Toronto FC returned to the training ground on a Tuesday as they prepare for Saturday afternoon’s match versus the Chicago Fire (Tickets) at BMO Field.
The Reds are feeling good after taking care of business at home against the Colorado Rapids. Still, it was a tough week for Greg Vanney’s side. The team dropped games against New England and New York City FC before righting the ship against the Rapids.
Vanney spoke about the team having a chip on their shoulder following Saturday’s game and expounded on that notion following training on Tuesday. Forward Jozy Altidore also touched on that sentiment as the Reds continue their crucial five-game homestand.
Vanney, Altidore and Marky Delgado spoke to the media following Tuesday's training session. Here’s some of what they had to say.
Vanney on whether his team is getting enough respect
“We’ve had our good moments and we’ve had our bad moments. It’s fair for people to have their opinions. We still know we have a lot to prove as a group but I also think the other burden this group carries is that everyone expects it to happen overnight. I happened to be with the LA Galaxy and it took them a number of years after they brought in David Beckham and Landon Donovan before they were actually a Championship team. At the same time we know we have expectations we know we have ability. If we can get those things to matchup we can have a very successful year and that’s what we’re all striving for.”
Vanney on what to expect from the Fire, who fired head coach Frank Yallop over the weekend:
“All we know going into this weekend is that they have the same roster of players. David Accam is going to be dangerous no matter what. They have guys that are good on the attacking side for sure. I believe [Chicago] is a team that’s going to lay it out there and be a difficult opponent.”
Vanney on scoreboard watching as the playoff race heats up:
"I pay attention. I ultimately feel it’s up to us to continue to get results because we want to build momentum. It would be nice if other teams don’t get results and it makes the table a little clearer, at the same we know our job is to go out and get a result in each and every game. These home games are an opportunity for us to build momentum going into the playoffs.”
Altidore on the importance of the homestand heading into the playoffs
“There’s room to collect points. Look, I think a lot of times people get ahead of themselves. We’ve come from a period where we’ve never made the playoffs. It’s going to take time. I think this season you’ve seen progress is being made but it will take time to build a team that can go year in and year out in MLS and be at the top. It’s not going to happen overnight. We’re on the right path and with these games at home will help us hopefully go into a good stretch for the playoffs where we can make some noise."
Altidore on the mood in the locker room
"It’s excitement. This is what we’ve been looking forward to the whole season. We started off with seven on the road. We’ve been looking forward to this [home] stretch we have now."
Marky Delgado on playing the last few matches at right back
“I feel comfortable. It’s not a different position for me, I played there at Chivas USA for a whole year. It comes natural to me even though I’m naturally more of a midfielder. Me and Josh (Williams) have a good connection with each other and it’s showing on the pitch."
Delgado on the difficulties posed when playing at right back
“In that position you don’t want to be caught up too high or you’ll get exposed. Playing the position is about being aware and positioning yourself to go forward when the time is right.”
News and Notes
Jackson (hamstring) returning to training this week. Vanney indicated the medical staff will see how the Brazilian responds as the week progresses.....Ashtone Morgan (adductor) will be a game-time decision on Saturday according to Vanney.