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Quote Sheet: RSL 1-1 VAN

Real Salt Lake 1 vs. 1 Vancouver Whitecaps
August 20, 2022; Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah

Real Salt Lake (10-8-8, 38 points); Vancouver Whitecaps (9-11-7, 34 points)

Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni

On the tough draw tonight:

“It’s a game of moments, not a game of halves. It’s a game of moments and making plays when the game calls for it. Tonight, we did a lot of things offensively that we wanted to do. We weren’t as sharp in front of goal as we needed to be, but we created chances. The game is defined by one defensive play, and that was the enforcing part of it. That’s the beauty of this game, and for us tonight, it was a gut punch.”

On shifting to a defensive mindset late in the game:

“Late in games, when you have a lead, teams are more willing to throw numbers forward. At that point, especially in the last 5-10 minutes, there’s nothing to lose. Much like our game against San Jose, we’re throwing numbers forward, you’re going for the goal. One area that we’ve been working on, especially the last two weeks, is when you have a lead, how do we regain that momentum? If we’re going long, then we’re going for second balls. We have to find ways as a group to get the ball back and dictate the game with the ball. You can’t be under for that long and not give up good chances. The goal we conceded, they had some chances. The goal we conceded was not a good chance–probably the worst chance they had all night. And that’s the disappointing part of it.”

On getting a barrage of attacks in the second half:

“The onus is on us as a collective to find ways to flip the momentum. We succumb to that momentum too easily. We’ve got to be alert and ready to pick up second balls so we can dictate the game with the ball and break that spur of momentum, and then you ask them questions. The last couple games, we’re playing with fire in that regard, where we’re just allowing teams to come through us too easily, and obviously they’re breaking down our wide areas and putting dangerous balls in the box. That’s our work, and to be fair, we haven’t played with a lead in quite some time–until last week–and that’s a whole different game. It’s a different type of game when you’re behind it because you’re sending numbers forward, and now the other team’s feeling it. So games like Dallas, even games like LAFC, where we’re creating new chances because the mindset’s different, the game hasn’t changed, the mindset changes. So that will be one area of the game that we’ll work on this week.”

On allowing a goal in the last 15 minutes:

“I don’t think it’s like that. We could be allowing that to happen in the middle 15 minutes. it’s just about how we deal with momentum, especially when it’s against us. One of the ways we can do that is being better with the ball and being a bit braver with the ball. We have to be willing to lose it in difficult spots at times. But when you break that corner or combine around somebody pressing, that’s when you start to get everyone to move. When you are on the field and we are moving the ball around everyone wants to get on the ball. The movement ahead of the ball is fantastic. When it’s against you naturally as a human being, you are not going to want to move because you are already thinking you are going to lose it. And so it becomes a self-fulfilling cycle, so that will be one area that we look at going forward.”

Goalkeeper Zac MacMath

On the goal in the 87th minute:

“It was a really good cross and Julian [Gressel] made an unbelievable header. Those things happen. It could’ve come in the 5th minute or the 50th minute it just happened to be in the 87th minute. It was unfortunate that one slipped in and now we end up with one point over three.”

On enduring Vancouver’s numerous shots:

“Pretty similar to Seattle, where we bunkered in a little bit. Unfortunately, we couldn’t really regain possession on the second balls and that ended up hurting us a bit because when you continue to take wave after wave, it can be difficult. You’re going to give up chances, half chances, and we dealt with most of them, but in the end, the only thing that matters is that they got one in.”

On getting results at home:

“We’ve been playing relatively well the past seven or eight games, and this was probably one of our worst games. It wasn’t a matter of tactics, we were a bit sloppy to start the game. It was a bit choppy of a game, a couple of injuries stopped the momentum a few times. We just have to find our way into games and take control, especially here at home where we can get on top of teams, find that second goal, and bury things.”

On the confidence of the team right now:

“There’s a bit of frustration that we’re not getting results at home, but at the same time, we’ve been in the playoff position the whole year. We’re four points clear of the next team, and we need to continue to play like we are four points above the closest team below us. We’re a good team, we have good players, we just have to find results and we’re going to find results multiple different ways as the end of the stretch comes up.”

On the disappointment of this result after earning three points in Seattle:

“After the Seattle game I think we had a lot of momentum, and unfortunately we didn’t bring that into this game because we were a little sloppy. The fact that we got the lead and could’ve gone two games in a row like that, it would’ve been massive not just for the standings, but also for our confidence going forward.”