Quote Sheet: URFC 2-2 POR

QUOTE SHEET

Utah Royals FC 2-2 Portland Thorns 

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Friday, July 18, 2019
 

Utah Royals FC Forward Christen Press
 

On scoring on national team teammate Adrianna Franch:

“I think we’re used to playing together, against each other in practice and in the league. So that really normal. I think we find a way to be friends and competitors, I think we’re all such competitive athletes that the fierceness and intensity comes really natural. When you line up with someone on your team, they’re your best friend; when you’re against them, they’re your adversaries.”
 

On her goal:

“I always have struggled with that question because I never really remember what happens. I do remember Gunny played a great long ball and that was really on, especially when they’re in a three-back, I feel like the weak side space is something that I’ve always been able to take advantage of in this league, so it was great to have that ball played so I could exploit that space. I think when I got all the way to the end, I think there was a moment where the other team thought I was going to cross it and so they came out a little bit and I was able to get in the back of the net.”
 

On the fan support:

“It was an amazing feeling to be back in the stadium. We had such an amazing group of Americans that traveled over [to the World Cup], and I know that some of them are from Salt Lake and they’re here tonight, but there’s nothing like playing in front of your own home crowd. It was really special. I felt so much joy and pride playing in this stadium and for this team. I’m happy to be back.”
 

Addressing her interaction with Barstool Sports: 

“To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t familiar with the site when my team presented the opportunity to me. I think everybody that knows me well knows that I support kindness, respect and dignity for all people.”
 

On how good the team can be in the second half of the season:

“It’s always hard leaving and it’s always hard coming back. There’s just transitional pieces, people adjusting to everything about Salt Lake, the altitude, also to the tactics. You’re so honed and it’s such an emotional experience at the World Cup to then come out of that and then refocus is quite difficult, honestly. What I loved about tonight is that were moments of momentum where it felt like we were the team that we could be. I think the goal for us this season, especially after last season, is to make that part of us consistent. It feels connect, it feels fun to watch, it’s exciting soccer. It’s Laura [Harvey’s] style of soccer that’s just a joy to play and to watch. We struggled to find that form, especially early in the game, and I think that’s natural. We struggled a lot of last season as well. I think that it was a good feeling overall, even though the result was not what we wanted, because we did touch and hint at that potential.”
 

On getting her “legs” back after the World Cup:

“That’s a funny question because I don’t know if I ever got my legs back during this game, but I think it was a little bit of management of fatigue. I’ve been sick, I don’t know if you can hear my little nasal voice, transitioning back to the altitude. The travel, the emotions, I think that next week, all of the players that have come back are going to feel a lot better, and that’s also true for players that are coming back on our opponents’ team. I think in the next few weeks, the level of the league is going to rise, and that’s exactly what we want.”
 

Defender Becky Sauerbrunn
 

On being back with the Royals FC: 

“Honestly, the support tonight was unbelievable. So Thank you guys so much for coming here and supporting us. We appreciate it so much credit to Portland that was quite a game a nice game to get back a lot of drama. So hopefully everyone had a lot of fun, wish we could have won it at the end there but we'll take away a point.” 
 

On what the Royals FC can accomplish this year moving forward: 

“I think you've seen it on both sides that we can attack and we can defend and I think we've got special players that can do special things and I think you saw that tonight with Christen Press’s goal with Rachel Corsie getting that  last second equalizer. I think we've got special players”
 

On being a part of the Royals FC:

“I mean, fighting so hard,  a lot of us have just come back from the World Cup, but to put that fight in that effort, that energy, it's a testament to this team, and it's part of our identity going forward.”
 

On the atmosphere:

 “It's so amazing. Thank you guys so much again, honestly coming back here and having you guys It means the world to us keep showing up for us. We're gonna put a good product out there for you. So thank you.”
 

Midfielder Gunny Jonsdottir
 

On the atmosphere:

“It was all over the place. We could’ve stolen the full three points. When they scored, we could’ve just put our heads down and given up. But, you could see it with everyone on the field and we knew it wasn’t going to happen. I want to get the three points every game. After going down in the final minutes to get the tie, we could’ve stolen it all in the end.”
 

On the first goal:

“Today I wanted to get the ball to the forwards as much as possible. I saw Christen making the run so I played her. She’s technical and in great form and she finished off the chance very well.”
 

On readjusting with the WWC players rejoining the squad:

“It wasn’t very hard. We’ve played together for so long that the adjustment wasn’t difficult. It took us a little time to get into the game but once we found our momentum and they got their second goal it was against the run of play.”
 

On the second half of the season:

“If you look at the second half of the game you know we have so much more to give. We’re going to give our best to every game that we play.”
 

On the early sub:

“It is always tough to lose a player like Mandy. But we have such good depth as Katie Stengal came on it didn’t change much. She knows her game plan and she’s played a lot and is good on the ball. It was hard to lose Mandy but we have such a great group and she came on and stepped up. It’s good to have Vero back. She’s a world-class player and always creates. Whether she gets 15 or 90 minutes she’s dangerous all the time and it’s nice to have her back.”
 

Defender Rachel Corsie
 

On your goal:

“It’s been a while. I think that we felt the goal that we lost just before was really harsh. I think you can see by reaction that when you have five minutes, give everything to get something and, set pieces are a big opportunity for us to get forward and have our bigger players in the box. I’ve just gambled and Kelley's ball was great. I'm just trying to get something on it and I've just seen it go through her legs and obviously when you score late on, it's these important moments that can you can remember at the end of the season and hopefully they count towards us making that top 4.”
 

On earning a point at home:

“We’re disappointed not to take all 3, I think we created enough opportunities in the game. The first 20 minutes Portland were difficult and they had a lot of the ball but once we solved that, I think that for the rest of the game we were in control. We've had enough chances to walk away with three points. I don't really remember Barnie making a save other that the two goals that have gone in so obviously that's disappointing at home. We know when we need to get three points. It is two points dropped but obviously that’s the nature of the game and going behind late on it feels like a big boost to get something out of it.”
 

On every goal tonight being scored by a World Cup player:

“I think there's a lot of great players and obviously a lot of us were at the World Cup, and that reflects the standard of the league. It is great to have everyone back and I think tonight's game was excellent for the fans. The turnout was incredible. The noise was incredible. The environment, the atmosphere, the quality of football that was on show is something that I think is huge for this league it’s why it's one of the best in the world. There's a lot of big players who step up and, obviously tonight I think both me and Christen are pleased on the score sheet, but it was about the team, it was about everything we put into it, the fight, the grit, controlling the game, keeping the ball. We've worked hard this week, we knew we had to improve on the last two performances and I think we've done that.”
 

On the second half of the season:

“You have to kick on, you know, this is the second half of the season. Ultimately the league's always tight and the best teams are the ones who from this point onwards really step it up. It's a short preseason, so the first half of the season, teams are often still finding their form. We need to know that we need to up our level and, we've improved in the last two performances, but we're nowhere near our max capacity, there's still so much room for growth. That's a positive, to be in the position we're in and know that there's still so much more we can do and give and improve on. It’s something that we're going to work hard on to make sure we do and we maximize every opportunity that we get together.”

Defender Kelley O’Hara

 

On the game:
“It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since the World Cup but I’m happy to be back in Utah with this team.  We battled hard tonight and unfortunately we didn’t get the win but we came out with a point so I’m happy about that, I guess.”

On the crowd’s welcome back:
“I love being in Utah, being with this team, being in front of these fans in this city.  It was awesome to be home again. We got to start off the second half of the season with a home game.  We have another one next week so hopefully a bunch of people will come out.”

On getting back with the team:
“We’re trying to get back our groove after everybody being at the World Cup.  It’s something Laura has focused on is the transition and it’s something we can improve on and it will just get better as we go on.”

One coming back from early and late deficits:
“I think that’s something we didn’t have last season and I think you saw it at the beginning of the season for us.  I feel like we’re a different team. I’m proud of this team for battling back. Giving up a goal in the 86th minute is never easy, but I’m glad that we had a little bit of grit to us and we were able to get back a goal and come away with a point.”

Head Coach Laura Harvey

On if drawing at home felt like a success or failure:
“Yeah, it’s always frustrating when you don’t win at home but to concede so late in the game and to respond is a positive. If it wasn’t for AD Franch we would have won the game. She made some excellent saves. 

On the second equalizer:
“Well their goal was offside and that’s what I was emotional about because their goal shouldn’t have stood. It hit Caitlin Foord’s heal then went in and she’s 10 yards offside so I don’t understand why it wasn’t called.” 

On the energy from the fans:
“I think their goal was a bit of a sucker punch and football is cruel our player goes own injured and they play it back to us but they play it for a goal kick which is not the most sportsman like thing but that’s fine and from that they end up scoring a goal so take that for what you will. It was a fantastic finish but to concede when we were down to 10 and to have Mandy off was disappointing. I think that took the life out of us a little bit but we responded well I thought we were the better team in the back end of the first half. We started to move the ball, we started to find the space we knew we could find, we were a bit braver on the ball, and we managed to get Christen 1 v 1 for goal opportunity and then I thought we took that momentum into the second half.”

On Vero Boquete:
“Vero comes alive in the 75th minute in those little pockets of space where she can play the pass where it needs to be at that moment in time and just to get her out there. We’ve missed that person who can slow the game down when it needs to be slowed down, can find the penetrating pass, and we’ve just missed that. 

On the world cup players returning to NWSL:
“This league is the most competitive and exciting every week because of the level of play we have in it. I’m a huge fan of us not playing as much when the world cup is on and this is one of the reasons why. This is what people want to see. It’s nothing against the players who aren’t at the world cup, but the players who aren’t in the world cup love playing with these players too. I think this league is phenomenal and tonight is a really good example of that, we sort of hold down the fort during the world cup, I wish we didn't have to do that. And now have half season on this backend left to play in such a short space of time. It’s going to be exciting going down to the end.”

On Second half optimism:
“I believe in this group 100%, when Vero comes on she is a huge part of this team. We need to keep everyone as healthy as possible. Tonight was really tough for Christen, Kelly, and Becky because of the journey they’ve been on to get to this game so credit to them because they all three absolutely put in a shift. But yeah we have talent on this team there is no question.” 

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