- Match: Atlanta United vs Orlando City SC
- Location: Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, FL
- Date: July 21, 2017
- Final Score: ATL 1-0 ORL (Recap | Highlights)
Atlanta United Head Coach Tata Martino
On tonight’s match
“I thought we played a good first half. We controlled possession and we had some chances to score. I don't think we played as well on the second half. We didn't have as many chances, we scored a great goal but it was out of context of how that half went and I don’t think we really deserved it at that point.”
On the match feeling like a rivalry
“I think we’ll have to wait another 50 years to find out. We need another 50 years and 100 games between the two teams before we can call it a rivalry. Atlanta has only played 20 games in the league so far. I appreciate the enthusiasm you guys have about it but it’s far from being a rivalry.”
On Leandro González Pirez
“We knew with [Cyle] Larin out that they could play with two forwards, both on the inside and so that’s what they did. Without Larin that’s how they lined up but what we wanted to do was drop our defensive midfielder back so that we would have a back line of three and be able to fall back when they were attacking.”
On stress at the end of the game
“We didn't manage the game well at the end of the game. I think that’s when we needed to have control of the possession most in this game and we weren’t able to do it. We allowed them to get some good chances on goal so I think that’s something we need to work on, managing the last couple of minutes.”
Atlanta United Defender Michael Parkhurst
On three clean sheets in four games
"It says we have played really well defensively. It's a good turn around, it's a mentality thing. We now go into games thinking we could get a shutout, knowing that we could do some things right. Guys are just stepping up and making plays. Whether that’s our offensive guys making plays, picking balls off, Jeff [Larentowicz] or Carlos [Carmona], or in the back line with Brad [Guzan] making big saves. Everyone is just chipping in doing their part and making the plays that they need to. And we have to get a little lucky sometimes and maybe we did on [Jonathan] Spector's chance today. But we will take it. It's a nice asset for the team"
On building a rivalry
"Perhaps. I think it helps that there is two games right in a row. You build up momentum. But for us, for right now it doesn't matter. They are an Eastern Conference team and they are right on our heels for a playoff spot. In those terms we are really really happy with the win today. It is such a good boost and now we go home and face them. And hopefully follow up with another three points and take all six."
On team not playing for a while
“Yeah a little bit. But I thought overall it was a good performance. I thought we played well coming out of the back, they kind of half pressed us in the first half. We were able to play out pretty easily. We talked at halftime about spreading the ball, going back and forth a couple times, and attacking Kaká offensively. I thought we were able to do that. We got a couple of good crosses in on the right hand side and it really was just a fantastic finish. Overall a great game from the team."
On how to contain Kaká
"It was a team effort. You know he's still got it. He still 1-on-1 is a handful. He got by us a couple times down the side. Got a couple good crosses off. He is still a handful, he is still very good. We talked about it before the game, that he might be older and past his prime, but his brain is still there and physically he still has got that burst. So we wanted to definitely make sure that he couldn't control the game. I thought Jeff [Larentowicz] and Carlos [Carmona] did a great job on him."
Atlanta United Goalkeeper Brad Guzan
On his first game back in MLS
"More important than coming back into the league, it was important to go on the road and find a way to get a result. Road wins for us haven't been the easiest to come by. So for us to come to a place like Orlando where we know they're a good team and take all three points is a good feeling."
On picking up the "we" in this team very quickly
"I knew I've been coming here for a few months now, so to finally be here and have the opportunity to go out on the pitch and play with these guys in a real game -- yeah, it's easy to say we.”
On downplaying the rivalry with Orlando
"I think you come into this environment, this atmosphere -- it's hostile. There are probably a few things going on off the pitch that you guys [media] made a big deal about. I think there are a few people including their manager that said, ‘Listen, rivalries aren't just -- you can't just make them, they have to be formed.’ But with both of us being from the southeast, being so close to each other, two good teams, two attacking teams, I think that's what it's going to come down to."