Quote Sheet: RSL 2-0 COL


Real Salt Lake 2-0 Colorado Rapids

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Assistant Coach Tyrone Marshall

On Playing Colorado:

“The Rocky Mountain Cup is a great rivalry and it was a great performance. I thought Conor prepared them really well and he’s done a fantastic job. Conor is a good friend of mine. They came in and did what they have to do and started the game well. It kind of frustrated us a little bit but, again, congratulate them on their performance, unfortunate circumstances that’s how the Rocky Mountain Cup goes: red cards, goals get called back, and we scored two at the end of it. Kudos to us for sticking through with it. I thought we needed that tonight. I think we're in second now, so I'll take a picture of that, and screenshot it and save it. Again, great performance by the boys tonight. Joao came in and did a fantastic job. We asked him to come in and do a job and he came in and ran at the back line. He got the penalty. Kudos to Albert for giving him an opportunity to get on the scoresheet. That’s showing a good teammate and being unselfish and we need a guy like that going down the stretch and Sava finished it off, with the second goal, which kind of put the nail in the coffin, and we retain the Rocky Mountain cup and we move up the standings.”

On halftime talk and adjustments:

“The funniest thing that you said, we didn't possess the ball as much - I thought we did, we had almost 300 and something passes in the first half, the same as we did in the second half. So it's a little deceiving sometimes when the team doesn’t seem to get the ball forward as much.  I think a lot of our passes were going backwards. Colorado was doing a good job stepping out on us. When we had the ball, especially on the right side with Brooks, we didn't take advantage of the space going forward. A lot of the chances that we had to go forward, we didn't return the ball back trying to keep the possession and they were doing a good job of closing the space and we weren't finding those gaps in between. I thought the gaps were a little bit tight. That's what caused us playing a little bit more negative in the first half. In the second half, we made the adjustments. Obviously Albert coming inside a little bit more and staying higher, as opposed to coming in deeper, because if you come deeper, there's no one else to pass to up top, he helped his team - himself, Savarino and Sam. As the game wore on, I thought we made an adjustment by putting Damir up top and bringing some fresh legs with Joao and running at Rosenberry, which made a big difference for us. I thought bringing those guys in essentially more in a higher spot, made a difference.”

On the backline’s performance:

“The opportunities came up big but overall, Justen played well, the back line as a whole played well. Nick did what he had to do. But we won a lot of headers, especially corner kicks and they're very good at set pieces. I think they're number one in the league in goals scored on set pieces. I thought we handled it pretty well. Those guys have been trained. Conor has done a fantastic job with them.”

On only making one substitution:

“We were talking about possibly bringing on Bofo, but at the time I thought Sava was doing well, because he was a straight swap. I thought Sava still had some quality and I'm glad we did keep him in because he scored the second goal. Sava has been one of those guys that you just need a little bit of space to create a miracle or create magic. He's done it in the past and we know what he's capable of doing and that's what we did. I thought the team was playing well and especially going down a man, we didn't really need to make any changes. The guys were pushing on the front foot and you understand the situation where it is a situation game going against LAFC. We learn from our mistakes and we just stuck with the guys were there because they knew what they had to get done. They did it and we came out with a victory.”

On the impact of the red card:

“We got a little bit more energy towards the end and finally realized that there's an opportunity here. We felt that against LAFC, but it was a little bit more time and made one mistake and paid for it. We learned from our mistakes. Seeing that we had that much time, we knew what we had to do get the ball wide and try to get the ball in a box and much as possible to Damir. Those guys are crushing the box and see what happened and then just being saved in the back. We did that tonight. We put guys in those situations to be successful and Joao came out on top tonight.”

On the team’s work ethic:

“It shows that we have great character. We’re resilient. We're at home, we're in the Rocky Mountain Cup and we know the significance of the rivalry. We could have put our heads down for sure and go home with a tie. Knowing what's at stake, knowing that we're still in the playoff push, having three points tonight makes a big difference. It puts us up to second place. They know we have something that we’ll play for and we’re trying to get home field advantage. The boys dug deep and got a result and it's been all year. We've been showing a lot of resilience, especially over the last six, seven, eight games and going into Kansas City was not a good example and coming out with a result on the road. I think we've been preparing and we've been working hard and right then tonight, that shows the sum of the product over the past six or seven games.”

Midfielder Albert Rusnák


On the game:

“I felt like if the game finishes 0-0, I feel like we lost the game. At this point, we needed the three points more than anything. It wasn’t the prettiest performance from us as a team, although I felt like we created more chances, especially in the second half. We had some great opportunities but they didn’t go our way. A last-minute goal, overruled by VAR, and then finally the breakthrough. Sometimes you have to win games like this in this style. Those three points are huge.”


On Joao Plata taking the penalty kick:

“He grabbed the ball and then asked me if he could take the penalty. He came in and in some ways, he changed the game. He was a threat going forward and he hasn’t scored in a while. We need him to get back to his best and I believe this goal helped him a lot in his confidence. I’m just glad we won.”

On the first half:

“They made it difficult for us. They were well organized, they defended with almost everyone. They played on the left and Rosenberry - the right back, he’d follow me even if I went across the field. They had their tactics. They stuck with it and it worked for pretty much all of the game. They just made it difficult and it was one of those odd games that maybe earlier on in the season, we wouldn’t win. But the win was just huge. It puts us in second as of right now and we know how much it means to get the three points at home because we have some tough road games coming up. To get those three points tonight is great.” 


On being in second place:

“We’re in second but with one or two losses, we could be in seventh. That’s how tight the table is, especially in our conference. I haven’t seen the other results yet, but a couple of bad games in a row and you could be sixth or seventh, or maybe even out of playoffs. We know we’re in second but we know the playoffs aren’t clinched yet. We’re definitely not in the playoffs yet. We obviously want to finish as high as we can so we can get home advantage, for at least a few games in the playoffs because we know that’s big. No team wants to come here for a playoff game and play. It will be important for us to keep that going, the momentum of the wins. I know we had the loss here to LAFC but they’re the best team in the league, hands down. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Other than that, we’ve been very solid home and away for probably the last six or seven games. We’ll be looking to keep that going in Portland next week. It feels nice to be in second, at least for a little bit.”


On what changed in the second half:

“They did put a lot of work defensively. I don’t think there’s any team in the world that can play defense for 90 minutes and not give up any opportunities. Eventually, we knew we were going to create chances, we just needed to put one away. It came all the way down to the end with the penalty to break through and score a goal. I don’t think there was a change tactically or the way we played, or the system. Maybe we played with a little bit more urgency in the second half and the tempo was a little higher than in the first half. As in tactics, I don’t think we changed a lot. We changed personnel in the field but it was a like for like. I went inside, Joao came in on the left and Damir went up top, so that’s something that we’ve been playing before, so it was nothing new. No tactical changes, just more bite.”


On the team’s confidence:

“I think that’s what good teams do all over the world. The teams that win something or who get to the finals, they don’t always play the prettiest. They’ll have a bad game, but the importance is if you have a bad game that you still get the three points and we managed to do that. I think for confidence as a group, it’s huge. We knew that we had to get the three points. A tie today would almost be a loss. Confidence is sky-high right now and it was before the game, even though we lost last week to LAFC.”


On facing Portland next week:

“They’re a good team. It will be at a stadium with a good crowd. They have pretty much all of their games at home except one. They lost to Seattle yesterday, they’ll be looking to do what the other six teams that are in our conference are trying to do and that’s to keep winning your home games and keep moving up the table. To win today does put us a little ahead of them, but we know next week’s game is huge. You don’t win that but you lose that and results go against you, we could be back to fifth, sixth position. We’ll have a full week to prepare for that and look to keep going with these kinds of results.”

Midfielder Kyle Beckerman

On the match:
“We just kept at it and kept grinding and eventually they broke.  We needed Plata to finish that. Those aren’t easy. Tim’s really good at penalty kicks and he even got a hand on it, but he did enough.  To get the insurance goal at the end felt great.”


On Joao Plata’s impact:

“Plata is a big part of this team and the locker room, whether he’s playing or not. He’s had a great head on his shoulder all year. He’s working hard, so I think it showed a lot of what we think of Plata to let him step up and take that, get him rolling because we know he’s got goals in him. Hopefully that’s the first of many.”

On the triple save:

“It was a little flurry going on in there, but nobody gave up on it. I think Nick made the first couple saves, along with some blocks, and we needed that. We needed Nick to keep us in the game, keep it tied. We needed every inch of Nick on that play.”

On the red card:

“The first thing for some of us was to make sure that we stayed disciplined. We learned from LAFC, so I think that was my initial thought. It might have given us a bit of a pep to keep attacking. Things were opening up a little bit more, sometimes you need a little luck in this game, and we got it tonight.”

On the mentality:

“We came in at halftime, and we knew that we could play better. The main talking point was that we have to find a way to win this game, no matter how we do it. It doesn’t have to be pretty, whatever it is, let’s find a way to win. We knew how important this was, a chance to go into second place for the night, so we didn’t want to take that for granted. We came out and were able to get the win, so that was big. We’re back to work this week, and see if we can get better next week.”

Colorado Rapids

Interim Head Coach Conor Casey

On the whole 90 minutes:

“I thought it was a very good performance for about 85 minutes. We had the majority of the chances and the majority of the shots, so I was happy with the way they played. We showed a lot of character and mentality tonight. Unfortunately, the last five minutes don't go our way and we are on the wrong end of the result.”

On RSL’s defense:

“They had a lot of numbers in front of their goal, but at the end of the day, we had our chances and we took them. Nick Rimando made a couple saves and we just couldn’t find the net.”

On explanations for the calls:

“No explanations.”

On going forward:

“It's tough after a 2-0 defeat. It’s a great performance. We've had a lot of very good performances in a row now and a lot of great performances over the last two months. Things did not go our way tonight, the last 10 minutes in any fashion. The rest of it should give us a lot of confidence about the way that we played.”

On the potential breakthrough in the final 10 minutes:

“We had pressure. We had chances. We were getting set pieces, getting crosses. We had a lot of action in their box. It was going our way, and then it was taken away from us.”

On the atmosphere in the final 10 minutes:

“It was a great atmosphere. We were pressing to score.”

Midfielder Sam Nicholson

On the whole 90 minutes:

“I thought overall we deserved something out of the game. The last 10 minutes was ruined. I don't really want to go more into detail obviously because I don't want to get myself in trouble, but I thought certain things that came up ruined the game and could have been dealt with better. That was my whole take on the game. Again, I thought we competed. We kept ourselves in the game as long as we could and we still believed and at that point, I feel we could’ve gotten something out of it.”

On missing chances:

“It was just a bit of everything, a bit of bad luck. I thought they defended well at times, so it was a mixture of both. I feel like we worked hard and we definitely deserved something out of the game. It’s just a tough one to take.”

On takeaways from tonight’s performance:

“We want to continue to compete and do what we're doing. We’re sure we've got the right attitude. We work hard, we try and compete as much as we can. From the whole season, there has been times where we’ve played some of the best teams in the league and we’ve shown that we’re good enough. We’ve just got to keep believing and see what we take from games.”

On feeling like a goal was coming in the last 15:

“Definitely. I think we all thought that. Obviously, a bit of bad luck at times. We had a couple of chances cleared off the line in the first half. In the last 15 minutes there was a lot of confidence in the boys because we defended well at times. We kept the ball well, so during the last 15 we definitely felt like something was going to happen. Soccer is a crazy game at times, it can flip on its head so quickly.”

On being unable to find the final piece on offense:

“I don't know. I think it's the end product. There were enough chances and enough attempts to create a chance, but sometimes it’s just a bit of bad luck. They defended well. We were putting enough crosses in and we got into their half enough and they defended well. They were in the right positions to clear everything that went in, so fair play to them. On another day we score four or five but it’s just a crazy game.”

Defender Tommy Smith

On the whole game:

“I think the lads worked really hard. We deserved something from the game. If I said what I wanted to say, I'd probably get in trouble with the official. It's a tough one to take.”

On what was missing in the first half:

“A little bit of luck and finishing. I'll take it upon myself. I should have scored at least once tonight, so I’m disappointed with myself for that. The chances fell our way and we just couldn't take them tonight.”

On feeling like the game winner was there before the PK:

“They're a good team. They had their phases of play where they look stronger. We had our phases of play where we looked stronger. It was one of those games that could have gone either way. We were confident, we played well, we created those chances already, but then obviously a decision goes against us.”

On defending well enough to get a result:

“Definitely. When we went 1-0 down and into injury time, I got moved up front, so we were a bit light at the back, then they scored the second goal, unfortunately. We defended well up until the red card and obviously the decisions have gone against us tonight. We’re not particularly happy, but that’s football.”

On taking something from tonight’s performance:

“For sure. We have large spells of the game where we were the dominant side. We've come here and given a really good team a really good game, but for a couple of decisions, we would have taken something from it.”