Sounders Insider

Toronto: No excuses, proud of effort

Here’s some of what Toronto had to say tonight after the 2-1 loss at Seattle:

Coach GREG VANNEY

On the match:

“We have no excuses in that locker room. I’m proud of the effort. I thought the guys played great and laid it all out there on the field. I thought we deserved something out of the match, but ultimately, these games come down to a play here or a play there. And that’s what it was in the end. We had some very good performances and some guys who haven’t played 90 minutes in a long time who went 90 minutes today. And a group of guys who hadn’t played together ever in the back who dealt with some very good players. I’m very proud of the group, but like I said, I thought we deserved something out of the match. We laid it all out there.”

On any defensive adjustments after the first Seattle goal:

“Throughout the whole game, it was protecting the space behind us a little bit, recognizing when the guy on the ball had an opportunity to play behind us and maybe dropping a little bit quicker. That was the majority of what they had against us – guys checking, going and sprinting in behind, and balls being played in behind us so we were having to manage that a little bit. But that’s coordination sometimes and those three guys (in the back) haven’t played together a ton – at all really – so they’re trying to coordinate with the drops and the steps and the passing of two very good forwards that are very clever about their runs. I thought they, by and large, got better at it over the course of the game and had strong performances.”

On Eriq Zavaleta getting the equalizer at the time:

“It’s great for him. He comes back to Seattle, which is where he was previously in terms of his contract, so to score a goal I’m sure felt sweet for him. But ultimately I’m sure he’s disappointed, like the rest of the group, that we didn’t get something out of the day because that’s what it’s about. It was good for him to feel the back of the net.”

On rating the team’s depth looking forward:

“I would take this group into most stadiums and play like that with that kind of effort and feel pretty good about us being able to get a result. We used a lot of players deep into our roster, but they’re all quality players. I’ve been saying that since day one – that we have a very deep roster. It’s just sometimes hard for guys to get minutes with some of the other guys who normally get the minutes. When called upon today, they were excellent. That’s all I can ask and they just need to continue to work because you never know. Last week we were quite healthy and this week, all of a sudden, we were very depleted. That’s how fast things can turn. It’s getting late in the season, we’re getting through the grind of summer, national team callups, the various things that affect the depth of the roster. Guys were ready. They competed today, which is all I’ve asked of them.”

GOALKEEPER CHRIS KONOPKA

On the match:

“It is a very hostile environment and it is tough to play at a place like this. The guys were up for it and coming in we wanted to put ourselves in a spot that maybe we could get something out of the game at the end. We did pretty much everything we needed to do but we were just a little bit unfortunate.”

On young defenders playing in front of him:

“I didn’t change much. You just have to manage the guys in front of you and hopefully get everything out of them as you possibly can. They were basically at full strength and we were missing four or five guys that are consistently in our line up so I think it shows that we can come out here and get the results if we put ourselves in a spot that possibly we can get something out of the game.”

On the challenges of facing Dempsey and Martins:

“They are both obviously world class players and yet you always have to be on your toes with them. Oba’s shot in the first half is moving all over the place and is the same thing you get with Sebo when he is in the game and He (Oba) is the same type of player that you have to be ready for at any time.”

DEFENDER ERIQ ZAVALETA

On the game and failing to earn a point:

“Yes I think we came in with a good plan and executed it almost to perfection. But obviously a couple plays went their way and we walk out of here without a result. The boys fought hard and it is one I think we could have got a result from but indeed it is a tough pill to swallow.”

On the team using three defenders that are not used to playing together:

“Guys have played together in training before and there is a pretty clear plan that Greg has put out for us. This is something that we have felt comfortable with. They were able to get behind us a little bit to much but rather than that I think we kept them at bay. It’s a good team, a desperate team that has some talented players. They made some plays and were able to win the game.”

On scoring against his former team:

“Yes it was fun to get my first goal against the team that I spent so much time at is always fun. It would have obviously been better if I could do it with the result, but at the end of the day it is good to get my first goal and move forward from there.”

On teachable moments defenders can take away from tonight’s match:

“Obviously you can not let good players have time and space to make the game and they did that tonight. We will take that and learn from that and maybe make it harder for an Oba Martins or a Clint to have the space and time they had at times, but like I said I thought for the majority of the game we did a good job at keeping them at bay. At key moments big players score big goals and that is what they did and we didn’t get the result we wanted tonight.”

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