Quote Sheet: RSL 2-1 Colorado Rapids

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On how the match ended:

“It seems like we talk about this all the time, but you know we have to give some credit to our opponents. They throw numbers forward, they start to cause havoc. But I thought our guys did a great job of bending, but not breaking. That’s what’s going to happen. You’ve got a two goal lead and they start dumping numbers forward and putting balls into the box. I thought they really gained most of their momentum from set plays which is something that you can’t control too much about how they get their set plays. But you can control how you defend them and that’s an area that we’re always stressing and trying to improve on.”

On the importance of MF Javier Morales on the field:

“He’s extremely important for us. He’s our attacking midfielder, he’s the one we try to find with the ball early, turn, and create, and I thought he did a fantastic job of finding gaps between their two defensive midfielders. Our players did a good job of finding him in those areas.”

On making his first substitution in the 89th minute:

“I thought the energy from the guys was great. I didn’t feel like they were breaking us down through the run of play, I felt like the set plays were turning into momentum for them. It was difficult because I thought everyone was playing well and we wanted to waste some time and also get Javier [Morales] out because he picked up a knock and kind of kill the game off with some substitutions rather than making subs just to make subs.”

On GK Jeff Attinella’s play in goal:

“I thought he was fantastic. I thought he came up with several big saves that kept us in the game. I thought he commanded his box very well. He had to deal with a lot of service. Can it get a little better dealing with some of that service? Yes. But we’ll work on that. But he was fantastic. You could see the confidence in his back line with him and that means the world.”

On the absence of Captain Kyle Beckerman, GK Nick Rimando and FW Alvaro Saborio:

“I thought it was a great start to the game. I thought Cole Grossman had a really mature performance there and sat in and held down the fort, and didn’t get caught out of position too much. With Devon [Sandoval] his work rate was off the chart. His ability to hold up the ball and bring more of our midfield into the attack was fantastic and just to keep grinding and battling for 90 minutes really helped us out.”

Real Salt Lake GK Jeff Attinella

Thoughts on Colorado applying pressure:

“They obviously stepped up the pressure being down 2-0 at halftime. If you watch a lot of the MLS this year, this has been happening a lot where teams are getting down and coming back in.  Hopefully, we learn from our last home game. They got one but they didn’t get the second, which is the most important.”

Thoughts on his double-save:

“I saw him coming in, and right when I gave up the rebound I knew somebody was coming, so I tried to get up and pretty much just lay out as best as I can, and got up late to it, which anything helps in that situation. But I was pretty fortunate that he was on a pretty tough angle too.”

Thoughts on what can be attributed to RSL’s unbeaten streak:

“We’re a pretty tight group. When we say we’re going to miss the guys that are gone it’s not only on the field, it’s in the locker room, it’s every day.  We have a special group that we don’t think about it too much, but to say that the results have been easy is also not true, so we know that we can get better. Luckily for the first 11 games it’s been going our way.”

Real Salt Lake MF Ned Grabavoy

On the last 25 minutes of game:

“If you just look game-to-game in this league, they’re going to throw guys forward, and so now, you can draw it up and say that they run a 4-4-2, but are they? When both wingers press high, it’s almost 4 vs. 4, man to man across our back line. Really, they push their outside backs all the way into the midfield as well. It’s going to happen but it’s how we deal with it. Obviously, we gave up the free kick goal again. But maybe mentally for us, it was a good thing to have the last ten minutes to deal with that because we’ve had to deal with it this year, and we haven’t done well. So maybe that’s a little bit of a learning block for us going forward.”

Overall thoughts on game while missing MF Kyle Beckerman, FW Alvaro Saborio, and GK Nick Rimando:

“I thought it was one of the best games we’ve played all year. I think that when everyone understands their role, their job, and the definition of what they’re role is, I think you see great things from this team. Tonight, I saw eleven players and guys that came on who completely understood their role, what was asked of them. I don’t think that there are any questions on this team for anybody that doesn’t understand the definition of their role. And so you look at the three players that step in tonight – three guys that haven’t played as much for us this year with Devon [Sandoval], Cole [Grossman], and Jeff [Attinella] – three guys that step in and completely understand their role. I thought from all eleven players that no one tried to do anything too much. We all played simple and the game just opened up for us, especially in the first half. For me, I thought it was one of our better performances of the year.”

On RSL’s unbeaten streak:

“I think usually we always have a difficult stretch to start the season. We’re usually asked to play four of five on the road to start or six of eight on the road to start because of the weather here. Usually, we’re going into some tough places and playing against two home-openers on the road. I think that we’re starting to see ourselves a little bit on the road – being able to play more of our game than maybe we have in the past. There are still plenty of things to work on, especially dealing with a lead – that’s probably the number one thing for us. But at the same time we’ve been creating a ton of chances. We’ve been really good in front of goal for the most part with those chances. I think when we bring the energy and we’re organized and all those things we’re going to get chances and we’re going to score goals. So we feel confident going on the road and playing at home. Anytime you’re on a streak like this, you’re obviously getting some bounces and some luck. We’re getting that but I think we are creating that ourselves a little bit as well.”   

Real Salt Lake DF Tony Beltran

Thoughts on the game:

“The team did really well. There was so much relief tonight, especially giving up that late goal. We’ve been in that situation before, so it felt good to be a little bit more mentally stronger.”

Thoughts on matching Colorado MF Deshorn Brown’s speed:

“Luke did a good job coming back and help double team and help keep him in line, which is what we were trying to do. He’s a good, young player and he’s got a bright future.”

Thoughts on preventing counter attacks:

“I think every game we’re working hard to try and prevent counter attacks. That’s where other teams get their success. We sustained possession for a long time, then when they turn over if they beat guys high and we let them turn and run at us, then that’s most dangerous. That’s when we’re most vulnerable. It’s good that defenders are in good spots to prevent those counters.”

Real Salt Lake DF Chris Wingert

Thoughts on RSL’s backline:

“I’m proud of us. Obviously, I don’t want to give up a goal. I’d love for us to win two nothing, or close the game out three nothing, but at the same time I’m glad that we got to play 10-12 minutes just the one-goal advantage, with them pumping goals into our box.  We battled, then we got out of there, which we haven’t done in all of our games, so in a way I’m proud of us. “

Thoughts on RSL’s unbeaten streak:

“Keep grinding out results. It’s not going to be a perfect win. We want to get better, but we’re certainly not trying to peak right now. We’ve won different ways, sometimes we have played really well. I think our first goal tonight was pretty nice, knocking the ball around then still being able to come in and make it hard for them to play at times, which is good. There still needs to be improvement, but that’s OK. If we can keep winning games while we’re trying to improve, then that’s a perfect scenario. We’re happy with where we’re at, but then again it’s still the first third of the season.”

Thoughts on Colorado’s counter attacks:

“We want to take the game to them but we also know that sometimes we’re going to give up the ball, so there’s going to be some turnovers and we just have to react well. If that means stopping play, then so be it and we put everybody behind the ball, and I thought the guys did a pretty good job of that tonight with some really dangerous attacking options.”

Real Salt Lake MF Javier Morales

Thoughts on getting a win while missing three starters:

“It’s very important, very important for confidence. We know that those three are very important players for us, but we’re still winning – that is good for the group, for the team, for the locker room, so we are very proud of this team right now.

On how they were able to hold the lead at the end when the Rapids were pressing:

“I think we have to improve a little bit to close the game a little bit earlier. I think that if we are calmer with the ball, we have a couple of chances to score one more goal and if we score three goals maybe the game was over like ten minutes before.”

On the importance of getting the first goal:

“It’s good because they are a good team and when we score the first goal at home, we always put pressure on them to come out a little bit. Most teams come here and sit back a little bit, so that was good for us.”

Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni

On the team’s spirit throughout the game:

“I think our guys battled like warriors out there today. I think we were able to impose ourselves for the better part of 60 minutes. The lack of finishing was what let us down in the end.”

On carrying this momentum into next week:

“This is all a process right now. It’s not about doing really well one week and then not showing up the next. It’s about being consistent and that will come with time. The idea is to get better defensively, to get better offensively and figuring out how we sustain that.”

On spreading the game out wide:

“Real Salt Lake like to play a really narrow formation and I thought it would be a good idea to pull some of their guys out. I feel like our guys did a great job of that. Salt lake had to do quite a bit more defending than any other of their games that I’ve seen. For us to do that for large patches of the game – that makes it a good performance to build on.”

On what he saw differently as a coach than as a player:

“Well I wanted to go out on the field and go play. I still have cleats that are polished in the locker room. I couldn’t have done anything tonight that those guys didn’t do. They battled hard tonight, they battled for each other.”

On the penalty kick:

“Well, like I’ve said, if the referee calls it, and this is the referee that is going to the world cup – the best in America, if he calls it, it’s a penalty kick.”

Colorado Rapids DF Drew Moor:

On rebounding after the first Real Salt Lake goal:

“We had to dig ourselves out of a hole. You know they scored about 20 minutes in and after that it seemed to be a different game. We just can’t wait to get punched in the face before we start playing in a game like this. Disappointed in the start, but you can’t complain about the last twenty minutes. We were the better team, created more chances and on a better day probably score a little more.”

On the offensive showing of the team:

“I think belief from the team as a collection. Again, we waited to get punched in the face and then we realized that, hey, we can play with these guys. But it was just a sense of belief from a couple good passes, a couple good chances and we were back in the game.”