Quote Sheet: RSL 3-0 Toronto FC

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On his overall thoughts on the match:

“The best overall performance I think we’ve had.  Offensively, I thought we were great with the ball and had a lot of good ideas and I thought our defensive shape was fantastic.  We gave up some chances – not too many chances.  I thought it was a really mature performance from our guys.  I thought Kyle [Beckerman] was fantastic in really being disciplined and making sure we weren’t getting caught on the counterattacks.  I thought our backline was in really good spots, so I thought it was just a really mature performance.”

On how Real Salt Lake’s early first goal affected the team’s mindset:

“It was huge.  It was something that myself and the other coaches stressed to the guys. Toronto FC had never had to come back – they’d been leading in all their games – and we really wanted to see what they would be like if they were behind, see if they would come out a bit and give us a little more space to play.”

On why Real Salt Lake continued to press after a 2-0 halftime lead:

“It was one of those games where I was trying to think of some substitutions – if any needed to be made – and it was tough, because I thought everyone had the right energy.  Chris Wingert went down early with a bit of a groin issue, so we put on Rich [Balchan] and we thought he did a great job coming in.  We thought everybody had energy tonight, and I was just really pleased with that.  I wanted to get Javier [Morales] to come out and hear the standing ovation from the fans because he was fantastic tonight. And then the other substitution for Devon [Sandoval] was just to bring him in for some work and to finish out the game.  Olmes [Garcia] really threatened all game long.”

On MF Luis Gil’s performance:

“We just kind of challenged him to make sure we were getting him around the ball.  We wanted him to feel free to get into the attack more, and just be mindful of our shape in the back.  We challenged Luis [Gil] to get into the attack more tonight and he was fantastic.”

On FW Alvaro Saborio’s performance:

“He was fantastic tonight.  It started with his defense – he was playing really good defense, challenging for every ball in the air – and I thought it just brought him into the game.  Javier [Morales] gets him in dangerous spots – it gives our forwards the green light to get excited because they know they’ll be getting a quality ball.”

On whether pre-game chatter from various opposing coaches led to Saborio’s two-goal performance:

“I don’t know.  If they’re saying it, then I hope they keep saying more of it. Alvaro [Saborio] is a competitor and he always wants to go out and prove people wrong.  He wants to show people what his talents are.”

On how Real Salt Lake’s years of continuity fared, as compared to a newly-built Toronto FC side:

“That’s why we wanted to get that first goal – to get them out of their rhythm and make them feel something that they haven’t felt.  Credit to the guys for coming out and being aggressive.  Coming out in the second half and being aggressive in getting that third goal was really important to make sure Toronto didn’t even sniff a chance.”

On the team’s undefeated start, claiming eight points in four games despite a daunting schedule:

“I’m really pleased with it but even more than the points.  I think the points and all that stuff will come.  I’m just really pleased with the spirit of the guys right now.  They’re fighting hard for each other, they’re fighting for the challenges and 50/50 balls, and if you have that you can build on it; you can build around it.  I’m really just proud of the guys’ spirit and their fight.  I thought we could’ve been better towards the end of the game and closing it out, but it’s encouraging that we didn’t give in.”

Real Salt Lake MF Luis Gil

On the team’s effort tonight:

“I feel like we came out pretty high. We were going at them and we got those two early goals, and I feel like we kept the intensity throughout the game. Towards the end of the second half we got kind of tired legs, but I still feel like we pressured them.”

On how they were able to keep the lead:

“It was difficult to do. They have guys who can score and change the game easily. I feel like we were disciplined and we shut them down.”

On scoring the goal in front of U.S. Men’s National Team Manager Jurgen Klinsmann:

“I didn’t think of it. It’s good just to get a goal in general. It probably wasn’t the prettiest goal, but you have to shoot to score so I’ll take it.”

Real Salt Lake DF Nat Borchers

On how they were able to counteract Toronto FC’s game plan:

“We scored early – I think that was huge. Great job by [Alvaro] Saborio to turn in the box and then to get that PK. We knew once we got that first goal that we had a couple more coming.”

On the improvement from the last game vs. LA to this one:

“I think that we knew coming into this game that we really needed to be better with the ball. We really needed to jump out and get that early lead, and that’s what we did. I think that the midfielders did a great job of finding space, and I think that Javier [Morales] did a great job of finding space behind their midfielders. We made good decisions, I thought, especially in the first half, to offensively to create chances.”

On if there was more motivation because they were playing Toronto FC with their big offseason signings:

“Not really. I think there was a lot of hype and a lot of things said in the press, but it’s another home game for us and another opportunity to show what a good team we are, and I think we did that tonight.”

On looking forward to playing Sporting Kansas City next week:

“I can’t wait. I can’t wait to play these guys. I’ve been thinking about them all offseason. They’re a great team and they’re playing with a lot of confidence, and we’ll go on the road. And hopefully, the weather is better this time.”

Real Salt Lake MF Ned Grabavoy

On how Real Salt Lake’s maturity and continuity showed through tonight:

“I think we were actually somewhat sloppy at times. I thought our energy was unbelievable, especially the work from the two players up front. [Alvaro] Sabo[rio] and [Olmes] Garcia were unbelievable. It starts up there – when they are working that hard, we see it, and we’re going to work right behind them. I feel like our energy was unbelievable. We were getting to all of the second balls. I think we were creating a lot of chances; we weren’t the sharpest in front of goal, but we created a lot of chances. I think that it’s early in the season. I don’t think their team’s been down yet – losing in a game – and so the early goal helps. The second goal definitely helps. From there I think our maturity shined through a little bit.” 

On having eight points in four games and if that meets the team’s expectations:

“I think we obviously have a good group. There are no surprises really with our team. Everybody knows our players, we know our players and group better than other teams, but other teams know it as well. I think other teams are trying to do that and keep together a core of players because it takes time to gel. For the most part, we’ve kept the same guys around, the same system, and the same tactics. For us, I think that we are team that’s just going to try to get better each week. We feel comfortable playing with each other. I don’t think we are going to be too high after a win or too low after a loss – we stay pretty even-keel. We know that it’s a long season and this is just the beginning.” 

Toronto FC

Toronto FC Head Coach Ryan Nelsen:

Overall thoughts on the match:

“It was uncharacteristic of us in terms of goals that we gave away against a real good team at altitude. Some of the guys haven’t played in it or experienced it. We dug ourselves a bit of a hole – we didn’t come out of the trap very well. I think it was a very questionable decision on the penalty, and that was a bit of a hole to get out of. A lot of what we did was very good, but the goals were not ours, so that was probably the real disappointing thing.”

Thoughts on Real Salt Lake’s offense:

There was a lot of chances for both teams. It didn’t really fall that way in terms in front of our goal. We hit the post a couple of times. We were in really good areas in terms of 3-on-23. On the other end, we were probably a bit sloppy.  It wasn’t really Toronto FC kind of goals that we conceded which is the most disappointing thing.”

Thoughts on team’s performance:

“A lot of these guys haven’t really played that often to tell you the truth.  Bradley Orr hasn’t played much. We’re finding out about ourselves, and as we learn we will get better and better. One pleasing thing is that we had a lot of opportunities on goal. We looked like we were going to score on some of them.”

Toronto FC MF Dwayne De Rosario

Thoughts on playing with Michael Bradley:

“Obviously Michael brings a lot of experience. He’s a tenacious player out there and never gives up – he’s a great guy to play with because of that. He’s always finding ways to win the balls, second balls and to know that he always has your back. Everyone feeds off of that energy and he’s positive to have on the team for sure. It gets you going as well. I feed off of that energy. Even three [goals] down we’re still working hard. It pushes everyone to work that much harder.”

Toronto FC FW Jermain Defoe

Overall thoughts on the match:

“I can’t make excuses. At the end of the day, we lost the game. But I think it’s important that we bounce back because we’ve been fantastic the last few games. So now it’s important to show character and come back and make sure we put a good performance in for the next game.”

Thoughts on Real Salt Lake:

“They’re a good team. They’ve got good movement and keep the ball well. They look like a team that has been together for a long time and they jive really well. They’re a good side and I’m sure it would be difficult for any team to come here. And obviously it helps when they score two early goals, and for us it was difficult to come back into the game. It was a setback, but like all good teams they come back from set- backs. I think you got to stay positive and try and make sure the group stays together. Hopefully we win the next game.”

On Real Salt Lake’s defense:

“They were good, they were tight. It’s always going to be like that to be honest. We created a couple of chances, maybe on another day it would have gone in. But they were good and I think for us it’s a bit hard when they score two goals against us in the first half. For us, it’s sort of like chasing the game – they get their rhythm and then after that it’s difficult. We’ve just got to try and keep our heads up. But it’s always hard when you lose a game because we’ve been playing so well, then we come here confident and you lose a game like that and it’s hard.”

Toronto FC MF Michael Bradley

Overall thoughts on the match:

“Obviously, on a night like tonight you can make a lot of excuses – altitude, travel. But the bottom line is that we didn’t play well enough – that’s the most frustrating. We got off to a good start to the season in terms of two good wins. We wanted to come here and build on that and came up short. We’ve got to look ourselves in the mirror and now be honest enough with ourselves to know that.  It’s a long season and still have a lot of work to do.  What’s important now is to show a good response in Columbus.”

Thoughts on what wasn’t working in the midfield:

“I think obviously, when you start the game and go down 1-0 early, then not too long after go down 2-0, it makes a difficult game even more difficult.  We tried in the second half to get back to 2-1 and see if we could really push things. We were maybe a little bit unlucky to not get a goal, then obviously when they make it 3-0 it’s real tough. We just have to be honest with ourselves to know there’s still a lot of work to do. We still feel good about the group that we have; we’re going to be a team that’s going to be there in the end.”