The New York Red Bulls went up to take on Toronto FC in their first shot at clinching the Eastern Conference and taking a step closer to the Supporter's Shield. Toronto was down their three main starters, two of which were sitting on the bench to start the match. Despite missing Lloyd Sam and Kemar Lawrence from the starting lineup, the Red Bulls were primed to grab three points on the road. They couldn't do it though as they looked lifeless, not generating any real offense until the 2nd half when they were already down two goals.
TOR - Herculez Gomez (1) 51'
TOR - Sebastian Giovinco (22) (Jonathan Osorio) 78'
NY - Shaun Wright-Phillips (1) 86'
TOR - Jackson (caution, dissent) 26'
TOR - Jozy Altidore (ejection, dissent) 34'
NY - Kemar Lawrence (caution, foul) 40'
TOR - Benoit Cheyrou (caution, foul) 62'
NY - Dax McCarty (caution, dissent) 70'
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles; Kemar Lawrence, Damien Perrinelle, Ronald Zubar, Sal Zizzo, Dax McCarty © (Sean Davis, 81'), Felipe, Mike Grella (Shaun Wright-Phillips, 61'), Sacha Kljestan, Gonzalo Veron (Lloyd Sam, 61'), Bradley Wright-Phillips
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; FOULS: 15; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 2.
Toronto FC: Chris Konopka; Damien Perquis (Ahmed Kantari, 44'), Josh Williams, Justin Morrow, Jackson, Benoit Cheyrou ©, Ashtone Morgan, Collen Warner, Mark Bloom, Jonathan Osorio (Eriq Zavaleta, 90'), Herculez Gomez (Sebastian Giovinco, 71')
TOTAL SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 13; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1.
JESSE MARSCH - HEAD COACH, NEW YORK RED BULLS
What were your thoughts on the match?
We lacked a lot of urgency, desire, the ability to pick up second balls, ability to fight and the turf played very fast tonight and it was hard to get the game under control. What it came down to was who was able to pick up all the loose balls, who was able to grind out the plays and we came in second so many times tonight. So credit to Toronto but very disappointing from us because this is the first time all year I feel this has been the case so at this point in the season to not understand what big games are like, it's disappointing from us.
You were missing a couple starters, do you feel anyone that filled in might have let you down tonight?
No I would not single any one person out tonight, I would single out everybody! I would say that every single guy that started tonight was not good enough, 11 guys were not good enough and it led to our downfall.
What influence did Giovinco have coming on late in the game?
He comes on, he makes one play and makes it 2-0 and ends the game almost. It was a great goal.
What are the keys for the team to getting back on track Sunday at Red Bull Arena?
Well it is good that we have a quick turn around so we had better get ourselves straight and get our minds straight as we have lot to play for. We need to physically get through the next few days and get ready for another huge game on Sunday.
SACHA KLJESTAN - MIDFIELDER, NEW YORK RED BULLS
Did you feel the team was a bit out of sync tonight?
I wouldn't say we were out of sync I just think we were a bit late to second balls, a bit late for our 50/50 tackles and Toronto got the better of us and they were a bit more up for the challenge tonight. The conditions tonight were a fast pitch and it was a bit windy, evidently Toronto wanted to slow the game down and we wanted to speed it up and wanted to play fast. A difficult game tonight and a bad result for us but a couple games left to get on the right food headed to the playoffs.
The coach feels like the players didn't give enough today, what do you have to say about that and with a game coming up quickly?
I feel like we all could have done a bit more, we all could have put a little more out there to get a better result. It's always nice when you have multiple games in a week, the week goes by faster and the games are what we look forward to. A couple light days of training then we have our last home game and we want to put a good result up in front of our fans.
LUIS ROBLES - GOALKEEPER, NEW YORK RED BULLS
It seemed like you guys were out of sync for one of the first times all year, what did you see in front of you out there?
That pretty much sums it up, we were slow to react to a lot of second balls, in a sense they pressed us and did pretty well with that but for the first 80 minutes until we got the goal everything was a step too slow whether it was the ball that we were playing or our reactions.
The coach mentioned the team came out lethargically, what do you think attributed to that?
It's always hard to put your finger on that, I've been in games where the teams lethargic and it seems very difficult to break out of it. When we look at this game we are going to know we lost an opportunity to advance. We have to use it as fuel, as a lesson to us, that no team in this league is going to bend over backward for us. It is always going to be a battle to win out there, it's hard to win in this league, we've shown we have the quality to do that. For the most part of the season we have shown we have the consistency to do that, sometimes these games happen but it was a playoff type game and these are the games we want to get a result out of. I'm confident if we play a game like this again, we'll react faster and perform better and get a result home or away.
GREG VANNEY - HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
What are you feeling right now after clinching a playoff spot?
I'm excited, I'm relieved, I'm a lot of things. We put a lot of work to getting here. I think the last four games have been outstanding for us. He have nice momentum right now. I thought we played excellent today. It was kind of a gutsy playoff feel to it, where the game wasn't perfect in its flow and rhythm it was two teams sort of scrappy. We made the plays that we needed to make to win the game. Im proud of the effort the guys put out there and really the overall performance. We're really proud to pull three points, to move up into second place because one of our goals is to keep pushing forward and get as high as we can and if we can squeeze that first bye and play at home, we'd be very happy with that.
Was that Giovinco goal just one of the best you've ever seen live?
Yes! It is. It might have been his first touch of the game. I don't remember if there was another touch. He picked up the ball and he had his back to goal to start with and he gets on a tap turn and just starts weaving in and out of guys and faking shots and cutting guys. It was almost like they didn't want to even be there. But then he gets it on his left foot and to finish it with his left foot into the back post was not an easy shot.
What time did he (Sebastian Giovinco) get in today?
He got in at 3:45pm. He came straight to the stadium. He said he slept well on the plane.
Did you have any doubt whether you were going to use him (Giovinco) today at some point in the match?
After having spoken with him and he texted immediately after the game last night. He before he got on the plane. He texted when he landed. He hit me up as soon as he got here. He said he was going to play. He was ready to play. I think when a player like that knows himself well enough, then I wanted him to touch the field. If the game was in a position where we could take the three points or we could secure ourselves in the playoffs, there was a good chance he was going to be on the field.
ASHTONE MORGAN - DEFENDER TORONTO FC
What does this (making the playoffs) mean to you?
It's surreal, but we got the job done and I'm proud of the boys and the whole organization. We stuck through it. Some of us from day one are still here and we'll really happy about it all.
How are you feeling physically?
I feel great and ready to go. If I get called upon for this Saturday I am ready to go.
What do you think this means to the fans?
It's a great feeling and I'm happy for them we did it for them as well. They have stuck with us for all these years.
HERCULEZ GOMEZ - FORWARD, TORONTO FC
How important is this win for you?
First and foremost I'm happy for the guys, happy for the team and the fans. I know it has been a long time, nine years of suffering, so to finally get this going and to make history feels pretty damn good. To be part of this I couldn't ask for anything more, I'm excited. More than anything, that was a playoff game. I've been in plenty of playoff situations and that is what they're like and today we put together quite a performance.
How does it feel to make a difference?
I don't think anybody is harder on me than I am. The only way I can be hard on myself and critique my play is to get in there and play so I was chomping at the bit for that. I wanted the opportunity to compete and I was fortunate enough to get the goal today but I think the most important thing was our play. As a team we made it very difficult for them. We came in with a gameplan, we applied it, and we took it to a very good team.
Do you anticipate to build upon your play?
I don't know, that is up to Greg and the coaching staff. What I do know is that I'll be ready if called upon, I want to keep building upon my play.
SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO - FORWARD, TORONTO FC
Why did you want to play so badly today when you have earned the rest?
Of course this was a really important game for the team, the city, and the club and I knew it. I just tried to available for selection. I also wanted to play because I am feeling good.
Was that the best goal you have ever scored?
You can choose which one was the best one but it was a nice goal.
On your goal celebration...
It was a nice way to celebrate because they Blue Jays have advanced in the playoffs. It was a nice thing to do.