Jozy Altidore was encouraged by Toronto FC’s attacking play with Sebastian Giovinco back in the lineup but admitted the defensive side of their game must improve if they are to contend for the MLS Cup.
Altidore scored one goal and created the other, a late equaliser for Tosaint Ricketts, as the Reds battled to earn a 2-2 draw against the Montreal Impact.
“I thought we did enough to probably win the game,” Altidore said afterwards.
“Obviously, soccer’s two ways, right - we did enough on the attacking end, probably, to win the game but defensively we weren’t as good as we want to be and as good as we know we can be.
“It’s something that we need to fix or it’s going to be a quick playoffs and we don’t want that.”
Steven Beitashour, meanwhile, believes Toronto’s defence improved in the second half after struggling to deal with two-goal scorer Ignacio Piatti before the break.
“[Piatti]’s definitely a quality player and you always have to keep an eye on him,” Beitashour reflected. “I think in the first half we didn’t keep an eye on him enough and in the second half we did and you could kind of see the difference.
“He’s a very good player and you just have to always keep an eye out for him.”
Giovinco was held off the scoresheet on his return but completed 90 minutes and provided the cross from which Altidore and Ricketts combined for Toronto’s second goal.
“I thought he was very good,” coach Greg Vanney said of the Italian.
“Obviously when we play Montreal they do a good job of getting numbers around him pretty quickly and it forces him at times to drop a little bit deeper to face the goal, sometimes to drift a little bit wider - when he stays centrally he’s dealt with pretty physically, so he has to move around the field a little bit more and I thought it was good, I thought it was a good debut.
“I thought it was good to get him 90 minutes, I thought he had some decent looks on goal and hit some good shots, so all that considered - and he’s been out for what, six, seven weeks? - I think it’s a good day.
“It’s also good to get 90 minutes with him and Jozy on the field together and I think that’s just going to continue to build as these next couple of weeks come by.”