Real Salt Lake 0 vs. FC Dallas 1
July 23, 2022; Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
Real Salt Lake (9-7-6, 33 points); FC Dallas (8-6-8, 32 pts)

Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni

On the message to the group:

“There was a 10-minute span in the first half where we were careless with the ball, put ourselves in some really uncomfortable transition moments and didn’t handle it well. They gained momentum and we just didn’t adjust to the decisions that we were making. Again, for 80 minutes, we did exactly what we wanted to do, but in those 10 minutes is where the game was won and lost.”

On if RSL’s first home loss changes anything:

“No, it doesn’t change anything. You stay the course. If you get too emotional, then you start to lose thinking and reason. So, even at halftime, that was the message: we stay the course, we don’t have to win this game in the first five, and this is where stats fly out the window. It doesn’t make sense. So, neutralize their attack really well, even early on, before the goal. We did a really good job of imposing ourselves on the game, but it was our doing that opened the door for them to come into the game. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”

On the attacking third:

“When you throw in eight guys in the box, the top of the box, you have to be really clean. It’s tough to break down a team that throws so many numbers in the box. You can train six versus 10 all day long, and rarely does a 10 score on a six, because they’re covering the most dangerous area of the field. Their goalkeeper had a really good night, he came up huge, and when he wasn’t, someone was throwing their body on the line to make a save. It’s one of those games that, again, defies all the stats.”

On adding reinforcements to the team to contend for MLS Cup:

“Obviously, when three players go out, we want to definitely bring three players into all three positions that went out. It’s important, as we move towards the latter part of the season, to have depth, and not just depth, but quality, and to have competition. Every player that comes in creates a different type of energy, and you want competition to the end and the guys that have been here have done a fantastic job, so it’s always good to bring in some quality players and perk the ears up a little bit, and get that fight going again. It’s important, structurally, from a roster perspective, but also, the competition piece.”

Defender Justen Glad

On conceding the game’s first goal at home:

“We’ve had a pretty good understanding of if we get scored on, then stay the course, keep doing what we’re doing, don’t try doing anything crazy, and the goals will come. I thought we actually did that, I thought we were on top of them for a lot of that game, but we just couldn’t get that final touch or final pass–we couldn’t get the ball in the net.”

On the attempt to make a final push with substitutions:

“[We needed to] keep moving forward. We felt the momentum, we felt like we were on top of them, and it was just going to be a matter of time until we scored. We got close, many times, and just couldn’t get it.”

On the positive energy in the locker room:

“We have a great locker room; everyone’s in a good mood in training. Like I said, it’s good vibes. Everyone really cares about each other, it’s a good group of guys, and it really makes you want to cheer for whoever; if they’re not playing, you want them to play; if they are playing you want them to do well. When you have a locker room like that–where everyone cares for each other and wants each other to succeed–then good things happen.”

On the chippiness of the game:

“A lot of it is mental. Especially with this heat, it’s going to come down to what team has the mentality, what team’s willing to put in the work. It’s all those little things. You put in the work, you recover those second balls, you connect that first pass, you keep building momentum, and then you start knocking on the door. Most of it is mentality.”