TORONTO – With the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the books, the Reds are ready to hit the reset button.
An intense series with the New York Red Bulls came to a close on Sunday night, with the Reds coming out on top despite a 1-0 loss on the night.
“It was a long night, coming down emotionally,” Justin Morrow said following Monday’s training session. “A crazy night of events, but the most important thing is that we’re advancing to the Eastern Conference Championship.”
After conceding somewhat of a fluky goal in the second half, Toronto FC clamped down on the defensive end, allowing not so much as a single shot in the final half hour of the match.
Head coach Greg Vanney credit his sides determination to see them through the tie.
“The playoffs aren’t about style of play, they’re about getting results,” he said on Monday morning. “There’s a whole different level of emotion with the fans and the players; it’s a different animal. The guys realized that in a series against New York, it’s going to be a small percentage about soccer and a big percentage about competing and all those kinds of things.”
Margins were extremely thin during Sunday’s physical battle, but the Reds managed to band together and get over the line, something that could serve them well down the road, according to defender Nick Hagglund.
“We know that we can grind out games now,” he explained. “We learned a bit about ourselves because we haven’t had to do that yet this year. Being able to do that together can push us forward in the playoffs.”
Hear from Vanney, Morrow and Hagglund following Monday’s training session: