Terry Dunfield preaches the importance of remaining professional for Toronto FC's final stretch
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Toronto FC were once again on the receiving end of a one-sided defeat as New York City FC cruised to a 3-0 win. Not only was it Toronto's third consecutive loss, but they were also officially eliminated from playoff contention.
New York wasted little time getting on the scoresheet as Andres Peresa scored in the 2nd minute to give the home side the early lead. TFC had some positive opportunities but NYCFC doubled their lead prior to halftime, which added a greater sense of urgency to Toronto.
Julian Fernandez scored early in the second half to extend New York's lead to 3-0. Toronto were unable to find any consistency in their attack or get on the scoresheet as NYCFC closed out the game.
During his post-match press conference, TFC's interim head coach Terry Dunfield shared his thoughts on the club's losing skid being extended. He mentioned that his side was unable to execute and finish their chances.
"What I said to the group was in key moments, we weren't able to execute. We knew New York City had quality, and they punished us for two really difficult turnovers, and in key moments of the first half, right at the start of the second and at halftime, we spoke about not letting this get away from us, and yeah, the guys went out in the second half and were professional. I thought New York City's third goal was a well-worked goal."
It has been a difficult season for TFC as they have been plagued with injuries throughout the season as well as numerous reports of players being at odds with each other. The club experienced a poor stretch of form that resulted in Bill Manning making a coaching change that saw Bob Bradley being relieved of his duties and replaced by Terry Dunfield on an interim basis.
Unfortunately for the Reds, the coaching change didn't lead to a surge up the standing. Instead, the club has only earned one win since Dunfield took the reins as interim head coach. Next Saturday's home match against Eastern Conference leaders FC Cincinnati will be his final as interim head coach as John Herdman is set to take over as head coach on October 1st.
Dunfield opened up about the need to remain professional during this transitional phase for the club, saying:
"I think my role as the interim head coach is to analyze our group as best we can with three games in seven days, the opposition that we're playing, and put together an 11 and a subs plan that can hopefully bring back three points. I think big picture, that's more of a question right now for out front office that we'll be analyzing as well as John Herdman and his staff."
It remains to be seen how Toronto FC will perform under new head coach John Herdman as it will be an evaluation period, especially considering that they are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and the new head coach will have his sights set on building for next season.
Photo credit: Toronto FC (torontofc.ca)