Quote Sheet: RSL 3-0 LAFC


Real Salt Lake 3-0 Los Angeles FC

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

 Real Salt Lake

Assistant Coach Tyrone Marshall

Opening thoughts:

“First of all, it was a great win for us tonight, great win for the fans who came out to support us and coming off of a loss on Sunday, to turn around and have this wonderful performance. Getting out of the gate early, it is what we preach in the locker room. Us as the coaching staff have been saying from the get go ‘we need to get on these guys and get an early goal, especially with the lineup they put out there.’ We knew we wanted to jump on them, hopefully score one, maybe two, and put the game away early and not give them any confidence, because the longer they stay around the more confidence they have.”

 On set piece goals:

“We have to give major credit to Matt Glaeser who has done a fantastic job for us on the attacking set pieces. Looking at the squad we had the height, I think the two centerbacks were the only two guys that may have had height on LAFC, so we knew we could attack them a little bit more. We put in some set plays for this particular game, we watched them in the game against LA Galaxy and we knew we had some opportunities that we were going to be able to capitalize on. We have to tip our hats to the boys who put the effort in to get into the spots in the run of play, according to our plan, so kudos to those guys.”

 On scoring multiple goals:

“For us it changed the momentum, because, like you said, the last three or four games we’ve been playing from behind. For us to get the confidence of scoring first gives us more calmness to play and the guys were not panicking, and that’s what I liked tonight. There were times and moments when we were in difficult spots, but we didn’t panic. When you have a goal it brings that calmness to you, so playing from a goal up it brings that sense of ‘hey, we can play, let’s not panic, let’s not kick the ball away’ and I think that’s what it does to us when you do score first.”

 On Justin Meram’s goal:

“That was a key goal for us. Again, another set piece goal and scoring early kills the confidence of those guys. Bob [Bradley] made some changes at halftime, he was hoping to get through the half being down a goal and he did, but the boys did what they needed to do on the LAFC side to go into half one goal down, which is not bad for the squad they had out, then having the opportunity to put out four guys who normally start to see if the can go and get something salvaged. So, it was key for us to get that goal early and put our stamp on it and close off the gate for them and kill their rhythm.” 

 On Damir’s success against LAFC:

“I think those guys don’t like to play against Damir.  They leave him open all the time in the box.  They don’t realize he’s a goalscorer.  Damir is a classy player.  He has a knack for finding those free spots in the box.  I think Maikel Chang played a perfect ball into him and he found that gap.  Damir is just one of those players that comes around every ten years.  He does everything well for you.  You ask him to sit back and play in the 6 role, the 8 role, the 10 or the 9 and he comes down and performs to his maximum capability and still ends up scoring goals.  He’s the LAFC killer for us and we’re going to ride him as much as we can because we need it.  In these quick turnarounds, we need goals from whoever is on fire.  Tonight Damir started it out for us and gave us the confidence to go out and look for two and three and that’s what we did.”

 On Maikel Chang’s success:

“We’ve seen it in practice.  Not a lot of fans have gotten an opportunity to see Maikel Chang playing with the first team.  They’ve seen it with the Monarchs.  Against Colorado he had a breakthrough game that gave him all the confidence he needed.  Now we’ve given him the opportunity to run with it and he’s making the most of it.  He leads the USL in assists (all-time) and he got one tonight so if he’s not scoring, he’s involved in the play.  For us watching Maikel do his thing on the field, it’s a gratifying feeling.  And also I have to mention that we had two new guys on the field tonight.  Milan Iloski made his debut and Jeizon Ramirez made that first appearance before COVID kicked in and he had the opportunity to come back here now in front of the fans.  We have some young and upcoming players that we’re excited to see, especially in our attack.  And going back to Maikel Chang, he’s a fantastic player and we hope he can continue his string of getting assists or goals.”

 Goalkeeper Andrew Putna

On earning the clean sheet:

“It feels good but overall it’s the team’s clean sheet. We had a couple blocks from several guys in the second half and we did what we could to earn it. That’s all that matters.”

 On finishing the match with eight saves:

“The last time that happened was probably in college. It was good for me to see the shots and make saves early in the game.”

 On the awareness needed to face LAFC:

“We talked about being checked into the game during certain situations like set pieces. We’ve talked about it all season and I think tonight we knew they are a tough team to play against. Being checked in helped us win the game tonight.”

 On the belief in himself:

“After a performance like tonight it makes me more confident in myself. It’s just about working hard in training and forgetting about mistakes in the past. As a goalkeeper you have to have a short memory and that’s what I’ve been trying to do the last couple of weeks. At times I haven’t played that well but I’ve just worried about the game today and that’s it.”

 On his mindset and competing for the starting role:

“You want to win every game and play well. I think Zac MacMath and I have had a good competition and have been supportive of each other in this run of games. As a goalkeeper union that’s really the only way to push each other. You need to make sure that the person starting is ready.”

 On scoring first:

“It was huge tonight. We talked about a fast start and getting after them and pressing them and we ended up scoring in the ninth minute and it changes the game. In the last game I played in at Portland we gave up a goal in the first five minutes and that changed the game for us negatively. So tonight we score first and we’re on the gas pedal right away.”

 Midfielder Albert Rusnák

On scoring first:

“The last four games, I believe, we were coming from behind. It’s a psychological thing. In one way when we come from behind and we are able to get points it shows the character of this team and the strength, but one the other side once we score the first goal the other team has to open up and there is more space to hit them on a counter attack. They start throwing bodies forward and then we can exploit the space behind. So yes, today the first goal was very important.” 

 On Andrew Putna’s performance in goal:

“He’s a great shot stopper and today he faced quite a few shots, especially on set pieces and he came up with the saves that we needed from him at the time. The clean sheet is not just a bonus for him, but for the whole team as well. I don’t know how keepers feel, but I imagine they feel great when they are able to keep a zero. I’m happy we got the three points, we scored three goals, but we kept them at zero at the back and that can win you games.” 

 On success with set pieces

“That is something that we have worked on, not just leading up to this game, but ever since the season started. I believe that not just today, but in the last few games we have scored on the set pieces, it's not always directly from the set piece, sometimes it is the second cross, deflection, or rebound. Set pieces can win you games and it can lose you games and in the last month or so things have been going our way, so that’s a big bonus. Honestly, whenever you can get a goal from a set piece it’s a big help and we did that again today. It’s something that we are going to have to keep working on and on the other side with defensive set pieces we will have to work and be alert at all times.” 

 On opportunities against LAFC

“They’re a dangerous team. We can talk about their defense, or whatever, but at the end of the day they score so many goals that they can win any game. We were ready for that today and as I said earlier, the first goal was important and we got it. I think we actually improved in the second half, compared to how we played the first, and the result was another two goals. Overall it was a good performance for us and we don’t need to talk about them, we need to concentrate on ourselves. When we play like we did today I feel like we have a very high chance of getting the result against any team.”

 On the cleanliness of the passing

“We had to be clean, they try to press you everytime they lose the ball and that’s what they kept doing today. If you hold onto the ball too long you can have three or four players on yourself and that will cause possession for them. We had to be especially clean and when we had the ball we had to play fast, we had to give the options to the guy on the ball and I think for the majority of the game we did that very well.”