Quote Sheet: RSL 1-2 Whitecaps FC

QUOTE SHEET

Real Salt Lake 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Saturday, September 19, 2020

 

Head Coach Freddy Juarez

On dominating the game but losing:

“It’s frustrating. I thought that in the first half, we dominated like you said, but it was a little too slow, just not aggressive enough. Two things happened. They gained a little bit of life, and they felt like they were in the game. That’s okay, but then you have to make sure you don’t give up goals like we did, that you continue to keep going and keep going and not give away anything cheaply. Sometimes these games are tough because the opponent is playing for a result. If you give them an opportunity to sneak one, they will. I thought we controlled a lot of facets. I don’t think it was aggressive enough, even after we went down a man. Two red cards in the last two games? We’re better than that. We’re more mature than that. We’ll get after it.”

 

On the red cards:

“I’m going to have to address it because it’s not us. It was a little bit unlucky. It wasn’t anything vicious today. It was a second yellow, so it’s not a discipline thing. Even the one last week with Douglas, I thought that Douglas had someone push on him and then he reacts, I get it. Contact to the head, red. It’s not a disciplinary thing, it’s just the heat of the moment. It’s a second yellow. Beckerman knows better than that. He’s a professional and he feels bad about it. We’ll mention it, and we just have to be mature. That wasn’t a problem of ours last year, so we have to get back to containing ourselves in situations and not putting ourselves in those situations. If we have a yellow already, we just have to be a bit smarter.”

 

On the shot numbers:

“I’m encouraged by the mentality of the players, the fight. What we were doing today, pressing and chasing, even going a man down and gambling, I thought we had a little more control of the game and that’s what I’m encouraged by. I just have to relate it to the team, and I did that coming out of the locker room. We’re not a team that’s going to put our heads down. We’re disappointed and we can be upset that the game didn’t go our way, but we can’t dwell on that. We have Galaxy on Wednesday and an opportunity to get 3 points and into the win column. When you have shots is one thing, but when you have shots in the box, to me that’s very encouraging and it should be for the team. Right now it’s tough for the players because sometimes when you’re playing and you lose, you don’t hear that type of stuff. I’m happy with and proud of the guys. Not happy with the result but proud of the guys.”

 

On Vancouver’s goal:

“Nedum knows that it’s a tricky situation. From what I remember, he anticipates and steals the ball, a second defender presses him and he has to poke it away, a third defender comes in and that’s where he’s lost. We don’t go into practice and talk tactics like, “Let’s dribble out.” In that moment, he sensed the game and thought he could get through. The ball just got away from him. I’m a little disappointed. He could just clear it, but the transition moment was lost. Our reaction was just a little bit too slow. It was too easy for them to get in behind us right away. It’s not just one play. He could have done better, but you have to be pessimistic in moments. Transition nowadays in soccer, both from offense to defense and defense to offense, are critical. The teams that can handle, read and anticipate those quicker are better. For me, anybody on the field, soccer is a transitional game. There’s going to be lots of possessions lost. How do you react in those moments. Today I thought we reacted a little slow in that moment.”

On capitalizing on opportunities:
“We’ll keep working on being a little more composed. You want to win the game so bad. I remember the great layoff that Chang had in the first half, and you have a good look from Albert. Psychologically, we just have to be a little more composed. The guys have to know that they’re going to get opportunities, and when they get it they just have to be a little more composed. We’ll keep working and we’ll talk about it. Sometimes they land, and sometimes they don’t. Today, we had 20 plus shots and 1 goal from it. That’s just unfortunate. If we continue the attitude we had, especially in the second half and after the second goal, we’re going to be in the playoffs. We’re going to win more games. It starts with Galaxy. I think Galaxy is losing right now too. We have to be ready. Forget this one. Take the positives and fix the negatives. We’ll show some stuff, those transition moments, composure in the box and we’ll be ready for Galaxy.”

 

Forward Justin Meram

On creating chances:

“I don’t know a game this year that we’re not creating chances.  That’s a positive.  Now it’s putting more than one goal in the back of the net.  It’s the same story a little bit.  We give up the first goal, then claw back a little way and find our way.  Collectively we’ve just got to be a little bit better not conceding, especially at home.”

 

On the second yellow changing the game:

“You go down a man and it’s a little bit more difficult, but I think we responded perfectly.  We went man-for-man almost everywhere on the field and tried to do what we could to find our way in the game down a man.  I think we responded pretty well and got the equalizer.”

 

On the challenge of scoring goals:

“It seems like more times than not we’re in great positions to score.  Sometimes a bit unlucky.  We’ve scored multiple goals in games.  3-0, LAFC.  Four goals on the road in Portland.  Four goals on the road in Colorado.  That’s a lot of goals and you’re not going to score four goals every game.  That’s the reality of it.  Sometimes teams come here with the altitude on the road and they sit back a little bit and want to counter.  The space in between the lines in the final third is a little bit more difficult than sometimes when you’re on the road and they’re the team trying to press and we can play a little bit more normal.”

 

On the mood in the locker room:

“It’s not great.  But the beauty of this game, the beauty of MLS and the beauty of the condensed schedule is that we have another game in four days.  That’s the focus.  What are you going to do?  You can’t change the results now.  You can’t change what happened against Colorado.  We came out in the first half and created some good chances.  Unfortunately tonight we fell short.  We’re not going to sulk too much on this.  We’re going to look at how to get better and get a result on Wednesday.  If we get a result on Wednesday, there’s going to be more smiles in this building.”

 

Defender Nedum Onuoha

On the team’s defensive effort:

“It feels like they had two opportunities and they took them. Aside from that, I didn’t feel like we were pinned in at all. It was obviously a lot better than the game before. Disappointed to lose and to give up two goals, but I think defensively we were pretty solid. It is what it is.”
 

On the game being an improvement:

“Obviously, we wanted to win today and have an overall better performance. We did play better, but we’re still disappointed because of the result itself. Colorado was one of those games that you should never get low on, not just in a season but in your whole career. It was better than Colorado, but anything close to that level again would have been completely unacceptable. It’s tough to say we’re building because we did lose again. People are showing more character and more of a competitive edge, and I think on a different day where we convert some of our chances and we do a lot better. This was going to be a test today. If we had played the same as we did against Colorado, we would have been in very big trouble. I don’t think we did. It was better if not great, so I guess we are building towards better results going forward.”
 

On conceding first today again:

“To be honest it’s very game to game. I think we’ve conceded quite a lot of early goals in games recently, which has really put us on the back foot. Today’s was in the second half, so it’s disappointing to concede. It’s always disappointing to concede, but conceding first doesn’t necessarily mean that the game is over. We showed the character to get back in the game, and it was when we were down to 10 men. We do have something about us. We do have a spine. We are mentally capable of coming back, but we’d much rather score first and be able to take the game to the opposition. I think that will come, because we do have the ability from where we are now. We are a positive team. We’re not going to sit back and only play if we concede. Football’s just one of those games where you have to take your chances and the team’s we’ve been playing recently have done that whenever they’ve arised for them.”
 

On the halftime mood:

“When we came in at halftime, we thought we could have had a lead. We weren’t too disappointed. It felt like we were playing well. We had lots of the ball, and we had a few threatening moments. We went into the second half thinking more of the same. We wanted to push them back and put them under pressure and see if we can have the altitude affect them by making the game as quick as possible. We conceded two goals, but looking at the stat lines from the game, even playing with 10 men for 30 minutes, we still had possession and way more shots. It’s disappointing. It’s not a terrible performance. We did dominate certain aspects of it, but we just have to do better. We have to fix the mistakes at the back and make the most of our opportunities. We entered their final third so many times today, but we weren’t able to capitalize on that, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why some teams win and some teams don’t.”

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