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Quote Sheet: RSL 1-0 SEA

Quote Sheet_
Real Salt Lake 1-0 Seattle Sounders FC
Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Saturday, March 5, 2022_

Forward Bobby Wood

On being first goal scorer of the 2022 MLS Season

“It feels amazing. I couldn’t be more happy about it, and I am glad it contributed to the first three points of the season.”

On playing in full capacity crowd

“It is good to start the game with good vibes, and I thought they did a very good job of starting that today. I think we can just continue that. It felt amazing. I felt bad for the fans because of the whole break, it felt like forever, but hopefully the next home game will be a lot better.”

On 3-4-3 formation and fit

“Honestly, we worked on a lot of formations in the preseason. I think all preseason we worked on being very tight, and that is our strategy no matter what. We’ll switch up a lot of things, but at the end of the day I thought it was very good defensively. That is how we work forward with our defensive shape. We’re going to try a couple things throughout the season, but it felt good today. I think we are very mobile. The front three, we are very mobile. So, it is very positive that we can play a lot of different formations, and it is great to look forward to.”

Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni

On the long break and weather

“That break we took a look at some of the things they were doing. We had time so we let the players recover a bit and showed a couple clips defensively in a way that we can really get after the ball a little differently. I thought we started the game a bit more passively. They were finding combinations through us in between the lines and I felt like showing those clips, talking about it, helped create a better picture as to how we could do it and be more effective in our presses. I think the guys up front Justin [Meram], Bobby [Wood], Maikel [Chang], Sergio [Cordova], even Jasper [Löeffelsend] did a good job at getting pressure on the ball and making it predictable and winning the ball in good spots. Our bench is a bit thin at the moment, thinking about 10 minutes left in the game, how do we want it to look, what are we trying to achieve? We’re obviously trying to keep the game in front of us and we want to get the pressure on the ball. Jasper [Löeffelsend] is a guy that played in the midfield in college and has one of the highest outputs in training every day so that was the option with Jasper. Sergio is a player that is still gaining his fitness, I’d like to give him some more minutes here coming up in the next few weeks, but again, he was dynamic and created a great spark on the attack.”

On the bench and substitutes

“I think piggybacking off of what we did last year, guys that came onto the field at times had a greater impact on the results of the game. So when we talk about the team, we talk about the importance of the players who are not starting. And at times they are more important than the guys who are starting. I think a lot of times in sports it’s always you think about the guys who got to start, I like to think about it in reverse sometimes. It’s the guys that come in and do the job. I think Everton [Luiz], Jasper [Löeffelsend], Sergio [Cordova] came in and did a fantastic job. And that’s what you need. You need a team, you need guys that are willing to come in whether it's five minutes or thirty minutes and grab for the group and I couldn’t be more proud of the guys that came in.”

On the 3-4-3 Formation

“A lot of it had to do with not having Damir [Kreilach], he’s our 10. He helps in the link up and obviously is dangerous when he gets into the box. As far as true 10, I don’t think we have that. I think the 3-4-3 lends itself to the players that we currently have. I think what you saw was accurate. I think the entry balls that entered into our nine were available because there was no 10 in there, but we can get more crisp on that. When we get these balls into our nine, and we are set, it allows us to have the whole field available to us. We also have Andrew [Brody] and Tate [Schmitt] who bomb it forward and it creates a lot of options, not necessarily in the wide areas, but in the half spaces to Maikel [Chang] and Justin [Meram]. It’s a nice little setup and I think the guys executed it very well tonight.

Goalkeeper Zac MacMath

On stopping shots on a snowy surface:

“It’s always more difficult because of the ice and how much it’s going to dip, how much it’s going to bounce, every single one is different. We tried to work on a few warm-up shots with balls kind of dipping right in front of me just to see how they’d react. The best I could do was just be able to react. Thankfully, I did enough to keep the ball out of the back of the net tonight.”

On being a confident goalkeeper:

“Yeah, I’ve got a lot of confidence right now. I pride myself on knowing that I’m always ready to play for this team. My teammates and the coaches have given me plenty of confidence over the last few weeks. Just getting out there and just proving to myself and to my teammates that I’m very capable of keeping a clean sheet and helping this team.”

On RSL being hungrier than the Sounders:

“I think once the team realized that Damir [Kreilach] was going to be unavailable for the game, we banded together even more. Starting with Pablo [Ruiz] and the mentality that he always speaks of; We embodied that and no one flinched. Everyone was like, ‘Alright, let’s go, let's prove ourselves.’ Obviously, there was a big storyline last playoffs about having no shots on goal and we really wanted to take it to ‘em. I thought that we did that really well today.”