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ATL vs PHI | Post-Match Quotes

  • Match: Atlanta United vs Philadelphia Union
  • Location: Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, PA
  • Date: July 7th, 2018
  • Final Score: ATL 2-0 PHI (Recap | Highlights)

Atlanta United FC head coach Tata Martino

On the team’s performance tonight…

I think in the second half we were much better.  The same as against Dallas.  It was an even first half and we were better in the second half and I think that is what allowed us to get the win tonight.

On the mindset of the player’s before tonight’s game…

I was worried.  First, because of the amount of effort that the guys put forth in the game against Dallas so I didn’t know if we had enough energy to finish the game tonight.  And I was also worried about how the guys would respond from a game that we probably should have won but we ended up losing.  But I think the team had a good attitude tonight and everything I have to say about the mentality was positive.

Atlanta United FC defender Michael Parkhurst

On getting three points tonight…

It was very important. A big bounce back game for us. We have talked about how we do not want to lose consecutive games in a row this season. We have been able to avoid that and that is a big reason why we are at the top of the table.

On what Philadelphia was doing to make it difficult on them…

They came out with a good press. We expected it and we knew they would have more energy from the beginning and try and use that against us. We tried to play out of it and we talked at halftime and said do not be afraid to hit it long. The balls over the top seemed to be causing them some issues, so once we started doing that it spread the team a little bit. They had to back up a little bit and we found some space in between. Anytime we get the first goal things tend to open up for us and that is how we were able to get the second goal, but defensively a real solid performance from the entire team.

On if the over the top balls were a part of the game plan…

They were a part of the game plan. We did not talk about it from the very beginning of the game. It was more of halftime adjustment because their press was effective going forward, but we realized when we put the ball over the back they were having trouble defending the ball towards their own goal. We were cutting out lines of their players, so winning second balls and going from there. It seemed pretty effective.

On Josef Martinez’s 18th goal of the season and him approaching the record...

I hope so. You never know it is a long season, but I hope he keeps getting opportunities and I think if he stays healthy he is going to have the opportunities .The way that we play, he is a goal scorer through and through. He is so good in front of the net, every game he creates chances or we create chances for him and he is there to finish them off. We are lucky to have him on the team right now because he is a handful to play against.

On getting their sixth clean sheet of the season…

It is super important. We are always talking about that we are going to score goals we know that, it does not matter home or away. We are going to create chances and we are going to score goals. If we can stay solid at the back, we are going to give ourselves a real good chance to win. Coming off that meltdown in Dallas where we have a good game defensively except for the last ten minutes. It was very disappointing, but to come out here and post a shutout and stay focused for ninety minutes was a massive accomplishment for the entire team.

Atlanta United FC midfielder Julian Gressel

On what he thinks his best spot on the field is…

The best spot on the field is up to the coach.  I think it changes from game to game.  It doesn’t really matter where I play, to be honest with you, I’m just open-minded and trying to perform the best I can in every position.

On whether or not Martínez will break the record for most goals scored in a season…

Yeah, he’s going to break it.  He finishes his chances, it’s as simple as that.  Today he was very good for us.  Not just when he scored the penalty.  He worked hard, checked back, and I think you could tell today that he really wanted to win the game.

Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin

Opening statement…

Overall, the performance was solid. To get zero points is devastating, so again a group who put a lot in to the game, both offensively and defensively you run into a front four that is dangerous as any in our league. We did our best over 90 minutes to limit their chances. Thought we pushed the tempo and created a lot of opportunities, just could not score on the night. A good team punishes you against the run of play. At the beginning of the second half, the penalty comes from nowhere. Obviously, that changes the game a bit and you have to open up a little more. Obviously, we are a team that plays better from ahead, make teams come out a little bit more, but if you look at possession, chances created, if you look at the game from an objective, neutral standpoint I still think it is an even game where they made some plays in front of goal.

On if the team has enough attacking talent…

Yes.

On if the team can succeed if CJ [Sapong] does not score…

You have to score goals obviously as a team. It is up to us to find ways to get goals. It is going to be a situation where now, of course we struggle to score, but again it is not for a lack of chances. I think if you look at the opportunities we created, you knew it was going to be a night when I chose for CJ [Sapong] to start that there were going to be fingers pointed at him after the game if we did not score. Again, we are a team, we win as a team and we lose as a team. We are a little bit over the halfway point now, so we have to find a way to stick together and find a way to regroup quickly and go on the road against a Chicago team on Wednesday.

On CJ Sapong’s performance tonight…

He held the ball up okay. He could have started a couple runs a little bit earlier when Fafa [Picault] got to the end line. Overall, it was an okay night for CJ, but again at the moment when he is having a tough time scoring that is what he is going to be judged on. That is fair and unfair life of a striker, but still a guy I believe in.

On Keegan Rosenberry’s improvements from last year to this year…

He had a good performance tonight. I think he played on the front foot and I think he was aggressive. He stepped in and intercepted a lot of passes. He really gave us a lot of good opportunities on the night from that right hand side with Ilsinho. The amount of opportunities Ilsinho created tonight was probably at its highest point and that is because of Keegan and his ability to play great entry passes to him. It allows Ilsinho to have some time to run at defenders, so the right side of field did a good job. It just was not a night where things went in for us.

Philadelphia Union midfielder Fafa Picault

On the matchup against Escobar…

We used both sides in the first half but just mixed it up easier in the second half. We were one sided and it became predictable so it was easier for Atlanta to defend.

On what Atlanta did tonight to stop the Union…

Nothing that special. I think we kicked ourselves in the foot and didn’t do our job

On taking 18 shots but only three on target…

I don’t think it was a finishing problem. We just didn’t develop clear chances to be fair. First half was good, we could have scored one or two here, but the second half was terrible and that has to be better.

On Wednesday’s match at Chicago…

We have to win. We have to play better, we have to mix it up. We have to play better soccer in general. Offensively, defensively, we have to be more concentrated. It’s simple.

On staying together…

Its soccer. Today’s Saturday, tomorrow’s Sunday. Wednesday is another day so just forget this. Obviously it’s annoying, it’s going to be a long night but we will get ready for Wednesday.

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