Quote Sheet: Real Salt Lake 1-1 Houston Dynamo

Postgame Quote Sheet
Real Salt Lake 1-1 Houston Dynamo
March 2, 2019; BBVA Compass Stadium

Real Salt Lake
Head Coach Mike Petke

Initial thoughts on the game:
“Building off last year we dropped the line a little bit. We made it difficult for their strengths, which is guys like Manotas, Elis, and Quioto getting in behind. I thought they did very well there. We transitioned excellent first half out of it to get some clear chances to goal. Our goal was a very good moment for us. A slip up for us, I thought Nedum was very tight for that goal, got around him a little bit but there was also a mix up on our right side defensively to allow a cross to come in. Other than that, we held on. We worked hard. We could have been a little more aggressive, but I think when we went a man up our legs were tired. Overall it’s a good point on the road and something to build on next week for home.”

On if the players have set the tone that he wanted this season on the road:
“Well we have 16 more games on the road so tonight was a good start. I think we have to get cleaner obviously—it’s the first game. We have to get cleaner when we play out of that block, but I thought for a defensive performance the block was very good. The movement was very good about denying the little gaps that we are playing to in transition for their key players.”

On the performances of Everton Luiz and Sam Johnson:
“Well, I thought Everton and Kyle played very well. When one got a bit more aggressive the other one held them which is what we need. I thought Everton had very good clean ups as far as tackles as far as breaking up plays and his distribution was very good at the back. Sam came on a bit late due to his lack of minutes in the pre-season because of injury. I thought he was dangerous with is pace, with his pressure on the defense. Overall it’s comfortable.”

On the number of shots they had on goal:
“We came in tonight with a mentality of let’s try to frustrate a little bit, give them no space which means we must drop a little bit deeper. But for me it was very key how we were going to transition out of that. Again, in the first half I thought we did excellent, but we got a goal with it. Even in the second half at times, but I think we let off a little coming out of halftime sitting a little deeper. But again, that could be early season legs and stuff. But overall, I thought that both sides of the ball we were alright tonight.”

On what he will take from this game to build on those coming up:
“Well again it’s a mature point—it’s mentality was good there to recognize where I was last year, I really wanted to push it on the road. The players wanted to push it but the road at times is not the place to push it. You must be a lot more pragmatic on the road than you are at home and I thought tonight, again, the discipline, the understanding of how we wanted to defend was excellent so from here on out it’s got to be the standard. Hopefully the standard gets raised throughout the next road games.”

On how he liked the way the attacking four played as a unit:
“Again, it starts with defense. We’re on the road and focused on that. I thought they had pressure, they had movement. Their patience was very good and again when their legs were feeling very well early on we transitioned excellent out of that. We found the highest guy to play off of because they had so many numbers committed forward I thought.  Damir did a good job with the hold up and I thought guys like Savarino and Corey stretched their backline a little bit and Albert pulled the strings. I don’t think we found Albert enough tonight but when we did, I thought he pulled the strings well and he kept the play going.”

Forward Corey Baird

On returning to the field for the first game:
“It felt good to get back out there. We have had some preseason games, but it is nice to get in a game that actually means something.”

On setting up Albert Rusnák’s goal in the first half:
“They were sitting up a lot, they would pick up the ball from midfield, so I would drive at them. Albert found a good spot and he turned his guy around and he did the rest.”

On the mentality to earn more points on the road:
“I think in the second half we came out too passive, kind of gave them the game. Obviously we don’t want to be giving up goals, but you can’t let them dictate the entire game. So that was unfortunate, after the red card we felt comfortable. Maybe we could have fished for something more.”

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando 

On the keys to control the Houston Dynamo:
“Just be in a good position defensively. Obviously, Elis is one of their main players that we circled and I thought Aaron did a fantastic job against him along with Nedum coming over and supporting him. But everyone in front of me tonight made my job real easy.”

On how they will transfer their home success to the away games:
“We weren’t very great last year on the road, so I think we will definitely have two different mentalities playing on the road compared to playing at home so we have a lot of creative players on our team that when at home are able to create their own stuff and be a little bit more dynamic so I think you will definitely see a different side from us.”

On if they were able to perform up to road expectations today:
“Again, we had good blocks and I think everybody in front of me played well and worked hard. We limited their chances for sure and I think we could have won that game but again 1-1 on the road in the first game we will take it.”

Midfielder Albert Rusnák

On the team’s performance to open the season:
“Good team performance, good defending. Yeah, except the goal, I think there was some miscommunication there. It is a shame that we conceded that goal. In the last 10 minutes, playing a man up, I felt like we could have done a little bit more attacking to try to win the game. Overall, a good way to start the season, especially on the road.”

On his goal in the first half:
“I know that Damir made the run, I made the run to the other side. I think I was a bit lucky for that touch. I don’t know if the two defenders hit each other or if something happened, but when I was in front of goal I had to score, I had to do something since I was so close. It is not the nicest goal I have scored, but I will take it.”

On playing a competitive MLS game:
“It felt good, this is what we have been waiting for during the whole preseason. I am not a fan of preseason and all the running, and all that. It was a good team performance today and a well-deserved point where we might have sneaked in a win, but it didn’t happen.”

On what the team can take to their next game:
“It is a completely different game when we play at home, we are the team that dominates the ball at home. Today was kind of up and down. They had their moments, we did as well, but overall it is a good standard for the games on the road to play like today.”

Houston Dynamo
Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera

On the first half of the game:
“We didn’t play well the first 45 minutes. We weren’t clear with the ball, we didn’t pass the ball and we didn’t connect. There were too many long balls. I tried to tell the guys we needed to pass and move the ball. We gave away a ball in the middle, they attacked, and one ball went through. It was a poor defensive move from us. It wasn’t a great pass. It was more that we didn’t defend well, and they just went ahead one to zero.”

On the second half of game:
“In the second half, we started off more in control, moving the ball. Not as quick as we needed to, but we were controlling the ball. We moved our lines a little bit higher, starting to control the second balls more but, it wasn’t a sharp day for our guys up front. We weren’t creating the chances as we normally do, we just weren’t that great. However, despite all of that, we scored a good goal by Mauro Manotas with a good cross by Adam Lundqvist. I think we were coming until the red card. I told the guys we need to be out there with 11 guys. In order for us to win, we need 11 guys. We are now making an effort, with some guys playing on Tuesday, while others playing on Saturday. The double yellow card was unfortunate. I will say that the two central backs from that team, especially number 14, were after Tomas Martinez in the first half. I said in the second half, number 14 should get something. He was kicking everyone. They were kicking Alberth Elis and our players. I think I made that comment to Armando Villarreal, that it was a good game, but they were kicking our guys because they knew that they are fast. Alberth got kicked when he was going because the central back never challenged the ball. Those are the aspects where you question what is going on, where the guy with the VAR is, and where the decision is being made. Matias Vera got a double yellow card, and the guy that is making those could [on the other team] is not even getting a yellow card. That’s the game, we need to deal with that, and we lost the opportunity to get three points at home. That’s tough, but now we have to think about Tuesday and the CONCACAF champions league game against Tigres.”

On balancing MLS and CONCACAF:
“It is difficult because we want to play our best team, but we have to understand our players. Beasley is 36 years old. I cannot put him playing through Tuesday too. It’s not the age, because to be honest, it’s not about the age. We have to think about all the injuries and problems they have been going through. DaMarcus Beasley has played professionally for 20 years. His body has aged with games. A.J. DeLaGarza is coming from an ACL injury where he hasn’t played in one year. He’s going through the same thing, movement that causes pain. I wasn’t planning to play Maynor Figueroa, but he had to play. Why? Because that’s the reality. That’s the situation right now.”

Midfielder Boniek Garcia (Translated from Spanish)

On the outcome of the game:
“We couldn’t get the opening goal and trailed 1-0. If we score first, then we could have won. But we will work harder for the next game, as much as possible.”

On moving on to Tuesday’s game against Tigres:
“Immediately, immediately thinking about that game on Tuesday. We want to have a great game at home against that team and even more so because we are at home.”

Forward Mauro Manotas (Translated from Spanish)

On today’s game:
“Complicated game; difficult. They got us in the first 45 minutes, but in the second half we played our game and equalized, and unfortunately we couldn’t get the second goal.”

On scoring goals:
“That is why I’m here, I am ready to score goals. I’m hitting the mark. I stayed in my spot and scored.”

On his objectives:
“The objective is to qualify for the playoffs and in the Champions League, to get as far as possible. For the cup, it’s to win it. Personally, score a lot of goals, more than last year. I want to break my record and represent the club well.”

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