Eloy Room - 10.6.19 - Toronto FC

Post-Match Quotes: Columbus Crew SC at Toronto FC - Oct. 6, 2019

HEAD COACH CALEB PORTER

What did you take from this game?

First of all, it has been a great run in these 13 games. Obviously, we can't let one game, one result, change our overall perspective on the end of the year. I think there were a lot of things we did extremely well. We pulled ourselves out of a tailspin. We lost two games in the last 13. Twenty-one points and a lot of those were on the road. Obviously, we were very good on the road. Three wins and three draws. We knew this was going to be a challenge. Toronto is a very good team, who is in form and we obviously knew they had a lot to play for. I thought we were in the game, I thought it was an even game. We had chances, we had a golden chance in the first half, Gyasi to score. A couple of others on set pieces. The difference in the match is a dead ball, top of the box, Pozuelo. And oftentimes, in these games, the difference in the match is a player and a moment. That was the difference today.

What did you think of the offense today?

I mean we had a ton of crosses; I think you got to be hungrier in the box. When you have crosses, especially when you go 4-4-2, we did that to put an extra man in the box. So, there were times when we got the ball wide and we don't have two guys in the box, and if we get the cross, we're not hungry. We’ve got to get it. I just thought at the end of the game, whether it was just us not getting on the end of crosses, or whether it was just them. Man, you’ve got to credit them because late in the game I thought they did a really good job, defenders cutting things out, set pieces and crosses. I thought the goal was there, honestly. We were getting in positions. I was a little bit disappointed just with the late-game push. Like I said, overall, I'm really pleased with it. I think we showed we are on the right track. Obviously, it's a road game, against a very good team and we lost 1-0. So, there is no shame in that. But for me, I want to win every game.

I think taking that next step for us is just being more consistent. Obviously, we'll know will get guys back from injury that are still injured in the back. We'll continue to evolve the roster, but we have a very good core here. I do want to thank the players for all they gave this year. Nine and half months, whether we win lose or draw, make the playoffs or not, they gave a lot this year and I'm really proud of the way they turned things around this year.

A lot of dramatic ups and downs in the season, when you look back do you even look at those middle fifteen games, or just worry about these thirteen and build from that…

I think I’ve said it time and again. You interview me every day so I will say it again. That 15 games, we had seven guys injured, it seems like I’m the only one that wants to talk about it. With seven guys injured, we played in three compacted windows, so nine games out of the 15 were in compacted in windows. We played the third game in all of those against a team that did not play in midweek. We had four players up the spine of our team, four of our best players for seven to nine games from the Gold Cup and the African Nations Cup. And we still lost eight games by one goal, so we were right there. So, I think the adversity we took, meant that we did not have enough depth. Obviously, we made signings that helped, and that's a big reason we went on the runt that we did. Those fifteen games, that’s where we fell short, but we know why we fell short. We have to ... do a better job of keeping players uninjured ... some of those were ACLs some of those were non-contact injuries, you can’t do a lot about that. But it was more injuries than any team in the league suffered and you compound that with compacted windows and international call ups with four of our best players and it makes for a really difficult recipe. We still should have got more results, and we definitely need to be moving forward healthier and we needed to have better depth, which we already started to chip away at. We also needed to look at how many players we are going to be losing in those international windows because we were too thin for those fifteen games.

 

DEFENDER JOSH WILLIAMS

Before the free-kick was taken, you were trying to get the refs attention with something, what was that?

He moved the ball back. I don’t know if he understood me, I don’t know what was going on. I don’t want to say too much, and in the end, it doesn’t matter. He moved the ball back. It was more than ten yards and we were trying to tell him that. He said he counted it off, which he might have done but we were trying to state the fact that he moved the ball back. Good goal, good shot.

I think in the past few games the defense has taken a stab at being really compact where the other teams are dangerous, is that something that you’ve seen improve?

Yeah definitely, it’s just a matter of getting some games together. Getting some consistency. We went through a stretch of a lot of injuries and really that’s hard to just build consistency, camaraderie, the comfort level is off when you have guys in and out of the lineup. You know the seven guys in a stable lineup being able to train together and when you got Eloy (Room) back there, he makes us look good. He’s a hell of a goalkeeper and he kept us in it today.

What’s the feeling right now at the end of the season that had a tonne of dramatic highs and lows?

It is a positive vibe, obviously not a positive outcome here but we went on a good run at the end of the season. I think we have some positives to look forward to and also as Caleb noted, that we are not quite there it, and there is a reason why that team is in the playoffs and we are out. You know a game like this shows that, little details in the game that separate that two of us right now and we all have to look at ourselves in the offseason. Fix little things, I don’t think it is huge things at all. It’s very minor details of the game. I think we are close, so I think that’s a positive.

 

GOALKEEPER ELOY ROOM

Have you been pleased with the defense evolving a little bit?

Yeah, we’re making steps every game. We learn from our mistakes. I try to help the team and I think we are making steps but still, we have to learn from the games and this game. We lost the game, but we had chances to play better and we killed the chances that we had because we had some opportunities to score.

You’ve been around the game for a while. How much can a full offseason with all the additions that this team had in the middle of the year, help a group like this?

I think it’s good. It’s difficult with a lot of new players, we have to adapt to each other and learn from each other. Now in the offseason, we have some time to think about it and come back fresh again. We can start over again, but we played some good games and we have to learn from every game we play. I think we have potential to improve.

How much hope is there for the future, you scratched the surface of what you guys can really become?

I think a lot. We showed we can play against this team. Toronto is a top team. Also, last week we showed up against a top team. So, there’s a lot of potential on our team. Still, we have to improve but I think the future is bright if we try to change some things in the team. We can go further. I’m hopeful for the future. 

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