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Quote Sheet: RSL 2-1 Houston

Quote Sheet

Real Salt Lake 2-1 Houston Dynamo

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Head Coach Freddy Juarez

On making key substitutions in the 2nd half:

“We struggled all night with build out play. I know some fans might say why the two holding mids, but we thought they were going to give us more control and possession that could lead to more attacks. As we got later into the game we felt that we needed to get Anderson [Julio] in there and move Albert [Rusnak] in. We also wanted to get Maikel [Chang] in there because we wanted to be more aggressive and not go for the tie. We needed the win and we knew Nick [Besler] had played center back before and done it well. We thought he was going to allow us to facilitate a little bit more of a build out and be aggressive where he could dribble out, pass out, and have him become basically another midfielder so we could get more possession and pin them in. It’s not a congrats to me, it’s always the quality of what the player brings when you make those subs. I could have made those subs and they could’ve gone in there with no energy and it would’ve been a horrible sub, but one hundred percent of what I told the guys in the locker room is every single guy that came in today was engaged, made a difference, and added energy, which allowed us to create opportunities and we were fortunate enough to get one at the end with all the chances we had in the last 15 minutes.”

On the toughness of this group:

“I’m so happy with the guys. The mentality, I can’t say and emphasize it enough. The mentality of every single one of our players, our whole roster. When we need them, we need them and that’s what I want. It’s hard as a coach to make the guys understand today. You play certain guys and then you make substitutions to see if you can better the team. Then the guys respond. It’s been like that all year, and that’s the mentality that these guys need to have. It wasn’t pretty. I thought we started the game well. Then there’s an in between at 25 minutes or so that were not very well. I would say that all the players still grind out defensively. Which has been our DNA. We’re hard to break down. We ended the first half well. Started the second half well. Then there was another 15-20 minutes that we would rather not go through offensively. But we still grinded out defensively. Then we had substitutions that gave us more quality and energy with the guys. They gave us a good last 15 minutes. You can’t ask for more. It’s hard to get in this league of 90 straight minutes of good football. I would like to keep working on getting more control during longer periods of time. Especially here at home. At the end of day we finished the game off well. The guys that we made come into the game really helped the team get the three points. ”

On the lineup for Colorado:

“We went with the same group because the team won. Everyone was healthy. It’s these quick turn around games that are always tricky. It’s more than likely that there will be some fresh legs in there. It’s the smart thing to do. You also have to wait until tomorrow morning. Guys come in and are all seen by our medical staff. We see where they ended up and we make the best decision. There is a whole process that takes place with our department. We will see what their workload is and how many sprints they hit. We don’t want to risk any of our guys. We will see if we can put the best possible and freshest guys out there to give us a chance to win the game.”

Midfielder Justin Meram

On the locker room after the match:

Three points is always good. No matter how it comes. I think again it’s another game where parts of the match could have been way better. Give them credit. They fought and pressed us hard. I think we just have to figure it out on the field. Overall the subs came on the field and made a difference. We got the second goal with a great play. We take three points again at home. We have to win our home games no matter how they come. We’re excited about that for sure.”

On how he saw the game tonight:

“I thought it was good. Creating chances for goals. I can always be better and create more chances. It’s not really about me, it’s about the group and how we play overall. We’re just happy with the win. The subs came in, Anderson came in and scored a great goal and we won the game. It’s not about one individual. It’s collectively how we all play and help one another to be successful.”

On how the field and air conditions affected the game:

“The conditions were decent. A little bit of rain, but the temperature was good. I think in the second half it started to get a bit colder. But overall the air quality is what it is right now. It’s not great but we have to play in these conditions.”

Midfielder Damir Kreilach

On tonight’s win not coming easy:

“Overall, it’s great for us. We’ve won two games this week. They weren’t the nicest wins, but at the end of the day, who cares? In two weeks, no one is going to talk about the way we played Austin and Houston. The most important thing is that we are collecting the points. We started the game very well, I would say great, then we had a hole in the first half of 20 minutes when we couldn’t get control. Then at the end of the first half we got control and created a couple of chances. The energy was great. And then the start of the second half was great as well for five minutes and then unfortunately we conceded a goal. We had a hole for 20 minutes, but then the last 20 minutes were great. The subs brought the energy and at the end of the day Anderson scored. Phenomenal goal to get the three points tonight.”

On playing the full match after an early yellow card:

“When you get a yellow card in like the 40th minute, you have to watch out and take care to not get another one because we knew how important this game was for us. And especially with the conditions today, with the rain and a slippery field, you can get a yellow for nothing, for some slide, for some challenge. I was lucky today to not get a second one and I’m going forward looking to the next game.”

On the toughness of RSL this year:

“We had a great turnaround. When you play three games against Houston, LA and Portland and you feel like you deserved more than the one point you got, then of course the belief is there, the positivity is there. And this is exactly how we responded in the last two games. We deserved some luck and I think we got some in the last two games against Austin and against Houston tonight. But we are happy about that and this is how we’re going moving forward to a game against Colorado. They’re a tough opponent, but we know our quality and we’re going there to get three points. Of course it’s not going to be easy. Colorado is in great form right now. But we’re going to give it our best.”