Quote Sheet: Real Monarchs vs Sacramento Republic


Real Monarchs
Head Coach Mark Briggs

On the emotions:
“Devastated. Football is a cruel game at times and it was cruel then. But that is the game we love. There has to be a winner and there has to be a loser. Unfortunately tonight it wasn’t us and I wish Sacramento the best of luck in the rest of the playoffs.”

On the attitude after Chandler’s PK:
“I thought that we made a little adjustment in the middle of the park and I thought it gave us a bit more of a footing in the game. Karsten came in and sat a little bit deeper next to Besler and I thought that gave us a little more stability and we started to get the ball higher up the park into more dangerous areas that we wanted to. We got the goal and I thought we could have created a little bit more but I thought we had the momentum at that point and I thought we would go on to win the game.”

On Connor Sparrow’s performance:
“I think Connor has done that for us all year, he is part of the team and as a goalkeeper you have to rely on him to sometimes pull out big saves. He has pulled out those big saves for us, not only tonight but throughout the course of the last 32 games prior to tonight. Connor has been a different class, and it is credit to him that we expect him to make those saves. I think that is the reason why he has got a MLS contract, the reason that RSL fans, in the future, will be seeing a lot of him.”

On the season:
“I just said to them in the locker room, obviously we spoke about how the game is cruel at times. There is a lot of people who are upset in that locker room, but I said to them you should be proud of what you achieved this year. You should be proud of the performances you have put in, the points that we got, the records that we broke. But right now that doesn’t really matter and it’s hard to even think about that because we just lost on penalties.”

On looking towards the offseason:
“I think we have a lot that is positive, we have got a lot that we can take away and build on for next year. I think there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle that we have to figure out. The one thing that we have to aim to do, as a club, is to be better. We have to be better than what we were this year. From an individual standpoint, from a group standpoint, those standards have to continue to aim to be better from how we have done this year. I think that is important, not only for the Monarchs but for the whole football club.”

Forward Chandler Hoffman

On the feelings:
“Yeah, it’s disappointing. It can be a really cruel game and to lose in penalties is obviously tough but, I mean, I’m incredibly proud of this group, what we did this year, and even tonight going down 1-0, fighting back. You know I thought for the last--if you count extra time--60 minutes that we were going to find a way to win the game. So it’s a bit unfortunate and just one of those things that tonight it wasn’t our night.”

On earning the PK and tucking it away:
“As a player, that’s the type of player I’ve always been. I always want the ball in big moments. So tonight I got both extremes--scoring the goal to push the game into overtime and then getting my shot saved for the final PK. But I mean that’s who I am as a player. I want the ball in those situations and I’ll continue to want the ball in those situations.”

On his season:
“It was great. I can’t say enough about the group of guys that we have. All year they’ve come in, they’ve worked hard and to be able to score goals and help us win games is exactly what I came here to do. It’s been a huge blessing this season just from everyone, from the coaching staff to the trainers, everyone. It’s been a great group of guys and I’m just heartbroken that we didn’t have a chance to do more in the playoffs.

On the locker room feeling:
“It’s pretty devastating. Because it’s one of those things, we’ve had such a tremendous season and then tonight it’s all over, it ends. And we felt we had the team to win the championship this year so the hard part is it’s done now. I mean the season’s over. It’s one of those things that you can look and learn but at the end of the day this group will probably not be together again. This was our chance to win the championship and it’s one we’ll have to look back with regret.

On the season:
“I think when we look back in a couple of weeks we’ll be able to see what a tremendous run we had this year. Our record at home was incredible, we won the USL regular season. Obviously over the course of 32 games we had the best record in the league so we’ll be able to look back at that but it’s going to take a bit of time because it sucks that the season’s over tonight. We felt like we deserved more.”

Sacramento Republic FC
Head Coach Paul Buckle

On carrying the game out:
“We came here to win. Absolutely, I was pretty sure what system they would play. We work hard this week in shape, in a diamond. We mix it up very well. Sometimes we pressed them high, sometimes we dropped off and it worked. We took the lead and was in control. You’re always going to spelt and give away chances. You’re playing a team that has been consistent all year, you’re away from home and you’re playing in the altitude. And I thought we sort that out, we made a poor error and he knows you should never commit a penalty there. The guy is going away, he’s not on goal and it gives them a lifeline. So yea, one thing we’ve done is recover from that. We didn’t concede again, we took control of it. We were happy to go to penalties, I think they were as well. We practiced them and practiced them and practiced them, as we did last year and lost. Look, we were number one last year and lost away in PK’s.”      

On the win:
“Brilliant because we carried the badge brilliantly tonight. We have had a tough season, make no question about it. Last season it went very smoothly for me, no injuries, this year we had injury after injury. We had a takeover in our club, so there has been a lot going on. We have come here tonight thoroughly deserving to win in my opinion. I think we deserved it. I feel disappointed for the Monarchs because they been great this year but they should be proud of what they’ve done. We know how that feels last year. For us, the boys I’m very proud.”     

On the attacking players:
“We wanted to play two strikers out. We wanted to invite their wings backs higher up the field. Then we knew with Wilson’s pace we could get in. We wanted to play from the back. Draw them and then get in and it work. I thought we looked dangerous and you know we mix our game up. We didn’t just played the line, we made some good passes of play. And it was confidence about us. I honestly had a feeling we were going to finished 8th and we were going to come here and win. But it was a deserved victory, I know I feel unfair, I feel we deserved it.”    

On preparing for the next game:
“Listen to Jessie, our sport science guy. We work to what he sets for us and then come back and work. I think once we know the opponent, we have to work tactically. The boys stuck to the plan tonight. I know is a phrase often use but they actually did. We executed well, I think we didn’t allow them too many chances and we would have to do again. I feel we deserved it. Last year in the playoffs, we didn’t really level up in Orange County in the open play. So it is really keen for us to go one step further this year and we actually haven’t conceded a goal in open play, they have all been penalties. It’s funny how it is but it’s such a fine line. But two good teams tonight.”        

Goalkeeper Evan Newton

Overall thoughts:
“Obviously the Monarchs had a great season but we believed in ourselves. When we turn it on we’re hard to beat. We came out and gave a good performance. It’s a tough place to play and we got the result.”

On executing a game plan:
“We had a good game plan coming in. We’ve played this club a lot, Open Cup, twice this season. We knew each other you could tell, but unfortunately someone has to win and someone has to lose. Last year we were on the losing end of it and fortunately we were on the winning end this year.”

On the PKS:
“Our guys stepped up and did well. I told our guys to step up and hit it confidently and I’ll do the rest. Fortunately I was able to do that and the guys did their jobs. Sometimes when you go up a goal for so long then give a goal the momentum can shift and we got through that and we battled. I’m just proud of the guys and now we rest up and await the winner of Phoenix and Swope.”