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Quote Sheet: RSL 1-2 CIN

Real Salt Lake 1 vs. 2 FC Cincinnati

September 17, 2022; America First Field, Sandy, Utah 

Real Salt Lake (11-11-10, 43 points); FC Cincinnati (11-8-12, 45 points) 

Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni  

On his perspective on the goals scored:

“The biggest thing is the way the balls are going in. It’s painful. Before, we were rigid. I feel like now we’re porous–that’s the one part. The other part is not scoring on that PK kind of validates the feelings you had in that last game and starts to bring a little bit of doubt and a lack of confidence. Watching the game, creating more than enough opportunities to score again, the second goal we conceded was some of the poorest defending transitions. Any time a midfielder leaves their feet, you’re basically saying, ‘you guys take care of it,’ and that’s, especially at this moment, costly. There’s a little bit of a lack of discipline, but this was the game where I felt like we were in control for large portions of this game and we just didn’t capitalize and gave up two soft goals.”

On Pablo Ruiz taking the penalty kick in the 47th minute: 

“This team has to have full confidence with whoever steps up and takes it. That’s how it’s always been for me. Last year in the playoffs, we scored something like five in a row. Everyone that wanted to take a penalty kick took it. Penalty kicks come from a place of confidence and the last thing you want to do is someone is having a bad game and you name the guy, whoever that it is stepping up because they have to not because they believe they are going to score. Pablo [Ruiz] scored our last penalty kick, so at that moment, I felt confident that he was going to bury it.”  

On the mentality of the team after this result: 

It’s tough because this result was very important and there is obviously pressure with that as well. It’s not a situation where we need the three points and everyone is coming from a place of calm. If you have a lot of experience, these are the moments that you live for. If you are trying to break out in your career, it could be a little bit nervy because you think you need to play a perfect game to help get a result. Every player has their own emotional response to what this game feels like and every situation is different. Results are very difficult to achieve in this league and oftentimes, you take for granted those games early on in the season that fell our way. It’s difficult during this time of the year when everyone is fighting for a playoff spot because you can’t put a foot in the wrong direction. If you do, you need to make sure that the guy behind you is ready to make a play.” 

On the upcoming break:

“It is what it is. I don’t think our issue is understanding the way we want to go about the work. Our problem is executing in both boxes and that’s what’s cost us. So, if it was seven days, it’s great, if it’s ten days, it’s great. We just have to go when the whistle blows–we just need to execute better. We have to make the plays on both sides. That’s what it takes.” 

On the decision to sub off Diego Luna:

“Diego [Luna]’s been coming into games for 15 or 20 minutes, but on Wednesday, he put in a good shift, I think it was like 65 minutes. It’s just trying to balance out the recovery from your first 60 minutes in quite some time with the tactical changes. So when we went to a four bringing [Justin] Meram in, that was the reason behind that, in order to keep Sergio [Cordova] on and hope we find another goal.”