TFC happy with road point despite lead slipping away
Blowing a two-goal lead on the road is not a particularly warm feeling, but given Toronto FC's position, head coach Paul Mariner was more than happy to look on the bright side.
After all, Wednesday's draw in Houston was the first road point of the season for the Reds, who are now 1-10-1.
“When you come to play the MLS Cup runners-up in their own backyard and we’re in a position that we’re in, I think anybody would say, 'Yeah, we’ll take the point,'” Mariner told MLSsoccer.com in a telephone interview after Wednesday’s game. “The players had a very good feeling going into the game.
HIGHLIGHTS: HOU vs TOR
"I thought they played really well in the first half. We created a few chances in the second half but not as many obviously. But we certainly gave them something to think about.”
After TFC took a 3-1 lead into half time, the Dynamo came back with a strong push late in the second half to earn a 3-3 draw with a goal in the 90th minute.
“They came back like the very good team that they are,” Mariner said. “They came with the kitchen sink. We expected it. We’ve got a young side and we’ve got young players at the back and they’re learning on the job and they are doing remarkably well.”
Mariner said he was pleased with the way the team executed the game plan in the first half.
“It is a very difficult place to play, I felt they were absolutely fantastic,” Mariner said. “We had a very difficult game on Saturday [a 2-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City] against one of the top teams in Major League Soccer.
“And then we had a few things that sort of dragged us down that we didn’t want on Sunday. I’m very proud of the way the players that were left conducted themselves. They were exemplary and really put a sensational shift it.”
Toronto played without Nick Soolsma, Miguel Aceval and Luis Silva, who were sent home after being charged with public intoxication outside a club in Houston early Monday morning. The situation is still under investigation.
“What I can say it’s obviously not ideal to go into the game like that,” Mariner said. “It goes without saying. I’m not saying we were light on the bench, but we were light in numbers on the bench. We still had quality on the bench. We coped with it, put it that way.”
With Adrian Cann out with a sprained knee, only Joao Plata, Reggie Lambe, Dicoy Williams and reserve goalkeeper Quillan Roberts were left on the bench. Lambe and Williams both entered the game late. Williams came in just after Houston tied the game, seeing his first action since undergoing knee surgery more than a year ago.
Toronto FC will now look to take their positive play back to BMO Field, where they face New England Revolution on Saturday (5:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).