Quote Sheet: RSL 1-2 San Jose Earthquakes

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis

On whether his team’s effort was to blame for the final result:

“It’s a difficult thing. I’m not going to fault the effort of the group, because I think they worked extremely hard to break down a team that sat their players extremely defensively tonight.”

On Lenhart’s two goals in the first half:

“When it comes to the two goals against us, I thought it was just a lack of focus to stay with marks in the box. Those balls were served into the box, and headed by the same player who was literally unmarked both times. It’s not good enough.”

On his team’s struggles to defend set pieces:

“It’s just individual plays. It’s about whether or not you’re going to make a play against your mark. It’s about whether you’re going to be physically outmuscled by the forward that you’re marking, or whether you’re going to take that extra half a second to nap. That means he gets behind you, and he’s going to have a chance. For me, we can work on it in training all we want, but in the game it just comes down to focus and commitment.”

On who is to blame for set piece lapses:

“I think that it’s been a different player on multiple plays all year. The tendency this group is having, to not recognize these danger situations. It’s something we’ve talked about; we’ve talked about it and talked about it. As we see, it’s one of the very few ways that opponents are causing us troubles.”

On the team’s reactions to the three goals occurring within four minutes of play:

“I think it’s one of those situations where we have all the momentum, until San Joes gets one break – one cross into the box to an unmarked Lenhart. I think that we probably feel a bit bad for ourselves, but then we score a goal on a corner kick with Morales. All the momentum should be in our favor, then it comes to a deadball situation where we don’t do a good enough job.  Because of that sort of flip-flop, I think now our guys are really hanging their heads. That’s not good enough.”

On RSL’s inability to get many clean shots on goal:

“We just weren’t quite good enough in the attacking third of the field. There were a lot of players in the box – a lot of players to deal with and move around – and we needed some special plays, but we just didn’t quite get them tonight.”

Real Salt Lake MF Javier Morales

On Missing Saborio for the game:

“We miss him because he’s a good player, but it’s not that we don’t have the skills because in other games, [Joao] Plata and [Olmes] Garcia have scored. Everyone is scoring goals; I don’t think that missing Saborio is the problem. Even today we scored a goal. It’s tough when you lose the ball and end up defending set pieces. We have to know. We talked before the game that they only have one way to score. We have to work a little bit harder. Here, no one is guilty; the team has to be better on set pieces.”

On the letdown after equalizing:

“That was tough. We scored right away and were ready to win the game and then [they scored] another goal. It’s tough, and we need to improve.”

On if the Supporters’ Shield slipping away:

“It’s a little bit hard. We have to be realistic. Right now it’s going to be hard. Seattle has more points than us in fewer games than us. Now we have to focus and improve our soccer and our team. If we want to be in the MLS Cup we have a lot of work.”

Real Salt Lake DF Nat Borchers

On the second San Jose goal:

“We talked about it all year about how we have to be better at set pieces, but we watched the tape. They were taking early set pieces, and I hold my hand up for both of those goals. I was marking Lenhart. He just got inside of me both times. A guy like that in the box is going to bury his chances. We just couldn’t get out”

On marking Lenhart:

“He’s a tough guy to play against and obviously he got the better of me today, and us in that first half. And that was disappointing, because we talked about difference in this game being set pieces and that’s how they beat us.”

On trying to score with San Jose sitting so deep:

“They know how to defend a lead. They just put bodies in the box and we just couldn’t break them down towards the end of that game.”

Real Salt Lake DF Chris Wingert

On all of San Jose’s bodies in the box:

“They got some beasts in the air. Bernardez and Goodson are great in the air, their forwards are good in the air. We knew that it was going to be that type of game, or at least we knew that they’re very successful with those types of balls. It’s not really the way we like to play, but obviously at the end when we’re down a goal, we got to get in the box and hope for the best. So they did a good job of clearing some balls and their tough on crosses and set pieces and things like that.”

On playing without top scorer Saborio:

“He’s just a great player, so anytime that you’re missing a top goal scorer in the league is not ideal, but look, different teams are missing different guys and that’s part of playing a long season. Of course we’d like to have him. He’s been great; a big time goal scorer and great player for us for a few years now, but there’s going to be guys out at times. We’re not going to have every player healthy week in and week out. That’s just the way it goes. The teams that are going to be successful are teams that have a lot of depth. I think that we have that.”

Real Salt Lake DF Carlos Salcedo

On the teams struggle to defend crosses:

“We have been having problems. We have to get together and talk about it and figure out what we are going to do. I think that teams are looking to play those types of balls because we have been committing the same mistakes over and over. We are going to learn from the mistakes and move on.”

On San Jose putting 10 men behind the ball:

“You feel bad because we had the ball possession, and we had everything basically. They got two crosses and took their chances and that’s how they end up winning the game. It’s pretty sad to finish out the game like that.”


San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes Head Coach Mark Watson

On the importance of tonight’s win:

“It was a big win for sure. Just looking at the standings and the games remaining, we knew we had to be perfect on the way in. With five games left, we know we could very possibly need all 15 points. It’s just kind of win the rest of our games. We know this is a very tough place to play, Salt Lake is a very good team, they move the ball well and they have good players. We knew it was going to be a tough night but I thought the way we approached the game and the effort and commitment that players put in was fantastic.”

On the upswing in offense in the last two games:

We have been very good in the final third. We’ve got good attacking players and good wide players. You know that’s just how it goes sometimes, you don’t score goals for an extended period of time and then one game can kind of flip the switch and then they come in bunches. It’s coming from things we’ve been working on a lot, our crossing and our overall play in the attacking third. The last couple games goals have been going in so we are very pleased.”

On Steven Lenhart’s performance tonight:

“Steven was fantastic tonight. The goals are excellent, he is very brave. He’s the kind of guy that attacks things 100 percent. He had two great finishes but the things that he did throughout the game were good. He worked hard, he battled for everything. Lenny always gives you 100 percent and it was no different tonight.”

San Jose Earthquakes MF Sam Cronin

On holding RSL to only one goal at Rio Tinto Stadium:

“I thought we were really well organized. We had possession all over the field. They didn’t have too many chances. [GK Jon]Busch didn’t have too many huge saves to make. We defined our blocks really well. A win like that is something that has eluded us all season so to get this win at this point in the season is really big for us. To see that game off when they had quality possession and lots of good players is massive.”

On the road games coming up:

“Our mental confidence is great right now. Our team feels good. Winning here in Salt Lake is a tough place to play so we’re really pleased with the three points and it gives us a lot of confidence going into these next road games.”