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Toronto FC @ Chicago Fire: Match Highlights, Goals & Quote Sheet

MLS: Toronto FC at Chicago Fire
Vanney and Paunovic share a handshake prior to TFC’s win in Chicago
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Match Highlights

Scoring Summary

TFC – Jozy Altidore 33’ (Justin Morrow, Will Johnson)

TFC – Jonathan Osorio 52’ (Jozy Altidore)

CHI – Michael de Leeuw 58’ (John Goossens)

TFC Goals

Altidore

Osorio

Misconduct Summary

None

Lineups

Toronto FC – Alex Bono; Steven Beitashour, Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Justin Morrow; Michael Bradley ©, Marco Delgado (Nick Hagglund 77’), Will Johnson, Jonathan Osorio; Jozy Altidore (Jordan Hamilton 83’), Tosaint Ricketts (Armando Cooper 63’)

Substitutes Not Used: Clint Irwin, Benoît Cheyrou, Daniel Lovitz, Tsubasa Endoh

Chicago Fire – Sean Johnson; Johan Kappelhof, Jonathan Campbell, Joao Meira, Brandon Vincent (David Arshakyan 79’); Razvan Cocis, Matt Polster (David Accam 56’), Arturo Alvarez, Michael de Leeuw, John Goossens; Luis Solignac

Substitutes Not Used: Matt Lampson, Michael Harrington, Eric Gehrig, Michael Stephens, Khaly Thiam

GREG VANNEY – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC

On coming back from loss

"Very important, I think we've done a very good job this year, and the guys have done a very good job of rebounding after a loss and responding in good way. It's important to them, as they stepped out onto the field today, that they had a good response to last week. This has been a tough place for us over the course of the last ten years or so, I don't think we've ever won here. We're pleased with that, we knew it was going to be a battle. This is a Chicago team that I think is playing very well and is finding their footing. We knew it was going to be a challenge, and it was till the end."

On Jozy Altidore's importance

"Extremely important, Jozy does a lot for us on the field, on both sides of the ball, attacking and defending. Obviously, he's a guy that can hold up the ball, he's strong. Today, it was he and Tosaint [Ricketts] who had a nice partnership, and really worked, I thought, the back line all the way across. On other days, it's he and Sebastian [Giovinco] who are a very good pair. This is the first time, I think, Tosaint and Jozy have ever played together, so it was a good first outing for the two of them. He brings so much to our group, from his personality to what he does for us on the field on both sides of the ball. It's great to have him scoring goals, I know it feels great. He's in a good place, and it's up to us to keep working with him to make sure that he stays there. I think we've got the right answers for that now."

On continuity

"I think it's important that we continue to get guys healthy and get some continuity in our group, and get some continuity here down the end, and try to get as many minutes with our partnerships on the field. Seba-Jozy is obviously one of those partnerships, also our midfield crew getting on the field together, and getting ourselves acclimated to one another, because we missed a lot of guys through injury and through international call-ups and various things over the course of the summer. We just haven't had a ton of matches together in this middle stretch, but we've been able to get results, which is good things. For us now it's get healthy, stay healthy, and build some continuity and continue to improve upon our performances as we take these last six games or so."

On David Accam

"Obviously, he's incredibly crafty on one-on-one situations with tremendous amount of speed. It's important from our perspective that we got support and help over to his side of the field as quickly as we can. He came on and within seconds, probably, created a situation that cost us a goal. It's important when he's out on the field that you have a good sense of where he is; that if he's able to pick up the ball, you have numbers around him, and so he's not isolated in one-on-one situations. You want to try and make sure that he can't push the ball out behind you too far and just turn it into a footrace, because he has ridiculous speed. We made some adjustments to just make sure we had some numbers around him, and we could crowd up some spaces and try to make it difficult for him to really open up."

MICHAEL BRADLEY – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC

On bouncing back from last week’s loss:

“Huge three points. Obviously, there are certain nights where for one reason or another, it becomes just about finding a way to come away with the result you need. Tonight was one of those nights. It’s a terrible place to play, nothing about coming here is easy. That’s been demonstrated over the past few weeks. They’ve improved as the season has gone on and everything comes together in a way to make it a very difficult place to play. It wasn’t our best night football wise by any means, but again for what we’re trying to do and where we are trying to go, and what we are pushing for, those three points that are worth gold.”

On keeping Accam contained:

“He’s a dangerous guy. When you look around the league in terms of attacking players who can play wide and come inside, who are quick and agile, he’s pretty high on that list. Obviously, they didn’t want to use him from the start tonight; I’m assuming he had a long ten days with the national team and then getting back probably just a day or two ago. But obviously when he comes on, he’s a handful. He made a good play for their goal but ultimately, we were able to find a way with our mentality and our will to just to compete and do whatever we needed to make sure we came away with three points.”

On expectations rising now with Toronto on top of the East:

“Again, nobody’s expectations are higher than our own. We are looking at the big table as well, not just the Eastern Conference. Obviously, Dallas have had a great season, and Colorado have as well. Both those teams still have some points on us but we are going to continue to give everything we can down the stretch to see if we can chase them down. Obviously in the process that means we want to finish first in the East, and then make sure that we can give ourselves the best possible advantage going into the playoffs. It’s a good night, the points are huge points, and we’ll enjoy them for sure. But now it sets up a huge game against the Red Bulls at our place on Sunday.”

JOZY ALTIDORE – FORWARD, TORONTO FC

On recovering with a win against Chicago after losing to Montreal:

“It was essential. The Montreal game we all came in looking around to each other and said it was three points dropped. We felt like we were the better team. On that day, we just didn’t have it in us. Today it was important to respond; it’s a tough place to come. The team has improved a lot. I thought it was a professional performance tonight.”

On using his recent National Team and MLS performances to his advantage:

“Anybody knows me, I’m a simple guy. I don’t really buy into all that stuff. I’m happy to do what I do for a living, take care of my family, and enjoy these amazing experiences that I am blessed to have. Being able to travel the world, play soccer, represent my country, represent the great city of Toronto, I’m just lucky and I just try to enjoy the ride.”

On Jonathan Osorio’s goal and being excited for him:

“I think for Osorio, he’s one of our better players. He’s so underrated throughout the league, and I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves as a Canadian National; I think he should be representing them much more. I just think he has a lot of quality. He’s a big player for our team. We rely on him a lot. To see him kind of get that goal especially down the stretch, we need guys with confidence. I’m not surprised how he’s played this year, he’s been quality again and took his goal really well.

On the high expectations leading into the Red Bulls game:

“Obviously it’s going to be a big game. It’s a very good team, I felt like they’re one of the better teams in the East, they have some very good players and I think it will be a very, very good game. A tight game, and one that we’re going to have to concentrate and focus on. I think the winner will be looking down on everybody else which will be important.”

On Sean Johnson throwing an errant pass:

“I thought it was a play he usually makes and it’s a mistake. We all make mistakes. It’s unfortunate for him, because he’s a good goalkeeper, he’s a good shot stopper but he had a mistake that we were able to pounce on.”

VELJKO PAUNOVIC – HEAD COACH, CHICAGO FIRE

Thoughts on the match

“Still a lot of optimism because, I think we did great today. I think the game was fantastic, we pushed and we wanted to win. From the first second of the game, it was difficult. There was a very good opponent in front of us. We just didn’t convert our opportunities. There were a lot of very clear opportunities to score but the performance, spirit, and the way we played, I think we should be happy. We just move forward. It’s a great opportunity for us to continue improving from where we were at the start of the season. From where we are now, we can see that the team improved a lot. Now we look like a team, play like a team, and we really compete. It was tough. Tough for us to lose the game and we wouldn’t even have been happy if we would have tied the game. I think that’s how the locker room feels now. We wouldn’t be happy with the tie, so I think we not only have an optimistic group but a group that wants to win and knows how to win. From now on, we just have to improve. Nothing else. There is a constant search to be the best we can be.”

On the amount of possession

“Of course, when you have the ball, that means that you will have more opportunities to build on and create something. In this case, we only scored one goal but we have to look for more opportunities.”

On the possibility of the result being different had David Accam started

“Probably, it would. That’s something we can’t go back and regret because the decision was mutual. We spoke before the game. David said that after the break with the national team and the long travel, he didn’t feel like starting. We want our guys to participate in the decision, especially when it comes to his physical state. Of course, we’re very happy with the guys who played. I want to congratulate them.”

On possibility of David Accam starting against D.C. United

“Like we always say, there is a week to go of training and performances that you have to show on the practice field. And from there, what needs we have for the next game and what is going to be our game plan.”

On what was said after the second Toronto FC goal

“I think that doesn’t matter. We just have to adjust to what is happening on the field. And we just have to learn from mistakes. We move forward. Everybody makes mistakes and if we learn, then that’s fine.”

DAVID ACCAM – MIDFIELDER, CHICAGO FIRE

On how he felt after returning from international duty

"I feel great. I was happy to go on the pitch to help my team, but it wasn't enough. Personally, I feel good."

On being ready for the next match

"I think I'm always ready. It depends on the coach, but for me, I'm always ready when the coach tells me to go on the pitch. Mostly, it depends on the coach, what formation and tactics he wants to use, so I'm good."

MICHAEL DE LEEUW – MIDFIELDER, CHICAGO FIRE

On the mood in the locker room

"Of course it's a downer, because I think the first half, we played very well. We created chances and at the end, we did this to ourselves. It's s--- that we lose 2-1, because I think we created six 100% chances."

On the overall performance

"In the first half, we played very good, we created chances. In the second half, after 75 minutes we tried, with David [Accam], more of the long balls. I think we did well, and if we played this every week, we're going to win. But sometimes, you lose when you play well, and a game like that was today. We played well, we created chances, but at the end, we have nothing."