PURCHASE, N.Y. – No regrets.


That’s Patrick Vieira’s mentality about the decisions he made, both tactically and in terms of personnel, in New York City FC’s 2-0 loss to Toronto FC in the opening leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals Sunday.


After a season full of attacking soccer, Vieira rolled out a more defensive shape at BMO Field, and has duly been criticized for it. The first-year head coach opted for Mikey Lopez in the midfield alongside Federico Bravo and brought on Frank Lampard on the hour mark. 


Vieira also selected Eirik Johansen in goal for the second consecutive game in favor of Josh Saunders, who has 10 career MLS Cup Playoffs starts – and then subbed off star and captain David Villa when the game was still scoreless, bringing on Khiry Shelton


Those situations were called into question following Wednesday’s training session at Purchase College and Vieira defended his choices. 


“I make the decision to choose players, to a different system and this is your job to tell me if I was right or wrong. You judge by the result and I have a different perception of that,” Vieira told reporters. “I think if I had to do it, I would make the same call again.”


In terms of Johansen, who made a pair ofsolid saves to deny Sebastian Giovinco, and Lopez, Vieira praised both players.


“If you look at the last two games Eirik played, I think he had a good game,” Vieira said. “If you look at the last call I make with Mikey Lopez in the midfield, I think Mikey had a good game as well.”


And then there was the decision to take off Villa, who finished second in the league with 23 goals, for Shelton with 12 minutes remaining in the second half. After the match, Vieira said the call was to go with someone with more size and strength in Shelton. 


“I make a decision. I think David is terrific and he’s massively important for us,” Vieira said. “But you get a time where I have to make a decision and I made a decision. I didn’t see anything strange in that.”


Vieira said that when he looked back at the entire match, he was relatively encouraged by the way his team played – that is, until the waning moments.


“I was really pleased with the performance that we had as a team, until we concede the first goal at 84 minutes,” Vieira said. “Then in the last 10 minutes we lost our concentration, we felt sorry for ourselves and we forget there is another game to play. … I think the 2-0 doesn’t reflect the game.”


According to a report from Big Apple Soccer, Vieira’s tactical choices drew ire among the players, some of whom met on Monday to discuss their displeasure. 


On Wednesday, NYCFC players categorically denied that report’s veracity. 


“It didn’t happen at all. I can tell you that right now,” Shelton said. “This is a good group of guys who would never talk about anybody on this team the way whoever said whatever about our team getting together. That never happened. We need to take those rumors and throw them in the trash because it’s crazy.”


Added Lampard: “There’s no problem at all. You see us training today, we’re all together. There’s been no nonsense. It’s been made up.”