ATL v DAL | Post-Match Quotes

  • Match: Atlanta United vs FC Dallas
  • Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta Georgia.
  • Date: September 10, 2017
  • Final Score: ATL 3-0 DAL (Recap | Highlights)

Gerardo Martino, Atlanta United Head Coach

On being home for the first time in almost two months:

It feels good. We’re very happy as always with the support of our fans and we’re happy to have played for the first time in this wonderful stadium and furthermore to have played well and (have) won the game.”

On which was more important -- the result or the opening the stadium:

“The stadium is so impressive that it’s tough not to talk about what the stadium represents but I have to talk about how the team played. With everything that we have coming and the eight games in 23 days, I think the most important is the performance against an opponent that generally we were better than but in some situations, they put us through tough moments.”

On how he plans to handle the upcoming stretch:

“That’s something we’ll have to manage game by game and seeing how the game ended, I think all (of ) the guys finished well and I don’t imagine rotating guys for the game on Wednesday.”

On how important it was to score early in the second half:

“I think it’s a positive aspect. I think that we scored the first goal and we kept insisting to score. We could have scored another goal. Second, when we had to defend in our own area, Dallas created two clear chances where we had to defend. Third, I think we started the second half very well and thanks to a high press, we were able to start to secure the result but it was an excellent team effort.”

On how Mercedes-Benz Stadium compares to other world class stadiums:

“This stadium is imposing. It’s a beautiful stadium and we’re very proud to call it our own. I think we have to thank Arthur (Blank) and I think it’s a point of pride for not only Atlanta but the state and all of the United States.”

On the statement that Mercedes-Benz Stadium and this team made today:

“It was important because we had to adjust quickly to our new stadium. We’re in the final stage of the league and today’s game was a big challenge for us and I think we overcame it. We still have the support of the fans who came from Bobby Dodd (Stadium) and we were able to win what was -- in my opinion -- our best game of the season.”

Greg Garza - Defender, Atlanta United

On his expectations of the crowd in the new stadium:

“These fans are incredible. I don’t think there’s any comparison to any other team in the MLS. In my opinion, they’re the best fans in this league. They put on a show for us once more and thank goodness we were able to put on a show for them on the field as well. We’ve got to take advantage of these next five games we have at home. I know it’s a tight schedule but I’m glad we got the win today to build the momentum
for the next games).”

On the transition into the new stadium:

“We actually enjoyed Bobby Dodd (Stadium) and we enjoyed (Mercedes-Benz Stadium) so I have no complaints whatsoever. These people are amazing. These fans are amazing and I think they do a great job of cheering us on the whole 90 minutes.”

On the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“The field is ginormous. It is a big field and hopefully, we can get used to it as quickly as possible. It’s a lot different than Bobby Dodd (Stadium). We’re not slide tackling into walls anymore but besides that, I think the field is wonderful and the atmosphere is great as well.”

On what it was like coming out of the tunnel at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time:

“As I’ve said before, these are the best fans in the league. I think the setup they had where we can walk out and the fans can give us a high-five before the warmups is great. Hopefully, we can bring a win every single game because I don’t have to see their faces (and) how they’re going to look at us after a loss but it was awesome. The people have always supported us no matter what. Winning or losing, it’s great to have the support of the wonderful city of Atlanta.”

Michael Parkhurst - Atlanta United defender

On what the first game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium was like:

“Coming out of the tunnel, it was hot - spewing a lot of fire at us - that is the first thing I noticed. It was exciting. We were all looking forward to this game for a while. It lived up to expectations. The crowd was fantastic. The performance was fantastic. It was a very good evening to start things off here.”

On how they will keep momentum going:

“We talked about how it was important to get a good result -- a good positive performance -- in the first game to start things off and we were able to do that so, hopefully, we can just build on it from there. We are looking forward to playing games. We have had a crazy schedule since the end of June where we haven’t played a ton of games. It’s been crazy sporadic so we think that if we can get into a rhythm and build off performances, hopefully, we can rattle off a few wins in a row.”

On how they will keep their legs fresh with the upcoming stretch of games:

“It is going to be difficult. Guys (are taking) ice baths right now. Tomorrow, hopefully, we will be able to train and get a good recovery session in. Basically, you are just recovering for two days straight and then playing another game and doing the same thing after that. We won’t be training much. It is mental and physical. Gamedays, we will be able to rely on these fans to pick us up.”

On the first game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“I will tell them about the crowd, the sellout, the noise, the support that we got leading up to this game and coming into this game. Everything was just amazing. The walkout and the anthem was great. Obviously, the score was fantastic. A lot of positives to take way from it. A lot of memories.”

Brad Guzan - Atlanta United goalkeeper

On the game:

“It was really good from start to finish. We knew that we had to give (the fans) something to cheer about and goals do that. The first goal obviously changes the game and gets the crowd involved and on anther night, it probably could have been more than three.”

On if there was anything they could have done better:

“There is always things you can do better in games (and) situations you can handle differently. Fortunately for us, it is a clean sheet gives us confidence going into Wednesday and we move on.”

On playing in Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“This one is up there for sure. In terms of the atmosphere and in terms of the walk out, everything about the stadium is world class. For us to be able to call this place home, we are lucky.”

On explaining the difference between the team’s performance at home and on the road:

“In the MLS, road games are always tricky you find a way to sometimes grind them out. Whether it’s the travel or being on the road in an uncomfortable environment, I am not exactly sure but we know when we play at home we are a dangerous team and we can beat anyone in this league. So it was important that this run of home game set the tempo for hopefully what the next games will be like.”

On the atmosphere at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“I think it is probably the same people coming from Bobby Dodd (Stadium) that are coming here so for us, we are lucky because they are boisterous and excited to be in the stands and they support us and they let their voices be heard. For us, it is an extra boost. You want to play for these guys. You want to play for the fans and put together a good performance.”

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez - Atlanta United defender

On if it was worth the wait to play inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“I think we played a really good game today. I thought we were strong across every line and we were able to give the fans a good result.”

On explaining the difference between the team’s performance at home and on the road:

“We always try to play the same. We always try to take control of the game and be the protagonists ourselves. What happens is our opponents, when they play us at home, they come into these games with a different attitude and a different idea of how they want games to go. When they play at their home stadium, they have a different attitude of how they want to play there.”

On his goal:

“When the ball came to me, I just tried to hit it across goal. Maybe with the turf, it took a little bit of a different bounce than where I wanted it to go but, luckily, it still went in.”

On the team’s performance:

“Generally speaking, I think we played really well as a whole performance. There’s always different things we can improve on. For us today, maybe we can improve upon finishing from the first half but in the second half, we were more precise with our finishing. We have to just copy this game and this is the path that we have to follow.”

Oscar Pareja - FC Dallas manager

On today’s match:

“First off, congratulations to Atlanta and that beautiful stadium. The score shows they were the best team tonight. They deserved the points for the performance that they put together. Tonight, we were short in energy and many other areas that we couldn’t match the game and our opponent. I thought the first half and the first 20 minutes they overwhelmed us. We were lucky not to concede more goals. After that, I think we had reactions and then created our own chances. Giving up that second goal took us out of the game. After that, it was just a team trying to create with desperation and another team settling in the field and being calm and confident. The rest of the game was like that.”

On Atlanta’s quick start:

“They played much quicker. They controlled the ball on the first touch, the second touch and just getting in behind us. They were clearly faster. It took us 20 minutes to play some passes and at that time, Atlanta was trapping. They were just creating and creating.”

On fixing the team’s form in the upcoming matches:

“We can (fix issues) and we have to have confidence in the players because we have already done it for so long. We did not play well today but we always keep working and we will keep doing what we know and what we have done in the past. We are in a difficult position but the next team in front us is Seattle and we are going to need three points at home to try to straighten the ship.”

Victor Ulloa - FC Dallas midfielder

On how giving up the second goal changed things for him and the team:

“Not the way I wanted to come in and handle the situation, I think Walker (Zimmerman) had a bad touch but it was unfortunate that we had to give the ball away in that spot but it put us 2-0 down and put us in a hole that we couldn’t get back from.”

On what the original plan was in the second half:

“Coach told me to come in, show a lot of personality, get on the ball and try to keep a little bit more possession and that’s what I tried to do. Unfortunately, we gave away that second goal early and it changed the game.”

On what Atlanta United did well:

“I just think the transition that they have - the speed that they have up top - the motivation that they had today to open their stadium. I think that they had the crowd behind them and they had all of the advantage .”

On the environment at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“It was absolutely amazing. The atmosphere was great. The stadium is awesome. Too bad we couldn’t ruin their party today.”

Maynor Figueroa - FC Dallas defender

Opening Statement:

“Obviously, we don’t feel good. The fact that we los -- and more by three goals -- I think that leaves us with a big message but we’re going to keep working. There are a lot of games left. Many more points to dispute and from now on, there’s no margin for error.”

On the message from today’s game:

“That we have to be more attentive at all moments. We have to be united as a group and have the mentality that we have to get three points from here on.”

On Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the performance from FC Dallas:

“They asked a lot of the fans. They were at home. It’s a spectacular stadium but I don’t think that affects the result. As a player, I always like to play on stages like that but it wasn’t our afternoon. Congratulate the opponent and nothing more.”

On how Atlanta United started the game:

“They tried to pressure us in our own area -- with very talented players, -- (they are) very fast. Once we started to feel comfortable, we were already down on the scoreboard.”

On Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the atmosphere:

“The truth is it was wonderful to play in this type of stadium with a great fanbase that supports their team from start to finish. As a player, I like to play in atmospheres like that -- in my favor or against -- and Idon’t think it affected us but it made them more motivated. Hopefully, (we) have the opportunity to have more stadiums like this in the league and that this league keeps growing day by day.”