Rocky Mountain Quote Sheet; 5/11/19

Real Salt Lake 3-2 Colorado Rapids
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colorado
May 11, 2019
Real Salt Lake
Head Coach Mike Petke

On the victory:
“Whenever we have these games with teams that are rivals it’s always a tough game.  It’s always a battle.  It’s always nervy.  We had complete control of the game the first 30-35 minutes.  I thought we could have maybe put them away in the first half and then to let in that goal on the counter attack when we were a bit unbalanced to end the first half, that was tough to take.  Then to concede the goal right on the other side of the break, that was very tough to take.  But the guys were resilient.  The guys stepped up.  Phenomenal third goal.  And again, we could have put them away some more, but at the end they were putting numbers forward.  I thought the refs handled the game pretty well.  But overall, it’s a phenomenal three points.  It’s a phenomenal result.”

On the response after conceding two goals:
“To come into a place like this against a team that is going to get a result at some point.  A team that’s very good in the attack that has their struggles defensively.  The game kind of played out, if you look at both teams, how it should have.  They have a very good attack, they were going to score goals.  They’re weak in the back a little bit right now and we knew we were going to score goals.  I’m proud of the effort for sure.  At the end, there are a lot of clips that we’re going to look at Monday with the team about how we can better control the game; dictate the game in situations like this; recognizing when they were really stretched and putting numbers in the attack and are vulnerable and how we can capitalize on that; on the flipside how we can do better defensively to not allow that many crosses and that many attempts on goal.  But at the end of the day it comes down to three points and that’s what we got.”

On Putna’s penalty save:
“Andrew did phenomenal.  Andrew had a great stop there.  To me, the game is always about ebbs and flows.  It’s about changing the tide of the game – the feel of the game.  Right there, the guys fed off of that and there were some good plays after that.”

On positive takeaways from the win:
“I thought we were excellent in the first half and a lot of the second half - it wasn’t a complete game – with the ball at our feet.  Breaking lines, creating overloads to go out the other side when they were unbalanced defensively and that’s something that we have really been talking about the last couple of weeks – not to be in the same channels nonstop with two different players, to have that balance to play out of.  That certainly needs to happen next week against Toronto.  It’s going to be a very difficult game.” 

Goalkeeper Andrew Putna

On the victory:
“We’re just so happy to take away the three points.  We talked about starting the second half strong and then we give up the goal two minutes in.  A little bit of an error from me on the second goal, but the guys put it together, Sam stepped it up and scored and we’re really happy to get the win.  Nervy game for sure.”

On his PK save:
“It felt really good.  After giving up that second goal, I got an opportunity to redeem myself a little bit.  I did with the save.  And I didn’t really have too many shots on me tonight, so it was really good to get the save and help the team get the win.”

Midfielder Albert Rusnák

On getting the three points:
“It had everything. Hard work and quality going forward. The effort and runs going forward and we knew when to possess the ball and when to go long. All of that with a little bit of luck we were able to get the win.”
On scoring his PK:
“PK’s you either score or miss. I missed last week, and I scored this week. So, it bothered me last week but the next day I forgot about it and I’m happy that I scored this week.”
On what it means to the fans:
“The biggest thing for us is the three points. To move up in the table and win on the road isn’t something we haven’t really done in the past, so it feels good. The Rocky Mountain Cup on top of that feels really good.”
Colorado Rapids
Interim Head Coach Conor Casey
Opening statement:
“I just wanted to start and say the fans were unbelievable tonight -- the atmosphere in the stadium, it’s been one of the best atmospheres that we’ve had all year. We started slow, unfortunately we've gone down 2-0 in the last two games, but the character of the group to come back once again and even the score -- they never gave up on each other, we’re all very disappointed, there’s no question about it. The group knows it is moving in the right direction. We didn’t get the result we wanted tonight, but there was a lot of good, positive things to take away from tonight.”
On positives from tonight’s game:
“We scored goals again tonight. I think without digging ourselves a hole, it would be a different game. We’re not far off. We have a red card pulled back from their team, we have a goal on ours pulled back, we have a PK (penalty kick), so it just seems to be that we are just that one play away from turning it, and right now we’re just finding it difficult to make that one play.”
On frustration in the locker room:
“Well guys want to win, that’s what we’re here to do, we haven’t done it so there’s frustration but there’s also still a belief for sure in that locker room. They believe in each other, you saw that tonight, to fight until the end like they did. That kind of character with the way that our season has gone -- that they don’t give up on each other, it’s really incredible.”
On what was said at halftime:
“We talked about the first thirty minutes and starting slow, we wanted to make sure we started the second half better than we did the first half. I think we were just a bit tentative and not aggressive enough, we made some changes and got another offensive player a little higher up the field so we could affect them. I thought we played quite well in the second half, I thought we were by far the better team. We created chances, Sam Nicholson looked so dangerous going down that side, Kellyn Acosta had another great game, there’s a lot of positives to take away.”
Midfielder Sam Nicholson
On the formation change:
“That’s the position where I feel most comfortable. I know exactly what the team wants from me and what I’m supposed to do, so it’s more of a comfort thing for me. When I got the ball in the game, I would take people on and try to get crosses because that’s what I like doing. I felt more comfortable tonight than normal.”
On working with new teammate Jonathan Lewis:
“He definitely brings something different. Something we needed, just that extra bit of creativity moving forward, and he gave that. His first game he got an assist, He’s definitely contributed and we can see that from training the last few days. I’m sure he’s going to keep producing for the guys.”
Midfielder Danny Wilson
On scoring his first goal of the with the Rapids:
“It’s obviously nice to score, but I’m disappointed we were defeated again. I thought that my goal would help put us back into the game, especially with the rest of the second half to play, but as it’s been the case this season, we shot ourselves in the foot again.”
On the atmosphere within the locker room:
“There’s a lot of frustration. The run that we’ve been on is unacceptable, but I don’t think it’s because of a lack of effort on our part. We are making errors and teams are punishing us [the Rapids] for them, and that’s been the case since the beginning of the season. The amount of points we have compared with the amount of games we’ve played is not good. All of us in the locker room are trying everything and, for one reason or another, it’s just not happening for us. Anything we do, any mistake we make, is punished. Even tonight, we had the opportunity to pull out a result, but with our luck, we couldn't manage it.”
Midfielder Jonathan Lewis
On getting an assist in his first match:
“I know I have good people, players in the box, so once I just get down the line I can get it in. I know that I can link up with to get in the box myself and get shots off. Again it’s just getting it to click. I think it was the start of something good today, but, again, you have to just give us some time. I think that we’re going to fix our issues. We showed really well, we showed fight. I thought in the second half, especially, we started dominating them. Going forward we did really well and defensively we showed improvement.”
Defender Lalas Abubakar
On making his Rapids’ debut:
“It didn’t really go the way I expected it to go. I wanted to win the game, but unfortunately, we couldn’t get the win. It wasn’t a good start for me but, just have to keep going.”
On building chemistry with his new club:
“When I came in on Thursday and I trained with the guys, I just felt like I was so welcomed and the guys welcomed me, so I felt like I was already here for a long time, I wasn’t surprised that we were so connected on the field.”