PRESS CONFERENCE: Jesse Marsch | 10/30/17

Q. I know the possession numbers and corners and chances and everything kind of tilt in your advantage, but it seemed like a match where they were willing to sit back, absorb the pressure, stifle things and really in particular hurt you guys in transition and keep you from playing the free-flowing way you wanted to play.
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, I mean, they clearly wanted us to have the ball and then wanted us to turn the ball over in the middle of the field and then catch us on the counter. It took us far too long to figure that out, and we were trying to get the message out on the field, but it wasn't clear enough, I think, and so it took us too long. But we have a bad first half and walk in halftime 1-1. So you know, given everything, at that point you feel like, okay, we can gather some momentum and now put it into the second half. But we know that Giovinco is good from that spot, so we don't want him to run free in that spot, we don't want him to be fouled in that spot, and then we wanted somebody to drop on the post and they didn't get there, so then it's 2-1.

So yeah, not a good performance from us. Not a good performance from us, and disappointing in such a big match, but that being said, it's halftime. There's still some -- still some left to this game, as crappy as it feels right now. We still have a lot to play for.

Q. Speaking of which, given how difficult Toronto has been at home this year, losing only once, what sort of an uphill battle does your team face on Sunday?
JESSE MARSCH: Well, if we had a big hill to climb before, we've got a mountain now. But so what? That's what the playoffs are. It's not supposed to be easy. It won't ever be easy. Obviously we've made it even more difficult on ourselves, but whatever. We're going to go there with -- we wanted to have a little bit more of a nothing-to-lose mentality tonight, and I felt we played very tight, and for sure, now we're going there, we've got nothing to lose. I know they're very good at home. I know it's a very tough place to play. I know the stadium will be sold out. I know they're the best team in the league, but so what? So what? Let's go there and go fight for it.

Q. I was wondering if you could talk about the way the team started the game. Obviously against Chicago, a lot of high energy, got right after it. Why the slow start tonight?
JESSE MARSCH: Don't know. Wouldn't have predicted it, didn't see it coming, didn't expect so many sub-par performances from our guys. Didn't expect us to lack explosiveness. So caught me by surprise, quite honestly. But sometimes in big games, that's the way it goes. We've got to regroup and then throw more at it come Sunday.

Q. For all the good things -- obviously great things Luis has done, that first goal, was that a little bit on him?
JESSE MARSCH: I don't know, maybe he could have punched it a little more, but I mean, we lose a bad ball, we get beat too easy. It's a good whip ball in the box. Those are ones that always are difficult for goalkeepers to deal with. You know, and then it winds up going to their guy, and then you have a good finisher in Vazquez when he collects the ball, and he does a good job.

For me to focus on any one play wouldn't be the right way to look at this. I mean, there's so many little things in the game that we don't do well enough, that we don't look enough like ourselves. We go through a stage in the second half where maybe we start to get a little bit of momentum going, but just not enough belief, not enough belief in our guys, and then that led to too many shaky performances.

Q. On the second goal, what was supposed to happen there? You were supposed to have a guy --
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, we wanted Murillo back on the post, so that --

Q. He was just late on that?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah.

Q. I was going to ask you about the second goal. Do you think there was a miscommunication between your players because it looks like some of them, they were out of position.
JESSE MARSCH: Well, we lost track of -- Murillo lost track of Giovinco, so then we had to track back and try and slow him down, and then it led to a foul. So it was a little bit of a soft foul, but I thought the ref did a good job. I thought the ref did a good job.

Yeah, not good enough.

Q. You said your guys were slow to realize what was going on in the first half. The second half you did come out, passes were a little off, but what did you change at halftime that managed to right the ship, so to speak?
JESSE MARSCH: Well, part of it was encouraging them to have -- to be braver, and then the other part was helping them understand that trying to shove balls into the middle of the field was not going to reward us because they were -- that's exactly what they were trying to do.

Yeah, I mean, again, it's hard -- I'm a little perplexed. I'm a little unsure as to why we were so unsure, and we're going to find a way to correct that, and then when we go up there on Sunday, we've got to find a way to throw everything we have at it.

Q. You've been talking now for a few weeks about this team being an underdog team. It's not going to get much more of an underdog than it will this weekend.
JESSE MARSCH: Yes, we are now like the 1980s hockey team times five. Okay, that's all right. It's only halftime. It's only halftime.

Q. As someone else said, you guys kind of came out with a little more aggression in the second half. Do you take any of that performance with you to Toronto? Is there any silver lining from this?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, listen we'll look at some video and we'll look at what they were trying to accomplish and we'll think about some of those things. I don't think we were too surprised by anything they did, we just weren't able to -- we weren't able to be sharp enough and execute enough of our game plan. The game was played on their terms, right; they sat back, they let us have the ball, they waited for turnovers, they went on the counter, and we fed into that, as well. We didn't recognize what was happening quick enough. We made some little adjustments at halftime to help the game, but it's got to take also players on the field recognizing what's happening and then executing. I mean, because there were other little things built in that if they came at us a little more, if they sat back a little more. But in the end we hurt ourselves by not really going after it, by not really being brave and fearless and going after it. That's what really hurt us.

Q. Does that mean you're going to have to change the lineup a little bit, maybe a different formation, maybe put in Veron to start in, maybe have him up top with Bradley?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, I think all those things will be on the table, right. I've got to get with my staff, we're going to have to get to the source of which guys are going to really go out there and give us our best chance, and then what that means from a tactical perspective and how to use those pieces in the best manner. You know, listen, it's not -- like our team has fought so hard all year, and they're such good young men, and today they let themselves down, right, but it's my job to make sure that they're going to be really not just say that we're up for it but really be up for it when we get to Toronto, and who knows, if things -- if we have a good start and get after the game a little bit, then who knows what can happen.