Quote Sheet: RSL 1-0 San Jose


Real Salt Lake 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Saturday, September 11, 2019

Assistant Coach Tyrone Marshall

On the win:

“I thought we started the game a little bit on the back foot. San Jose came out a little bit more on the front foot than we did. Obviously, having some changes to the lineup — Douglas Martinez’s first start, Joao’s second start of the season. Missing some guys with international duty. It was going to be a bit rough because we didn’t get the chance to train a full squad, so you can see from the get go. We started it rough, but as the game progressed I think we got better. In the second half, I think we made adjustments that we needed to and we were on the front foot in the second half. One of the most important stats, for me at least, duels won — especially when you’re playing against a team 1v1 marking all over the place. If you can win your individual matchup and duels, I think you’re going to end up on the positive side. We did well in that category by winning all our duels. I think we ended up being 51-46. Damir scored a fantastic header. The guys who came off the bench, Savarino who played last night in Tampa. He called us after the game and said ‘I want to play.’ Those are the type of guys that we want. The attitude we need from our international players — not saying that the other guys didn’t want to play but Sava, he didn’t play enough minutes and wanted to get on the pitch. Bofo coming back, and Kelyn. Everyone who came on the pitch contributed tonight and made a difference and helped out to preserve the win. Great effort from the boys and congrats to them. I think we move up to second place.”


On the adjustments made at halftime:

“In the first half, I thought that with Douglas we were trying to get him a little bit more involved. We wanted him to hold the ball a little bit more and we weren’t connecting. That ball going into Douglas and then the guys underneath, we didn’t have that connection between him and Damir as much and we needed that. He was getting pushed off the ball a little bit. It’s his first MLS game and so the physicality of it showed and he’s not used to that. Just making that adjustment, to understand that he needs to hold the ball a little bit and Damir, connecting with him, and we need to get the possession as well. They were doing a little bit more to overload on our left side by bringing Eriksson down with Espinoza and also with Thompson. We made the adjustment with that by bringing Lennon a little bit more inside and sliding Kyle over. Those were the things that stood out to us at halftime and we made those adjustments.”


On getting the win with players on international break:

“I think it shows the true character of the group. We face a lot of adversity throughout the season and the guys have all just stepped up. It was Douglas’s turn to step up and he did. It just shows that whenever you’re called upon, you have to be ready. These guys have been doing it in practice day in and day out. They’re just waiting for the opportunity and his opportunity came tonight. We’re proud of Douglas for stepping in and contributing tonight. We needed that. Going forward, hopefully he continues to contribute to the club. The effort from everyone was great tonight.”

On the game plan surrounding Damir Kreilach:

“It comes from the flow of the game. He has a nose for the goal. He has a big body and likes to get into the box which is why playing him at the 10 is really to our benefit a lot of time. He likes to get in for crosses. Especially with Brooks being in there. We get good crosses and services from Brooks, Douglas occupying the two centerbacks and Damir making the late run. He has done it before and having him in that position is definitely to our advantage. He had a couple of opportunities like the first header in the first half that I thought was going to go in but the goalkeeper came up with some good saves tonight. Brooks was amazing with a very good cross to the back post and Damir was in the right spot at the right time to put it away. It’s a fantastic effort from him. We always ask Damir to do some extra for us from playing at forward. To play a 10 or 6, whatever position we ask him to play in, he has done really well for us and has been really professional.”

On the message to Sebastian Saucedo and Jefferson Savarino:

“The funny thing is that Savarino had a limit on the amount of minutes he could play. He played last night in Tampa and flew back this morning so he had a maximum of 30 minutes. We told both of them to just come in and bring energy, go at the back two, try to win your one-on-one duels and bring some energy to the group. We needed that - we needed that spark and that’s why we made both subs at the same time. We didn’t want to wait to make one after the other. By putting those guys in and giving them 30 minutes to see what they can do, it made a big difference. That was the message, go in and change the game.”

Midfielder Damir Kreilach and Defender Nedum Onuoha

On the goal:

Kreilach: “It was a great cross from Brooks, and I just attacked the ball and luckily the ball went in. It was frustrating, because I missed a couple chances before this chance. Luckily, this one went in.”

On “Rising like a salmon”:

Onuoha: “Damir is good in the air, but he can’t jump very high. Because he’s so tall and he has the desire, it looks like he’s leaping like a salmon but in reality, not quite.”

On thinking about the previous header:

Kreilach: “I wasn’t thinking about it to be honest. I didn’t think about my first chance in the first half. I attacked the ball. It was fortunate, because earlier I missed my chances, three or four good chances. In the end it was a goal. But we as a team played very well. We deserved the  three points.”

Onuoha: “From Damir’s side, really good attackers and people that have a true desire to score goals, it doesn’t matter which ones they miss because they will always come back and have another chance. Today was another good example of why he’s one of the best strikers in the league.”

On midfielders contributing defensively:

Onuoha: “The central midfielders did well. They always do well. When you’ve got those two in the middle, it’s going to be that sort of game for the opposition. Overall, you can have people that play well in certain positions but the team has to do well together. I think that’s how we’ve managed to keep so many clean sheets this year and not concede too many goals in our games this year as well. The credit goes to the midfield. They are the engine. I always believe that if we’re as good as our attack and if our attackers are working hard, it makes it easy for our midfield, which makes it easy for people at the back. I’d say it’s a collective effort.”

On looking sluggish in the first half:

Onuoha: “We weren’t great. They brought a system which is hard to play against because they were going man for man all across the field. You have to do things differently to try and find space. It’s not as if they were going for man for man and then drop off and allow you to turn. They would literally follow you wherever you went. We competed as much as we could in the first half and when we came in at halftime, Freddy spoke to us then we spoke amongst ourselves and tweaked it. It felt a lot better because they were doing the same things. Now we found a way to overcome that.”

On talking to Douglas Martinez beforehand and his performance:

Kreilach: “He had a good game. It is not so easy to jump in and play tonight. We knew before the game that San Jose play a different style from anyone in the league and he did well. He showed what he can do in the Monarchs games.”

Onuoha: “If you’ve seen him play with the Monarchs, you know the type of thing that he can do. We’ve seen him throughout the week and he’s been very impressive in training. If he plays like he did today, he’s going to be a real asset towards the end of the season. I think that when people see that they’ll be really impressed.”

On resetting the ball back to Nick Rimando:
Onuoha: “It was because of the coverage. When you give it back to the goalkeeper when the other team wants to press us, it creates space for somebody else. If they don’t, then we can create our spacing right and create isolation in key areas. For as much as it seems that the ball at his feet is negative, it was actually quite positive because sometimes that’s the quickest way to get the ball to our attackers in dangerous positions. If we had in the back and passing it side to side while constantly being pressed, it’s a lot harder to find the right pass. With a goalkeeper like Nick who is good with his feet and wants to find people further up the field, you spread the field and then lo and behold - you can play some nice balls into the nine, into the 10 and into the wingers as well.”


On playing a patient game:
Kreilach: “Of course we missed a couple of our important guys in this game, but we have depth in this squad. Anyone can replace anyone. We wanted to be patient and that’s exactly what we did.”


Onuoha: “You always miss those players because people like Albert can make plays for this team. The fact is we had a week to get ready for this fixture, so the people who were going to be playing knew they were going to be playing from the start of the week. Everything was built towards this game. As much as it is to say we are missing our ‘star man,’ we had people coming in that knew exactly what was required for this game. I wasn’t too worried coming into this game because the quality is there.”

On mentality moving forward:
Kreilach: “We want to defend our second place position to the end of the season. Every game for us is a new challenge. We have to concentrate for the next game against Minnesota. I think Minnesota lost just one game this year at home and that it shows they are a good team. We just have to concentrate on ourselves. Every game we try to get three points and now we just have to go to Minnesota and get three points too.”


San Jose Earthquakes

Forward Chris Wondolowski

Overall assessment of the game:

“It was a very frustrating night. I thought Salt Lake came out and they were very organized. They did a good job of closing us down and pressing us, but to let in the goal late was a bit frustrating.”

On Real Salt Lake’s defense:

“I thought we created a fair amount of chances. We were just missing the final pass or final touch on it, and the final finish.“

On San Jose’s offensive production:

“The game was a mixed bag. I thought there was some really good combination play, especially on the flanks and getting it in. But I think we kind of missed that final pass. Also, there were a couple of times to pull the trigger and take a shot or get it on frame, and we didn't quite do that or do it in a timely manner. I thought that we played a little bit too slow at times, and the pace kind of hurt us sometimes.”

On what SJ needs to bring to the next game:

“Just the urgency. I think that we are definitely a little frustrated. So we want to go and I'm glad we have a game in three days to try to right the ship and get back in the win column.”

Defender Florian Jungwirth

On the match:

“Overall it was not a good performance by us, but I think the game was pretty even in the first half. We all knew it was a really important game and we were definitely convinced we could at least get a draw. Unfortunately, the second half wasn’t good. We didn’t play like we know we can play. We played their game and that’s why we lost.”


On a quick turnaround before Saturday’s match at NYCFC:

“We have to take it like it comes but of course any time you lose, you’re angry and waiting seven days for another chance is a bit long. Especially now in this part of the season, it’s good to have a quick turnaround. We know it’s going to be a really, really hard one, but we’re convinced we can get all three points.”