Here’s what Toronto FC II head coach Laurent Guyot and match captain Aidan Daniels had to say to the media after their side’s 0-0 draw with North Carolina FC on Wednesday night at BMO Field.
On how it felt to play their first home game:
LG: Good! We got our first point and a clean sheet as well. We had given up eight goals in three games. The last 10 minutes were tough for us but we got some good chances as well. When you start off the season poorly it’s really tough to recover but this will help the players’ confidence.
On the strong defensive effort, not allowing a lot of opportunities:
LG: I would like to have seen less goalscoring opportunities in the last 15 minutes. They are really young except Kyle Bjornethun [he’s 23]. We have three players that are just 18 to 20 years old and it’s normal for defenders to have some issues at the end of the game. They don’t know how to manage certain aspects. It’s good for them to see this type of game. It’s a learning experience. Sometimes they have to switch a little faster. It’s not easy!
On young offensive players, like Olakunle Dada-Luke, in this first game:
LG: For his first game he was okay but based on his potential and what I know about him it’s not enough. We’re going to work on his game and fast as we have another game next Wednesday. It’s very good to have some young players coming in. We had some players move to the first team like Liam Fraser. The challenge is really high. Step by step hopefully we’re going to improve.
No goals but several offensive chances. Were you pleased with the opportunities the side created?
LG: I used to say the most important is to have chances. The last two games we didn’t get enough chances. When we do we can work on certain aspects and details to help them to be more efficient. The first team has Sebastian and Jozy but look at the experience they have. It’s an amazing chance but we will have some better results.
Do Daniels’ and Mino’s performances give you something to build from?
LG: Not surprised by Daniels, I wished he’d done it before. Tonight he was the best player on the field. He was able to create chances and deliver players outside, to cross, to finish plays by himself and to score and his physical performance is really good as well. Maybe it was the humbleness of signing a new first team contract as well. It’s a good example of how they have to switch mentally.
More about Mino:
LG: He knows what it is [to play] tough games. A good surprise for me is his ability to play 90 minutes. He didn’t look tired. I wasn’t happy with the teams performance the second half in Pittsburgh. You can concede one goal but you can’t collapse like that. We talked about it during the week and before this game. The best news is physically and mentally the team was here tonight. Now we have to use this game to get better. I am happy tonight with just one point but they are young and we look to improve.
TFC II captain Aidan Daniels:
How do you feel to get in a performance at home?
AD: It’s always good to get in a home game. We got a result at home after dropping the first three games.
On the much improved defensive structure.
AD: We definitely improved. We’ve been working ever since Pittsburgh. We’ve just got to be tighter in our lines and stay compact and it worked. We’ve got to keep that going and be consistent.
On the team’s offence:
AD: I felt that in the first half we definitely created a lot of chances. We keep on going 1 v 1 in wide areas and we executed tonight. The ball didn’t go our way but it’s a start.
Positive takeaways from this game?
AD: Definitely our ball movement. We were more confident on the ball taking it out from the back. We have a young team and building confidence shows that they can play in this league.
AD: Mariano’s a great player. He brings some experience to the club coming from Argentina. With a player like that in midfield he can take guys on, he can make intricate passes, and he’s just a threat going forward.
Did signing a first team contract put some extra gas in your tank?
AD: Most definitely! I think now I have something to prove not only to myself but to my family and the club. I need to solidify my place and keep working hard.
On playing on the outside flank:
AD: When I was younger I used to play wing. It’s nothing new for me. I love the dribble so 1 v 1 is my game on the wing!