Quote Sheet: RSL 1-2 Atlanta Silverbacks

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On the emotions the team is going through after getting eliminated from the Open Cup:

“Extremely disappointing. To have the lead again and then not play good soccer – the guys couldn’t finish the game. It’s just really, really disappointing.”

On the play of the Silverbacks:

“We started great and then we went away from what we were doing and they gained control of the game. They played with more energy, more passion, like they were fighting for their jobs.”

On the disappointment of losing the team’s first Open Cup game after going all the way to the USOC Final in 2013:

“Extremely disappointing. Last year we had every game at home which is a lot easier on the guys, but that’s just an excuse. We didn’t play good enough to win tonight. We’re walking away and I can say that we didn’t deserve to win this game. Just extremely disappointed that we’re not able to close out games. We’re not recognizing dangers; we’re getting exposed. It was just a bad performance.”

On how the upcoming World Cup break will impact the team:

“I think it’s going to be extremely beneficial. We can go let this soak in. Everybody can just sit and stew on our break and realize the opportunity that we just blew. It also gives a chance for some of the players to get back and – let’s be fair – when you’re missing eight starters from this game, it’s not easy. This game was never going to be easy and we made it really hard on ourselves.”

On if he’s taking any positives out of the match:

“I don’t think anybody played well tonight. I don’t think anybody played well at all. I got outcoached, we got outplayed and there’s no positives at all from this game.” 

Real Salt Lake DF Chris Wingert

On the disappointment of being eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup:

“Disappointing for sure. It didn’t feel like we played our best soccer tonight. We’ve had a rough couple weeks, but we just have to try to keep improving and get back after it as we get back into our MLS schedule at the end of the month.” 

On what changed that allowed Atlanta to control play after RSL’s opener:

“They were pushing numbers forward and putting us under it a little bit and we didn’t do a great job dealing with it. When we won the ball I thought we really needed to connect the first pass; there was tons of room for us in the midfield, but we weren’t that sharp in doing that and it ended up hurting us.”

On how missing numerous starters due to injury and World Cup duty affected the team:

“I don’t think that’s the reason we lost. It’s never an ideal situation when we don’t have our whole team, but that’s part of playing a long season. You’re not going to have your full roster for every game, nobody is, so we have to deal with it. We feel like we’re more than capable of winning any game we step out onto the field for. Tonight was another chance to do that and we didn’t take advantage. Hopefully we can get some guys healthy that are injured right now over the next couple weeks. We hope those guys stay down in Brazil for a long time, but once we have them back we’ll be happy to have them back and hopefully we can hit the ground running at the end of the month.”

On if tonight’s result can serve as a learning experience for some of RSL’s younger players:

“I think over the last couple of years we’ve had to rely on our depth. I think we’ve been successful because of it, not necessarily in spite of it, and I think that’ll be the case again this year. Hopefully we can continue to have some success because we got off to a good start, but we need to improve. And that’s on everybody, not just the team that was out there tonight. So we’re going to look to do that and like I said, hopefully we get some guys healthy and have a good second half of the year.”

RSL MF Luke Mulholland

On how disappointed he is with the result:

“Extremely disappointed. That’s the only thing that comes to mind. You can see it in the locker room: All the guys’ heads are down, disappointed in ourselves, disappointed in the team and feel like we left Jeff [Cassar] down, like we let the coaches down and like we let the club down. It was difficult tonight. We started off the game brightly, got the first goal after great run by [Robbie] Findley, but as soon as we got that goal we stopped doing what we had been doing.”

On whether this result will sit with the team over its World Cup break:

“If you ask all the players I’m sure they feel right now that we don’t deserve that break, especially with how the results of the last few games have turned out. We’re definitely all disappointed, but at the same time it’s probably a good time for it. Jeff [Cassar’s] told us to just go and get away from the game, enjoy a bit of time with our family and friends, clear our heads because when we come back we’ve got a lot of work to do as a team to prepare ourselves for the rest of the season. It’s going to take a big push from every single player for us to find success the rest of the season. We know what we need to do, we don’t need to focus on the Open Cup anymore, we just need to focus on MLS and making sure that we get ourselves in a good position for the playoffs. It’s time to reassess ourselves, take a few days off, come back in with recharged batteries, cleared heads and really just have a really good push at it again like we did in the start of season.”