Quote Sheet: RSL vs. SKC


Real Salt Lake 3-1 Sporting Kansas City

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Head Coach Freddy Juarez

On the team’s performance:

It wasn’t anything out of this world, it was just speeding up the game. They were holding their block and waiting for us to make a mistake. We needed to play quicker, which means less touches and bypassing players. I wanted more freedom for Damir and to have him drop in and disorient them a little bit so they wouldn’t know who to press. If we can do it with a little urgency and shift them a first and a second time, then next time around, we can cross lines and open them up. Patience with urgency.”

On the subs:

“Guys had to come in because of tightness, and they were put in tough spots. Last night we told Besler: OK, you need to come in and play, and him changing his mindset as he came in to help; just a great professional performance. Douglas over here at the end of the game, deciding that instead of going to goal, he would take it into the corner, just a professional, mature performance.”

On his tactical plan’s success:

“We played a great team that is always a challenger for great things, and we showed guts, we showed resilience, and we showed control of the game during moments of possession and other times when we had to control the game with our defending. I thought the guys were pretty good in all phases. We gave up one during that transition phase, maybe that was what woke us up. We had to shift some more and avoid being so eager. I told the guys at halftime: ‘Whether that goal comes up in the 46th minute or in the 89th minute, you just have to keep moving them, the opportunity is going to come and you have the individual talent to put it away.’”

On the competition for spots:

“There are no freebies. We have depth and quality that is going to come in and push. You have Douglas, you have Chang when you look up top, on the left side we have Noah, we have Ashtone, on the right side we have Brody. Hopefully it’s not too severe on Aaron, he is a top player in the country. Brody came in, and I thought his energy changed the game. He got the fans lively. For Besler, he got our call yesterday, we said ‘we’re going to go with you,’ then he stepped in and gave a tremendous effort today. It was a tremendous effort from Albert, who continues to make a difference wherever we ask him to play.”

On Brody breaking press: 

“Aaron also has that, that’s one of his biggest strengths is his dribbling ability, his passing ability. I don’t know if there’s that many players that can pass the ball into ranges like Aaron does. You could tell as the game started that everyone was a little reluctant to go forward. It’s all due to the tightness in his quad. That’s credit to Aaron, he didn’t want to push through it. He knows the team is the most important thing. He has confidence in Brody. I don’t think Aaron would be one that would want to come out if he didn’t think someone else could come and help the team and not put him in a situation. Knowing Brody since he was 15 years old, that’s always been a strength. He played winger for us, forward for us. He’s like an eel, he gets slithery and gets going, and he’s tough to deal with. I can’t imagine being a winger trying to close him down because he can go right or he can go left. You can back them up, think you have them and then he slips through. He is an amazing worker engine. He is constantly going. It wasn’t the game plan but we know what his tendencies are and that he has that capability and he delivered. Let’s not forget that it’s tough to go into a game, let alone to make an impact. Unbelievable by Brody.”

Defender Andrew Brody

On Damir’s goal: 

“I saw Pablo on the ball first of all, and I knew he could thread that ball in behind so my biggest problem is to get out wide, settle my first touch. I put it in a dangerous area. I saw Dimir kind of peeling towards the back and I know he’s a great target in there so I tried to put it as close to him as possible and he’s done unreal with the finish, and he changed that game for us.”

On the collective of the team: 

“The collective is to work hard, we want to press, we want to play attacking football when we get the ball, and we have a very deep team. We have guys that can come in and change a game whether that’s myself today, Chang, Besler stepping in and getting the start today. I think we’re a good team and we want to play footy, get the ball, and try to score goals.” 

On his experience in Austria: 

I would agree with Pablo 100%. I think when we got over there we found some more quality that really changed our games, and coming back we wanted to show that we belong on this team. I think the Austria experience was great to see the game in a new light. And I think it changed a lot for both of us.”

On his confidence:

“I’m as happy as I've ever been. I feel as confident as ever been in myself and ability, and like I said earlier, I think the biggest thing was getting that loan over in Austria to go and showcase myself and find that confidence that might not have been there at all the times during my career. With the Monarchs it kind of fluctuated a little bit, but now I feel that it’s back and I’m ready to show what I can do this year.”

Forward Rubio Rubin

On the team:

“It shows that we’ve been working hard in preseason. Even in the last game in Minnesota. We knew that we could come into this game and get 3 points. It was our home opener and we got the job done, so we’re happy. We were down 1-0 at some point and we fought through it, so it just shows how resilient this team is. I’m so proud of the boys.”

On the halftime message:

“We know that because of the elevation it’s hard for teams to come play here, so we used that to our advantage and we just kept attacking, kept pressing and found ourselves a third goal. I’m just happy that we got the win because it shows the resilience from these guys and all the hard work from preseason. We want to keep this momentum going and we’re looking forward to next week already. It’s another home game, so we’re excited. Now it’s just about rest and taking care of everybody.”

On scoring two goals at home in front of his parents for the first time:

“It’s very special. I was out last season and people doubted me, but that’s okay. I had my style that I wanted to play and my family was always behind me. They believed in me and this was such a special moment to be able to come out with the win and score a couple of goals. At the end of the day, some people won’t be able to understand my style, but for me that’s okay. I’m so happy to be part of this team and to be given this opportunity from the front office and the coaches that believed in me. I’m just very happy at the moment.”

On playing in front of fans: 

“It’s awesome after every goal there was this kind of chant. I didn’t even know it was there, that was something special after the goal just to hear it in the back of the fans having their own chant and really being behind us throughout the game even on corners they were getting up it just gives you that extra motivation to want to win the ball and want to score. It’s just really awesome to be able to have fans again. It's something that we’ve all missed and we’ve been looking forward to having it back for a long time. Last year 2020 was tough, not only for us but for everyone. We are just happy to be able to share moments like today winning the game and celebrating a W with them.”


On finding Pablo Ruiz: 

Obviously Pablo is a great player. Very young and talented. Just being able to come into the team and get along. Being able to show it in the game and rely on my speed and to make that extra pass is what matters to me. Hopefully we can continue to help contribute to goals.” 

On his goal celebration:

The goal celebration was since I was little, something for my parents. Whenever I would score a goal when I was really young, I would do a celebration like that featuring Omar Bravo and Chicharito who’ve actually done it before. Most of the time it would be Omar Bravo, one of my idols when I was little. When I was little I would always score a goal in the Mexican league when I was like 10 years old and that would be my celebration trying to copy those kind of players and I just decided to do that to my parents because I know that they have seen that before. At the same time it was one of those celebrations that I hope sticks around, and I continue to do that.”

On his second goal:

“I just kind of trusted my abilities. I’ve been known for having good feints and pushing the ball. In soccer, it’s all about inches, it’s all about the half space and being able to create. And right when I was able to cut to the left and cut back, I knew that I had little space to shoot it. It went through the players legs but sometimes that’s just soccer it happens and luckily, it found the back of the net.”