ATL v MIN | Post-match Quotes

  • Match: Atlanta United vs Minnesota United
  • Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
  • Date: October 3, 2017
  • Final Score: ATL 2-3 MIN (Recap | Highlights)

Gerardo "Tata" Martino - Atlanta United manager

On if the foul in the first half on Hector Villalba as a red card:

“Absolutely. Without the need to review it or anything. I don’t think there was a single person in the stadium that didn’t think it was red, even though we’re all for Atlanta. For me it was a foul that should he have been disqualified for.

On this match being the toughest lost yet:

“Not for the effort because I thought that was there, but it’s tough because until the 90th minute we were second in the table and also because we lost a player to injury, in McCann’s case, because he left the field in the first half.”

On having to play games scheduled during an international break:

“There’s not a lot I can say about that. They put the game at this time, we understood we had to play at this time. We know that every time there are national team games that some players are going to be gone. Minnesota was lucky that Trinidad and Tobago left them two players. But I don’t want to use that as a reference because we already knew the schedule that we had. I’m more upset about the foul in the first half because it seems like there was a double error. An error by the referee and whoever views the replay. It seems like we’ll have to put someone to check the referee and someone to check the person on review.

On how to keep the good form and momentum going but also give the guys a rest

“Now the break is natural. We’re going to rest tomorrow and all weekend. The sessions this week we’ll dedicate to recovery. No we have an important time to recover well and to give the injured players time to evolve.”

On how to manage rest with the amount of games in such a short time,

“I understand that it’s a risk when we play so many games. I said it to the players, I don’t remember having had so many games myself or even watching other teams go through a stretch of games like we did with these eight games in 23 days. We it was a risk we had to take because when we started this streak of games against Dallas we were almost outside the playoffs, so there wasn’t a lot of time to rotate players.

On how it felt to see Atlanta fighting back during the game:

“Unfortunately, in the second half we weren’t able to play as well as we did in the first because of the expulsion of the goalkeeper, so that changed the game. But like I said, the effort was there and we knew that getting into that second place was important and I liked how the guys fought for that.”

Julian Gressel - Atlanta United midfielder

On if this was the toughest lost of the season:

“Definitely up there, I think. When we come back after being 1-0 down and then a man down and then you score, 2-1, we went up. It’s just really, really tough to then concede those two goals late and lose the game like that.”

On how it felt to go up 2-1 after conceding a goal early and playing a man down:

“It feels good. You go a man down, and I actually think we were the better team at that point as well, so we kind of deserved it. Then, just trying to grind it out at the end. And then, unfortunately concede a set piece, and then the last one in the 90th minute which is always tough.”

On if the team’s performance tonight was a sign of them running out of energy:

“I don’t think that’s the reason why we lost the game. I think we left it all out there. Certainly, you can see in the locker room today we’re all pretty tired at the end, which is normal. It’s just a little bad luck. We’ve had some luck before in this stadium and now it kind of turned on us a little – which happens. You know, that’s the game. That’s how it goes, sometimes, and unfortunately, we were on the wrong end of that today.”

On his goal and his relationship with M Yamil Asad:

“It’s funny because we actually talked about it before – how there was a similar situation in New England where he had the ball on the left side of the box and I was screaming for it but he didn’t see me and he played it down to Chris McCann on the left side. I think maybe he had that in his mind a little bit, where now, I was wide open again on the right and when he looked over and he played a great ball in.”

On what the team’s goal is over the next week and a half:

“First off, I think we’ve got to rest. I think we all need some time off and we need to just recover from that tough stretch that we had. It would have been nice to go into that break with a win. I think then we would have recovered a little bit faster but we have enough time now to recover and then obviously get our minds and our bodies ready for the last two games and then the playoffs.”

Michael Parkhurst - Atlanta United defender

On his thoughts of Atlanta United’s stretch of games that consisted of eight games in 24 days:

“We were tired, obviously. It’s been a long few weeks but a successful few weeks. We come out of it with just one loss. Obviously, we are disappointed about tonight. We gave it a heck of a fight to come back — down a man, down a goal. We’re disappointed that we couldn’t hold on for the last five or six minutes.”

On the message to the team at halftime:

“(The message was) that we’re playing a good game. (The message was) that we’re on top of them. We just need to keep going, keep the energy as high as we can, get the ball wide, get the ball in the box to Kenwyne (Jones). Just keep it going because the first half was how we wanted to approach the game.”

On if GK Kyle Reynish ‘getting sent off put a charge’ in the team:

“It seemed that way. For some reason, it gave us a little boost that we knew that we had to dig a little deeper. We were on top of them right away — even after the red card. It was a great response from the guys. Tito (Hector Villalba), Yamil (Asad), Julian (Gressel) — they did fantastic up there. Two very good goals. Again, just super disappointed we couldn’t hang on.”

On the final two games of the season:

“We’re definitely going to enjoy some rest. We’ve got a lot of tired and bruised, banged-up guys. We need the break to refresh, to recharge. Mentally and physically, it’s been a grind the past few weeks. We’re going to definitely enjoy a few days off. Then, we’re going to get ready for two tough games to finish out.”

On the goal for the team for the final two games:

“To win two games and take six points. I still think that if we take six points we have a very good chance of getting the second seed (in the playoffs). I think we’ll have the tiebreaker with New York City if we finish on the same the record. It’s there for us and even if it’s not, finishing in the top four is very important. We want a home game if we have to play the play-in game. It’s very advantageous that we have a home game. At the minimum, we want to finish top four.”

Alexander Tambakis - Atlanta United goalkeeper

On his emotions coming in:

“It was tough coming in like that. We just have to move on.”

On what Coach Gerardo Martino said to him before he went in:

“Just enjoy it and he smiled at me. That was it.”

On the goals scored on him:

“It was tough. We are under a lot of pressure. The first one was a lucky goal I believe, and the second one was just a great header.”

On the mentorship role that his teammates – GK Brad Guzan, GK Alec Kann and GK Kyle Reynish – have:

“We are all like a family together. We try to help each other. They are very good goalkeepers. We help each other in training and we are always ready – every game – whoever plays.”

Adrian Heath - Minnesota United manager

On where he ranks this match:

“Certainly, the most exciting, I think. It was an eventful game – one for the cameras I would imagine. I thought we settled really well, had good shape. Very connected. I thought we looked dangerous all evening on the break. I’m pleased with the boys because they put a huge shift in after playing away on Saturday as well in Houston. It’s a big win for us. I said a few weeks ago – after the first five or six weeks – we could get towards 10 wins and keep the season alive, and we have. That’s the 10th win – three to go – and let’s see what we can do.”

On if he was pleased with how the new starters performed:

“Yeah, I was. I think Collin Warner put a great shift in and did what we asked of him. I thought another really encouraging performance from Collin Martin. Ibson was fantastic. I seem to say that every week. And then, Abu (Danladi), he gave us some life. He had a great first goal. I thought Jermaine Taylor was terrific as well. It was a big night for a few of the guys who have been out of the team. I thought they responded really well.”

On if Abu Danladi could earn the MLS Rookie of the Year Award:

“It’s funny. Someone mentioned it to me a few weeks ago and I hadn’t really thought about it, but when I look at where he is finishing this season, I’m not sure many people will be ahead of him. I think (Julian) Gressel has had a terrific first season as well. (Abu Danladi) is putting himself in there with his performances and a couple of great goals these last few weeks have highlighted that a little bit, but he’s working hard. He’s getting better, still got a long way to go, but if he keeps listening, I think we will have a good player on our hands.”

On how Minnesota fought back from a goal down:

“They kept going tonight. All of the things I was really disappointed with in Houston, where I didn’t think we kept going and we didn’t play with any drive and energy and enthusiasm, I thought we had bags of that tonight. But, as I said before, we can’t pick and choose when we deliver that type of performance. It has to be every weekend. In this moment, I’m still a little bit unsure what I’m getting week-to-week.”

On if Atlanta United FC is becoming a rivalry:

“It seemed like it tonight, didn’t it? The atmosphere was incredible. I’ve got to say, what an evening, what a spectacle, what a stadium, the noise. Hats off to the people of Atlanta. They have embraced this team and it’s an incredible atmosphere. Tata has done incredible job with the team. They are really exciting. They are really difficult to play against. This is going to be a model franchise moving forward.”

Abu Danladi - Minnesota United forward

On where this win ranks for the season:

“The top one. It’s the two new teams in the league. We’ve had our ups and downs during the season and this was the time to prove that we are a good team, too. It was a great moment. I’m glad we were able to carry on the work and finish the game. What an exciting day. It’s been a great day for me for sure.”

On if the first game in March was a motivating factor for the team:

“Yeah. I didn’t play that game. I was just coming back from injury, but I was on the bench and I remember everything from that game. I could see the frustration on all of the players’ faces. Everyone was so down, I mean, six goals. It was just a learning process and you can tell how much the team has grown and how much the team has changed throughout the months after that game. It has been great learning to play with each other and enjoying the game with each other. It’s been a great ride.”

On if he has thought about what he has to do to earn the MLS Rookie of the Year Award:

“No. I’m just trying to have fun, trying to win games and get as many points as we can. I want to win. I don’t know what the playoff line is, but if we can get close and try our best and win all of our games, it will be great. That is my main focus. Anything else is just other people’s opinion. I am just doing what my coach tells me to do and what my teammates tell me to do and just try to have fun and work hard. That is my main focus.”

Kevin Molino - Minnesota United midfielder

On the team’s motivation to give Atlanta United their first loss in Mercedes Benz Stadium:

“That was a driver for us because they haven’t been beaten at home and we want to be the first to end that streak. You have to give credit to the guys. Everyone fought hard and took initiative. It was just a team performance and we’re happy with it and we’re going to enjoy it tonight.”

On the lead changes:

“The two goals (Atlanta United) scored were shocking, but on the other hand, it was a great mentality from the team. To be up 1-0, we could’ve been lackadaisical but we kept the mentality going, kept pushing each other and we ended up coming through to win it.”

On how he feels about this win after losing the home opener to Atlanta United:

“Very happy. As I said before, we wanted to win the game so bad because when you look at early on in the season when they beat us at home, that was a driver for us to push and keep pushing until we can’t push anymore and come away with three points.”

On what this win means for the team:

“When I look at the season, it’s been kind of a learning process – from the beginning to now – we keep building each and every time. Coming away with three points in such a difficult place to play, some of the top teams in the league come here and can’t even come away with a tie. As I said before you have to give credit to the guys, each and every one of them, and the coaching staff for keeping us going in such a difficult atmosphere to play in.”