In the end, Toronto FC just weren’t good enough.
That was the message delivered by TFC head coach Greg Vanney after his team’s 4-0 loss to the LA Galaxy on Saturday night at StubHub Center, a game where Toronto FC seemed to shoot themselves in the foot on a few occasions.
“We made too many mistakes on both sides of the ball,” Vanney told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “It started when we gave away an early goal. Then after, I think we started to get stretched out thinking maybe we needed to chase the game. Then they started exploiting spaces and we were making bad decisions. As the game progressed, we continued to make mistakes and they punish you for mistakes: They’re a good team like that.”
Those mistakes included a wayward back pass from Justin Morrow that Robbie Keane latched onto to complete his hat trick and a mis-timed offside trap by Warren Creavalle, each providing the Galaxy with a goal to celebrate.
“In the end of the day, we came here to play the defending champions in their stadium,” Vanney said. “They don’t lose a lot here and you can’t kill yourself with mistakes.”
Missing team captain Michael Bradley as well as Jozy Altidore, Jonathan Osorio and Ashtone Morgan due to Gold Cup duty for the US and Canada meant Toronto FC entered StubHub Center shorthanded, but Vanney said his makeshift XI’s biggest loss was in the combinations and the chemistry on the field.
“It’s easy to say that we miss guys but it’s not because you miss individuals,” Vanney explained. “You miss the relationships. The experience that guys have playing together and seeing situations and having that repetition was lacking a bit. We were separated and weren’t moving as well collectively as a group as well as we have in previous games. We got picked apart because we weren’t as cohesive in that way.”
One player who stepped in was Homegrown midfielder Jay Chapman, getting his first MLS start on the night. Vanney praised the 21-year-old, saying Chapman did a “good, solid job,” explained that he was pleased with Chapman’s movement and passing, and added that he had a “good day for himself.”
Now, Toronto FC shift focus to New York City FC for next week’s match at Yankee Stadium (3 pm ET, TSN in Canada, ESPN in US). It’s a game that Vanney says is “about good performances.”
“Next week we have to tighten up as a unit, we have to be better collectively and get better performances out of that collective action,” Vanney said. “Tonight, we made too many errors and got punished for it. But going into next week, it’s a new game. A different game. We’ll go in to try to take all three points.”
Armen Bedakian covers Toronto FC for MLSsoccer.com.