Toronto FC’s 0-0 tie with Sporting Kansas City was hard to let go for Jonathan Osorio.
The Toronto midfielder, distraught over three first-half misses in front of goal, took to Twitter soon after Friday night’s game to thank the fans for the evening’s atmosphere and “to apologize to all of you for my misses today.”
He eventually deleted the tweet, but the pain clearly continued.
“I felt bad. As someone who’s from here, I know what these fans feel and what they want,” the 24-year-old from nearby Brampton said after training Monday. “It was the home opener and it was a chance to get a win and keep going on the right foot.”
Osorio, with a defender in front of him, hit a Raheem Edwards cross high and wide in the 20th minute. He skied a ball in the 34th minute, trying to hit a one-time shot off a cross with another defender coming at him.
In the 43rd minute, he showed great control in chesting down a Nick Hagglund cross, controlling the ball with his right foot and popping it to his left for a shot that was off target.
He said he took to Twitter because “it was just something I had to put out.”
“I deleted it because it was out and whoever saw it saw it and that’s that,” he added.
His tweet, which he admits in hindsight only managed to shine a bigger light on the situation, followed some less-than-kind social media postings from armchair quarterbacks.
“Jonathan Osorio converts his second field goal of the game,” said one tweet.
“Amateur misses,” offered another.
The episode is perhaps proof that for an athlete or celebrity, in this age of social media and instant unfettered comment, it’s human nature to take a peek at what people are saying about you even if you know you might not like what you see.
“Maybe most of us don’t really pay attention to the feedback we get from other people, but we see it,” Osorio said. “It was interesting, the first time in my time here that a lot of people were upset. And I understand. But I hope it doesn’t change people’s minds about me because I’ve been here for a long time and I think I’ve been performing consistently for a long time. I hope that one game doesn’t change that.
“At the same does, if it does, it doesn’t matter because I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.”
The “true supporters” have his back, Osorio said.
The critics overlook the fact that Osorio is the franchise leader when it comes to being on the field for regular-season wins with 43, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Fullback Justin Morrow is next at 39.
Toronto only has 92 regular-season wins all-time.
Osorio said his tweet came from the heart, as a way to apologize to his teammates as well as the fans.
“A couple of teammates came up to me and said ‘Why are you sending that tweet?’ It’s what I felt like doing at the time. It’s what I felt in my heart. These things bother me. I love this game and I love to win. When I don’t win a game, it bothers me. It’s not something I get over right away.”
With 13 goals in 125 regular-season and playoff appearances for the club, Osorio is not known for his scoring. He is a creative midfielder with an eye to helping others score.
Nevertheless he showed a hot hand in last season’s playoff with two goals in six games after a regular season that saw him score twice in 30 regular-season games.
Coach Greg Vanney says he has talked to Osorio about his choice of shots and the need for composure.
“He does a lot of the work before the finish very well, maybe comes up with some things that other guys can’t. Because he’s great at wiggling away, getting away from the pressure,” said Vanney. “And I don’t know if it’s just an anxious moment when he goes to hit the ball and he doesn’t hit it clean or he’s trying to rush it when he gets to that moment.”
NOTES: Toronto FC II has added a pair of Trinidad & Tobago players, signing T&T international forward Aikim Andrews to a USL contract and acquiring defender Jelani Peters on loan. .. Toronto has recalled goalkeeper Mark Pais from TFC 2’s current road trip in Florida to back up Alex Bono with Clint Irwin sidelined for four to five weeks.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press