• Match: Atlanta United FC vs Nashville SC
  • Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
  • Date: February 29, 2020
  • Final Score: ATL 2-1 NSH (Recap|Highlights)

Atlanta United FC Head Coach Frank de Boer
On the status of Josef Martinez & Franco Escobar

“Franco Escobar got knocked on his side and felt already something there. Another moment he felt it a little bit more, so then we didn't want to take the risk to continue. I don't know if it’s the same as Miles Robinson, but it looks a little bit like it but maybe not so high. Miles Robinson had it really high in his side, so that we have to wait you know, we have to wait for MRI or something like that. And Josef doesn't look really, really well right now, but I cannot say anything about it. We have to examine him tomorrow in hospital we will get a good opinion about it.”

Overall can you talk about the result of the night

“Well you know Nashville played compact and it was difficult to create or find your free man in the midfield but I think we were patient and we didn't let us provoke to let us play the first ball directly into the midfield you know and you saw when we were patient and we suddenly had our midfielders free and then we came out quite well I think. Strong. So I think we would deserve a good to score a goal and out of nothing with a free kick they scored a goal so it was forth course for us very disappointing you know we had the control and out of nothing they scored a little bit of lucky goal and so we tried to continue that at half time and they are probably going to be more impatient and try to press us a little bit higher on the pitch and we have to try and explore the spaces they left behind and then I think in beginning we did that and then afterwards you know it was more surviving also with injuries and some players were a little tired so we had substitute guys because of injuries but also guys because were tired of course. In the end you know three points the first game. Last year we lost the first game. It’s a good start it’s the first step of 33 to go. We had to come from far you know with injuries we have right now who stayed in Atlanta come back very quickly because we need them because of injuries of Franco and Josef right now.”

Atlanta United FC Goalkeeper Brad Guzan
On the performance tonight

“You know I think obviously the injuries, you start and stop a little bit. The game really never had a flow to it. I think the quality showed through in terms of the two goals, and then they get one off a set-piece and it all the sudden becomes a game. To be able to hang on for probably the last 25-30 minutes, that speaks volumes to our character.”

On the conversations with the backline

“Just making sure that we knew where (Hany) Mukhtar was in terms of his movement and trying to get on the ball and link their midfielders to their strikers. Clearly, he wants to be the guy that makes them tick, so we had to make sure we kept an eye on him, but also being aware of some younger guys stepping on the field and being asked to do a job and so we knew it was going to take a collective effort to make sure that we did some dirty running tonight. Yeah, at the end of the day three points is a good start to the year.”

On maintaining the concentration despite the injuries

“Part of team sports isn’t it? Next guy up, step up and do a job. Laurence (Wyke) came on, was fantastic. Adam (Jahn) came on, was fantastic. You know, it is what it is. That’s not our job to worry about. Our job is, whoever gets called upon to step on the field, is to make sure that one they’re ready and two they perform.”

Atlanta United FC Midfielder Emerson Hyndman
On the goal

“I don’t know. All I remember is just taking off the chest and hitting it as best I could and thankfully it went in the top corner. But, you know, it was probably the best one I ever hit.”

On if the raised flag from the assistant referee impacted the play

“Don’t ask me. I have no idea. All I know is I was concentrating on the shot, so I haven’t even seen it.”

Atlanta United FC Defender Laurence Wyke
On how it was to play

“It was a shock. I mean, I’m happy that I got onto the field and, you know, I did a job for the team, and got those three points really. Big crowd. First game of the year so, you know, it was a lot of stress out there, but I thought I handled it well. The team handled it well. We got three points which is all that matters."

On when you signed the 4-day contract, any thought or hope that you were going to play

“I always had to be ready. On the bench or in the 18. Didn’t think it was going to happen. But, you know, have to get on, have to do a job.”

On what Brad Guzan said to you as you entered the game

“Probably just, ‘calm down a little bit.’ I was a little bit anxious going into the game. Just needed to just steady it, get everything together, relax, and do my thing you know?”

Nashville SC Head Coach Gary Smith
On his thoughts on the match

“I was very, very pleased with the way my group performed and getting ourselves back in the game after a difficult opening. It’s a very talented Atlanta side and they caused us some very serious problems in the first half. There was some I felt serious issues in trying to get pressure on the ball, but as the game wore on, I felt that we won to the challenge and really gave a decent account of ourselves. The second goal was a bizarre moment in the game. I think the assistant on our side puts the flag up, our guys certainly shouldn’t stop but they did. It created a moment of confusion that they were able to take advantage of. Second period, I was very very pleased with the way we applied ourselves, a bit more pressure to try and disrupt their possession and the momentum they were building. A couple of better choices, we may well have found ourselves with an opportunity to earn a point. Alan’s (Winn) final moment being one of the biggest examples of that, does extremely well to get himself to the dead ball line and the final ball really isn’t good enough at that part of the game.” 

On if it’s too early to say what the identity of this club may be

“No, I think we are working towards what our identity will look like. You’ve seen snapshots of that tonight. Consistency is always going be the most difficult thing for a brand-new group but what I’ve think you’ve seen is a group that full of energy, positive where possible in their play, we have players in the group that want to make things happen. Quick to transition from defending into attack. Did they always make the right choices? No, that’s part of the growing pains of a brand-new team. With regards to the group in general, I think you can see a very good team ethic and for me, there was a good balance to the game. We look to threat, for the most part we look to defend very well and looked organized. Guys have taken on both roles and individual workloads very well. They had two shots on goal and had two goals in the first half. That’s pretty disappointing from us and high quality from them, but disappointing from us.”

On Atlanta’s second goal

“Well, I think it’s that they have three outstanding attacking players in the middle of the field. Their shape is a very difficult to deal with. I felt we coped with that for large portions of the game. The reality is that at some point, those talented guys are going to find some space. The disappointment was how it got there. In the end, yes, we maybe could’ve got a bit more pressure on the ball, but it’s a very good finish. If you give top-class players the opportunity to have a clear sight of goal, unfortunately that could well be the result. To that point, ten minutes into the game, I felt as though we were in a reasonable position. We looked as I said, competitive, well organized, and it was difficult for them to break lines. But as soon as they did, there was a change of gears and before you know it you’re one-nil down and I think that’s what we have to take on the chin. We’ll learn from it, there’s a lot of growth still to come in this group. The disappointment for me is that we haven’t been able to capitalize on one or two very decent moments to get something out of the game.”