Royals FC Quote Sheet

Utah Royals FC 1-2 Houston Dash
Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
May 11, 2019

Utah Royals FC
Head Coach Laura Harvey

On the game:
“Credit to Houston, I think they took their chances. I think from our perspective, in the first 25-30 minutes, there was only one team in it, but we started to slow down. We didn’t move the ball quick enough, we didn’t find the passes that we’ve been playing earlier in the game, we got complacent. From the 30-minute mark on we just dropped our standard and you can’t do that in this league — it’s unforgiving. If you’re going to give the ball away, you’ve got to make sure that you defend properly and we didn’t. We pride ourselves on being hard to beat, we pride ourselves on defending that way to make it difficult for teams and we didn’t do that. It does make it difficult when you give the ball away. Just the fundamentals of the game, we didn’t do well enough today.

On Houston’s goals:
“Didn’t say it was the back line, just that we didn’t defend well. You can’t allow the ball in the channel. Rachel Daly is a lone forward and she has 30 yards of space, you can’t do that, you can’t do that in this league. Our forwards don’t get that space — if they did, Amy Rodriguez would score 10 goals a game — but they don’t. We don’t normally do that, so we’ve got to address that, and look at that, and be better.”  

On improvements this week and next weekend?
“We’ve got to be better on the ball and make better decisions. We can't take our foot off the pedal and I felt like we had a good week of training, I didn't think we were complacent, but I felt after the first 30 minutes we showed complacency in our game and you can't do that at this level, you can't. So, we need to review the game and we need to look at things that we did well because there were some things early in the game that we did well. But we have to make sure that we're defensively solid against any team in this league, because outside of their two goals, I can't remember a ton of chances that they had, but we didn't have any either. So, I think that in games like this where you're playing against two teams who are limiting each other's opportunities, you've got to be good defensively and we weren’t today. We've got to touch on that, for sure.”

On how Laura tries to make in-game adjustments:
“I try to shout as loud as I can and then at half-time we spoke about it and it didn't change. It didn't change, and in the second half we didn't reopen the tempo, we need to think about that for next week.”

Forward Amy Rodriguez

On first loss of the season:
“It's hard to pinpoint what went wrong. I felt like we were our own worst enemy today. I felt like we took our foot off the gas pedal, we didn't keep taking it to them. We've had a lot of bite these last few games and today I don't think we brought it.”

On what prevented them from “bringing the bite”
“We started with a first good 25 minutes, foot on the gas pedal, went up a goal and I think we just started to slow up a little bit. I don't know if we got comfortable, I don’t know if we just took it easy, I'm not sure what it was, but as a collective, it has to be better and I take this loss personally. We're going to have to bring it even harder next weekend and we're going to have fire under under us because we're all just pissed right now.”

On what led to Houston’s goals:
“I think it was us just being our own, shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit. I felt like we gave the ball away, like I said, slow play which led to two outside shots by them. Nothing special from Houston, I think that we just handed it to them.”

On her goal:
“Vero is so good on the ball, she's a great midfielder to play with because she attracts so many defenders to her. Players start watching her on the ball and it enables me to make runs off of her. I got the ball behind on a pass from Vero and slotted it back post. But again, like the goals that they scored over our goal, it just makes me angry because we should have won the game and we didn't. Our first loss of the season does not feel good and we're going to have to come back even better next weekend.”

Midfielder Mandy Laddish

On how did it feel to be back and play 70 minutes:
“It feels great, my hip feels great. It's great to be back and it's really exciting. Obviously, it's a shock to the system when you first get in there, but it feels normal and I’m used to it, so yeah, I feel great.”

On what happened on the two goals:
“I think that soccer is a game where you can possess 80 percent of the time and lose, and I think unfortunately that's what happened to us today. I think that we could have been a little more accurate with our passing, and there were a couple times that we just let our runners get by us, me included, and good teams will capitalize on that. Rachel Daly's a fantastic finisher and if you let her shoot, she's gonna score, so I think that it's unfortunate that we allow those two goals, but that doesn't mean we're going to stop fighting.”

On the feeling of a letdown after about 30 minutes:
“Yeah, I think that when you aren't finding the pockets as quickly and easily as we were you start to slow it down and stand on the ball because you have time. That's something that's hard about teams that sit in a little bit. You always hear “park the bus,” I don't think Houston was parking the bus, but I think that they were sitting back a little bit and letting us have it. Then when you have that space, but don't have really easy obvious options in the midfield, it slows the pace down a lot. I think we all kind of sat on the ball a little too long and slowed the pace down and then we just couldn't pick it back up for whatever reason. This is how soccer goes and this is how the game of football is. Some days you're on and some days you're not. It's unfortunate and we're going to have to go back to the drawing board and make sure that we can figure out ways to solve the problems that we had today in the future.”

On Houston’s defense:
“I think that they sat in and gave us the option of playing through our back. I think that we weren't cutting into the midfield as quickly as we could have and they did a pretty good job defensively. Houston's always a pretty good defensive team and I think that they showed that today.”

On halftime adjustments:
“At halftime it's less about the goal, goals happen, and it's more about changing our mentality; playing faster, playing quicker, because at the end of the day this game was in our hands, that's what Laura said to us. She's like, ‘you guys are going to win, or lose this game with your possession. So, step it up, play quicker, play faster, play together.’ We didn't really dwell on the goal at all, you know, that wasn't really in our minds. We just wanted to come out and play quicker. Unfortunately, we conceded another goal and weren't able to finish the game out with the win.”

On preparation for next week:
“North Carolina's a really, really athletic team, so I think it'll be a lot of working on defensive transitions, because they are very good at transitioning. What is our shape going to look like behind the ball after we lose it? Or how are we going to get into shape quickly? How are we going to take care of there's great players in the midfield and their fast players at wide?”

On finding out about starting the game:
“I kind of knew that once Desi [Desiree Scott] left that I would probably need to step up and play a big role for the team. So, it wasn't really a shock that I was starting, but it feels good to be all the way back and starting. Yeah, it's amazing that I had this injury and I got through it, but also I can kind of look past that and now focus on increasing my ability and being the best player I can be for my teammates. I'm hoping that while my injury is still a big part of my life, it's something I can put in the past and move on from.”