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Atlanta vs Houston | Post-Match Quotes

  • Match: Atlanta United vs Houston Dynamo
  • Location: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA
  • Date: May 20, 2017
  • Final Score: ATL 4 - 1 HOU (Recap)



On getting ejected from the game:

“I don’t necessarily believe I deserve to get kicked out. The ball got kicked into the technical area. Right to where I was and I kicked it. The play was stopped and there was a player down on the ground. It was a dead play and I kicked it. That is what happened”.

On creating more opportunities for Miguel Almirón to score:

Today, he was fortunate to score but I think it was coming because that was something that we asked of him. Today, he had chances and we wanted him to shoot more from medium distance and we wanted him to get into the box to take shots from there as well. Today, he was able to do that.”

On winning at home:

“It makes me feel better for the fans because they are the ones that come here every game and they fill the stadium. It is great for us to get the win but it makes it even better to do it in front of a fan base who deserves it.”

On playing Andrew Carleton:

“We put him on the bench because we are confident that he can provide us with his skill when we need an extra ‘winger’. Today, the game was already decided when we put him in, but we wanted to do it first to be able to give Miguel (Almirón) an applause for the great game that he played, and also since the game was already decided we could kind of take the pressure of Carleton’s debut. Now, he is debuted at 16 years of age and there is less of a demand and less pressure on him for that.”


On having more confidence with take shots on goal:

“The coaching staff asked that of me this week. I know I have to shoot when I have the opportunity and today – thanks to God – I was able to score.”

On having more opportunities to score:

“I think you saw that in Portland that we also had a lot of chances [to score], but unfortunately, we weren’t able to convert. Today, the team is leaving happy, me especially, I’m happier with the team’s performance. I think the team deserved a victory for all of the effort we have given.”

On the differences between the team’s performance in the last two home matches:

“Against D.C. (United), we had 20 really good minutes. They were able to score in that game and then we lost the ball and we lost patience. In Portland you saw us play with that same possession of the ball and that patience and tonight, we showed it again. Thanks to God, we were able to get the win.”

On taking penalty kicks:

“We don’t have a designated taker on the team. We are all capable of taking it. So, I asked Tito (Héctor Villalba) if I could take it and he let me. Whether it is myself, Tito, Yamil, or Joseph when he is playing, we are all able to take penalties.”


(Translated from Spanish)

On how the defense led to the first two goals:

“That’s what the coach wants. He wants his midfielders to come back and help out when we’re needed. Luckily, we were able to turn it into goals.”

On if the defensive play is something that is an overlooked part since everyone expects goals:

“You can look at European football like Bayern Munich’s players (Franck) Ribéry and (Arjen) Robben – they’re two players who attack but they’re also two of the first guys to be defending so if they can do it, why can’t we?”

On if this was the best that the team has played all season:

“I think we played well tonight. I think we’re also coming off of a good game in Portland but I think every week we are gaining a little more confidence in what the coaching staff is asking for and we showed that tonight.”

On the upcoming match next Sunday against New York City FC:

“We play once a week so there’s always a chance to get revenge on teams but the game against New York, we didn’t play our best and we know that we are going to correct the mistakes that we made and look to have a good resolve next weekend.”


On what the 4-1 win does for the team’s confidence:

“It was a great performance from the team. Everybody stepped up. We talked about it being a big game for us coming back home playing in front of our fans for the first time in a while. We talked about really having – or wanting – to take advantage of our home games. We were able to do that tonight. We put them on the backfoot from the beginning. That was a great performance from the team. Hopefully, we can build on that next week.”

On if the team knew that they would dominate the possession game:

“We knew that we would dominate the possession game. It’s not really Houston’s thing to hold onto the ball. They like to sit back and counter attack so we knew that we would have the ball. We wanted to dangerous with it and we wanted to make sure we didn’t let them counter attack us and I think we did an excellent job of that tonight.”

On Miguel Almirón’s performance tonight:

“He’s special. That second goal was – not many guys can pull that off. The quick touches in the box like that and to get the shot off so quick and so powerful. He’s so important for us, obviously. He’s really talented and on top of that, a great guy, so we’re all happy for him.”


On what today’s performance meant:

“As a player, you always try to bring the best every day. I have dipped a little a few weeks before probably and now with the goal I get little more confidence so I am just happy to still be playing and starting, even if it is a different role.  I don’t care about adapting to different roles. I am just happy to be on the field and obviously try to play the best every time I step on it.”

On his goal:

“I really can’t tell you anything about it. All of a sudden, the ball just bounced in front of me again and I just tapped it in. I knew I could run off on to the ball if it was laid off well. Then, the ball got caught under my feet and then it was just behind me and I really have no idea what happened behind me until I saw the ball again.”

On the team’s confidence since the Portland game:

“I think the result didn’t give us much confidence but it was the way we played in Portland. We had a feeling they [Houston] would sit in today and give us a lot more space on the ball in our own half so we knew how that was going to be. Just like Portland, we were playing pretty well out the back again, creating chances and we put those chances away when we had them. “

On Miguel Almirón’s performance:

“He is a special player. He hits that top corner twice after a full sprint/run. Not a lot of people can do that. I am glad he is on our team and he did that tonight.”

On how the atmosphere played into the energy:

“Today, it was another testimony to the city of Atlanta and the fans. After that rain delay, it is easy to just go home and watch it on TV and not sit out in the rain but there weren’t many seats out there that were open, so it is an unbelievable atmosphere out there. It gives you wings at some points.”

Andrew Carleton (MF - #30)

On his first MLS game:

“It was unbelievable. It was a dream come true to be able to make my first MLS appearance and to be able to just get on the field for a few minutes. It was an unbelievable feeling. I have been dreaming about this moment since I first started playing soccer so it was a dream come true.”

 On if he could hear the crowd:

“They are little too loud to not here.  I was just focused on getting in and doing my job but I of course heard them.”

On if he was trying to score:

“At first, I was just trying to run away from (DaMarcus) Beasley. I was just trying to get up the field and get away from our goal. It looked like I maybe could have got through but being up 4-1 late in the game, I was just trying to kill the game off and be able to keep the ball.”




On his overall thoughts on the team’s performance:

“We got punished by one of the best players in this league. (Miguel) Almirón had unbelievable opportunities, (an) unbelievable night and he was very clinical. He punished every mistake that we made. In the back, we didn’t tackle. He was clinical and he was good. He showed why he is one of the best players in this league right now. It’s a hard lesson to swallow but it’s an important lesson for all of us, for the team to regroup and to start working harder defensively.”

On his takeaways from this match:

“As hard as it looks, we were creating some chances. We were in a good position, but every ball they had on target went in. Even though we had one good chance to put the game 2-1. That would (have made the game) a little bit even but they were more clinical and we still aren’t finishing our opportunities. And, then, defensively, we were making too many silly mistakes that they punished us very hard.”

On why he made changes to the lineup:

“We had some fresh legs – some fresh players – to try and give us a few more possibilities because no doubt with Wednesday-Saturday games you need fresh legs but overall, they were better than us. (Miguel) Almirón showed why he is such a good player and for me that was the reason. He made the difference during the game and we weren’t able to hold him.

On the team’s performance while on the road:

“We haven’t defended well. We haven’t defended the way we should defend. Also, when we attack we lost that quality attacking. We created options but we didn’t score. When you have one or two chances, you have to put those away, especially with teams like this. They are coming after you and today, they had a wonderful night and they were much better than us in all areas.”

Erick Torres (FW - #9)

On the tough loss:

“We are sadden because of the outcome. We did a good first half and on the second half the dropped the intensity. It hurts because we are the ones who made the mistakes, the team was playing well. It wasn’t as if they dominated us or that they pressed us. At the end, they are the ones who were able to finish the plays and we made mistakes that cost us. We leave with tough loss.”

On the takeaways from this game:

“We have to keep improving. We have to improve in the defense and in the offense, we have to prepare well this week. We are going to have a long week. We have an important game against FC Dallas, we know that for Texas fans this is a derby game. We have to prepare well. We have to work hard, there is no other way but to work and improve in the areas we have been lacking. Hopefully against FC Dallas we can have a good game on the road.”

On the difference he made when FW Romell Quioto and him came in:

“That was the plan, to try to  stop our opponents offense. I think, we did a good job both (FW) Romell (Quioto) and I. At the end, we can’t make a difference. They scored on key moments, they scored when the team was getting better and that brought us down. At the end, I get to score, I am contempt but not satisfied nor happy because we can’t get the win.”

On changing the mindset:

“We have to turn the page. The whole team starting tomorrow has to be thinking on Sunday’s game, we have to be focus on Dallas. We have to have to turn the page. We have a lot of players with a lot of experience, we have players that undoubtedly know what’s at stake on Sunday. As I said, we have to turn the page, start thinking about the next game and work hard this week.”

A.J. DeLaGarza (D - #20)

On his overall thoughts on the match:

“We have to do better collectively in the back starting with myself and everyone else in there. It’s about making tackles. I didn’t make mine and other guys didn’t make theirs. So, collectively, we have to regroup this week and work on that.”

On Miguel Almirón’s performance tonight:

“You saw him on that counter attack with myself and [DaMarcus] Beasley, he took off. He’s very fast and technical. He’s got all of the tools to be a great player in this league, but if we make our tackles he doesn’t score two goals and doesn’t get a PK. It’s on us, but yes, he’s a very good player.”

On if the team is ‘struggling on the road’:

“I don’t know. We’re trying to figure that out. We know we have a group that can win games at home but we have to be able to do that on the road. We haven’t it so far and we’ve given up two goals almost every single half to start the game. It’s unacceptable and it will be a tough week for us. We’ll get back home and focus on Dallas.”

On the takeaways from tonight’s performance:

“I hope this is the last time we have to go – through this – through these talks from (Philadelphia) and from this game. I’m sure we’ll have a nice video session. There has to be a turning point somewhere. We have to get that first win. We’re playing our rivals next Sunday so if we’re not ready for that then it’s going to be difficult to win a game at all.”