the tough loss:
“In the first half, we played very well. We were moving the ball but in the second half, we forgot how to play. We didn’t do it well enough and we allowed them to play. When you allow teams to play, they will start to dominate. We let ourselves down because we didn’t finish our chances. If we did that, it would have been a different game. We let them back in the game and they finished their chances, and that’s the difference in the game.”
On the penalty kick call late in the match:
“Nine times out of 10, maybe they will not call it, but they called it, there’s nothing you can do about it. He was leaning so much into me, I think everybody saw that but they called it. That’s the way the game is so we have to move on.”
On Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore:
“Jozy is a good player. Besides the two goals he scored, I don’t think he put me and Kendall (Waston) in too much pressure. That’s what he’s paid for, that’s the striker’s job. He finished the two chances he had. He’s a good player and he played international for the US, I think Toronto will have a lot of fun with him.”