Quote Sheet: RSL 2-2 Seattle

QUOTE SHEET
Real Salt Lake 2-2 Seattle Sounders FC
Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Head Coach Freddy Juarez

On being in front of fans at home:
“Awesome. I wish we would’ve won the game for them. I think we did enough to win the game. It’s that feeling when you tie the game and then re-tie the game, you know that 4,000 that were here tonight - it gets you going. It was awesome to finally get to play in front of some fans and get a reaction from good plays in our goal.”

On Pablo Ruiz goal:
“He has an educated left foot, exquisite like you said. He is great at passing and he has a great shot when he gets a good look at it. He got a great first touch. His prep touch was everything and then when he released it and I just turned around like ‘oh my gosh, what a goal.’ We just gave him the game ball for his first professional goal with us. Great goal. It was a good game against a very good opponent, but when you score some good goals like the one, he scored there it makes it even more special.”

On difference defensively between Seattle and previous two opponents:
“It is a credit to Brian and his staff. They pulled this on us last year so we were somewhat anticipating that they could potentially do it, but I think they pulled it this time and still had their main pieces in there. They obviously brought in Jordan a little bit later, but they also had Lodiero who didn’t play against us last year. It was a chess match. We came in and we were having possession, but because of their line of five and what we typically do in between the lines it was almost just like a matchup. We talked it over as a staff and we decided to put Rossi in and go with two forwards to see if we could occupy three of their forwards in the second half with two of our players and then adjust over that and then they readjusted by bringing in Morris. It was a good tactical game I believe. If you are a fan of that type of stuff, I think you saw team’s reactions to what the other team was throwing at them and then we got a tied result. It was tough because we knew we were going to have a lot of the ball but we were going to have to take care of some of those transitions, then even having those balls it was hard to break them down in that first half.”

On Rossi’s play:
“I thought he was good. I thought Rossi was good. He forced them to get desperate a couple of times being that he had the one off the goalkeeper’s chest and another that was blocked. He was good. I think he’s getting fitter. I know training fitness to game fitness is different, so it was nice for him to get the fitness in there and he’ll just continue to grow. We like Rossi. We know he’s a good player it's just a matter of getting him into a good rhythm and that helped so we’re happy with his performance. Overall everyone gave a good performance today and they kept fighting like we have in the last few games.

On Damir’s impact:
“Damir is a general. He is a warrior. He wants the ball, he loves the ball at his feet. He doesn’t shy away from the ball, we have a lot of those players. Everton is that type, Pablo is that type, Albert, Damir you know. It is good to see Damir. Because of suspensions and guys getting over injuries we have created some depth with Damir back into his position where we can use him at times now. Pablo and those guys, we’re a team that wants the ball. We try to force the opponent into defending us by moving them around with the ball so when that happens, players that play in the center of the park for us should have the most touches for the team.”

On self-inflicted wounds and giving a goal away early:
“There are going to be some miscues you just have to continue to get better. These stretches are tough because you don’t get to go through a lot of training, it’s almost just trying to regen. Definitely can deal with that better. Pablo’s, he chested it. It wasn’t a whole lot that Seattle did, but they gave effort and put a little bit of pressure on you. We panicked, but Pablo will get better from that as he gets older and gets more games in the next couple of years. He ends up getting a bad little head ball. He had positioning and I think it was Lodiero that pressed him. He has position but he feels the pressure, he panics and that’s twice in the last two games with his back to goal and there is a little bit of panic from him. But he’ll grow from that and that led to the penalty. The one with Aaron, that’s just a little bit of miscue I think he just didn’t see the guy. Really the one I’m not happy with is just the second goal. I need to re-watch that but it seemed like there were too many guys in the box that were unmarked but that was the only time that I felt like, ‘oh man.’ For that we can tactically get better. The other ones we just got to get a little bit sharper.”

Defender Justen Glad

On the goal:
“It felt good. It felt overdue to be fair, but it’s definitely, always a good feeling to score, especially to help the team get a point.”

On coming back from behind twice:
“It comes down to belief. We started down in the Colorado game, and we started down last week in Portland. It’s something that our team has. We have that resilient side to us, and we’re hoping to keep that. Obviously, when you look at our track record over the past two years or so, when we go down initially, we don’t win many of those games. This year you can feel something is a little bit different. We’ve always had that fight, and obviously we wanted three points, but it felt good to come back from being down a goal twice.”

On dominant passing:
“I would say so. That also contributes to how we have been able to come back. A lot of the goals that are given up in this league come from sloppy passes and trying to play out of the back, and it gets picked off. We try as much as we can to minimize that and be clean on the ball, it’s not only going to help our defense but our offense as well.”

On the fans:
“It felt amazing, to be honest. I had my parents up in the suite, which was great. Feeling the energy after the goals or after a big tackle gives the team a little bit more life. For me, it was great to be back out in front of the fans, and hopefully give them a show.”

On Seattle’s lack of chances:
“A lot of it had to do with where we were in their transitions. Freddy made a point of it; when we’re in their half and we have the ball, we can lose it at any moment, and we have to be in the right spots. We always had it in our minds that if we lose the ball, they’re going to come back and counter on us. We had that at the forefront of our minds, so we tried to stop as many counters as possible. I think that had a big reason to do with it.”

Defender Aaron Herrera

On Seattle’s lack of chances:
“That’s always our style. Our style is to limit their chances on goal and try to play in their half. Today, they were making it tough to play forward and they were pressing the guy on the ball. We were forced to play back a lot, but it’s not necessarily our defense. Anytime we’re in possession, they’re not going to have a chance to score. For me, it’s more about our possession and our immediate press whenever we turn over the ball.”

On fixing mistakes:
“Those are half-second decisions that you have to make and sometimes you get it right, and if you don’t it can cost us a goal. It was a weird play. I think it deflected off Donny and came across. I thought I was going to be able to get my chest to it, but when I realized I wasn’t able to pull out. I haven’t been able to see a replay yet, so I’m not really sure. We can definitely clean that up. On the second goal, you have to give credit to the other team sometimes. They were able to get good numbers in the box and definitely outnumbered us. They forced us to make a decision and were able to pick out the right guy. Credit to them on that one, it was a tough one to defend. Obviously, you guys have seen what our defense is capable of. We are capable of plenty of shutouts, so going into the next couple of games, that’s what we’re going to look to do hopefully.”

On the team’s response:
“The responses have been incredible, especially from guys coming off the bench. A couple guys getting in there. Justen getting his first goal, and Pablo with an incredible goal tonight. It’s not something we want to get used to, but it’s something we know we’re capable of. We’re capable of coming from behind if we have to. We don’t want to be coming from behind, but sometimes that’s the way soccer is; you’re playing good soccer and dominating the team, but against the run of play they steal some goals. It almost seemed like we couldn't catch a break right now, trying to keep the ball out of our net. That’s going to be our focus. We’re creating a lot of chances and scoring goals. If we can keep the ball out of our net, it’ll give us a great chance to win.”

On the fans:
“It was incredible, being able to be out there and feel their energy. Even going to an away game, being able to shut the crowd up, you’re always going to have extra motivation. Tonight, it seemed like there were a lot more than 5000, that’s for sure. They were loud and it was extremely nice. It felt a lot more normal, less like a training session and more like a game.”

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