RSL v Orlando Quote Sheet; 4/13/19

QUOTE SHEET

Real Salt Lake 2-1 Orlando City SC

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

April 13, 2019

Real Salt Lake

Head Coach Mike Petke

On Damir saying today was a new season:

“That's all going to be told next week.  Just because we won tonight does not give us any guarantees for next week. I thought it was a gritty performance at times, I thought it was a very well-played performance by us sometimes, and I thought it was a bit nervous sometimes. But the end of the day, it’s three points. I'm asked that question from you and from a lot of people all the time over the last 20 years, what can this do for the future? I don't have that answer. You know that. That's yet to be seen. I thought one thing that bringing on two players like Nani and Dwyer at the end of the game, I thought we contained them really well. I thought we got back, I thought we did enough to deny them at times. But before that, we could have put the game away I think a little bit more. But we took two excellent chances.”

On Johnson’s threat level:

“If you look at the whole play and his goal and if I could use one snapshot of an example, that personifies what I want of my players. That's it.He makes a great run, he slips and falls down and get right back up and determined to continue to play. And he gets the reward out of it. That’s determination and he showed that not giving up and the excellent finish. Of the chances he had last game and a couple of chances this game I thought it was possibly his toughest ask on that goal, and he put it away. So I'm happy for him. Hopefully this is going to breed more confidence into him. And he'll continue to provide those for us.”

On finding the right balance:

“At times, I thought but also in the first half for times, I thought we could have played a bit more beyond their defense, we could have been a bit more on the front foot and aggressive. And the times that we did we had our opportunities, and we got the goal. I thought that we played a bit too negatively in the first half, but we retained possession. I thought I think we could have been a bit more threatening. Having said that, I'm proud of the guys for the work they put in tonight and for getting the result.”

On starting Toia against his former side as a factor for the start:

“Probably less than 1%. But there is that little bit of percentage, of course.  I've been traded three times in the league. And every time I played my former team I was up for it. I really wanted to be up for it. But I made mention weeks ago, this is not Hollywood movie.  It's not starting a guy who's gonna, it's going to become Rudy, and we're going to carry him off the field. But a lot went into that decision. But of course, there was a tiny bit in the back of your mind. I think he probably has something to prove against them.”

On Glad’s first minutes of the year:

“It was important for us to get minutes for Justen last week, with the Monarchs. You need to get some game minutes to be ready for when he was called upon. I'm not gonna lie and tell you that he was tending to start after the Monarchs game last week. I was looking forward to a very good competition between him, Nedum, Marcelo and Nick. Marcelo got hurt, so it made the decision obvious for us. And I thought Justen did very well with the first game back.”

On the team’s depth:

“It's extremely important. You guys, plus Brian Dunseth says, plus my general manager who I love, keep reminding me how much depth I have and how great it is to have all this. It's not great unless they are ready to step on the field when their name is called and they show what they're capable of. I think Nick (Besler) showed that last year he might have been if you break down the stats and the percentages, we might have been the most successful when Nick’s on the field last year. So when Nick (Rimando) at the end, got kicked, immediately, we said that if he has to come out, we have no more subs left, Nick Besler was going in goal, because he's able to play so many positions. He's a trooper. So it's unfortunate that Everton got the knock that he had don’t know how serious it is and he's a big player for us. Nick is mature and professional. He's experienced. He's coming on there. I thought he did a good job.”

On Luiz’s injury. 

No, no idea. I know, it's around his knee somewhere in that area.”

On the back line feeling confident:

“It's funny you say that because bringing, and this is again a challenge. And this is again, the respect that I have for these players because I thought Aaron being more comfortable on the right side being a right sided player he would have, he would have been more confident playing flow and going forward. But I expected I think he's capable of more. And I thought Donny at times did well playing forward but at times maybe it was his first game with us starting. Maybe it was his nerves, but I thought those two could have played forward a bit more. It's always good to have a left footed player in the left and a right footed player on the right.”

On midfield circulation:

“I'm always encouraging my outside backs, no, let me let me rephrase that. I'm telling my outside backs, in the right times, to get forward and be a part of the attack and then what has to happen in transition. I thought tonight there was glimpses of it. I thought when Brooks has played over the last I think it was 39 games he started for us to 38. He's an offensive winger and he gets forward and again, transition is one of the biggest parts of this sport, if not many sports, most sports. In those moments when a key player from the defense is out, you have to fill in and of course, we can talk about those things and work on them and I thought that Albert and Jefferson did a really good job tonight at times.”

On Johnson’s defensive effort:

“At times when he's up there on an island by himself. I think he does well as far as, when he plays as a lone striker his only job is to follow the centre backs and keep it on one side when the opportunity arises. I think he does a good job with that. Tonight we tried to press them a little differently, and his defensive responsibility changed a bit. But early on I thought we did well. I thought it got away from us a little bit. Sam’s an honest player, he's a hard worker so I never have a question since he's been here, the work you're going to put in defensively.”

On Savarino’s assist:

“Jefferson's a special player on attack and that's something that didn't come by accident. That’s something that he had in his mind, I'm sure, a split second or two before that happened. That doesn't surprise me. What I'm more concerned about, more challenging Jefferson is his defensive work rate. And tonight I think that he responded well after a week that I put the screws to him a little bit in practice, a couple of days this week, and I think he responded a bit today. So his nutmeg pass for Kreilach, like I said I didn't remember it because it doesn't surprise me with Jefferson.”

Forward Sam Johnson

On how it feels to score the first goal and plant the flag:

“I feel very cool scoring my first goal in the league. I’m so grateful and I’m so happy. First of all I give thanks to the team and especially to Albert who passed me the ball. I really appreciate it and it’s good to score a goal as a striker.”

On what it took from him to snap a four game losing streak:

“It wasn’t only me that made the win come to pass, it was my teammates who gave me the courage, to support me in getting the goal so I appreciate all the fans who would come to watch the game. I’m very happy to get my first goal. I’m sure from the first goal more goals will come.”

On the transition from jumping back in since his knee injury:

“It’s been very difficult for me. It is the first time I will come into a new league. But as a professional footballer you have to be focused, you have to think about why it’s different. Everything that happened is in the past. I think everything is going good for me.” 

Midfielder Damir Krielach

On snapping the four-game losing streak:

“It was amazing. It was not so easy to be in this situation when you lose four games in a row. Today was the most important to take three points.  We did it, and now we have to stay positive. We have two games away now, against Cincinnati and LA [Galaxy] and we will try to take six points from these two games. I know it will be difficult, but because of that, we play soccer.”

On the quality of play tonight:

“First of all, we will fight, and then from this fight, we will come to control the game. We did well, Sam [Johnson] scored an amazing goal. What was important was the second half, first 15-20 minutes to try to control the game, and we did it, and we scored another one. We defended very well. That’s the quality from Nani to score the free kick, but at the end of the day, what I said before, the three points are the most important.”

On today being the start of a ‘new season’:

“Every one of us knows that we didn’t start very well. We want to just leave those negative things and those games behind us and to try to start a new season. Because of that, for us it was like home opener, first games. Three points are amazing.”

On his goal in the 55th minute:

“It was a great assist from Sava [Jefferson Savarino] and then I didn’t have so big of a deal to score. Thanks go to Savarino.”

On his celebration after the goal:

“Yes, of course. It’s a lot of emotion in this situation and because of that, yeah, we celebrate like every time.”

On your first game with Sam Johnson up top

“I mean he showed to us what he can do, and he scored, as I said before, an amazing goal, and then he brings energy as well. His pace is great and every time when we are into pressure we have the option, to kick the long ball and to step up.”

On Besler’s impact on the field

“I don't need to say much about Besler because he's a professional guy. You don't need to take care about him because he will, every time put 100% work in, and he did it today and because of that, well done.”

On high fiving all of the players during the celebration

“The club, the fans, you're going every season, through the good and the bad times, but overall I mean we have to stay positive, because the negative things what's happened, it's happened. And because of that, we have to stay positive to keep positive things in our heads, and then the positive things will happen.

Orlando City SC
Head Coach James O’Connor

Overall thoughts on the game:

“Obviously highly frustrated. I think when you look at the game I think again that we gifted the opposition two goals and that made it very difficult for us to get back into it. I thought we had some longer passages, plenty of possession, plenty of shots. You can’t just keep giving the opposition two goals and then expect to win the game.”

On why Dom and Nani didn’t start in the game:

“I think when you look at Nani he started in July. I think the big thing that we have to have is that we can’t have an expectation for Nani to play every minute of every game because if we do he’s gonna end up with a 15, 16 month season. Physically it’s not possible so we need to make sure that in a situation like this with high altitude and with a longer flight that we’re sensible in our thoughts because the last thing we want is for him to get injured. So we’re gonna have to be careful when managing his game and trying to keep him as fresh as possible because the European season is coming to an end and the season here has just started. So we really need to manage that. Similar for Dom, we felt that the idea of him coming, traveling, dealing with altitude, his preseason starting a bit later we felt it was important that we manage his situation as well. When he came on his quality was there for everyone to see, great free kick. We’ve got a lot of possession and the ball zipping across the goal, but I’ll say it again; if we’re gonna give away two really cheap goals like that, it becomes very difficult to get something out of the end game.”

On the team’s performance defensively:

“It’s critical moments and decision-making. I think we’ve got critical decisions to make and unfortunately we made the wrong one. In both cases we made two really poor decisions and we get punished for it. At the moment that’s really going against us; making a bad decision and giving up a goal. The decision-making on the pressure needs to be better.”

On the team’s performance when Dom and Nani are off the field:

“For us it’s just managing the whole situation. It’s very frustrating because we all want everyone to play every single minute but the last thing we want is out key players – especially our DP’s – to get injured.”

On Sam Johnson’s performance:

“I thought he worked really hard. I thought he gave it some energy. I thought we overloaded him in the central areas. I thought we had a lot of good moments. Again, we just have to stop chasing games. We’ve had four games and we’re chasing the games. We can’t keep doing that. The quality is there for everyone to see. You look at how the game goes and the way we’re able to play and you see tremendous quality but we’re having to do that when we’re under pressure because we’re chasing the game. We need to get that first goal and then be in charge of the game.”

On the team’s lack of consistency:

“I think the frustration point is the fact that our decision-making at key moments is not where it needs to be. I think that’s leading to goals which means we’re chasing the game. That’s the biggest frustration. The players have tried exceptionally hard. But again, we can’t keep gifting teams goals.”

On positives to take away from the team’s quality:

“I think that we have lots of positives to take from it. When we look at the play, we look at the movement, we look at the opportunities, the biggest frustration for everyone is the fact that our critical thinking at critical moments needs to be better.”

Midfielder Will Johnson

On the match:

“I think it was a bit of how our season is going so far. Just some good quality and good moments. But going down in games means it's always going to be difficult to win them. Going down again 2-0 is frustrating for us because we're too good of a team to keep doing that. We don't feel like they broke us down, we feel that we made mistakes that ultimately cost us the opportunity to get points in a game that we really should have come into and gotten points from.”

Thoughts on what happened with the two goals against:

“I think it's a new team. And that's what I mean by it's kind of- tonight is a small sample of what's gone on the season, we're still getting to know each other, we're still trying to figure things out a little bit. And obviously, it's costing us goals, which is very, very frustrating. You know, it's mistakes, it's things that we circled during the week that they would try to do, they would try to hit some long balls, and we knew how to deal with it. And ultimately, for the most part we do but a couple of times in the game we don't and it cost us points.”

Thoughts on if the flow changed with Dom Dwyer and Nani coming onto the field:

“Yeah I mean that's been our whole season, we've been chasing games, we're good at that. We're good at being aggressive and pressing them. Dom and Nami’s quality is no secret. Those guys come on the field, good things are going to happen for us. But it's what happened before they get on the field to cost us again.”

Midfielder Kamal Miller

Thoughts on the first goal conceded:

“It seems that we dealt with the first goal well, just a miscommunication. I feel like it was a number of mistakes. It was a tough one. I could see that early in the game as well especially when we felt we were on top of the game at that point.”

Thoughts on giving up away goals:

“It's pretty frustrating because these goals do not look well against performances that we're doing. We’re playing very well these goals are coming against the run of play. [It is] very tough to keep gifting these goals knowing that we have to fight back when we’re kind of digging ourselves a hole when we’re on top of the game. It’s frustrating.”

Thoughts on fixing miscommunication:

“More time, more work. We’re getting better every game. It was a new backline today. It was tough out there but we could have done a lot better with those things.”

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