TORONTO – There are few positives in defeat.
Toronto FC dropped a tough one on Sunday night, 2-1 against the San Jose Earthquakes with Chris Wondolowski scoring twice, padding his lead atop the all-time goal-scoring table.
Without the services of Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, and Alejandro Pozuelo, injury for the first two and suspension for the last, Greg Vanney gave rare starts to a pair of hometown players – Richie Laryea and Liam Fraser – on the night.
Both players went the entire 90 minutes with Laryea scoring Toronto's goal – his first in MLS – and Fraser stepping into Bradley's central midfield position, filling those boot admirably.
“They did good,” said Drew Moor post-match. “Richie has shown over the course of the season that he can be dangerous when he runs at guys. He's got some pace and some grit that I like – he gets stuck in. He deserved his goal tonight, it was a well-worked play and he was one of our bright spots.”
“And Liam is very good at what he does. He's a connector, a good presence in there, I like playing with him,” added Moor. “Both of those guys filled in well, we just weren't good enough as a group tonight.”
Laryea was electric from the start, causing all sorts of trouble down the attacking right for San Jose. He would give Toronto the lead in the 28th minute when Auro's throw-in was flicked on for Marky Delgado, who picked out Laryea on the pull-back for a sliding finish.
A well-taken finish from the 24-year-old midfielder.
“They both did their jobs on the day,” said Vanney. “Richie, I thought his start to the game, his pace, his quickness, his speed was just difference-making.”
“When he was able to face up, he was getting free, able to get to the end-line, there was a possible [penalty kick]when he gets around the corner – we don’t seem to get those right now,” continued Vanney. “Richie was provoking on 1-on-1 situations, he was doing a nice job of doing that.”
“Once Auro had to come out and he dropped back, Richie got a lot more conservative. There were some moments where he could have been more aggressive, but he was trying to do his job at that point,” added Vanney. “You see some of the qualities that Richie has which are going to be useful going forward.”
The Toronto-native took little solace from scoring his first goal in a loss.
“Yeah it is [difficult to enjoy],” said Laryea. “Obviously I am happy I scored, but I would take not scoring and us winning, so that's that.”
Still adapting to the adjusted requirements for TFC, Laryea, who made his fourth appearance on the night, is growing more comfortable with each match.
“With more repetition and rotation in training and games I am feeling a lot better in those wide positions,” said Laryea. “I still have a lot to learn in certain situations.”
“We gave up two goals that were very, very similar and we weren't able to capitalize on the other side of the field,” added Fraser. “So we'll head back to the training ground and have to work on that.”
Added Laryea: “If you watch the game, you see that we fully deserved the win.”
“They had maybe three chances and scored two of them. We had a bunch and we don’t convert them as we should, so it's frustrating,” he continued. “We are working hard to get these results and I am sure that we're going to turn it around very soon.”