Real Salt Lake 1-2 San Jose Earthquakes

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Friday, May 7, 2021

Head Coach Freddy Juarez

On the game:

“The guys gave their heart and soul in that match. There was a lapse of five or six minutes where we lost one of the best, if not the best, goal scorer in the history of this league. There was really good energy from the guys, and I thought we deserved a little bit more. We got unlucky with some crossbars and posts, but that’s the game of soccer. You want to win in front of the amazing fan base that we had today. They were loud, the energy was there and the players responded with great and positive energy. We played a team that we know doesn’t stop coming, they keep coming and coming. It was almost a full 90 minutes of quality, but we lost control in that final moment.”

On Wondolowski:

“We can get a little closer to the cross and put a little more pressure on him and not let him pinpoint that. Once we’re in the box, we know we’re supposed to be man oriented, find your mark. We just lost a little bit of focus there and it’s a growing experience. I thought the boys gave their heart and soul. Of course, we all would like to win and be 3-0-0, but this is a learning experience. We played a very good team. This team will be trouble for any team in the league. I think the tempo was very high and we can build on this.”

On Rubin’s goal:

“Amazing goal. I wish we would have gotten the win, because that goal deserved to be a game-winner. Amazing goal. I don’t celebrate very hard on goals, but that one I couldn’t help celebrating. I think the guys played a good 80 minutes and against some other teams maybe that’s enough, but against San Jose, you have to go 95 plus minutes.”

On San Jose’s goals:

“In the first goal, we were actually in good numbers, 2v2? We just don’t get the block and we maybe start fatiguing a little bit and Wondolowski keeps himself onside and we just didn’t deal with the moment. We could have closed down the sideline a little bit more. We know it’s a principle when the ball is wide, our organization in the box has got to be man oriented. A little lapse, it’ll be a learning experience for myself and for the players because I thought that we gave a lot of energy and a lot of effort. The atmosphere was amazing from the fan base. It was almost a special night, I wish with Rubio’s goal we would have gotten a little more out of that game, but we will learn. We had a positive, for the most part, game against a very good opponent.”

On what they could have done differently:

“Maybe in training we could do some scenarios when we are up a goal and we’ve got to close those final moments down so that we can improve in that situation. Now they have been in it in a real game and we hope to learn from it but I thought we covered a lot, we had a good week of training and we covered a lot and did well with what we were training. Maybe I’ve got to do a few scenarios to remind the guys what it could feel like at the end of the game when a team has to be desperate and has to throw numbers in the box. We have to do a better job with that four-minute lapse.”

On what Erik Holt takes from this match:

“Yeah, for everybody. Close down the service, but we know our principle is you find the mark in the box. Space is not going to score. It’s the players. Get your head on a swivel, be better organized. I’m not just talking about Erik Holt. As a team we’ve got to handle those situations better. And I thought we have a team to be proud of tonight and we kept going and dealt with a team that scores by the bunches. For the most part, a pretty good game. We’ve just got to find a way to finish out the game.”

On Andrew Brody’s first start and Erik Holt’s performance:

“Brody had a very good game. We ran him ragged. He had to deal with wingers that cheat, what I mean by cheating is they position themselves high even when you are on the attack, so you have to put the effort in getting forward, then put the effort in getting back. I thought he had a lot of success but starts fatiguing there at the end. No team in the league has a top-notch rhythm and they will continue to get to that fitness level, but I thought it was a very good game for him. We know what Erik Holt offers. He’s a good centerback. He offers a lot with the ball. He’s a very strong player. I think that with better communication this will be a learning experience on how they can deal with them.  It was an all-Homegrown backline that we are proud of.  We just have to figure out how to finish the game off.”

On what they learned from the game:

“I’m not thinking about the end of the year, but we will use it to show the group how we can get better from those moments. There are going to be moments. You win some, you lose some. You never want to lose at home, especially with the energy that the fans brought today and I thought the guys gave a heck of a performance. They gave an amazing goal that probably is going to be up for goal of the week. It was three or four minutes. We even got a little unlucky with some opportunities that could have made it 2-0. I believe the energy the group brought today, if you bring that consistently, we will be a very hard team to beat. We can finish and finalize and mature in some areas like in those final moments, maybe we can put it away with 2-0, or we deal with those moments to hang on to the 1-0. We need to do that so we can develop, but we will be in the hunt for playoffs.” 

Midfielder Nick Besler

On the game:

“I don’t think we controlled the second half like we wanted to. They got ahold of the ball and forced us to defend for larger parts of the game than we wanted to. We weren’t very sharp on the ball which would have relieved some of their pressure. We did defend hard, we just defended for too long and they finally broke us down and got one. I’m not sure what happened on both goals. I’ll have to take a look, but unfortunately they got two on us.”

On the mindset of the group:

“We’re always going to leave it all out on the field. We’re disappointed because we could have played better soccer. We put all of our energy into that game and I just don’t think we were sharp enough when we had the ball. That’s frustrating when we’re at home with 10 minutes left to go and losing the game, it hurts a little bit.”

Forward Rubio Rubin

On the goal

“I’m obviously very gutted with the result. We played hard for 80 minutes and just lacked concentration at some points in the last 10 minutes. We knew what they could bring, obviously Wondo [Chris Wondolowski]. Going back to the goal, it was one of those moments that I’ve trained for all my life. My dad taught me from a young age how to do a bicycle kick and when Damir had it I knew that if I just got a good chest on it, I had all the freedom to let it go. Just happy it went in the back of the net. The result would have been better if we had won.”

On the locker room feeling:

“Very gutted and disappointed. We knew what they could bring all game, I think there’s just a little lack of concentration at the end. We know what Wondo [Wondolowski] brings and he ended up beating us today. We have a good team. We showed up for 80 minutes and we can compete with the best. We have to continue to let this give us a learning lesson and move on from this. At the same time, sometimes you won’t be able to win games three or four to zero, sometimes you have to grind out a win. Hopefully this helps us to develop, learn from it, let it be behind us and focus on the next game.”

On the last 10 minutes:

“Sometimes you can’t win every game. It takes being grindy, feisty, being smart and knowing what kind of players are coming in. I think it was just the last 10 minutes. We played a hell of a game the first 80 minutes and at the end I think we kind of lost it. It happened and now we just have to use that to learn and focus on the next game.”

On the being the better team:

“I think the first 80 minutes we created chances and obviously we could have put more away to maybe help us. The last 10 minutes we lost the game by two chances and that’s football. It happens like that and we just have to learn from it. At the same time we have a good team, the people see it in the first 80 minutes we were up one to zero. We were creating chances and just the last 10 minutes we let it completely kill us. Obviously we’re gutted right now and it’s okay to be disappointed tonight, but once tomorrow comes around we have to switch that off and know that we have to do better when it comes to the next game and for the rest of the season. We have to learn from these moments and it’s better to learn it now than later on in the season when the games start to matter more and when we could be making that playoff push. Right now we have to learn from it. It's a gutter for this whole day, but tomorrow we have to completely move on.”

Midfielder Damir Kreilach

On the last 10 minutes:

For 80 minutes we played very well. We controlled the game and we had more good opportunities than bad. As Rubio just told all of you, we lost our concentration in the last 10 minutes. It is what it is, but onto the next one. We have to stay positive to prepare for the next game against Nashville.”

On looking ahead to Nashville: 

“We have to take the positive things from this game and overall. We played very well for 80 minutes. San Jose is a tough team to play, especially with the way they play. They ran all over the field, but we controlled the game very well. We scored a goal and we were leading for 80 minutes. We locked the game down and then the last 10 minutes cost us three points when we lost our concentration.”

On Rubin’s goal:

“We know how important Rubio is to this team. He’s showing it every week, the determination and other qualities that he is displaying. I see him do these things at practice, so it didn’t surprise me at all. It was an unbelievable goal, and all he has to do is keep going to push himself and push the rest of the team.”

On Justin Meram’s performance:

“He had a great game tonight, everything he did tonight was impressive. There were many situations where he was 1v1, and he won those battles and created chances for us. We all know his quality, and he did great tonight. He, like Rubio, just has to keep going, the same for the rest of the team. I know it’s a tough loss, and we are all frustrated, but we have to stay positive and concentrate on the next game against Nashville. We have to do everything we can to get three points and get back on the right path again.”