Playoffs Scoreboard

Recap
Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1LA
0SEA
RECAP
Recap
Leg 2
11/30 9:20pm
SEA
LA
ESPN
Western Conference Championship
Recap
Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1NY
2NE
RECAP
Recap
Leg 2
11/29 3:00pm
NE
NY
NBCSN
Eastern Conference Championship

Despite loss, Mariner impressed with TFC's display

Head coach Paul Mariner had Toronto FC play what he called “no-frills football” and despite Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Kansas City, he felt they had enough chances to have come away with something.

The barebones approach was adopted out of necessity, because injuries and illness resulted in a lineup lacking experience and playing time together.

OPTA Spotlight: TFC defend tenaciously

“You can’t be too big for your own boots in football,” Mariner told MLSsoccer.com in a telephone interview. “You’ve got to realize what you’ve got and what you’re going into battle with, and you put together a battle plan.

WATCH: Sporting edge TFC

“Tonight’s was a good one. We condensed the field, we let them have it in their half of the field, we tracked our runners and if in doubt, we got it out and for the most part we did … And we thought with Ryan Johnson and Quincy Amarikwa up front, we could hit them on the break and for the most part we did. It was going to plan. It’s just one of those things, I feel so sorry for the players.”

Although Sporting KC dominated possession, Johnson gave Toronto a first-half lead after being sent in on a long diagonal pass from Richard Eckersley. Johnson hit the post in the second half and the hosts needed a bizarre bouncing volley by Paulo Nagamura to draw level, then scored a late winner on a goal that netminder Freddy Hall would expect to save most of the time.

As a result, Toronto fell short in their effort to overcome an absentee list that included forward Eric Hassli, out with a rib injury, midfielder Torsten Frings, who was preparing to travel to Germany for a second opinion on a hip injury, and defender Ashtone Morgan, who has the flu.

FULL LINEUPS AND BOXSCORE

“I felt we set up really well against a very good Kansas team,” Mariner said. “We had a very inexperienced team out. We tried to hit them on the break, which we did. Ryan Johnson hits the post and if it goes in it might be a different game. And then Luis Silva had a couple of great opportunities later on.

“It just wasn’t to be. We put in another great shift and I firmly believe we’re not very far away from turning the corner.”

No frills, no Frings, no points.