TORONTO – Just 23 seconds into their match with the Montreal Impact, it looked as if things were going to fall apart again for Toronto FC at BMO Field. But this time, the Reds responded with an offensive barrage of three goals in 18 minutes.
Unfortunately for Ryan Nelsen, they couldn’t keep it up. TFC gave up two goals in two minutes with just 20 left to play and were forced to settle for a 3-3 draw with their Canadian rivals on Wednesday night.
“Our reaction [after the opening goal] for the next 70 minutes was brilliant,” Nelsen told reporters. “Am I happy? No, of course not. Especially when you play that well for 70 minutes and then give it up. We also haven’t conceded three goals all season. I’m extremely disappointed about that. That hurts me horrendously.”
And with that, Nelsen reiterated that his squad is not yet a finished product. Although two of his newest players both scored Wednesday night – Jeremy Brockie and Steven Caldwell – the difference between his squad and the one with whom TFC split the points was painfully clear in how the Reds coughed up what seemed like a sure victory.
“That’s the best team in the East,” Nelsen said of the Impact. “They are full of very experienced players and they punished naïve mistakes by us. We have a rookie right back and a rookie center back and then you look at the experience on their backline. We are a young team that was playing against an experienced veteran team.”
“In saying that, if I’m looking forward, I’d rather have my guys because they are going to be around for a number of years,” Nelsen continued. “And if we quietly add to it, the team will get quietly get better and will be around for the long term, which is what we want once we get this right. We don’t want to do it with aging players. We want to do it with a foundation of good players that we can have for years to come.”
While far from satisfied with the point, Nelsen was once again adamant that his squad is on the right track and he again pointed to the numerous positives that have been evident in his team’s play in similar efforts that have fallen just short of translating into wins.
“We just need a bit more quality in the squad – and reinforcements are coming – and that would have been a very comfortable game for us,” Nelsen said.