• Match: Toronto FC vs Atlanta United
  • Location: BMO Field, Toronto, CA
  • Date: October 28, 2018
  • Final Score: TOR 4-1 ATL  (Highlights)

On the performance

“I didn’t find a team with the defiance to turn the rhythm of the game.  Even though in the second half we tried a little more, because furthermore I saw a team that had lost all of the football that we’d played up until two or three weeks ago and that’s the most important. Today we have to recover that if we want to have a chance in the playoffs.”

Did the game coincide with rumors that had have been popping up about your future and is that a fair assessment and do you think that the decision this week that you were not going to return affected the guys?

“For me no, but I couldn’t assure you that. I understand that the goal of the team was superior than anything that’s going to happen next year. We worked all year to achieve a goal, the players themselves put in a great amount of effort and tonight we didn’t play well.”

How do you pull this team out of this especially on the road?

 “Something new is starting. It has nothing to do with the regular season and what ended today. This season, putting aside the game tonight, we did very well but now we have to focus on the playoffs. We have to try to make sure that what took place in the last 90 minutes doesn’t have an effect on our performance.”

On his message to the team

“My message today to them wasn’t comfortable. Not at halftime or after the game. What we have to talk about for next week, we’ll start on Tuesday. Today, the reality is that we should have had a different type of performance. I think we betrayed ourselves because indefinitely it’s what we were talking about. A lot of effort since January 15 until today for 90 minutes is like throwing away a year’s effort. It’s clear that losing to Toronto away from home is a possibility, but what stands out is the way it happened.”

Thoughts on the result.

Disappointing, shocking. We never got started. We were poor everywhere.

How do you shake this off and prepare for the playoffs?

We got to find a way. Today was not what we expected from ourselves. We got to find a way. Luckily for us we have a few days to get things sorted and look back at this game and make sure this doesn’t happen because you can’t go into the first leg of a playoff game and concede four goals. You don’t give yourself a fighting chance to go back home and play for the home leg. We got to figure it out. Nowhere near good enough.

How key is that week to regroup?

Yeah, huge. Every day, mentally, physically, it’s huge. We got to look at this and take a hard look in the mirror and find a way to make sure that this doesn’t happen come next Sunday.

Where was the biggest breakdown tonight?

I don’t know, it was a terrible performance from us in a big game so it was very disappointing. We didn’t make enough plays on either side of the ball tonight. We needed to be better defensively especially early on. We talked about coming out here and playing a tough game, being strong, keeping a zero and then to give up a goal in the first ten minutes is tough.

This team now has an MLS Cup to fight for, what do you tell this team, what was learned here tonight?

We need to digest this one. It’s a tough one. It will take a day or two but the season is not lost. We have another cup to play for. We missed out on a couple this year but the biggest one is in front of us. We have a first round bye and we know we are guaranteed two more games so that’s an opportunity to correct it.

How badly did you guys want to set that record and win that Supporters Shield?

The Supporters Shield was a big goal of ours. We haven’t been quiet about that. We wanted to go out there and win it for a long time now. We put ourselves in a good position to do that but we just didn’t show up today when it was the biggest game.

So Greg does that win give you a positive note to the end of the season or does it make you wonder about what happened beforehand?

I think we have a good sense if what transpired through the course of the year. The best part of the day is the fight, the commitment, the work that everyone put in. We know the quality that is in the team and we know the challenges we faced during the course of the season. No matter what, when you go into a long break like this it’s always better to win than to have any other result. It doesn’t make up for the season we had, but the effort and execution on the day was very good against a good team. We’ll take that for what it’s worth on the day and move forward as we move into an off season where we have some time to really get ourselves prepared for next season and take all the lessons learned to prepare for next year. 

Was it important to get Jason out there for one last run?

Yeah absolutely, no matter where we were in the game, it didn’t matter the score or anything, Jason was coming onto the field. As I said to him and the team, Jason is an even better person than he is a player which is an amazing contribution for him, hell of a career. Just a first-class guy, always reliable, count on him to bring people together. That’s why he’s here, can’t have too many of those guys and Jason was a big part of it.  

How much talk was there about denying the 69th point record for TFC?

I wouldn’t say there was a lot of talk, probably mentioned once or twice throughout the course of the week. When you have the opportunity on the day to deny a team a trophy, or title, to deny them the point total from the year before, of course there’s some motivation under that because you have pride as a player and as a team. On the day we wanted to finish what was a challenging season, on a positive note. Again I think the commitment, the work rate, the group really fought today and executed more chances potentially. It was a good day with performance.

You win the last game of the season tonight, is that bitter sweet for you?

I’m very happy that we got these three points and obviously, on a personal note, the two goals as well.

Where do you go from here?

Right now I just have to wait, talk to my representative, continue training, and all my expectations are to stay with the club.

You win the last game of the season tonight, is that bitter sweet for you?

Absolutely, I think we all had very high aspirations and targets that we wanted to hit this year and obviously defending our title and playing all the way to December was one of them.  Unfortunately, we didn’t reach that goal, and we’re all disappointed in that but we really had only one thing in control in our hands tonight and that was to come out and get a good result and have a good performance and I think we achieved those.

How do you move on from here?

I think we’re all going to take some time to step away, kind of remove ourselves from what’s been a really, really long grind of not just a season, but it feels like almost two years compounded on each other.  So we’ll take some time and assess where we are, what we need to do to move forward in the way that we want as a club and obviously we have all the right people in the right places to do those things so that’s what we’re going to be looking forward to.

What’s in your future?

That’s a good question.  I’ve obviously played 14 years, loved every second of it.  It’s now up to, not only myself, but Greg (Vanney), Tim (Bezbechenko), Bill (Manning)and just to have a conversation and see where we want to go forward.  I love being in Toronto, I love being here it’s been great.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Was there anything special going through your mind when you came on the pitch?

Yeah, I mean, a whole lot.  Flashbacks to some of the early days and thinking this could be it.  I was really happy to get on the field.  It was just great.

Atlanta United's 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Atlanta United's 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Our Holiday Gift Guide is your go-to place for all your Atlanta United gift needs.

FIFA World Cup 2022™ Watch Parties

FIFA World Cup 2022™ Watch Parties

The tournament kicks off in Qatar, and we're bringing the action straight to soccer fans in Atlanta.