TORONTO – Nick Dasovic couldn’t help but feel like he's seen it all in a season gone wrong for Toronto FC when he addressed the media after another disheartening result on Saturday.
After all, Columbus Crew goalkeeper Will Hesmer had just scored in second-half injury time to help deny the TFC faithful a win the final home game of a frustrating season.
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“I was happy with the boys, everything about it today,” said an exasperated Dasovic. "I think if we would have had that [effort] going back, different scenarios, but man we never get a drop, the ball will never drop to us.
“I don’t know, it’s like we got to start doing something in that room, maybe hanging up some stuff. I don’t know.”
But Dasovic saw two other things that he hopes are building blocks for the future.
“The one thing the Toronto public wants to see is passion,” said TFC’s interim coach. “It hasn’t been there, it has been there off and on for spurts. Everybody stuck to the game plan, they played hard, they worked together, they got stuck in tackles, they fought together, Jonny [Conway, TFC 'keeper] gets sent off, but everyone went into the melee together.”
The players came to Conway’s aid in his altercation with Crew striker Steven Lenhart in the 72nd minute. Dasovic was proud to see that considering his recent comments pointing to character deficiencies among some players in the dressing room.
Dasovic also praised the play of teenager Nicholas Lindsay, the TFC Home Grown product who assisted on a goal by Jacob Peterson in the 38th minute in just his first MLS start.
“He’s very upbeat, he’s very positive when he plays and he just did what he did at the academy but just at a higher level now,” Dasovic said.
“I just tried my best playing out on the wing trying to get crosses in, tap-ins for strikers and thankfully it happened today,” Lindsay said. “We just wanted to collectively come as a group and play hard together and get the victory at the end.”
Lindsay heeded Dasovic’s pregame advice to turn in his best performance as a Red.
“He was just telling me make the right decisions, sometimes go inside or sometimes go outside but overall just have a confidence and have a mentality of do the best you can and go at them and stay positive and focus at all times,” said Lindsay.
Dasovic said he plans a look-see of a few more players from the academy for Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League game against Panama’s Árabe Unido and possibly the MLS season finale at D.C. United next Saturday.
“One game doesn’t make you a professional,” Dasovic said. “[Lindsay] has got to do this consistently in training and we want to keep him in this good environment and hopefully see him to the next level.”