Friday, March 24, 2017

MLS Cup Conference Finals return leg are a must-watch

November 23, 2016 by  
Filed under MLS, US Soccer

MLS Cup 2016 – Conference Finals: Seattle Sounders 2-1 Colorado Rapids / Montreal impact 3-2 Toronto FC

Seattle and Montreal have a small edge other their respective opponent before the return leg to determine the teams to compete for the MLS Cup 2016 Finalists. 

Montreal can regret letting go two goals after extending the lead to a 3-0 but a resilient Toronto FC team made the efforts to save the tie and will have all the chances to qualify to the Final. Seattle found the resources to overcome a 1-0 deficit and to win a cold and rainy Century Filed stadium. 

Coaches react:

Sounders – Schmetzer

“We have to score a goal down there and it’s not just sitting back and protecting this 2-1 lead for 90 minutes. We have to push and go at them. When the game gets tough, we have to continue to try and keep the ball and do the stuff that we’re good at. We’ll have things to work on in training and things we can do better, but it’s just about recovering for the next game because it’s going to come quickly.”

Rapids – Mastroeni: 

“What we wanted was to come here and find that goal – the road goal – and I think the guys did a fantastic job in the first half of pushing the game at times. We sit here today in a better situation than a couple of weeks ago against LA [Galaxy]. I think it was a great start obviously coming to this place obviously with the many variables that make it difficult to play her. I thought the guys handled themselves professionally. In the second half, I thought the guys executed the game plan to a ‘T’. I’m very pleased with the performance.”

Impact – Biello

“We won the game but we act like it was a loss because of the away-goals situation, but it is what it is. It’s a game, it happens. We just have to set our mind really right and go out there and give them the same thing that they give us, we just have to go out and compete. If you want to win the MLS Cup, you have to show that you can go on the road and make stuff happen, and that’s exactly what we have to do in Toronto.”

Forward Didier Drogba (who will leave the club after the season ends) added: 

“I think that you can see it as a disappointment because we conceded two goals and we were saying that we shouldn’t concede, and the way we conceded those goals, I think we could have avoided them. And the positive thing is that we scored three goals and we won the game.

“So you go home with mixed feelings, but you have to remember that we won the game and to qualify, it’s not only one but two games, so what if we won here, 4-0, then we go there and we lost five? It happened before in Champions League, you know, La Coruna against [AC] Milan won 4-0 at San Siro, and then they lost against La Coruna, I think you remember. So what is the best result?”

Toronto – Vanney

“We were in third or fourth gear at the start. We were still moving [one way] when the game had already transitioned and was moving the other. We kept finding ourselves on the wrong side of the game.

We were behind it. That’s a challenge. In moments where you want to oppose or pen [the opposition] in, you can’t be late. You’ve got to be on time, and you’ve got to make sure you’re sharp and organization are appropriate. We paid for that. A team that doesn’t have the characters and the drive that we have, maybe folds there and throws the towel in. But our response was unbelievable. Not a good start to the game, but we’ve set ourselves up well for the return leg. The hardest work is in front of us still.” 

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