ATL vs ORL | Post-Match Quotes

  • Match: Atlanta United vs Orlando City SC
  • Location: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA
  • Date: July 21, 2017
  • Final Score: ATL 1-1 ORL (Recap | Highlights)

Gerardo Martino - Atlanta United Head Coach

On if the result feels like a win or a draw

“One way to look at it is: we scored a goal in extra time. So, in that sense, it feels good but on the other hand, I think we controlled the game and we had all of the development in the game so, in that sense, it is like a loss.”

On Greg Garza, Miguel Almirón and Michael Parkhurst representing the club at the All-Star Game

“It is a point of pride for the team to have three guys representing in the All-Star Game in our first season, in these short six months together. On the other hand, it is another trip for those guys and it is another game. So it is a little bit worrying with the stretch of games we have coming up.”

On finishing chances

“At a moment in the second half, I felt like we got a little desperate and we stopped circulating the ball like we had been doing before that. In general, I thought we played really well. If there is one thing to look back on from this game, it is that we didn’t finish the chances.”

On Tito Villalba scoring late goals in both matches against Orlando 

“He is our goalscorer at the moment, so through his goals, through Miguel (Almirón’s) goals and through assists by Julian (Gressel) or Yamil (Asad), we are doing our best to fill in during Josef (Martinez’s) absence. That is what is most important for the team.”

On turning team into playoff contender

“I feel calm knowing that it is a team that we formed ourselves from the beginning. That’s what makes me really happy.”

Héctor "Tito" Villalba - Atlanta United forward

On his goal 

“I made a diagonal run but Yamil (Asad) did everything.”

On how he has played against Orlando City SC over the last two weeks 

“It’s been my moment and I’m taking advantage of it but I have to thank the coaching staff for all of the help that they’ve been giving me, showing me things on film and I’m just taking advantage of it.”

On if the team was frustrated at all during the match 

“Not frustrated. The team was really motivated to find that goal because we had a lot of chances especially in the first half. We just kept working on it and we were able to find it in the last minute.”

On if this tie feels like a win 

“I think it feels like a loss, actually, because we had so many chances to score. We just have to keep working and taking advantage of those opportunities.”

On his final game in Bobby Dodd Stadium

“It’s our turn to play an away game now and then we’ll start up and play in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. I’m glad I was able to finish it out with a goal.”

Brad Guzan - Atlanta United goalkeeper

On his perspective for the Orlando City SC goal

“I thought that would be a question. Listen, from our point of view, its probably not the best goal to concede. A direct ball from the goalkeeper, we don’t deal with the first one, we don’t deal with the second one and obviously, on another day, I think maybe I’m able to get a hand to it looking back on it. But having said that, I think he’s probably scored a few of those in his career and he’s a good player. It was a good finish.”

On the importance of earning the draw and sharing a point in the table in this match

“I was speaking to somebody afterwards and they made a good point. If you look at these games in a playoff sense, on the road and then you come back and play at home back-to-back, you know we’re through to the next round. So, it was important to make sure that we got something from the game especially when you look at the table, so, for us to make sure that we didn’t leave empty-handed was a massive result for us.”

On the new fan banner labeling him as “Mr. Clean Sheet”

“I had a few texts from some friends. But I mean, listen, when you look at the support and the dedication and the togetherness of the supporters groups and the fan-base here in Atlanta, it’s unbelievable. I’m fortunate that they sing my name in a good way, and I’m fortunate to be on this team and to be able to represent those fans and the city of Atlanta playing for this club. Every week they seem to get stronger in numbers, louder in voice, and their support has been tremendous.”

On playing soccer in Bobby Dodd Stadium and how it compares to other venues

“Walking up here into this press conference, we were talking about the stadium a little bit and to be here and to be able to play these games in front of this crowd and this tremendous support that we get for our team, this is what it’s about. As a professional athlete, this is what you want. You want to play in front of unbelievable crowd support and when you play at home and you play on the road, it goes both ways. And so, for us to be able to play here - for the time being - and now eventually moving to Mercedes-Benz (Stadium), it’s going to be fantastic. We’re really excited. We’re excited to say thank you to Bobby Dodd and everyone affiliated with this stadium, but at the same time, we’re excited to get into Mercedes- Benz (Stadium) and put our stamp on that stadium as well.”

Michael Parkhurst - Atlanta United defender

On if he looks forward to representing Atlanta United during the All-Star Game

“Yeah. Absolutely. It’s a fantastic honor. To be able to go out and represent the squad in the first all-star game for Atlanta United is awesome. Myself, Greg (Garza) and Miguel (Almirón) are going to go out there and do our best. Off the field, we are going to have a good time. We’re going to represent the club well on the field, as well. We’re looking forward to it. It’s always a good event.”

On the plan of how they wanted to defend Dom Dwyer and Cyle Larin in the game and how he felt like they executed it

The plan was to have Jeff (Larentowicz) stay in the middle of us, play three against two. They’re both very good strikers on their own. Together, they’re a handful. I thought that for the most part we did really well. We really limited their chances. I’m not sure either of them had a really big chance — maybe Dwyer where we blocked one in the second half. I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping them away from dangerous areas. We didn’t let Larin get on the end of many crosses — that’s where he’s so good. The outside backs did a great job of not allowing any crosses in. We talked about that before the game as being very important. I thought overall, defensively, we did very, very well tonight.”

On Kaká’s goal

There’s always things that you can do better but you have to tip your hat when somebody scores a goal like that. Similar to last week when Tito (Hector Villalba) banged one on that, they came into our place and did the same. It was a fantastic shot but we spoke about it at halftime that we wanted — in the second half — Jeff (Larentowicz) to stay up on Kaká when he would come underneath the long balls and have Anton (Walkes) tuck in and be the third centerback. I thought we were a little bit better in those situations in the second half.”

On the team playing in Bobby Dodd Stadium

“At first, we thought it was going to be part time which, obviously, it is. Anytime when you’re in a part-time situation, you’re looking forward to the full-time. But our time here, we weren’t having that scenario where it’s like, ‘We can’t wait to get out of here and into our new home,’ because we enjoyed it so much. The atmosphere, here, was fantastic. The fans were awesome. The field was amazing. So, we really enjoyed our time here. Our record indicates that, as well. That being said, we are looking forward to Mercedes-Benz Stadium.”

Greg Garza - Atlanta United defender

On being honored as an All-Star

“I think on a personal note everything I have been through the past two years in my life has been a pretty big roller coaster for me so I feel really happy. This is a good point in my life right now. My family is happy. I am very fortunate to be called into the All-Star my first year in the MLS ever. I am very happy and satisfied with everything. That just doesn’t come from me that comes from the 45,000-50,000 people that are here that have our backs. I am really glad that everyone voted for me and as I said very happy right now in my career.”

On if this felt like a loss or a win

“We played a tough team. We missed a lot of chances today. I think we will probably do finishing the whole week so we can start scoring some goals again. Our team is known for scoring tons of goals. We had our chances but we just didn’t finish them today. I think we go home happy with a point because I’m not sure if we thought we were going to get that point. We didn’t finish our chances today but on my note, I think we go home pretty happy with the point we got today.”

On the team’s final game at Bobby Dodd Stadium 

“This is a historic field at Georgia Tech. It feels good to finish off Bobby Dodd with a tie and not to go home with a loss. This atmosphere is unreal. I hope we can do the same thing at Mercedes-Benz (Stadium). I really enjoyed it here. I kind of didn’t want to go. Hopefully, Mercedes-Benz Stadium can be an awesome atmosphere as well.”

On if he feels this is the start of a rivalry with Orlando City SC

“I don’t think we will ever be Barcelona-Real Madrid [rivalry] but I think it is fantastic what the people have done.”

Jeff Larentowicz - Atlanta United midfielder

On if this series with Orlando City SC becoming a rivalry

“I don’t know. You guys write that headline not me. We just go out there and play. We’ve only played each other twice but we’ll see. Time will tell.”

On Orlando City’s goal 

“Yes. Direct ball from the goalkeeper played into (Cyle) Larin. It was actually me who touched it. It set perfectly for me, and I laid it o to Kaka, I don’t think I thought he’d take a touch. Top corner, special goal, from a special player.”

On Hector “Tito” Villalba’s comment that the game felt more like a loss even though it ended as a draw

“I mean I understand where he’s coming from but we want to win all of our games. We want to win all of our games at home. We’ve become accustomed to that over the last six weeks. So, yeah, it’s disappointing but, you know, I thought we played a good game. I thought that when you play a team so close tactically you kind of shut each other down on the second game because you’re used to what the other team is doing so it was tight. A special goal in the first half - I thought we regrouped at halftime and I thought that we were pretty relentless in the second half and got a good goal.”

On playing at Bobby Dodd Stadium

“I think it’s been one of the best stretches and most enjoyable for me of my career, honestly. Coming out onto the field against the Red Bulls was probably one of the coolest experiences of my career so I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss the grass. I’m going to miss the sun but new things ahead, exciting things ahead.”

Jason Kreis - Orlando City Head Coach

On team’s overall performance

“I’m really pleased with the performance and pleased with the work that the guys have been putting in - the belief, the commitment, all of these sorts of good things. It’s a travesty that we have to end up making a mistake at the end and not walk away from here with all three points. It’s still a point on the road and in this place, it isn’t a bad result.”

On Dom Dwyer’s performance

“Decent. I thought him and Cyle (Larin) had some decent combinations up there. They were looking to get to each other pretty well. I think it’s going to take time for it to be perfect. I do think that he was also in and around some goal-scoring chances in the second half.”

On making three attacking-focused substitutions

“I really just wanted fresh legs up front. I felt like we needed a little more work, defensively, out of those guys as they were starting to throw numbers forward. I also thought we could catch a break with a counterattack that would score our second goal to close the game.”

On giving up late goals to Atlanta in consecutive matches

“A late goal that happens in games are lack of fitness or lack of focus. I think this team is very fit so I don’t believe that it is fitness. I think it has a little bit to do with focus and how we are managing the game as well. I don’t know that at the end of the game we were making the best decisions with the ball to keep it and cause them problems. I felt like we were more than happy to give it back to them and defend for long stretches which is going to hurt you against a team as dangerous as Atlanta.”

Donny Toia - Orlando City defender


On pressure from Atlanta’s attack

“Up 1-0 away is great but you have to stay strong and hold it out for the full 90 minutes. I thought we did well up until the goal. We knew they were going to be coming down our throat the whole second half and that’s exactly what they did. We stayed strong but then, we had one slip up and that cost us the game unfortunately.”

On Hector “Tito” Villalba’s performance

“He’s a great player. He makes great runs in between the center backs and it is hard to keep track of him sometimes. As long as we keep in front of him we’ll be in good shape, but he’s a great player and he knows how to make those runs and cause havoc up top. Credit to him.”

On Dom Dwyer’s performance

“He has done well. Obviously it is going to take time. He’s had what, two practices? One real practice. It is going to take time, but he is a good player. He will adjust very quickly. It isn’t his first time being here so he will be good.”

On Atlanta-Orlando becoming a rivalry

“I guess. It’s only the second time we have played them. Both games have been chippy and aggressive so I think you could see that going on in the future as well. We just have to have the right mindset, play our game and stick to that for the full 90 minutes.”

Jonathan Spector - Orlando City defender

On conceding late goals from Atlanta in each of the last two games

“I think we are under a lot of pressure in both games. For roughly 90 minutes, we defended really well but especially coming here, it is difficult. They have a big crowd behind them. They kept pushing for that equalizer and for the most part, we did really well. It was just a lapse in concentration on what we needed to do and they punished us for it. We are disappointed. I think coming here and getting a point is a good result but when it happens the way it did, we are disappointed. It feels like two points dropped as opposed to a one-point game.”

On Orlando making three attacking-focused substitutions

“I think you have to ask Jason [Kreis] that question. That is not something that I can really answer. I think what he did was not necessarily three attacking subs in my opinion. He moved Will (Johnson) inside and Richie (Laryea) out wide. Will is kind of a defensive midfielder so I think it was more about getting someone who was fresher in there. I thought when Richie came on. He did really well for us - both going forward and coming back. He tracked back really well and made some important defensive plays for us. Going forward, he relieved some pressure for us particularly out of the back, out of the middle third for us. So, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was three attacking substitutions.”