- Match: Atlanta United vs Charleston Battery (2018 U.S. Open Cup, 4th Round)
- Location: Fifth Third Bank Stadium, Kennesaw GA
- Date: June 6th, 2018
- Final Score: ATL 3-0 CHS (Recap | Highlights)
Atlanta United head coach Gerardo Martino
On tonight's victory in comparison to last year's:
"I think we have improved a lot since last season. I think last year in this game we made a lot of defensive mistakes that ended up costing us. Last year, we had to have Miguel and Josef play a lot of minutes so that we could win. It was important that we could win the game tonight without those guys and give the younger players a chance to do that for us."
On starting Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Miles Robinson, Julian Gressel and Ezequiel Barco in tonight’s game:
"In the case of Gonzalez Pirez we knew we wanted to give Robinson some playing time. We wanted to pair him with an experienced player and I thought Leandro was the best fit. In Julian's case it came down to either playing him or Nagbe. Julian hadn't played in one of our games so in terms of minutes and games played he has one less game under his belt than Nagbe. It is a similar situation for Barco. He was injured at the start of the season, so he had missed five games which means he played less minutes. It was between him and Tito (Villalba) and Tito wasn't ready to go tonight."
On whether or not playing tonight's match would affect playing time for Gressel and Barco in Saturday's match at NYCFC:
"If we chose them to play tonight it's because we felt that they were the best players in condition to play tonight and we think they will be able to play on Saturday."
On use and effectiveness of the 4-3-3 formation:
"It is important for the analysis of the game. For example; in a game like the one against Sporting Kansas City we played very well in the first half even though at the end of the day we lost 2-0. Don't just think about the end result, but the overall analysis of the game."
On importance of winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup:
"It is just as important for us this year as it was last year. If we would have lost tonight you guys might be saying 'Oh, why did they play the young guys instead of the veteran players?' However, the coaching staff has to pick the line-up before the game as opposed to after the result of the game."
Atlanta United midfielder Andrew Carleton
On his first goal with the senior team in a meaningful game:
“It was an awesome feeling to score a goal with the first team in a competitive game. You know it’s funny because one of the assistant coaches said, ‘Hey if you get a chance don’t be afraid to shoot.’ That was the first thing that came into my mind when I got the ball, and I just took a touch inside and let it go. I hit it how I wanted, and it was a pretty good shot. So I was happy to see it go in.”
On whether he thought he had something to prove in his start:
“Definitely. When one of the young guys or guys that don’t get much playing time gets a start or get on the field in general, it’s a time to make a statement, and show why you deserve to be here. I was very excited to get the start and be able to play the whole game, and I felt like I had a pretty decent game. I was happy to be out there.”
On the attendance and sellout crowd at Fifth Third Bank Stadium:
“The fans were great tonight. For an Open Cup game it was pretty incredible to sell this stadium out. It was a great atmosphere. It was loud the whole game, and anywhere we go we have a good crowd. It’s always a blessing to be able to have such a big following, and it really helps us win games.”
On the performance by teammate Romario Williams:
“Romario does what Romario does. He had a solid game. He’s battling with two or three center backs up there the whole game and to have a goal and win the PK for Ezequiel (Barco). He played great tonight.”
On what Carleton wanted to show Tata:
“That whenever he puts me in the game that he can trust me and rely on me, and that I will work my socks off and give 100%.”
On the performance of the team with mostly young, inexperienced players on the pitch:
“I thought we came out a little bit slow, me especially. As the game went on we all settled down and settled into the game. I thought the final three quarters of the game we played really well. We created some chances, and they didn’t really have too many chances. They had one chance off a corner, and other than that I thought we were organized defensively. That’s one of the things that when you haven’t really played together a lot it’s hard to stay organized defensively and know where each other are going to be. I thought we did a good job of that.”
On Carleton’s positioning in relation to Barco’s positioning and how they worked together:
“Ezequiel and I are pretty similar players. He’s a little bit more aggressive going forward and in one-on-one’s. I thought we had a pretty good relationship switching in and out. If he came inside, I went out, and if I went inside then he went out. He had a really good game and created a lot of chances for us. He does that game in and game out. He’s awesome to play with.
On if he’ll keep anything to remember his first goal:
“I’m keeping my jersey. Other than that I think that’s about it. I’ll probably hang it (his jersey) up in my room somewhere. I’m not sure yet. I haven’t planned that one out.
On his nerves going into the game:
“I cant lie at the start of the game I gave the ball away a couple of times in the beginning. After that I was like I need to pick this up. Once I scored the goal everything settled down, and it felt like a regular game.”
On Carleton’s longtime friend, Chris Goslin, making his first AUFC appearance:
“When i saw him up at half-field I was so excited for him. It’s something that he’s been working really hard for, and I know he was so happy to be out there. I think he deserves it. I’ve played against him since I was eight years old and with him since I was twelve or thirteen, so it was pretty cool to be able to share the field with him tonight.”
On scoring his first goal before turning 18 years old:
“I kind of thought about it from time to time, but I’m more focused on playing more. That’s the main thing I’m going after. The more I play the goals and assists will come. I was just happy to be out there on the field, but the goal made it a little more special.”
Atlanta United striker Romario Williams
On why he didn’t celebrate his goal:
“No I wasn’t going to celebrate against those guys. Being with them the past two years I have a special relationship with a lot of those guys. I hold that place, that club, and a lot of those guys close to my heart. It was good to get a win and a goal and advance to the next round.”
On his overall performance:
“I think our performance was solid. I was pleased with my performance. I could’ve been better with my touches on a couple of occasions. But it was good to get out there and get ninety minutes under my belt. The more I play, the more minutes I get the sharpness will come, but I mean the touches here and there are expected. I’m not playing regular minutes, but I’m pleased.”
On his consistent scoring positioning on the pitch:
“It’s a lot of work that has gone into it over the past couple of years: shooting right and left, picking my spot, picking my corner. I wa sable to get off a good one tonight and hit the bottom corner.”