TORONTO – Jonathan Osorio spent his Saturday playing in familiar confines – and colors – but found himself in line for a first.
“It's my first goal for the national team at BMO [Field],” Osorio said. “I've been playing here for a long time now. I saw a lot of familiar faces in the stands there, that I see at the Toronto FC home games, so it was a little extra special for me to get the goal here.”
“A lot of people have been talking about my minutes and stuff like that,” said Osorio. “All of that went out the window for me today.”
Osorio, along with Atiba Hutchinson and Samuel Piette, comprised a three-man midfield that bossed large sections of the match, preventing Jamaica from finding any rhythm, especially through the middle of the park.
”[The partnership] was really good,” said Piette, who plays for the Montreal Impact. “Osorio is one of my best friends, even outside of football. We have a good relationship. He's a different player than I am so it's very complimentary on the pitch. As well, with Atiba [Hutchinson]; top class. Playing with these guys makes my job easier in front of the back four.”
Not all was rosy on the night – Alphonso Davies was sent off and Cyle Larin unable to keep a decent look on frame – but in Osorio and Piette, they may be developing the basis for a long-term midfield pairing.
“[Osorio] played very well,” said head coach Octavio Zambrano. “Now it's beginning to understand that his role on the field is not what he's been trying to play for a long time: an attacking midfielder. I think he's more of a two-way player.”
“We had this conversation at the Gold Cup: If he plays in a position that is not so high up, rather as a link player, but also trying to get the ball back for the team, I think that he can be very good,” Zambrano said. “It will probably see him find more minutes on the field.”