Quote Sheet: RSL 0-2 LAFC

QUOTE SHEET

Real Salt Lake 0-2 LAFC

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Saturday, August 17, 2019
 

Real Salt Lake

Interim Head Coach Freddy Juarez
 

On the match:
"There was some pretty good intensity in the first half, which is against a team that plays very good soccer at a high intensity. And we matched a lot of the effort, the quality. At times they make you try to rush play and we weren't great with the ball, we weren't great at finding spaces to relieve pressure. But the energy was very good. And then we get ourselves into a good situation early in the second half, where you go up against a very, very good opponent. And that's kind of where my management wasn't the greatest. Where you have to make sure against a team like this, you don't have to get a goal too quick in the game, that goal can come at any time, maybe later in the game, maybe early enough, but you can't get reckless, where you allow the opponent to get into a match. If they do, they get a quick little counter where we're a little bit unbalanced, because we're trying to score that goal. And then we get a PK and a red card, which turns the game around. And then now you're kind of reaching, you're trying to search you're trying to get players in there to try and create some offense. But against a very good possession-oriented team like them, then you lose a little bit of the middle, and if you lose the middle now and you leave your players out numbered in there and they start on taking advantage of it. They end up getting the second [goal]. We did create some chances and against them as a team like this, when you get that one or two, hopefully one, we got a couple of them that you’ve got to try to capitalize. But overall the effort from the guys: pretty good. Happy with the guys and now it's just trying to respond and not taking two losses in a row. Try to respond with a win next week.” 

 

On how the midweek game impacted their performance tonight:

"I won't use that for an excuse for the guys because they came out full of energy. I mean, I hope I'm not seeing a different game than you guys. Now, I'm not saying we played quality soccer, but the energy that we put, the effort that we put in the first half, I mean that team puts you on your heels. Again, we just weren't very good with… it's not that we were horrible, but against this team they squeeze you very good. And they limit space on you. And if you're not good at finding a space, which we weren't very often in the first half, then you keep losing the ball, and then you're defending a little bit longer. But again, we put ourselves in a great, great situation go in a man up. And we just didn't manage it well. And that's something that we just HAVE to learn.”
 

On the substitution strategy:

"You're at home, you're losing one-zero. We're not happy with losing one-zero, we want to get the draw first and then if we create the draw then we want to go for the win. And we felt that the substitutions that we made were going to give us some attack. We wanted to put Plata in during some attack, we pulled out a mid to try to get a little more possession in there. And then we put in Bofo, didn't think we had to take out Sava yet. He's still guy that can score in any minute. How can we put in our attacking players in there without conceding too much possession without getting risky? And that's the risk you're taking. We took a risk and sometimes it works. With NYCFC we put those guys in and the subs were amazing. And this time we put them in and it doesn't function. So that was the point of trying to get those guys in, try to create a little bit more of an attack.”
 

On where they're at this season:

"What I told the guys in there was they forced us to play a speed of play and you play to be a top team in here. You had to think quick, you had to play quick, you had to move quick. And then you have to have quality behind that, your first touch, your second touch, your delivery all that. And you can't get that at training, not every team you play against gives you that. And this team forced to you have to be at your best. It's just unfortunate that when we had a man advantage, we didn't we didn't take advantage of it. And that's really where we just didn't capitalize. Where we can look at ourselves and say that's where we failed today. When we were a man up today, we weren't intelligent enough to deal with and take advantage of that advantage. And including myself, I'm talking about myself. How many teams would love to play LAFC down for that long period of time? Every team will tell you that and we had that today and we just didn't take advantage of it.” 
 

On Aaron's red card:

"How I recall the whole lead up to it, I think we were on the attack… I don't want to be lying to you guys, I just remember going down the middle and finding that line. Once you get Vela on a 1v1 duel and he has his position on you, I mean that guy in the World Cup the Germans couldn't stop him so it's that he gets position on you and we get a little bit desperate in that instance. Maybe you don't have to get desperate, maybe he still scores but you're up a man but that those are hard things. It's easy to say here, it's hard in the heat of the moment. So listen, Aaron has been great for us all season and now he has to deal with arguably the best player in MLS, one of the best players for sure in CONCACAF so we put ourselves in a situation like that, we get a little bit desperate and they capitalize.”
 

On what he would change during the game:
"Keeping the balance. It's maybe calling the whole team over to the sideline as opposed to two or three players so that everyone hears the message that we can't get desperate. There's no rush to get that goal. If it doesn't come you don't lose a match but you’ve got to be smart, you’ve got to be good with the ball, you’ve got to put yourself in the situation and if there's a loss of possession against these guys, they're not going to give you a second chance. You don't get a second chance against these guys. The balance is when we were in the attack you start seeing a little bit of blood, maybe the excitement thinking now we’ve got these guys because we're up a man. And then that quickly, they turn the game on you. And just the red card and PK all in one, it changes it. Now emotions are a little bit down and you start just chasing it."

 

Midfielder Kyle Beckerman

 

On the game:

“It was a hard-fought game. You have to give credit to them, they’re an incredible team. It was kind of on that seesaw at times where it maybe could have gone either way. Just unfortunate to come out on the wrong side, but credit to them, they’re a good team.”

 

On learning from mistakes:

“I think there’s a lot to learn from today. I think we went up a man and maybe were pushing a little bit too hard to get that goal right away, rather than keeping a bit more possession to make them run. As they get tired, maybe the goal would come a bit later. I think on the penalty, we lost the ball when we had options and then it went down the other way and we gave up a penalty. Maybe we could’ve made a better decision in not losing the ball. Once it’s 10-v-10, it’s super open and we’re pushing for it to try and get an equalizer and that’s just what happens sometimes. Nothing to put our heads down for. I think the guys were disappointed with tonight but we’re ready to put it past us and get on to the next one.”

 

On LAFC’s press opposed to Seattle’s:

“Two totally different games. Seattle came in and just sat in, LAFC doesn’t do that. They play the same way they do at home as they do on the road, and it’s just a credit to their team. They’re a really good team. They could go down as the best team ever in MLS history. It’s what we expected. I think we had to be close to perfect tonight and we just weren’t. We’ll get back at it this week and see if we can get better.”

 

On how much stock they take from the game:

“We’ve got to watch the game and we’ve got to look in the mirror. We have to see where we did bad things tonight. I’m sure there was some good stuff as well. We’ve just got to look in the mirror, that’s the only way you can get better. This week, we’ll watch the video, see where we can improve. Every game is different. Just like this week, Seattle was a totally different game from tonight and then next week will be totally different from this week. We’re always trying to improve and we need to keep improving as the season goes on. It’s no different whether we won tonight or lost. We’ll just keep at it, keep trying to improve and see if we can get a win next week.”

 

On what he saw on the penalty:

“I’d have to watch it again, but if I can remember, we had the ball and we were going at them and I think we lost the ball. We had the ball, it wasn’t them breaking us down at that point, so we’ll watch it, see if we can make a better decision next time and then if we make a better decision, maybe we’re going at their goal rather than going the other way.”

 

On the upcoming Rocky Mountain Cup:

“We understand that it means a lot to our fans so it ultimately means a lot to us. For myself, coming from the other side and coming here, this was the first trophy we could win so it was something to win. It was kind of our first step towards becoming a better team. We’d like to keep the trophy here. For the most part, it’s about moving up in the standings and making the playoffs. The trophy comes with the three points, but the three points will be most important.”

 

On Carlos Vela:

“He’s incredible. He really makes everybody around him better. He scores the goals, he assists, with incredible numbers. He’s like a default. When in doubt, just pass it to him and he’ll make something happen. He’s been a handful for every team in this league so far and it’s going to be tough to stop him. The way they keep winning, you start to get that confidence, and their team is just coming in each game expecting to win. He’s just been incredible this year, so credit to him and their team. It’s not the best to play against, but it’s fun to watch when they’re playing other teams.”

 

On if the game was a measuring stick for the team:

“We looked at it just to try and move up in the standings. We felt like it was a big opportunity for us. We felt pretty good going into the game and it just wasn’t going to be. It just didn’t happen for us tonight. We’ll get back to work this week and see if we can get better next week.”
 

Forward Corey Baird 
 

On what specifically LAFC did before the red card:

“They did well after our red card. They're really valuable with high energy in the midfield. They kept the ball well which was keeping us off the ball, so we weren’t getting in a rhythm and possessing the ball. We weren’t going at them and then their midfielders were winning balls in the midfield and tracking back. That combination just made it tough for us to play together and make stuff happen.”
 

On being fatigued playing LAFC and losing the advantage:

“It has been a long week and we’ve played a lot of minutes. They are a team that is good with the ball, once the game was 10 men on both sides it just becomes a lot bigger feld, a lot more room for each individual player to cover.” 
 

Again on losing the advantage of the red and being at home:

“I thought 60 minutes in we were in a fantastic spot. I thought we were really unlucky getting the red card and the penalty kick. I think when you get a red card and the penalty, it just changes the entire dynamic of the game. You just get one or the other then it’s okay because we are still in it. But the red card and the penalty just mentally sets you back. We were in a great spot and now we are even with them on men again and the goal. So I think it worked fine with 11, even if they score on a penalty, I don’t think that means anything.”
 

On attacking and creating space moving forward:

“When you play top teams opportunities don't come easy. We knew we weren't going to have a ton of chances but we generated a good amount of chances especially when we were up a man. 

Unfortunately we weren’t able to keep that advantage for long.”

Los Angeles FC
Head Coach Bob Bradley

 

On his team:
“We are working on it. We have a good group. We find different ways to win, which I think was apparent tonight because it was a bit of a strange game. We keep trying to find the right way to push the mentality – to push the football. The response continues to be great so that says a lot about the whole group.”

On LAFC adjusting:
“We handled a lot of things. We had chances in the first half that we just couldn’t finish, the double VAR – I haven’t seen the replays but I was told it wasn’t a handball but it was 100% a foul on Jordan Harvey. Then when we go down a man, I thought our response was really good. We handled the period where it was 10-vs-11 really well and we got our goal and then obviously 10-vs-10 after that. We had to adjust in different ways and a lot of guys get credit. I would have to specifically mention Adama Diomande. In this last stretch he really raised his game. His effort has gone to another level. He made a great pass to Carlos Vela that led to the penalty. Dio has just been really good lately and that’s been a big difference.”

On stopping RSL’s momentum:
“We play our football. Teams have to try to stop us. We play our football every game and we believe in the way we play. RSL has had a good stretch and you can tell that they were more confident. As we went through the first half we found good ways to play through and created some good chances. We were really unlucky on some of those goals but the mentality of the group is just to keep it going.”

On the traveling supporters:
“We love it. When we look up in that one section it’s similar to the same spot they were located in San Jose so it’s familiar to us. It says everything about the way we have connected with our fans and the city. They really brought something special to our team and we love them for what they are all about.”

On preparing to face RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium:
“As we prepare for every game, we recognize what’s going on with every opponent. We talked about the fact that Salt Lake is playing well and the confidence and there is always some individuals that get special attention because they have some really talented guys. Then we focused on the way we play and get control of the game, find the right passes, win the ball back quickly. We always want to know what the opponent is all about and do our work to prepare but the biggest part about getting ready every week is taking our football ideas and trying to make them better.”

Goalkeeper Tyler Miller
 

On playing well at RSL:

Salt Lake is not an easy place to play. Everyone will tell you the altitude, the pitch, the team plays a difficult game and it’s never easy coming here and getting results. I think this is just someplace that our team finds that we are able to play well and maintain the ball well against them and their team. And the way both of us play, it compliments our team, and so we have had some good success.”
 

On the matchup against San Jose on Wednesday:

“We know San Jose’s style. We know they’re tough to play against, and they’re going to work hard from the first minute to the 90th minute. We played them early in the season before they had things figured out and we had a good result up there. But I think that lately they've been playing really well. So we know it's going to be a challenging game on Wednesday. But right now we just have to focus on recovering and getting back into on Monday and recuperating  and learning from this game with what we can do better and apply that to the next game coming up.”
 

On Carlos Vela breaking the combined goals-assists record:

“Carlos is a very special player. I think Bob has done a good job of challenging him to raise his game. Before Carlos came here, he had a very historic career and he won a lot of trophies at a lot of historic clubs. But I think Bob does a good job of challenging him and really pushing him to find the second gear. I think that last year was a good year for him but this year he's shown everybody why he's the best player in the league.”
 

Forward Carlos Vela
 

Initial reactions:

“It’s a great feeling to win the game, especially when you go on the road and it’s more difficult to get a result. But I think the team is having a great season. Every time we play, we want to win and we want to play good. We have to continue in that line and take to the next game”
 

On breaking the goals-assists record set by Giovinco:

“It’s a good thing and good feeling to break some records for myself and for the team, because it would not be possible to break these records without the team. We are really happy to be playing this well.”
 

On the fans and road support:

“I think that we have the best fans in the league and will show support home or away. It is important for them and it is important for us. We feel like we are at home.”

 

 

On why he always seems to score at Rio Tinto Stadium:

 “I have really good memories of being in Salt Lake.  Because I got my first goal for LAFC and in MLS here.  And it’s always nice being here. Hopefully it can continue going well for us when we come.”

 

On the key to LAFC’s success this season:

 “I think that from the first day the club knew what they wanted.  They formed a team with people of the same mentality and with everyone going down the same path.  Try to work hard for each other and help the team and not only thinking about themselves. The key to our team’s success is that we are a team in both the good times and the bad.  We always support each other, and we have a lot of ambition. We have desire to always improve and try to get a championship, which is our goal.”

 

On the record breaking success he is having in MLS:

 “I think that as a player you always have the motivation to have success like this.  It’s what you work for every day in order to have rewards like this. Obviously it doesn’t always happen and it’s difficult to do, but it is what keeps me playing at a high level.  Trying to be the best in the league and showing it each weekend. We still have nine games left and finish strong for it all to be worth it.”

 

On how it feels to represent Mexico through his success in the league:

“I think that it’s important for Mexicans in other countries to represent their country well.  Whether it be in the US, England, Spain, or wherever. Through our success as individuals we can continue to add to the success of our country as a whole.”

 

On the criticism some Mexicans have for him joining MLS:

 “I don’t really have a message for those people. Each person has their own opinion and that’s fine.  I personally feel very positively about being here. I feel that I am making history in this league and that I’m representing my country positively here. 

 

On if the season would be a failure if they don’t win the championship:

“Obviously the championship is the main goal. We also have to value the record breaking success we are having as a team and as individuals.  But the main thing we are working towards is the championship and we are going to work until the last day to get it.”

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