Quote Sheet: Real Salt Lake 3-0 FC Cincinnati

Real Salt Lake 3-0 FC Cincinnati
Nippert Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio
April 19, 2019

Real Salt Lake
Head Coach Mike Petke

On the performance in the victory:
“Obviously I’m very pleased.  It’s not about the win.  The win was much needed and we wanted it, but it was the way we played.  This team has gone through some rough patches, but when we click and we do the things that we work on and talk about and we put it together, we play really well.  But we have to have that more consistently.”

On closing out the clean sheet:
“Discipline.  Work rate.  Back pressing.  All of the things that when you don’t see them happening at times is when we get ourselves in trouble.  Commitment tonight on both sides of the ball, the second-ball winning, knowing they were going to be direct and dropping our lines at the right time … that’s what closed the game out.”

On Albert Rusnák’s resolve to score two goals after dislocating a finger:
“I’m sure it was very painful, but Albert got up, got them popped back in and was right back in to score again.”

On the first road win:
“People might disagree with me or not, but take away the red cards on the road and we played better to start this season on the road than we did last year.  I know the results didn’t come and part of that is because we might have let some complacency get in there.  But it does feel great.  Take away the three points and the performance was excellent tonight.”

Midfielder Albert Rusnák

On dislocating his finger before scoring his first goal:
“I saw my finger was out of place and it was not a question of me not continuing.  If it was in my foot – my toe – that would be a different story, but my hand is not that important to the game so I knew I was going to play on.  It was just a scared moment and once they put it back in place, that’s when the pain started to kick in.  But they taped it and when you score a goal, you don’t feel the pain.”

On defending against 12 corner kicks:
“We knew they were a direct team and they’ve got some big boys there and they’ve scored a lot of goals this season from set pieces.  So we did practice set pieces so we did practice set pieces, defensively especially.  And it paid off.  Today we didn’t concede a goal, although at the start of the second half they had a big chance from a corner kick.  But the luck was on our side today and sometimes you need that.”

On the first road win:
“It feels good – not just the win, but the way we played on the road.  The style that we want to have at home, we need to present that way on the road as well.  Maybe not every game, but all around, it’s a good day for us.”

Goalkeeper Andrew Putna

On his first start of 2019:
“This feels really good. It feels like a team win for us. I don’t think the other team got a shot on goal the entire game. You have to hand it to the guys from top to bottom. It was just a great win all around. You can’t ask for more from the guys.”

On defending set pieces:
“We did do a lot of crossing this week. But I don’t think I got to one cross tonight because the defense did so well. At one point in the first half they took 4-5 corners in a row but the team locked it down and got the three points.”

On closing out the game:
“We talked about it at half. We felt that if we didn’t sit in atop our box, then we could defend from front to back. It started with the guys up top and their pressing. That helped us keep our line high. We talked about 3-4 goals and we did that and got third and were able to see the game out.”

FC Cincinnati
Head Coach Alan Koch

On the game:
“Incredibly frustrating, incredibly disappointing evening for our group. I thought there were large chunks particularly in the first half where we played very, very well. And then, moments of the game that we did not manage very well. Our concentration definitely hurt us during the course of the game. An incredibly disappointing night.”

On not capitalizing on chances:
“I think we created ample chances, particularly in the first half, to get ourselves something out of the game tonight. I think we could have even shot more, particularly when it’s this wet. You should be shooting as much as you can. I think we created ample chances in open play, on set pieces. If we capitalize on chances, we obviously get something out of the game tonight. But at the end of the day, we didn’t. That’s a problem. It’s becoming a bit of challenge now as we’ve gone through the last few games. We really need to get as many of our attacking options back as quickly as possible. You need to have options. Players are going to have bad days at times, if a player is having a bad time in a game, sometimes you make a change, But, we need to get all of our attacking options back as quickly as possible so we actually have those options. We believe in all of the players, but we also concede that they’re going to have bad moments. If a player has a bad moment, you need to get him off. But you need to have options to be able to make those substitutions.”

On what is needed to turn things around:
“Good question. We want to live in the moment, we are not going to shy from tonight. I appreciate the big picture questions and I’ll answer that, but in this moment, what transpired tonight wasn’t good enough. We are disappointed and I can tell our fans are disappointed too, you could hear it in the stadium tonight. It should be like that, we expect more from ourselves, we expect more from our entire group. The first eight games have unfolded exactly how we thought they would. We are an expansion team. We are a new team, in a new league trying to step up with a bunch of players that we’re pulling from all different places, we’re being very, very reasonable with what we’ve spent so far and to get what we’ve got through the first games is actually an okay start, it’s not a great start by any means, but it’s an okay start. We conceded when we saw  the schedule and how things have transpired through the first 10 odd games, it was going to be very, very difficult, and it has proved to be very, very difficult. We’ve had some good moments, and we’ve had some bad moments. And the bad moments like tonight suck. Tonight sucks. This is not fun, but this is what we signed up for, we signed up coming to MLS with such a short window, that we were going to have moments like this. So, when they do transpire, let’s not go jump off the ship, we are all going to stay on the ship together and our true fans will stay on the ship with us. People will go crazy, of course, it is professional sports and that’s what some people do, but let’s stay true to what we are trying to do. We are a new team, in a new league, we are a new franchise. We have pulled all these players together, we are still building. We know we have to get better of course,  we will maximize what we have and continue to improve. If you look at it for a second, we are actually in an okay place. We may or may not still be in a playoff position and that’s an amazing position to be in. It’s not going to get any easier. We know the next few games are going to be incredibly tough and we are going to have to fight through that. We know the true people that support us will stick with us and will continue to fight with each other to keep on going.”

On whether he feels pressure:
“From the locker room, 100%. The guys are all committed to the cause.  I haven’t even spoken to them yet because I want them to digest this. I normally go speak to them before I come here, but I want them to process how tonight went. I walked through there to come here and you can see all their heads are down. You can see it means something to them and we will go in and we’ll go digest this together tonight. We are not in a rush to get out of here tonight. We want to truly asses as quickly as we can. Learn from it. In terms of the group, yes. I have confidence in the group that we have. We believe in the group that we have and make the most out of what we have. Support from the outside, you can't worry about that. You focus on what you can control.”

Defender Kendall Waston

On the result:
“It is a hard one obviously, when you lose. It’s never good. Never happy. I think that when we were playing the best football, they score on us. Everything just fell down. We were trying to come back from that, and they scored the other one. It was really, really difficult. Second half we came in again with  new energy, went forward and, they came again with a penalty kick so it was hard. It was those type of games that is really frustrating. When you lose like this, you have a lot of things on your mind. But I always think -cause the experience I have, it’s not the first time that I lose like this - it’s okay. You come back to work even harder. This type of game you have to look again to see what the bad things or the good things that we were doing, to try to come back again to the football that we want to create.”

On keeping the mindset positive:
“I always try to point myself out first. I’m never going to blame any teammate, because all of these boys go on the field and try their best. Run a lot. Give their maximum effort. I think that I have to be the first one to get better and from there on. But I think we had good games, for example like against Portland, against (LAFC) was a good game, but we didn’t win it. I think we are going on a good road. But now we have to win those games that we have, five games or three games away. So these three points that they took from us, we have to try to win them back.”

On the team’s mood:
“Frustrated. It's normal. Nobody is fighting against each other. We feel frustrated with ourselves because we tried our best. We were thinking before the game, okay this is the game we have to win. We didn’t get it.  Sometimes things don’t go your way, but you just got to look forward. Sometimes in football things don’t go your way, but this is where the real character of the individual shows.”