Real Salt Lake 0-0 Nashville SC
Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Head Coach Freddy Juarez
On Ochoa’s shutout:

“It’s great for the team. We knew that we were playing against a team that was really stingy and good at what they do. I thought we created some chances and I thought we were also pretty good defensively. It’s not an easy team to deal with, because of all that service into the box and the big bodies that they throw at you. I’m more than pleased with the guys. We’ll keep building on this good shutout. There was a lot of sacrifice from the guys. We had an opportunity in the last second to get the win.”

On the offensive effort:

“I thought we started off pretty well in the first half with Anderson [Julio] getting in good positions. We talked about it, but I think we need to threaten more when the ball comes out to Brody and we’re on the strong side. Anderson was there, but if he was going to be in, he needed to sprint out from the inside out to get into the space behind the outside back. He started to do that in the second half. I also thought if we got it to one side, which we only saw once in the first half, we can hit the diagonal all the way across to the 1v1 isolation. We needed more of those moments and they made it tough on us. In the second half, we started off great again with good energy. When you don’t put away opportunities against a team that plays like they do, to work as hard as they do, you’re not going to get many of them. You have to be really dynamic with a change of pace to unbalance them.”`

On the substitutions:

“It was tough. We thought we could take advantage of getting some fresh legs in the backline. We started with Donny [Toia] and Brody, because they started getting tired. They gave us a lot and I thought the two guys we brought in started threatening a little bit. We wanted to get some fresh legs, and we’re trying to figure it out. We lost a little bit with Anderson [Julio] because he missed the last game and lost a little of his legs, same as Meram. They both put in a good shift, but it’s obvious you want to put in fresh legs, but you have to look at the quality that’s going to come in and if they can find the rhythm.”

On going to Dallas:

“It’s a whole lot better than going there in August. It’s a good team. They’re more possession oriented so it’s a different team than this team as far as play styles go. We’ll get ready. We’ll enjoy the day off tomorrow and get back on Monday. It’s a long season, and we continue to build. I thought it was a good effort defensively today, and we got the shut out. We grinded it out together and we have to keep that same mentality.”

On Albert’s performance playing a different position:

“He did very well. We knew it was going to be a tough game. Coming into this game we knew how disciplined they were and that we had to get them between the lines, so we tried to have more natural wingers on the outside so when we attacked we could be a little more aggressive. They are a good team. We did our best to break them down but overall I thought Albert [Rusnák] had a solid game.”

Sobre el punto obtenido por el empate:

“Cuando uno juega en casa siempre quiere los tres puntos frente a su gente, queremos ganar por los fanáticos y por nosotros, porque sabemos que saliendo de casa se complican las cosas. Si buscas la tabla, ganamos un punto. Pudimos ser más agresivos pero también cuenta el rival y es un equipo al cual es muy difícil meterles gol y hoy no dejaron muchas situaciones en su contra.”

On his outside back’s performances: 

“We knew that they were going to take away the middle of the field and that we had to get the ball out wide. Coming into this game we wanted to make sure that Brody and Donny [Toia] were aggressive when we got the ball to them while at the same time maintaining their discipline on defense. We knew they were a very good team and could go the other way. Playing with two forwards we wanted to make sure that one was attacking and the other was tucking in to make sure they didn’t get us in a 2v2 situation with our centerbacks. Overall I thought Brody was very good but he got tired at the end. Donny was solid defensively and did a lot of what we asked and was decent with the ball. But we wanted to make changes at the end in that position because we still needed to get blocks. That’s a team that serves the ball a lot and we wanted to make sure we had fresh legs to close the service but also still having fresh legs in there to get into the attack.” 

On Damir being deep in the midfield:

“He was the number six, he was a double pivot so he was positioned to help with a build up. You asked me how that affected the attack. I think it’s more of the opponent being very stingy and very disciplined. I thought Damir [Kreilach] had a good game, we wanted to move him side-to-side with him and Pablo [Ruiz]. We took away a true pivot - a true holding mid - because we thought we would have more of the ball. We just wanted to be a little more aggressive with the passing.”

On earning the clean sheet: 

“There wasn’t extra emphasis on it. I think it’s in our DNA. We want to get a shutout. If we don’t score we can’t give away the game. We did work a little bit extra on dealing with service after the San Jose game. It was something that we wanted to get better. We met a team that’s going to cross the ball a lot and have two big strong forwards. You could tell  early in the game what they were playing for, some fouls, some set pieces, they wanted to take advantage of a mistake of ours or a set piece and I thought we did well and our guys have pride in that. We have to be a tough team to play against. But it wasn’t anything that we say, ‘Guys, we’re going for a shutout.’ We want to attack and score goals,at the same time without losing discipline.”

On the message to his team in the huddle at the end of the game:

“I saw the majority of the guys staying outside clapping for the fans. We are so grateful for the fanbase and the sound that they brought today, so our guys took a little extra time to applaud them. Instead of getting in waiting for the majority of the guys to get interviewed I thought it was a good moment to bring them in. I told them just to keep their heads up, we all care and it hurts when we don’t win in front of our fans. We work so hard, we always want to finish the week off and make our fanbase happy. I thought we did and the guys demonstrated a lot of energy. We did a lot of good things we just have to keep building. We got a shutout. We worked hard. We created a lot of opportunities and we will keep working.”

On the team’s performance during corner kicks and set pieces:

“We’ve definitely got to get better at that, and we will. When these games end, we always go back and watch film and do a recap. For example, last week against San Jose, we gave up the game in five minutes from wide services. Today, I thought our team was fantastic at defending against those. We have to be more aggressive at getting our shots off. We didn’t do that very well and we had a lot of corner kicks and we can get better at them.  On the defensive end we were a committed team. I love what we did.  With that said, we had an opportunity to win the game and the ball was there perfect and there was a little bit of technical ability that we lacked at that moment. We could have had a game-winner and the stadium would have erupted and we would have been happy. It was there. But yeah, we need to be a little more consistent. If we get 12 (corner kicks) we’ve got to be a little bit more dangerous. This team is very good. They are a handful. They are a big team, they protected the area well ... they have big, strong guys and we don’t match them in height. But games keep going and we’ll continue to develop and figure things out like that.”

On team passes affecting Nashville defense:

“We would have wanted to be a little bit more dynamic, but they do a heck of a job, they are very disciplined. But I thought we created a lot of moments to get in behind. Obviously it influences, but it came down to some technique. The last play on the corner kick, that is technique, that’s not them defending. We got another moment with Anderson [Julio], that was technique, where he misses the whole goal. Damir [Kreilach] had one in the box and that is technique. There are games that are like that. We all watch a lot of soccer games all the time and the opponent definitely had something to do with it but we had a few moments where technique failed us a little bit. We will get better and I thought we had a very good week of training and got better in some moments from last week and it was a totally different game. Last week was an open game. This week was a game with minimal space to play in. Then we’ve got to develop as a team and be a little more clinical when we do get the opportunity with our technical ability.”

On Noah and Ashtone’s club debuts:

“Ash [Ashtone Morgan] got into it right away. Noah [Powder] got a little bit less playing time. We want to get them in but it doesn’t always work. We felt that our outside backs were fatiguing a little bit so we wanted to get some fresh legs in there. They got a taste of it and they are a big part of the team. They have qualities and maybe with a little bit more time they could have potentially made an impact. Overall, they deserve it. They had good training and we gave them a little taste of it. For Noah, hopefully that will get some nerves out and maybe next time he creates the dynamic movement, the combinations, the shots from outside. Ashtone got in there, had some great energy and gave us a couple of crosses. We went for it and made some changes but it just wasn’t enough.”

On encouraging the players to shoot:

“I don’t think they were gunshy, I think our technique failed us. We encourage our players and tell them they’ve got to unleash it. Last week when there was an amazing goal from Rubio [Rubin] just taking the shot. That’s what we encourage. That’s what we want, but for whatever reason our technical ability, at times, failed us. We definitely will never be a gunshy team. We have to take them when the opportunity comes, but taking it and taking it right with technique is a different story, and we’ve got to work on it.”

Defender Erik Holt
On the team’s defensive effort: 

“I think honestly last week was a huge learning experience for us, and just being more committed to keeping a shutout together. This week, we worked our tails off just to get better and defend as a team and I think tonight we definitely showed that. I’m super proud of the guys.”

On the team’s overall performance: 

“We just take it one day at a time and continue to get better. It’s a long season, and we’re excited for the next game, so we're just moving on. 

Goalkeeper David Ochoa
On the performance tonight:

“It was not the performance we wanted, especially here at home. But also at the same time, we’re happy with the clean sheet. It’s our first clean sheet of the season, and we worked so hard on being solid defensively and it feels good to get the zero here at home. It feels great, especially here at home and hopefully it’s the first of many here at Rio Tinto.”

On the save in the 81st minute:

“You just have to be locked in for 90 minutes. Even on those shots that are coming right to me, I have to be focused and that’s what I work on everyday. It feels good to keep the zero and be locked in for the whole 90 minutes.”

On clean sheet: 

“It feels really good to get my first clean sheet. That is what we want to do. It feels really good and especially because of all the work we put in preseason and training every week. We try to emphasize our defensive block, and to be nice and really sharp back there. It feels really good to get the clean sheet and hopefully it is the first of many.”

On keeping clean sheet: 

“It’s kind of 50/50. It's pretty tough to get the clean sheet. That’s what we should be working for every game. Keep this arrow in the back because that’s what will end your games. I thought we did a very good job tonight. Defensively especially because we emphasize it throughout the week and being very solid in the back. It feels good to get that kind of result. To have that zero in the back, we go again next week and hopefully we can just keep getting a bunch of clean sheets.”

On goal kicks:

“With the new rule of players being allowed to come in the box it helps us a lot with the spacing in the build up. Pablo [Ruiz] has a killer left foot and I also have a pretty good right foot. We just communicated right there and when he’s next to me in the six-yard box I just tapped the ball for him and he takes the space or if he pings the ball to Rubio [Rubin] or Damir [Kreilach]. If I ping it you just go from there. If it’s the right side that is open I hit it because it’s easier for the player to go to that side and if it’s on the left side it’s easier for Pablo to hit that because he’s left footed. We just communicate it there and then and go from there.”

On Andrew Brody and Erik Holt:

“Those are my guys from the Real Monarchs of the 2019 championship season. I enjoy playing with them and I honestly think they’ve been doing very solid work these last couple of games. I feel like it shows that the switch from USL to MLS is possible. I’m happy for them and I think they’re doing a really good job.”

Sobre la organización del rival:
“Si, pienso que estábamos muy bien organizados atrás defensivamente. Es algo que trabajamos mucho durante la semana, queremos ser un buen equipo defensivamente. Hubo ocasiones en que nos quebraron, pero en la mayoría estábamos bien organizados. Se siente bien dejar en cero el arco, ojalá hayan varios partidos así.”