Quote Sheet: RSL 2-0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis

On the overall team performance:

“I was pleased, tactically, that we had the ball on their half of the field. I thought we made some right tactical choices there, but we weren’t clean enough with the ball. I felt that we got better and better as the game went on, and I have to feel good about that. That’s what we want – we are a team that is capable of improving during a match, and calm enough to do so.”

On the counterattack that led to Morales’ goal:

“The second [goal] was going to be a counterattacking goal. Whenever you have a lead on a team that’s going to throw numbers forward like they did, that’s when you get a chance for counterattacks. I’ll take them any way they come.”

On the defense not giving up an early goal:

“That’s improvement. That’s what we want our players to do. I thought we improved as the game went on, got better and better, and in the second half we got two [goals].”

On Joao Plata’s performance:

“He was very similar to all the players. In the first half, he was pretty darn rusty – gave away a lot of balls. In the second half, things opened up – I thought he made a lot better decisions with the ball. We had a chat at halftime about how important it was to us. In the first half, he and Devon started off pretty rough in the match, but got better as the game wore on. I think that’s Plata’s third and fourth assists tonight, and that’s nice.”

On Chris Wingert’s performance:

“Really good, I was really pleased to have him out there. He’s a steady influence on the rest of the group, and was in some really good spots – to intercept passes and not have to make many one-on-one defensive plays. He made some really nice tackles, and that’s important for a guy to be able to do that. We’re really pleased to have him back, and pleased with his performance tonight.”

On the performance of the defense, as a whole:

“I felt like Vancouver was giving us some troubles in the first half, certainly a lot of balls into the box. That wasn’t really so much about how our defensive unit played, it was more about the decisions that we were making with the ball – giving it up too cheaply in the wrong spots, and getting ourselves stretched out. All in all, a pretty nice night, another shutout, and we have to feel good about that.”

On the performance of Nick Rimando, including his pass that led to the Gil goal:

“One of the big reasons I like him is how good he is with his feet. He oftentimes starts counterattacks for us, makes good tactical decisions with the ball when he has it, and can be a steadying influence for us. Kudos to him, and what a great pass.”

On the performance tonight, in light of the game being deemed “critical” for RSL:

“I think we take a lot [from this game]. I want us to be miserable when we lose, and we should be happy when we win. We should feel good about it – not too good about it – be we should feel good about it, at least for overnight. We wake up tomorrow, and we focus on the next game. For me, it was very good, but we need to build off of it – there’s still room for improvement, and we’re going to need improvement if we’re going to get results in the next two matches on the road.”

On Devon Sandoval’s performance in his first 90-minute appearance:

“I think that Devon struggled. In the beginning of the game, I think he just got a little too emotional about things. We were just so hyped up because I really challenged our forwards to try to score goals tonight, and perhaps put a little undue pressure on them. I put pressure on the entire group because we wanted a big response. I think oftentimes the emotional level goes so high, that your tactical ability goes down. I thought we struggled at the beginning of the game, but as the game went on, I thought we got better and better. He’s a first-year player that needs to be trying to improve in matches, and he’ll go through good times and bad times.”

Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando

On the assist:

“I don’t know, I haven’t had one for a while. I remember in Miami and D.C. I had a couple, but maybe here one or two, but it feels good to get in on the attack a little bit. Hanging back there on the defense you only think about that, but you want to help out in any way that you can and today I was fortunate to play a good ball to Plata.”

On the pride he feels for being an extra man in the back to receive a pass in the back:

“I take a lot of pride in that. I think having an extra man back there and having the players confident of you, and to play you and not just to give the ball back to the other team, it’s a big luxury for sure and I think they recognize that and that’s the way that we play. Sometimes you can’t be too fancy back there and hit some long balls, but today it worked out. It worked out in a good way and in points that we needed.”

On the effort of the back line:

“When I don’t have to make a lot of saves it’s my best game. That means we’re organized and means that the defense is intact and our whole team is playing defense. If I don’t have to make a single save for the rest of the season, I’ll be happy.”

Thoughts on having Chris Wingert back:

“Great, it gave us a good boost for sure. He was solid I thought. The last couple of weeks he has been putting in work on the training field and he’s been itching to get in the first eleven, it feels good to have him back. He doesn’t miss a beat at all and he gave us that confidence that we needed after a loss last weekend.”

Real Salt Lake DF Nat Borchers

On the team’s defensive effort:

“I think we did everything right to keep them off the board. We gave them, I think maybe one or two chances and it seemed like we dealt with those pretty well. Everyone was in good spots tonight and was just committed to defending. It was just a solid performance overall.”

On his emergency save off the goal line:

“In some of those situations it is really just emergency defending. We let Hertzog get in behind us that time and I just followed up with the play and that’s what you have to do sometimes to get that ball out.”

On the change of pace in the game from first half to second half:

“I really thought that they sat back more in the second half. Their back line went back and our midfield had a lot of time and space to get in behind their midfield. Morales had a ton of time in front of their back four and I think that was the difference in the game. We were able to be aggressive and punish them with goals.”

Real Salt Lake DF Chris Wingert

On taking this game as a must win game:

“I honestly feel like we say that all the time, but that is with good reason. I feel like every week is a big week, especially at this point where things can change so much. Not only in the standings, but also in terms of momentum and moving forward. This win did mean a lot to us.”

On how it felt to be back on the starting XI:

“It felt great. I needed some of those reserve games to stay sharp and to stay fit. My whole focus for the last, whatever it has been, about four months has been to be out there and to help the team win. Fortunately we got the win tonight. I feel so comfortable with Nick and Becks and Tony. It really doesn’t take long to get into the flow of things. I have been with those guys for so long that it wasn’t a problem playing again.”

Real Salt Lake FW Joao Plata

On his two assists tonight:

 “I’m happy with the assists, but it’s most important that the team won.”

On what’s needed to get his shots more on target:

“I try and I try, but it didn’t go in, but I’m happy for myself and the assists and for the team winning the 3 points. We’re not going to rest.”

On fitting in and playing with the team:

“Yes. Little by little they’re putting me in more as part of the team’s scheme. Thanks to God, I’m happy for this victory.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Vancouver Whitecaps Head Coach Martin Rennie

Thoughts on the game:

“Just very disappointed, I think the first half was a good road performance. We obviously lost a goal right at the start of the second half, off a counterattack, which was frustrating for me, we had a free kick. So that was very disappointing. But after that, I was disappointed with our response. I think week after week, if we do have a bad game or if players make mistakes, I’ll take responsibility for that. I intentionally go out of my way to protect players when they don’t do well. But today’s a point where I really question them and I think they need to stand up and be counted. I didn’t think they showed enough desire. I didn’t think they showed enough quality. There was over 30 balls we put into the box in the game, which is incredible, especially away from home. And I don’t think we got on the end of one of them. Again, our finishing was a little bit weak. We’ve lost goals out of really nothing. I think counter attacks more than anything. Some of the players, in fact all of them as a team, need to look at themselves a little bit more. Obviously as coaches, we need to do the same thing. But, week after week, as I say, it’s us taking full responsibility for everything. But I think this is a game where the players have to really – you know, have they done enough for the fans tonight? I think they’ve let the fans down. I apologize to the fans for that defeat and disappointment. But I think the players have to as well. I think they need to do a lot better than that. “

Thoughts on how they played up to the first goal:

“Well, the first half, as I said, we played quite well. We created some good chances. We didn’t really look in any danger. So it was a solid half from us. But yeah, up until that point it was. But obviously that’s only half way through the game. We’ve got to play for the whole game and the second half wasn’t good enough.”

Thoughts on the veterans’ impact:

“Yeah, there’s just too big a gap from what our performance is like at home and what our performance is like on the road. Players who do very well at home are really letting us down away from home and I think that I can’t quite put my finger on why, but they really need to look at themselves and ask are they giving enough to the club. The club does everything for them, they’ve got everything set up perfectly for them to train, to recover, to play, they live in a beautiful city, they’ve got some of the best fans in MLS who always get behind them and support them. None of them are really in the limelight, its fine, I understand it’s my job to always take the criticism and 99.9 percent of the time I do that. But to be honest, sometimes they’ve got to look at what they’ve done recently and they’ve not done enough.”

On whether it is a mental issue or a confidence issue:

“No, I think it will be a turning point. I think it will be a point for us to get on the front foot and, you know, look forward to next week. We’ve got one of the best weeks coming up that we can think of with a cup final with L.A., with Portland, all in one week. So we’ve got a lot to look forward to and I think this will be an important turning point for us as we go forward.”

On whether the cup final will prevent players from being focused on MLS:

“No, I don’t think so. I think, with a home game next week against L.A. we’ve got to bounce back, get ourselves a win. It’s all well and good, we’ve been playing well. Been creating, I think, the second most chances in the league and keeping good possession and all that kind of stuff. But we need a win and good performances only take you so far. I think especially – we’ve got a lot of young players and I think they need to learn quickly what it takes to be a professional player.”

On Johnny Leveron’s performance:

“Yeah, I thought he was composed. I think he defended pretty well. He won his headers, helped us in the build-up, I thought he looked pretty comfortable. For his first ever MLS game, I was pretty impressed.”

On Brad Rusin’s injury:

“He has a concussion, so he’s going through concussion protocol. We missed him on Wednesday, we missed him today. So yeah, we’re missing quite a few guys, but it’s no excuse.”

On how Wednesday’s match played into this match:

“I mean, again, if you want to make excuses, yeah it does because you don’t much recovery time while the other team is resting all week. And in the second half we did look tired. But I don’t want to really be giving people excuses at this point.”

Thoughts on decision to play Hertzog over Mattocks:

“Yeah, Mattocks missed six chances last week and Corey came on for 20 minutes or half a game and scored. So we decided to give him a chance.”

On why Hertzog came off:

“That was his first full game for a while so we just thought he was getting a bit tired.”

On whether Kenny Miller will play on Saturday:

“I’d like to hope so, but I’m not really sure. We do definitely miss him. But, at the same time, the players who are playing need to do better.”

On what happened with the defense on the two goals:

“Well, the first goal was a free kick for us. So we were in a good position of attack. Ball goes out for a goal kick, from what I could tell the ball was rolling as it got kicked. So it should have been brought back, but I need to see that again to know if I was 100 percent right on that. But it did seem like the ball was moving, which it shouldn’t be. It should be stationary. And then they were on the counter attack, we didn’t stop the cross and we had three people in the box and they had one and it went to them.”

Vancouver MF Nigel Reo-Coker

On the team’s performance:

“Very disappointing, very disappointed. We didn’t deserve to win today.”

On the strong words from Martin Rennie:

“Right now we have to face it and be realistic with the situation. It’s not about the coaches or management. It’s time for us as players and for me, it was soft. Best way to describe us was soft. We were a soft team. We don’t compete enough. We didn’t compete enough today and we were just soft and that’s the best way to put it. Being hard at football doesn’t mean going around and tackling and smashing people, being hard means competing and being hard to beat, hard to face as an individual, helping your teammate out. We didn’t do any of that today. So for me at the moment the realization of it is we have to be honest with ourselves we’re soft and we need to toughen up, real quick.”

Vancouver DF Y.P. Lee

On how the game went:

“Very disappointing game today. They were much better than us today, and they deserved to win today.”

On Martin Rennie’s critical effort of the team:

“Everything is perfect, we have good technical team, and we’ve been training well the past couple of days and we were better than today. This problem is with our players as individuals. We need to think about our things mentally and focus on the next game.”

On if he feels like these things (above) are going to work:

“I think that today we lost because of me. I had to block the cross first and I didn’t and they (RSL) got the first goal. The first goal made everything different. It’s an individual responsibility.”

On the mental effect of this loss on the upcoming Canadian Cup Championship:

“I think we’ll be as strong. We never get down on a game and we focus on the next game. Never worry about the previous game."