This will be the biggest match in their season as of right now. Yes there has to be no room for error as the aggregate is against the Red Bulls, but they are well aware of what needs to be done and that is to score more goals than Toronto FC and they hope to do it as early as possible.
But they knew what went wrong on the night before halloween, they knew that this whole thing can be fixed. So they got on the training ground and hammered out the details of what they need to do.
“The mood in the team is we’re down but not out. The feeling around the team for the last two days in training is that we have a great opportunity against Toronto.” said Sacha Kljestan.
“We know it will be very difficult, we know we didn’t perform well at home but this is our chance to right our wrong and upset the supporters shield champs and give ourselves a real chance to win this thing.”
But to set the mood right before getting back to training Captain Sacha Kljestan got to rally the troops and decided to have a team dinner before getting out on the training pitch during the two days off after the match was over.
“The team as a group we went out and had a team dinner by ourselves the other night, the mood in the team is good. The group was kinda split if we really wanted the two days off or not.” said Kljestan.
“Some of us wanted to get back to training, so between myself and the team manager Juan Romero we went to a restaurant in West New York and the whole group was there. We had a great night and there was no stress, we had a great time.”
For Jesse Marsch this will be a huge challenge for him and his side as they need to try and shut down Toronto FC who have made BMO Field a real fortress, only losing once this season and converting 2.6 goals a game is nothing to laugh about.
“I do think they are very good at home and are a very good team. They can hit you in so many different areas, they played very conservitivly here and we will see what they do at home and they will be rewarded being at home and not give up a clean sheet.” said Marsch.
“So I would think they will have a conservative approach, but they may come out and press us a little more and try to push the game at home, so we will be prepared for both and certainly for us we need to score goals. We will push the game.”
But this team has shown that it’s not just the big three that can be dangerous like Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore & Michael Bradley, but they have plenty of other dangerous pieces that can sneak up on you and convert like the hat Trick defender Justin Morrow scored in the regular season against the Red Bulls.
“It’s knowing what their tactics are, it’s knowing what the quality of their players are and it’s discipline and to be organized to be at the way we play. If we feel we can control tactically the way the game is played that we can put things more on our terms.” said Marsch.
“I think that game was played on their terms more and we need to find a way to tilt the scale a little bit, but it’s gonna come down to making plays in both boxes, winning battles, being up for the challenge all the cliché mentality parts of competing, that will be a big part of it.”
But as the club is getting ready to face Toronto FC again in their second leg, Sacha Kljestan talked to the media about his criticism on Michael Amir Murillo not covering back in time on Giovinco’s free kick drop inside the net.
“I think Amir is good and has been playing well for us all season, I know I caught a lot of flack for answering the question on the free kick goal. I never said we lost the game because Amir didn’t do his job on the free kick, I just said he didn’t do his job on the free kick.” Said Kljestan
“We need everyone on the field to do their job at their job at the best of their ability, ultimately Giovinco put in a great free kick and we end up losing 2-1, so we are down but not out. Everyone is good including Amir and he’s has a positive attitude here. I love playing with him.”
So the task at hand is simple. Score more goals than Toronto and try to prevent them from converting their chances, it’s easier said than done but if they feel that they can make these moments happen, then it’s time for them to execute their game plan.