- Match: Atlanta United vs Charleston Battery
- Location: MUSC Health Stadium, Charleston, SC
- Date: February 24, 2017
- Final Score: ATL 0-0 CHS (Recap)
Gerardo “Tata” Martino – Atlanta United manager
On how the team played:
I think the guys played well. I thought the movement of the ball was good tonight, the guys were precise and dynamic. We had a good amount of possession, but we were just missing that ability to create some chances. We had three or four, but if we had finished better on a couple of those occasions, it could’ve been different.
On what the team needs to focus on this week:
Just to keep working on the guys’ fitness and also their technique heading into the beginning of the season. I think the games here served us well. The guys were competitive for 90 minutes in every game, we just have to keep working to get ready for opening weekend.
On the play of Carleton, Robinson and Wheeler-Omiunu:
I think they did a really good job. Miles was good marking as a defender and he is working on being able to play out of the back, which is important for him. The other two, Wheeler and Carleton, were two of our best guys on the field.
On the play of Romario Williams and his prospects for the season:
I think tonight even though we had a lot of possession, we didn’t do a good job of creating chances for Romario. We were missing that final ball to get him chances. But having a player on the team in his position like Josef Martinez means Romario will have to fight for his position, but it’s important for him to keep working hard to contribute to the team and to push other players.
On Andrew Carleton’s prospects for 2018:
[Switching between MLS and USL] would be the logical thing. Carleton is still a young player, but he’s going through a development process. The way he played tonight, and the way he played throughout the preseason, he’s put himself closer to the first team than the USL team. Both as a winger and as a #10.
On the injury status of Gallagher, Villalba and Escobar:
[Gallagher] turned his ankle. It’s swollen, but that’s all we know right now. Villalba and Escobar responded well to their minutes and are healthy. The situation with Tito is he suffered an injury the first week we were training in Atlanta, so it’s logical that he’s not at the same fitness level that he’s used to being at, because he didn’t train with us in Orlando and has only been training with us for about four days.
Andrew Carleton – Atlanta United midfielder
On how he played tonight:
I thought I played well. I created some good opportunities. I could’ve been sharper in some areas, but everybody’s always trying to improve. I just have to look at the mistakes I made and try to keep growing from that. It’s always about getting better so that’s what I’m going to try and focus on.
On Martino’s comments that he’d played himself closer to first-team minutes:
Obviously It’s nice to hear. I’m just focused on playing well every single day. It’s not my decision how much I play. I want to play more, I think everybody does, but my job is to go out there every day and be able to prove that I’m able to do that.
On if he’s played more centrally or on the wing:
I’ve been doing both. If you look at when I came on against Columbus, I was playing out wide. Coach always gives us license to drift into the middle. But I was out wide, and in the Nashville game I was out wide too. Today I was in the middle, so I’ve been working on both, and I think being a versatile player is always going to help. I know coach believes I can play both positions, so it’s my job just to show I am capable of playing wherever he needs me to play.
On playing against former teammates on Charleston:
It’s always good to play against some old friends. A lot of the guys have moved on since, but it’s always nice to play against some really good players. They make it hard on you. We’re friends off the field but on the field it was a battle and they always make it fun to play.
Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu – Atlanta United midfielder
On his play tonight:
I certainly felt comfortable, but that’s because my teammates gave me a lot of confidence. Playing with people like Kevin [Kratz] and [Michael] Parkhurst who have so much experience, they’re able to communicate with you. I’m very grateful for their assistance and their communication on the field. It helps you feel comfortable in the position you’re asked to do when you have people like that around you.
On his position between midfielder and fullback:
I’ve played both positions quite a bit growing up. Growing up I was more of a midfielder, but fortunately Tata has given me in training looks at both positions. The biggest thing is I try to watch people who are successful on my team do it. You watch [Jeff] Larentowicz and [Chris] McCann play the six, you watch Greg [Garza] play outside back, who I believe are very successful at what they do for our team. So whatever position you’re asked to play, you try to learn from people who have that experience and are successful doing what they do.
On if he made a case to start in midfield:
I think all the players gave coach something to think about. Truthfully, we’ve trained to play, all of us. It’s a great mentality that coach has built around the team. I think that’s the mentality of all of us. All we can do is hope that we gave him something to think about.
Romario Williams – Atlanta United striker
On how he thought he played:
I think it was a very good performance from the team, I’m pleased with my performance. We were unfortunate not to come out on the winning end and get myself a goal. Sometimes games like this prepare you for what lies ahead in the season. Have to give credit to the Charleston team, they were very good defensively, they were compact and made it tough for us at times. But I’m definitely pleased with my performance, pleased with the way I was able to close out the preseason as I look forward to the beginning of the season.
On playing against his former club:
It was fun, but it was intense. I used to go up against those guys every day for the past two years at practice. It felt a bit different being on the other end in a real game situation, but it was definitely fun. We shared laughs after the game and we enjoyed the battle. They didn’t give up any goals and I’m not satisfied with not scoring. But that’s how it is, and we move on.
On if he was happy with his holdup play:
Absolutely. I missed a few here and there, but that’s part of the game. For the most part I was pretty consistent, my touch was pretty clean, and I was able to connect with my teammates, my midfielders and wingers. So I’m definitely pleased with that part of my game and my overall performance.