ATL v ORL | Post-match Quotes

  • Match: Atlanta United vs Orlando City
  • Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta Georgia.
  • Date: September 16, 2017
  • Final Score: ATL 3-3 ORL (Recap | Highlights)

Gerardo Martino - Atlanta United manager

On coaching in front of an MLS record crowd of 70,425 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“We’ve been saying it for a while but the support today was even better than usual. We’re happy to play in front of a fanbase like that. It’s clear that the fans have a fervent passion for soccer here — the same passion that our players have on the field. Today, we were able to come back three times from three goals down and I like that attitude from our team.”

On if this result feels positive or negative considering the context of the goals scored:

“I think the way the game went we deserved to win the game today but playing against a team three times in our league, I think we had two favorable results in our favor and one for Orlando but I’m happy with how we responded today but I think it’s clear — with how the game went today — that we should have won the game.”

On the three goals earned from Orlando City SC:

“I think the three goals Orlando scored were my responsibility because we played a backline today that’s never played together before. Usually, we have a backline of three with Leandro (Gonzalez Pirez), (Michael Parkhurst) and Jeff (Larentowicz) dropping back into space. Today, we played with Jeff, (Michael Parkhurst) and Anton (Walkes) and it’s a line that’s never played together. So, I want to see that aside from any individual mistakes — the responsibility is all mine.”

On Chris McCann’s performance today:

“I think today he didn’t play as a defined left-back. He was going up against their midfielder on that side who was (Antonio) Nocerino but I thought he played really well. He played good football for us and was able to get us an assist as well.” 

Michael Parkhurst - Atlanta United defender

On the three goals scored by Orlando City SC:

“It’s disappointing. It’s not — I don’t think —  concerning because we’ve been playing well defensively. They are a handful in the box. They are the two of the top strikers in the league. Both (are) very good in the air. We, obviously, didn’t contain them well enough in crosses tonight and we’re very disappointed about that but we regroup and hope to have a better defensive performance on Wednesday.

On if the team would have played differently if Leandro Gonzalez Pirez played in today’s match:

“I don’t know. Of course he is a great defensive player all season long. There’s no doubt about that. It was not a personnel thing that faulted out the goals today. We just weren’t good enough closing down the crosses. Our positioning wasn’t good enough — the communication. Of course, we look forward to having Leandro back but I don’t think that was the reason that we gave up the goals.”

On Josef Martinez:

“He’s a game changer. He’s invaluable for us. Obviously, he’s a handful to defend against. His first step is so quick. It’s impossible to defend that goal that he put in near post off the cross from Tito (Hector Villalba). He’s just too quick. He’s always in the right spot in front of the goal. He’s lethal and he loves to score goals. He gets disappointed when he doesn’t. He’s an extremely important part of this team. We’re thankful he’s on top of his game right now.”

On playing in front of an MLS record crowd of 70,425 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“Amazing. I mean, words can’t describe it. It was so loud out there at some points and just to look around and feel the passion out there and the love and the support for us, it was just incredible. We really needed it tonight — the third game in six days — where the energy was not as high as maybe the other games — and needing to come back three different times. The crowd pushed us. At the end there, it was so loud you couldn’t hear anything. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the winner there but the crowd was amazing. It was a fun and amazing thing to be a part of.”

Brad Guzan - Atlanta United goalkeeper

On playing in front of an MLS record crowd of 70,425 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“I thought the crowd was really good from start to finish. Obviously, we talked about it for a couple of days leading up to it. We know what the fans bring for us, in terms of an atmosphere, so to have 70,000+ in attendance tonight was great.”

On what this record means for the MLS:

“I think it means the league is growing. It means soccer down here is definitely huge and popular which is good for us. Hopefully, this will catch on around to some other clubs in the league and this will start to be more of a consistent turnout.”

On today’s backline:

“The guys in front of me were good. They were good in the sense that Chris (McCann) delivers a really good ball in. Jeff (Larentowicz) is an experienced player. I could (have done) better for the second goal. We could probably have done better for the first and third, as well. At the end of the day, a draw isn’t the world. It keeps our momentum going into Wednesday so we move on.”

On Josef Martinez:

“He proves his quality week in and week out for us. It is important that he is on our team. That’s for sure. When we get to see him come off in a match day, it is exciting for you guys and it’s exciting for the fans. We see it in training so we know he has that ability. He has that skill (and) to have it come off on a match day is huge.” 

Chris McCann - Atlanta United defender

On whether this was a ‘satisfying or disappointing’ draw:

“I think disappointing because we were at home and the manner in which we conceded the goals. Overall, to come back three times is probably a point in the end for us. We pushed all the way. I think they caught us with three good crosses into the box. It was difficult to deal with, but we kept it going. We stuck to what we know. We had to do best under the circumstances. I think we played some good football at times. It probably wasn’t our best football but we still managed to get a point and we’re still unbeaten. We’re still in the mix.”

On if fatigue played a factor in the team conceding three goals in today’s match:

“I think you’re always vulnerable. Once you concede, as you said, your mentality is ‘well, we’ve scored’ and you maybe switch off for a minute. We probably did that far too often for our liking today. We kept them going until the end. On another day, we probably would have won it at the end. It’s still a point.”

On playing in front of an MLS record crowd of 70,425 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“Oh, they were outstanding. It’s probably the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of. When the board lit up for the last couple of minutes, the roof nearly lifted off the place. It was incredible and a great atmosphere throughout the whole day. They nearly got us over the line in the end.”

Miguel Almirón - Atlanta United Midfielder

On playing from behind all game:

“It was a tough game – a complicated game. I think Orlando’s a really good team and we were able to score three goals to come back but they were able to score goals quickly after to make the difference but I think, overall, it’s a decent point. We took seven points in three games and we’re in the playoffs at the moment. We’re happy about that. We know that we just have to keep playing and we have things to improve on.”

On whether the team’s approach will change next game:

“We did what the coach asked us today and I think everyone could see that. We controlled the game – we controlled possession – and today, some chances didn’t go our way. We hit the post but the goals will come. We just have to keep working.”

On how the team feels:

“I feel well. I finished every game playing well. A little bit tired but we know we need to get recovered and get ready for (the LA) Galaxy. We’re good. The group is really united. That’s really important with these games to come and we were able to come back a few times tonight.”

On the goals earned by Orlando City SC:

“We just have to concentrate a little more. We’re not going to worry about that. That’s something we’re going to work on during the week to prepare for the next game.”

On Josef Martinez:

“Josef is real important for our team. He’s our goal scorer and for me, he’s the best forward in the league.”

Anton Walkes - Atlanta United defender

On the first two goals that Orlando City SC scored:

“I’ll take full responsibility for them. I think the first one was hard because I was expecting Brad (Guzan) but that’s where I think I have to take full responsibility — and make sure I make the effort to see the play all the way out — instead of relying too much on Brad — considering how excellent he’s been. I think I just got a bit complacent. I think it’s another learning point. The team did well to get back in. Josef (Martinez), again, with another hat trick. (I) think there’s many positives we can take from the game and, hopefully, push on and keep moving forward.”

On the physicality of Orlando City SC and if that was what made the goals ‘so difficult’ to defend:

“Well, on the first one, I expected the ball to end up in our possession so I just relaxed and thought the play was over but it wasn’t. And on the second one, he done me with his movement. So I tried to get there and I just wasn’t quick enough to react.”

On his injury:

“It’s just a knock. So, I’ll take it easy tonight and see how it is in the morning.” 

Jason Kreis - Orlando City managaer

On today’s match:

“Our objective was to get three points here and it will be the rest of the way. So, to settle for a point is a little bit disheartening. I have to look past that and at the performance and I’m really proud of what the guys put into it. I thought the effort and the mentality to respond twice after giving away goals and get the lead again, I thought, was fantastic. The guys gave us everything and I could not be prouder of them.”

On Dominic Dwyer’s performance today:

“I wouldn’t say it was anything except for just finishing his opportunities. (On) the very first chance tonight (that) he got, he put it home. (On) the second one — he put home as well, so I don’t think he missed opportunities. I think some of the other games — he got himself in great spots — he just missed his chances. With a guy like that and with a striker, you know that is going to happen. Now, we will look forward to what will be a very rich spell for him.”

On the atmosphere at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“It was spectacular. What an unbelievable atmosphere. It’s always a pleasure to be a part of games like that.”

On how they performed against Atlanta United’s backline:

“We weren’t going to come in here and give them space and time. We came in with a really positive mindset — a really aggressive mindset — that we wanted to try and press them in their half and cause some mistakes. I don’t know that we quite did a great job of that but the mindset was right. It wasn’t a night where we were looking to just pack it in and defend for long stretches. I think — maybe — the other two teams that have come here got themselves in that situation, whether it was because they started out the game that way or they gave away early goals.”

On coaching in front of an MLS record crowd of 70,425 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“I think what Atlanta is doing here with the way they built the team, with the infrastructure that they have, with the training facility, with the stadium, all of those are really good signs and kind of setting a new benchmark in the league for what clubs ought to do. I think that is really positive. To have a crowd here tonight like we did, another benchmark to say, ‘This is what the league can be.’ I am really pleased to have been part of it.”

Cyle Larin - Orlando City striker

On him and Dominic Dwyer scoring the team’s three goals:

“It felt good. I think it was hard for the other team to cover both of us. The more we play together, the more it is hard for teams to play against us. This is our full second game together, I think. We’ve played 45 together and each time, we did something or we scored and it’s getting better each game.”

On what the forwards need to work on:

“Staying focused the whole time. I thought we should have won the game. Atlanta is a very good attacking team and they are fast when they get the ball. (Josef) Martinez is a great striker and a great player who can score goals. I think we went out there and fought together. We didn’t get the result we wanted. We wanted three points but it’s good.”

On the feeling after getting a draw:

“I think we played well. We are playing at their home against 70,000 people and it’s hard but I think we fought and we should have won but they are a good team and they got a result. We keep pushing on from here and we go to next weekend and get a win.”

On playing in front of an MLS record crowd of 70,425 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“It was fun. It was fun playing in front of that crowd, it was loud a lot, most of the time. A lot of times we quieted the crowd, but they came back and they answered. It was a good game.”

Dom Dwyer - Orlando City striker

On how it felt to score twice today:

“It was great. It was unfortunate we couldn’t get the three points but I thought we played well as a group. We’re pleased with the performance.”

On whether scoring is a weight lifted off his shoulders:

“It’s always nice to score. Obviously, I’d rather have the three points but we’ll take one today and move on.”

On whether Cyle Larin said anything to him after scoring:

“No, he didn’t. He actually told me yesterday that I was going to score. We already knew that going in. We like to mess around and have some fun. It’s nice to score but you want three points.”

On how it feels to be one of the first players to score a goal in Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“Good. Obviously, I knew that going into this game no one had scored yet so I wanted to be the first person to score. It’s cool to do it in a new stadium against a good club. We’ll build on it from today and move onto the next game.”

On how comfortable he is scoring with his head:

“I’m pretty good in the air to be honest. I’ve probably scored more goals than most with my head. I’m not bad for a little lad. It’s decent.”

On what he saw from Atlanta’s backline that led to opportunities:

“I just like to drift off the backline. We get quality deliveries from our fullbacks. They put it in the right spots. You’ve just got to go in there and take it.”

On playing in front of an MLS record crowd of 70,425 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

“It was loud. It was a big atmosphere. It’s always cool to play in front of a big crowd. It was a little quiet at first but I think that was because we scored a couple of early goals. It was decent.”

On what allowed Atlanta to equalize three times:

“They’re a good side. They just attacked us well. It was a back-and-forth game. Obviously, we did well to put a few away. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hold on.”

On having Jonathan Spector back in the lineup:

“Yeah, he makes a difference. He’s a big player and very experienced. Unfortunately, he went down with a little knock at the end but that’s what you do. He did very, very well tonight.”

On whether his relationship with Cyle Larin and Giles Barnes grew tonight:

“It’s always growing. We’re guys that like to work off each other. We’re still learning how each other moves but that will just get better with more games. I’m confident in both of them. They’re very talented players and have a lot of ability. It’ll be something that blossoms throughout the season and into next year.”