Quote Sheet: URFC 3-0 SBFC

QUOTE SHEET

Utah Royals FC 3-0 Sky Blue FC 

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Wednesday, August 7, 2019
 

Utah Royals FC Forward Christen Press 
 

On creating chances in tonight's game:

“I think we created numerous hundred-percent chances. So, that's what you have to do to win games. The team is known for being very stingy in it’s defending and defending as a unit and it's come to a point where we have to be able to maintain that and grow and be an attacking threat. We have the personnel to do it, it's just about getting the chemistry, getting the timing. I think we did a good job tonight of creating those chances, but execution still has to be better.”
 

On wanting a “hat trick”:

“I think I always want to score. Wherever I am in the game, the next goal is the most important one. I think the Sky Blue goalkeeper, she's fantastic, she had some good saves. I'm still frustrated that I wasn't able to get another one, because the team put me in a position to score more goals tonight than I did.”
 

On her views on the chemistry with the team and how that can develop:

“I would say that, overall, you can feel the disjointed nature of the season. And I think I said this after the first game back, I could feel that when we were playing, and as the game went on we got better and better and better, I felt exactly the same today. And it's not just attacking, it's holistic, and understanding the team intention and identity in everything that we do and how we train, in how we score goals, those are all things that you kind of build in a team culture. Because the amount of time away, and I feel like that coupled with the fact that I haven't been on the team for years and years, I feel a little disjointed at times, but the optimistic part of it is that every single time we play together it feels a lot better in the end. We started the first 25 minutes pretty sloppy, pretty flat, in my opinion, and by the end of the first half we were rolling and the second half we were fantastic, I thought. So, that's a really good upward trajectory, we have to take that into Seattle, and kind of start where we left off, that's the only way we're going to be able to get points for the people that are ahead of us.”
 

On the short resting time in between games:

“At this point, I'm more used to a rhythm of playing every four days than I would be playing once a week. So, that's just a little bit of shortening of training, kind of in that performance mode, you're not really focused on going to training and getting better, it's about recovery and rest, so, when you get to the next game, the intensity can go really high. And so with that, it takes a little bit of confidence to do that, to say it doesn't even matter what happens between now and Saturday. All that matters is that we get three points when we're on the road in Seattle.”
 

Midfielder Lo'eau LaBonta

 

On what led to the win: 

 “I think just the rut we’ve been in the last few games. I heard something that we hadn’t won in over a month, I forget the date. I try not to focus on that anymore because we got the win tonight. I think this team demands so much out of everybody individually that when we don’t get points, even on the road, it’s very disappointing to us. I think especially these last few days after our last loss, everybody has been on at training and just on each other, because we really want to succeed. She’s completely right, I made him carry me in here because we literally left everything out there, and that’s what we need out of each other and that’s what you need to do in order to succeed in this league.”

 

On what she saw on the two goals she had a part in:

“I saw my amazing forwards get in the box and I honestly was just trying to get it anywhere in there, because I know they are hungry for the ball and wherever it goes they’re going to try and get to it. Especially that second one, I saw them running in and I closed my eyes and just dinked it in there, Press with the amazing finish that put us up.”

 

On Gunnhildur Jonsdottir tonight:
“Gunny was amazing the entire game today. Everybody gets upset when they don’t start, especially for her to start every single game. A lot of people when they start and then all of the sudden don’t start a game — they’re down, they’re on the bench, they’re sulking — but Gunny was great. In warmups, she was seeing whatever she could do for anyone else. Halftime, she was cheering everybody on, telling what they could do better, then she came in and defended like the warrior she is. I think that was huge, I think that’s what we need, especially if we go up in goals. Even if we go down, she would come on and do the same thing. I think obviously, with three games in one week, there’s going to be a lot of changes, and we were fortunate to get the win tonight. It may be different Wednesday, I don’t know. I have no idea, Laura (Harvey) will tell you. Every single player knows that they play a role on this team — whether it’s on the bench, on the field. Like I said, we were in such a rut, everybody is giving their all.”

 

On the team creating more chances tonight:

“I think that comes with succeeding in your first couple, we got two goals so early and that builds our confidence and that makes people want to go forward more. We keep the ball, when you keep the ball, it’s less running defensively. Whether it’s the same difference forward or backward, the backward ones always seem harder. Defensively I think we did well. Everybody got a little more confidence going forward. I think our chemistry, as bad as it sounds, is just starting to build. You could see it out there. I think I was one-twoing with Rachel Corsie in our own eighteen for a couple times. That’s what you need on a team. You need to trust each other and I think that showed in the game tonight.”
 

On the win: 

“Anything less than three points tonight, the entire organization was going to be disappointed. This whole week, we’ve been on each other, what we can do better. We’ve been pushing everybody and every single person out there gave it their all. I think my favorite part of the night was we constantly talked, we kept encouraging each other — from the bench, from the fans, the girls on the field, it was great. 

 

On her assist:

“Honestly, any of the girls running in there, I just try and get it in, do my best and then the girls finish. We have great finishers, all we needed to do was get it to them, and that’s been our goal the entire season. It’s great to finally get three goals and three points. 

 

On what the win means:

“At this point, we’re pushing for playoffs, we’re not going to accept anything less than that. We’ve been on each other all week and this was a huge win for us and now we’re going to keep pushing and continuing from here.”

 

On how this win gives them confidence going forward:

“I think it’s huge for the girls. We know that we can be this good. We need to keep building and keep not letting them drop anything less than this. We need to just keep pushing and hopefully get to the playoffs at the end of the season.”

 

Utah Royals FC Forward Amy Rodriguez
 

On their performance today:

“Yes, we knew today was a ‘do or die’ type game where we felt like we had a must win. We decided before the game started that we were going to leave it all out there. Laura, the coach had said that we need to be ruthless, on our front foot, do not stop. And I think that’s what you saw tonight and I think that’s what we walked away with three points.”
 

On what brought their success tonight:

“Just the nitty gritty stuff. Laura always says the terrible part of the game is what we have to do and that’s the tracking down runners and it’s being in the right position for a pass. Doing the dirty work, the runs that not everybody notices but they’re crucial to our success. And I think you saw from all the players tonight that everybody just put in that nitty gritty and put in the work. And now we’re reaping the benefits of that.
 

On creating chances:

“We are a pretty expansive team in the style in which we play is outside backs that push forward quite a bit and give us that width and sometimes our greatest asset is being expensive but that can also be our downfall in that its quite risky and vulnerable. But with that nitty gritty, that hard work that I was telling you about earlier, we have to be able to do the work in and out, up and back. You can hear our coach on the sideline constantly yelling at us to keep going, to keep pushing. And that’s what you saw tonight. 
 

On Christen and Amy’s partnership:

“What I love about playing with Christen is that it gives the defense another player to worry about. I find that so often we’re able to push and pull players in the defense away from each other and it kind of gives each other a little bit of relief. So much of our game is dependant on our midfield and finding those passes to us so if Christen and I can make some runs off of our midfield, that gives them two players to find, not just one. So I’m really grateful for our partnership and I think that tonight you saw a lot of really good goals, from her specifically just because of that chemistry that we have on the field. 
 

On the short resting time in between games:

“The team in general has a tough lineup ahead of them. With 3 games in a week, that’s going to take a roll on our bodies. When I had stepped off the field today in the close to 70th minute Laura had said, ‘I need your legs for Sunday’. So taking that role into consideration, nobody wants to come off but I was happy to give it my best for the team in those minutes and then hopefully I’ll have a little firepower left for Sunday.” 

 

Head Coach Laura Harvey 
 

On creating chances and scoring:

“The goals were all very good goals; not only finishes, but the build up. Scoring that second goal so quickly is something that we've just not been able to do; to be able to do that and then come out so early in the second half and score. If you could write a game plan and write how you want the game to go, that would be exactly it. The good thing was, we came in at halftime and we weren't happy because some of the things that we pride ourselves on we haven't done really well, so that was even more rewarding. Creating as many chances as I can remember us creating but I think Portland, North Carolina and Chicago, we did that. But to actually finish it on a clean sheet, you couldn't have written it any better.”
 

On the clean sheet:

“This stretch has been so tough for us. July was hard, but I think the hardest games have been these last three, not because of the fact that we haven't got the points we wanted out of them. But because we felt we played well enough to get more out of the games. When I've got the opposition coaches telling me that we should win the games, it's like, “Okay, great, thanks, appreciate it.” But to actually come out and put on a performance that we know we can do and get the result that we so desperately needed. It says a lot about the team. We've been really brutally honest, after the Chicago game. We had a long chat in the locker room, which we don't normally do, just to say, ‘look, this is it, do or die now.’ I don't think we're in a scenario where we have to win every game. But we had to come out tonight and win. We said it before the game, that nothing else but three points is going to be enough for us tonight. And it sets us up to be able to go to the Reign on Sunday in a much better place than we were four hours ago, which was what we wanted.”
 

On this performance setting tone for rest of season:

“I think Me, Amy, Christian and Vero actually had a conversation on Monday, and said: Look, what what do you need? You know, what do you guys need? Because I can communicate that to everybody else, but––the reality is––those three are going to be the ones that really take games to other people. And they were really honest to say that, in a lot of ways, Vero is the linchpin for them two, really, and she's going to be the one that creates the opportunities for them to play. And we knew tonight that it was going to be a little bit different just because having [Katie Stengel] in that position, and she played as a sort of little decoy to get Vero on the ball more. And I think it worked. And I think that the way that our formation is and the way that we play, it's not going to be Kristen to Amy goal or me to Kristen goal. But can the other one take a little bit of the limelight to create space for the other one, and I think that Amy's taken a lot of the brunt of that this year. When you speak to other teams, and they're like: When Kristen's not there, you stop a runner, and we know that it makes it really difficult for your team. But you can't stop both of them. You can't. And A-Rod gets a lot of pressure around her because they know what she can do, but that then frees up Vero. It frees up Kristen, and then vice versa. And I thought that it was great tonight that they're both on the scoresheet.”
 

On style of play for the match:

“We know the way Sky Blue play, and we knew that we were going to have a lot of the ball. And when we have a lot of the ball, we want to be able to get more attacking players on the ball. In a lot of games with Portland and North Carolina, I think that you're going to be under the under pressure a little bit. So maybe it's not a game to be able to do that. But I thought this was one that we could have really attack-minded players all over the place. And Gunny and Desi are that solid rock for us all the time, but I didn't think we needed both of them the whole game. I knew that Gunny coming on was going to be vital to close out the game, and I thought she did really well doing that which came on.
 

On Kelley O’Hara injury:

“She tweaked our ankle at the victory tour, and we don't have a timeline as of yet. We're taking really strong precaution right now to try and minimize any long term impact. And unfortunately, it's happened when we've got seven games in for 20 days or whatever, four games in two weeks. So I think those games might be difficult for her to get back, but I think we're going to be we're going to try and be really protective now, so that hopefully, maybe the back end of this stretch you might be available for us, but I honestly have zero timeline right now.”
 

On the management of games with travel:

“Honestly, I think that three games in seven days, or whatever it is is difficult, and is more difficult you travel. Thankfully, this one's short go into Tacoma. But this game is most important game, and Sunday's games the most important game. And that's how we have to look at it, and then we get a little breather. And honestly, right now it's more about rest and recovery than it is about training. It's rest, play game, then rest, play game. I think that we need to do that over the next three days in preparation for Sunday. Thankfully, it's a Sunday, not a Saturday. I haven't obviously seen any of the Portland game, but having been involved in several Portland rivalry games, I can imagine that they're feeling it. And hopefully more than what we did in the way that the game went. So we've got to rest up over the next couple of days and then and get ready for Sunday because now Sunday's most important.”

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