Quote Sheet: UTA 1-0 NJ

QUOTE SHEET

UTAH ROYALS FC 1-0 SKY BLUE FC

ZIONS BANK STADIUM; HERRIMAN, UTAH

JULY 4, 2020

Head Coach Craig Harrington

Overall thoughts:

“I’m delighted for the group. I think they earned it and I think the best team won today. From the last game I think we improved and that’s all that we’re asking for from this group. Second, I think there were several outstanding individual performances, but the hot take is right now that we won the game and we kept a clean sheet. Now people are talking about playing three at the back.”

On keeping the clean sheet:

“I was happy with the way we played at the back. I’ve watched a lot of games here and we went against the wind in the first half, so our game plan was pretty spot on with how we were trying to play against it instead of just hanging on and trying to survive the first half. To get the goal I think we absolutely deserved it. Obviously, it would’ve been nice to put the game away with the chances we had. Overall, I’m delighted with the mentality of the group and I think it’s great effort. I’m proud of them and now we’re onto OL Reign.”

On the two changes to the starting group:

“We’d love to rotate a bit more in certain circumstances but with some people being more delicate with the minutes they play and perform we need to make sure that we’re in a good spot. I think the starters earned the right to start the match to rotate and get that rhythm in the wide spots in the back. The players that came into those spots did tremendously well and we have a good core group that can come off the bench and finish the match well.”

On the Vero and Amy partnership:

“The link-up was fantastic. Obviously, the weight of the past was brilliant – but I’m not sure how we won the ball back – it may have been further back on the pitch, but the forward thinking with an excellent finish. I’m delighted for Amy [Rodriguez] to get off the mark.”

Forward Amy Rodriguez

On her relationship with Vero:

"I couldn't speak more highly of Vero, I've enjoyed playing with her for the past few seasons and I always joke that she makes my job look easy, because she sets me up so wonderfully. She's one of the best midfielders in the world and I'm so glad she's on our team."

On her long-term relationship with Vero:

"Vero and I have had a lot of experience together and I think that shows on the field. Everytime we take the field it's another game under our belt, and like I said today, she makes my job look easy and she definitely sets me up on some great assists." 

On earning a clean sheet:

"I would say today was a tough battle, a lot of the ball was i the middle of the park, a lot of second balls, a lot of balls bouncing around, but our team really stepped up to the challenge. I was so impressed and very proud to walk away with the 1-0 win. From front to back I just thought it was hard fought, really proud of this team today."

On team buy in and mentality:

"I think this team has a lot of spirit, a lot of fight, even though we are kind of a new club this year with a lot of new players, new head coach, new system, we're in it for each other, and I think that shows greatly on the field. The better performance that we can put out there, that is just a quality of chemistry and willingness to fight for each other."

Midfielder Vero Boquete

Overall thoughts:

“Obviously when you score three goals and concede three goals in the last game the goal for the next game is to have a clean sheet and that’s what we did today. Also, we know that we need to keep feeding off our forwards because we know they’re going to score. Our job is to make sure that they have that chance.”

On her assist:

“It’s just too easy to play with Amy. We played together in the past and last year so whenever I have the ball with space, I know that I have to take that space and play her in behind and she’ll do the rest. She’s a fantastic forward and she’ll score.”

On her on-field instruction:

“I just try to make sure we are patient and we keep possession. I try to make sure we stretch the other team and switch from side to side because when we do that, we find more space for me and other players and then we can fit in our forwards. I think we did a good job of that today, better than our last game. We just have to keep improving.”

On the team’s direction:

“We try to improve every day. During the tournament we have to grow as a team and we’re trying to do that as a team. The players that’re coming off the bench are doing a fantastic job and the team spirit is great. We’re really united and we’re playing for each other and that’s what we’re going to do the rest of the tournament.”

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