Justin Meram

Post-Match Quotes | ORL v ATL

  • Match: Orlando City SC vs Atlanta United
  • Location: Exploria Stadium
  • Date: August 6, 2019
  • Final Score: ORL 0-2 ATL (RECAP HIGHLIGHTS)

Atlanta United head coach Frank de Boer

On the team’s victory:

“I think if you see the first half, I think we were much better, and I think we could have punished them more than once. Of course, they had one very good chance, but overall the first half was for us and the second half they put a lot of energy in. I think also, of course it’s very tiring after three days you play again and in this heat. I have to give a very big compliment, they fought like Lions, they defended like Lions and also tried to attack. We had opportunities, and finally we get a relieving goal to score and make it 2-0, and then it was all over. I think it was a good performance. You know they’re going to press and try to do everything with two fast guys in, but I think we still managed to do a good job and I’m very proud of the team. Everybody was involved tonight, played really well and concentrated. Yeah, this is what I want to see.”

On preparing without Josef Martinez:

“We had to react of course quickly, so I didn’t have to think very long about it. For me, it was clear that we put [Ezequiel] Barco and Pity [Martínez] up front and then play the midfield that we did against Houston with Emerson [Hyndman], Eric [Remedi] and [Darlington] Nagbe. For me it was clear.”

Atlanta United midfielder Emerson Hyndman 

On netting his first ATL UTD goal:

“It’s tough to say, all I remember is it was a great ball into me. Obviously, I meant to hit it like that, they all count. It was a good moment for the team, we kind of stamped our authority on the game with that finish. From then on, we can defend and keep a clean sheet so it was a good victory overall.”

On advancing to the U.S. Open Cup final:  
“It’s never easy to get to a final. It’s a knockout format and that’s never easy. In the league you can have a bad result and put it right, whereas these one-off games they can be difficult if you make it difficult. I thought tonight, obviously playing away from home, we knew it was going to be a difficult game. Thankfully we scored the first goal in the first half and could open up a little bit, good thing we got the clincher. It was a really good feeling all around.”

Atlanta United forward Justin Meram 

On his return to Orlando:

“Obviously, I knew what was maybe coming my way, but I knew what the task at hand was, and we came out with a win and I felt like we dominated. I think that one chance with [Dom] Dwyer early on, but we had a lot of chances tonight. I think we out-ran them, we outplayed them, and I’m just happy to be on this side with this group. They helped me, they picked me up and they knew it was going to be difficult every time I got the ball being booed, and in warmups, but I showed tonight I can block that out and play my game.”

On advancing to the U.S. Open Cup final:

“Yeah, first time for me going to the Open Cup finals. I’ve been to one MLS Cup Final. Obviously you get traded to a team like this midseason, you can help them get to this point. You know it’s exciting and I can’t wait, in front of our fans.”

Orlando City head coach James O’Connor 

Opening remarks:

“I think, obviously, very disappointed to get beat. I think when you look at the first half, I just said to the guys, I think we didn’t - first half especially - I didn’t think we really played anywhere near to our capacity. I think the occasion seemed to get to us. Second half our intent was a lot better; we were camped in their half; we had some momentum, but we needed more quality. I think it was very evident to say second half we had the momentum but needed more quality to create some shots at goal. But, again, massive thank you to the supporters because when you look at the atmosphere tonight, the way they kept going, it’s incredible. It really is.”

On performance on the pitch:

“I mean, Dom’s [Dwyer] had a really good chance, Sacha’s [Kljestan] gone up over the bar, there’s a couple others that maybe should have shot a little bit quicker. A little bit of stage fright, maybe. But I think you look at the effort from the guys - they tried really hard second half. I thought, especially, with multiple guys that are really trying. Joao [Moutinho] has had to come off there with, it looks like his hamstring’s stiffened right up. The effort was there, the intensity second half was there, we just need a little bit more focus and a little bit of quality to finish the chances. Hit the frame, make the keeper save it or in some cases take the shot.”