In a match that saw a non-traditional lineup with 4 Central Midfielders on the pitch and two players who are small quick wide/withdrawn types there is a significant debate within the gamethread as to where blame lies in this loss to the Reds (who wore white). The keys to the game I posted this morning were about Seattle having patience, testing the defensive third of Toronto and giving Ljungberg control of the match.
Alll of these were accomplished. And yet Seattle lost. They didn't lose because of the play of the 6 non-traditional starters, but because of two poor plays by Alonso and Marshall and Brad Evans inability to convert on several great passes that he couldn't finish.
Seattle put much more pressure on Stefan Frei than Toronto did on Kasey Keller. The Rave Green had 11 shots and 7 corners to 5 and 5. There were a few key misses, but most of all it was Seattle players starting fast breaks for Toronto that caused the loss.
Osvaldo Alonso made a rare error deep in his own territory, but more disturbing was that Tyrone Marshall continued his stretch of poor passing to start a break by TFC.
Sigi was plagued with injuries and fatigue for this match. He had to do something different. Unable to start and go 90 were Mike Fucito, Pat Noonan, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado due to injury and Steve Zakuani and Fredy Montero due to fitness.
He made the choice to got with a possession lineup, a lineup and formation that did what it could, except for finishing. Because this could have been a 3-2 match and been a fair result.
In the past we've discussed if Tactics (Coaching), Talent (General Manager) or Chemistry (yeah, that) were to blame. Today it was purely a few players with a few mistakes.
TOR - De Rosario 58
TOR - White (De Rosario) 76
Toronto FC: Stefan Frei, Maksim Usanov, Raivis Hscanovics, Adrian Cann, Nana Attakora, Julian de Guzman, Martin Saric, Nick LaBrocca (Sam Cronin 74), Dwayne De Rosario (Gabe Gala 79), Chad Barrett (Dan Gargan 62), O'Brian White.
Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway, Nick Garcia, Ty Harden, Jacob Peterson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 5; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 13; OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4.
Seattle Sounders FC: Kasey Keller, James Riley (David Estrada 79), Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall, Tyson Wahl, Sanna Nyassi (Steve Zakuani 60), Osvaldo Alonso, Peter Vagenas, Nathan Sturgis (Fredy Montero 71), Brad Evans, Freddie Ljungberg.
Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Roger Levesque, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 7; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 1.
TOR - Martin Saric 14
TOR - Maksim Usanov 17
TOR - Adrian Cann 52
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee's Assistants: Nate Clement; Craig Lowry
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
Time of Game: 1:50
Sigi Schmid – Sounders FC Head Coach
(On the match . . .) “I thought we played well in the first half. I thought we had more of the game. I thought we created some good chances. We had Evans’ chance in the first half. We had Sturgis in the second half. We had Evans in, as well. He probably makes a great save late in the game. I was not displeased with the guys who played. I thought we were doing all right and were pretty comfortable and then we made a mistake at the back and that was a shot of adrenaline for Toronto and we made another mistake and then after that Toronto dominated the game for the last 20 minutes.”
(On Julian Guzman’s play . . .) “Julian’s a good player. He knows how to control the ball and they played differently with him playing on the outside, tucking in. But as I said, I thought he played well and did some good things, until the goal came, in the first 65 minutes. So for the first 65 minutes we weren’t too concerned.”
Steve Zakuani – Sounders FC Midfielder
(On what he thought the difference was today . . .) “We just gave up two bad goals. We had enough chances to score maybe three or four, maybe five, and then we just made too many mistakes and they punished us. I don’t think they were two goals better than us. We just made two mistakes and they scored.”
Freddie Ljungberg – Sounders FC Forward/Midfielder
(On the match . . .) “I think this was the best we played all year. We played amazing, especially the first half. Like we said in here, we all played very, very well. Sometimes unfortunately you make mistakes and we did two personal mistakes. It happens to everybody but it killed the game for us and that’s how they won the game. When you give up mistakes like that you get punished.”
(On rotating line . . .) “It’s of course strange and a new experience for my career but I can talk about today and I think we played amazingly well. We played a good passing game and we got criticized a little bit by fans at home and in general that we weren’t playing that well. But today I was impressed by the guys and how we played and all the credit for that and that’s why it’s so hard to take why we didn’t get all the points.”
Preki – Toronto FC Head Coach
(On the match . . .) “Absolutely happy with the effort. I thought the whole group worked real hard today. I thought first half we were pretty decent and at the moment I can see the best football we’ve had so far this year. I think that we want to do that every day in training and every game if we can. Obviously second half I wasn’t really happy the way we started the second half. We gave Seattle a chance and Stefan made two important saves for us to keep us in. Dwayne makes a good play on a goal and after we get a second on a good breakaway and at times in the second half we played some good football.”
(On what his approach is for the upcoming Nutrilite game . . .) “It’s an important game. Our approach is we’ve got to go and win the game. That’s our approach every game. Friendlies, league games, CONCACAF games, all games are the same when we step on the field. It’s all about commitment to be there for a result.”
Stefan Frei – Toronto FC Goalkeeper
(On the team’s organization at the back . . .) “Yes. It’s getting a little bit better. I couldn’t really help them much today with my voice but I feel we’re organized pretty well. The first half they picked the holes between our guys to make their runs in and I think the guys are communicating better. I think one thing that has changed that is great is that their air balls that they’re getting. Everything that they throw at us I think we’re getting it and putting it away so it’s not laying in front of our goal and that helps a lot.”
Julian De Guzman – Toronto FC Midfeilder
(On his confidence . . .) “I felt a lot more confident. I mean, I think everyone felt a lot more confident. Coming off of an unfortunate result against Colorado, apart from a few little mistakes I think everyone was able to gel and we spent an entire week going over a couple of things going into Seattle and we were able to demonstrate that this was our best performance of the season.”