NE vs ATL | Post-Match Quotes

  • Match: New England Revolution vs Atlanta United/li>
  • Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro MA
  • Date: May 30th, 2018
  • Final Score: NE 1-1 ATL (Recap | Highlights)

Atlanta United FC Head Coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino

On if the penalty call was correct:

Coach Martino: “A little, if it was. I haven’t watched the replay yet, I thought they did check it."

On the match:

Coach Martino: “I want to say that in the first half, I don’t think we deserved to be up a goal. The way we were playing, we didn’t take advantage of that whole half. Then in the second half, I thought we played well. We created a lot of chances that our guys usually convert and I thought at that point we did deserve to win.”

On what dissatisfied him about the match:

Coach Martino: “That if the penalty they called against us was very close, and the penalty not called on Mikey [Ambrose] was very close, but just not as close.”

On the influence of tonight's draw on upcoming matches:

Coach Martino: “As long as we keep playing second halves like we played tonight, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. I think the team has been playing well, and they deserve the credit and maybe deserved wins against [Sporting] Kansas City, deserve the credit for the win against Orlando [City SC], [New York City] Red Bulls and today as well.”

On Atlanta's defensive performance:

Coach Martino: “I don’t think New England had a scoring chance on us. So, that means we played pretty well.”

On the status of Hector Villalba:

Coach Martino: "He’s doing better. We're going to evaluate him tomorrow and Friday to see if he’s in condition to play on Saturday.”

On Josef Martinez:

Coach Martino: “I think when a team creates as many chances as we did, at least seven chances, that’s the result of the team, not a single player. I think we created a lot of chances as a team and we even created a chance at the end, when Josef [Martinez] was off the field. The goalkeeper makes a great save, but that’s looking at things in reverse, for Monday’s newspaper."

Atlanta United FC Defender Michael Parkhurst

On the penalty awarded to New England:

Parkhurst: “I don’t know. I didn’t see it well. There were a lot of guys in the box. I thought it was a bit soft, but I’d have to see it on replay to know for sure.”

On if he was surprised the officials didn’t use video review on the penalty:

Parkhurst: “I’m not surprised by anything anymore.”

On if he was disappointed the officials didn’t use video review on the penalty:

Parkhurst: “It’s up to his [the official’s] discretion. If he thinks it’s a clear penalty – I hope when I look at it I agree. I hope it’s a clear penalty. If it’s a clear penalty, then he shouldn’t look at it. That’s all I have to say about it.”

On the team experiencing bad luck in close-call situations:

Parkhurst: “Yeah, a little bit. You make your own luck, too, though. I mean, it should have never been at that point of the game. We shouldn’t have put ourselves in that position, and we did, and we paid the price. We just weren’t clinical enough tonight. We gave them one chance. I thought defensively we played really well. We really limited their chances. Offensively, we created some great chances and their keeper made some great saves. Credit to him for keeping them in the game.”

On the team not capitalizing on scoring chances:

Parkhurst: “Our attack is very dynamic. We have full confidence in those guys. Barco [Ezequiel], [Miguel] Almiron, and [Josef] Martinez, these guys are going to score on those chances. It didn’t happen tonight, but if it gets back to the mean, that means that they’re going to score the next one. Hopefully, they can spread it out a little bit and score eight in the next game. It’s good that we’re at least creating chances.”

On how this result affects the team heading into a stretch of five games in three weeks:

Parkhurst: “Hopefully it doesn’t. We put it behind us. It’s a tough one. It’s a tie that feels like a loss. It’s two dropped points in a tight top-of-the-east where we could have separated ourselves from New England. We could have gotten 10 points clear of them, so it’s disappointing, but we come back home and we’ve got another Eastern Conference game on Saturday. I think we came out of this with no injuries, so that’s good. We shouldn’t have any suspensions for next week. We’ll be as full strength as we can be. We need to make sure we get a win at home. It’s been two straight games now where we haven’t done that, so we need to right that ship.”

On the defense's communication tonight:

Parkhurst: “I thought overall it was good. They've got a dynamic attack up top and I thought we neutralized them well. I thought Chris [McCann] and Mikey [Ambrose] on the left were very strong and likewise in front. I think we played out of the left side a little bit more tonight, and I think that was just due to Miguel [Almiron] on that side of the field having a little bit more possession on that side, but defensively I thought everyone was solid. Mikey did great one-on-one defensively. Franco [Escobar] had some big tackles, especially in the second half. Guys played well. They showed that they wanted to be in the lineup, and it’s going to be some tough decisions for ‘Tata’ [Gerardo Martino].”

Atlanta United FC Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz

On if the penalty kick was the correct call:

Larentowicz: “I’m not really sure. I think both players seemed to be falling down at that moment. What are you going to say, there’s two refs, there’s one looking out on the field, there’s one up in the box. So, it is what it is, we’ll move on.”

On if he was surprised they didn’t look at a replay on the penalty:

Larentowicz: “Well, I mean that’s the job of the [Video Assistant Referee] – to look at it and to say whether they should both look at it. So, someone’s looking at the replay. They called it, you know, we don’t need another week of that.” 

On if the game should have been that close:

Larentowicz: “We create the chances, I think that we become dangerous in the second half. When they make offensive subs, the goalkeeper stands on his head, he makes a lot of good saves. One bounces off the cross bar, off the line, stays out of the goal. It’s kind of how the cookie crumbles sometimes, but we’ve got to push on. I mean, if you’re not creating chances then it’s frustrating and if you tie the game and then you think okay, maybe we didn’t deserve that, but we were creating chances, we were putting them under pressure. I thought we defended well as a team, penalty aside. I thought as a team we did well and it’s a draw, but like I said, it’s another game in three days.”         

On if he agrees with Atlanta United president Darren Eales that the draw felt like a loss:

Larentowicz: “Yeah, I know what he’s talking about. I think the season is long, the games even out, you have your ups, you have your downs. You have games that you win that you probably shouldn’t have, you have games that you lose that you probably should’ve won. If that’s one of those games tonight, then so be it. Again, like I said, we defended well as a team, we created chances, we did enough to win, but we just didn’t do it.”     

On having three new faces on the defensive end:

Larentowicz: “Everybody understands the system. The goal is to have a team that whenever someone goes down, the next guy’s ready to step in. I thought Mikey [Ambrose] did really, really well tonight. I thought Chris [McCann] obviously did his job well, he’s very comfortable in that spot, and then Franco [Escobar] coming back from a couple different injuries to help the team and do his thing back there. I think that everybody’s ready, the team is building and tonight, although it was a draw, I think it’s a game we can hold your head up and move on to the next one.”

New England Revolution Head Coach Brad Friedel

On the goal allowed by the Revolution and the team's response:

Coach Friedel: “It wasn’t kind of a soft goal. It was a soft goal. We can say it. I thought in the first half the plan was to not allow them to play out of the back. It was to try to not allow [Miguel] Almiron and [Ezequiel] Barco any time on the ball to turn. They’re a very direct team. Not a long-ball direct team, but very direct. When they get the ball and they go, they go—and they’re very quick. I thought, in the first half, we limited them to only a couple final third entries. And I was very disappointed with the goal that we conceded. I’m not saying that we were out-and-out the better of two teams, but there really wasn’t much in the game in the first half. In saying that, in Atlanta, when they play—and probably this is more so away from home—a very dangerous team when you’re down a goal to them because you have to try to score. You are going to leave yourself exposed at times and that’s when they become their best. Because they are—I wouldn’t call them a counter-attacking team—but they are a very quick attacking team. And so, when [Darlington] Nagbe gets the ball and releases it directly to Almiron, it’s off to the races and he’s a very, very good player.”

On Chris Tierney's injury:

Coach Friedel: “It doesn’t look great at this moment in time. We haven’t had the MRI, so let’s wait until tomorrow before we release a statement, but it doesn’t look outstanding at this moment in time.”

On Matt Turner's save on Ezequiel Barco:

Coach Friedel: “Reflexes. On a save like that, [it's] reading the game. I thought in the first half, on the goal that Atlanta scored—Matt’s [Turner] such a good goalkeeper that he probably could’ve stayed tall and tried to react to that one as well. That’s just the life of a keeper. He made some really good saves in the second half and the one off [Ezequiel] Barco, I just watched it before I came in here. That’s a top-drawer save.”

On Turner's potential and the coaching staff's decision to name him the starter:

Coach Friedel: “When we came into preseason, I think I’ve said this many times, sort of everybody had a chance to shine. I’ve said this many times as well—when the staff and I got together, we all sort of decided what the pecking order was of the goalkeepers at the start. And then every two weeks, through preseason, we reevaluated every position, on who we thought the starters were and who would possibly come off the bench. As each two-week cycle went on, Matt Turner’s name kept coming up. No frills to it. It was just his hard work. Not that he worked harder than Cody [Cropper] or Brad [Knighton] because all three of the goalkeepers work exceptionally hard. If I was working something here and I saw a save out of the corner of my eye that looked real good, I’d look over there and it was usually Matt. And then he took his chance in a couple of preseason games, we liked his demeanor, and he won the starting spot. It was a preseason process and it was a battle. He went from number three, where not many people heard of him, to number one. What is his potential? As long as he stays grounded, humble, focused, his potential is really high. I mean, you guys see him play. There’s not too many American goalkeepers that are better than him anywhere in the world. He will have the ability to play at National Team level—if and only if—he continues to work the way that he does.”

On the referee's decision to award New England a penalty:

Coach Friedel: “The Dallas game, I felt the whistle should’ve blown. And in the Vancouver game, I felt the whistle should’ve blown. Maybe this is the turn of a couple of decisions going our way as the next couple weeks come up. Now that we got the penalty, we got the draw, we have to look for three points against [New York] Red Bull.”

On whether or not he is pleased with the amount of offense created off the high press:

Coach Friedel: “That’s part of the way they play as well. They put three across the back. We put out three strikers to try to combat that, to try to isolate them three-v-three and if we could win the ball, then we break. But keep in mind, when they lose the ball, they’re one of the better teams at trying to gain possession back also. The way that they played out the back, with Brad Guzan hitting a lot of longer balls or trying to hit [Josef] Martinez’s chest and playing balls in and out, there were always three, four, five guys around. So, it’s a little bit more difficult, but we tried to do that. A lot of other teams will spread out a lot. And when they spread out a lot and we high pressed, then we’ll get a little bit more joy off that. But if you sit back and allow Atlanta to play, they’ll play you off the field. We watched New York high press them at Atlanta, and that was one of the games New York won, but Atlanta could’ve been four-nil up before a goal was scored by New York. They’re a good team. Although never happy with just a point at home, I’m happy coming back from a goal down to get the point.”

New England Revolution Forward Teal Bunbury

On what he was thinking as he prepared to take the penalty kick:

Bunbury: “Score. I could sit here and try to give you a line. You put the ball in the back of the net. You don’t really think about anything else for your team, to get a result. There’s a lot of guys that could have taken it, but I wanted to step up there and put it in the back of the net.”

On Matt Turner’s performance tonight:

Bunbury: “There’s so many words you could describe. He’s—all year long—he’s been unbelievable. Tonight, he’s man of the match. He’s maybe having saves—plural—of the year, keeping us in games nonstop, but it’s not only him. It’s everybody on the field working hard for 90 minutes. The defenders, Jalil [Anibaba], Toni [Delamea], [Andrew] Farrell, [Gabriel] Somi, C.T. [Chris Tierney], I could go down the line, everyone was busting their tail and working hard.”

On how he ended up taking the penalty kick:

Bunbury: “It’s cordial. Everybody probably wants to step up and take it. I was feeling confident. [Cristian] Penilla could have taken it, Diego [Fagundez] could have taken it, but I felt confident there.”

On whether or not this result felt like a win:

Bunbury: “We want to get three points, so I wouldn’t say it feels like a win. Atlanta is a good team. They have a lot of key players but we kept pushing and we got a point. We’ll assess this game. Good thing we have a game in a couple days against the Red Bulls who are another great team, and a great matchup, an Eastern conference rival, and we’re looking to get three points in that game as well.”

On whether he was pleased with the team’s performance tonight:

Bunbury: “I was very pleased with how we played. There were moments where maybe we forced some things and rushed some things, but there were a lot of times where we kept the ball. It’s tough when a team drops a lot of guys back, but I’m proud of the guys and how we battled, how we fought. I think we were very aggressive. It might have not been the prettiest game, but I think the result was pretty fair.”

On Chris Tierney leaving the match with an injury:

Bunbury: “It’s the hardest. This game is cruel. It’s tough like that, because he’s a guy that is a veteran player, someone we all look up to, that busts his tail and works so hard every day in training, no matter if he’s in the lineup or not. I’m gutted for him, but I know his mind is already getting back and his spirits—we’re going to try to keep his spirits up and see what that injury is, but definitely, it’s tough to swallow.”

New England Revolution Goalkeeper Matt Turner

On what goes through his mind after a big save:

Turner: “Confidence. You want to grow into the game. I was really disappointed with how the goal went in the first half. I didn’t do my normal thing. I cheated a little bit and got punished. We came in here down 1-0 and I felt like I should have done better in that moment. So, I challenged myself in the second half to go back out there and make a difference in the game. I think I did a good job of that tonight. That’s all I can really do—try and make saves to keep my team in the game.”

On impacting the game with crucial saves late in the match:

Turner: “It’s a really good feeling, because you feel like you made a difference. When you’re standing back there, you don’t always feel like you can make the impact during the game. It’s nice to feel like you’re making a direct impact on the game.”

On how he feels after a string of big saves:

Turner: “I try to bet on myself every time. Those situations I feel pretty comfortable in. I’ve done pretty well in them so far this season. There was one that snuck by me in Montreal and that kind of set the tone. After I made the first save, it kind of just set the tone and I grew into the game, and I felt like I wasn’t going to get beat for the rest of the second half.”

On Brad Friedel’s postgame comments about Turner being one of the best American goalkeepers:

Turner: "That means a lot, but he still expects more of me and I expect more out of myself. To be in that category right now is great, but I know I can do a lot better. I would have loved that clean sheet tonight. Like I said before, I sort of blame myself for the first goal for moving my feet a little too soon and guessing. I’m still growing every day and trying to learn. It’s cool, but there’s still a long way for me to go before I’m on that level.”

On if he knew he would be facing some tough situations in tonight's match:

Turner: “I think through 60 minutes we did a really good job limiting anything they did. You kind of know when you’re in those scenarios that you’re going to have to take a couple more risks moving forward. That’s kind of when you need to make sure that you’re switched on and you’re going to be able to make a difference in the game. Then, those last 30 minutes were pretty hectic. The atmosphere was great, the fans were great, and we all rose to the occasion. Got the goal, got the point.”

On his growth from the beginning of the season to now:

Turner: “It’s been a very similar mindset the whole time. I’m just trying to learn every single game. I try to learn after we lose, I try to learn after we win, and see how I could do things in a game differently and continue to grow as a player because I know I’m not where I want to be yet. That’s always been my mindset is to learn and work hard.”

New England Revolution Forward Krisztián Németh

On being awarded the penalty:

Németh: “I think we deserved it. I saw the [defender] have a mistake, [not] kick the ball out. So I have a chance to take the ball and he made a foul. I think it was a penalty.”  

On applying pressure to the Atlanta back line:

Németh: “When [we’re] one-nil behind, we have to keep the ball in the front and try to score. So we always try to press the ball and [put] the opponent under pressure.”

On earning more playing time:

Németh: “I just keep pushing, training hard and then when I have the chance to show my qualities, I try.”

On the message from the coaching staff before coming on:

Németh: “[Play] on the right side, so we have more options [up] front. Just try to create chances and try to score.”