ATL vs DCU | Post-Match Quotes

  • Match: Atlanta United vs D.C. United
  • Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
  • Date: July 21st, 2018
  • Final Score: ATL 3-1 DCU (Recap | Highlights)


Atlanta United manager Tata Martino

Thoughts on today's performance:

“I think even though we started off behind on the scoreboard we were always in control of the game. Before D.C.’s  goal we could have converted but after we had the order and the patience to turn around the score and it was a good victory for the team.”

On wanting to put more bodies in the box when crosses were coming in this game compared to last game.

“And Josef scored all the goals. So it looks like what I said wasn’t that important.”

 On Barco’s status:

“Ezequiel committed an act of indiscipline and that’s why he was left out of the team.”

On decision to start Carleton:

“Because he’s been working really hard and in good form and we thought he was the adequate replacement to step in for Ezequiel.”

On Brandon Vazquez

“I think players always need confidence and sometimes that’s something you can do as a coaching staff is to try and give more players confidence. Today for that starting spot it could have either been Carleton or Brandon. In the analysis that we did before the game we thought Carleton was more ready for today’s game and feeling more confident and that’s why we put him in.”

On Ezequiel’s act of discipline and status for Montreal:

“I’m not going to say anything more about his act of indiscipline but he will be out against Montreal.”

On Josef’s  play this season:

“ I think that when one has the possibility to have someone in the kind of form that Josef is in right now all you can really do is sit back and watch and try to enjoy it. These moments where players are at a very high level, whether it’s Josef or Miguel, they’re our players and all we try to do is give them confidence and enjoy those moments. In terms of Josef, if he was scoring all the goals individually it would be different and might be a cause for concern. I’m pleased with the way he’s scoring the goals, that it’s coming as a function of the team and that leaves me calm.”

On bouncing back repeatedly after dropping points:

“I think there could be two reasons. One would be as time goes on the team is getting more mature and they’re able to bounce back from those bad results, and I mean results not bad performances. I think the other reason could be that after games like that we’re not just focused on the result we’re focused on the performance of the team and the way the team is playing. Even though we lost in Dallas I thought we played very well and we probably deserved to win that game. The team didn’t lose sight of the performance. They were upset about the result but didn’t lose sight of the performance.  In the same way that we didn’t forget the great second half that we had game against Seattle. So when they aren’t bad performances than you’re always closer to re-finding victories.”

Atlanta United Forward Josef Martinez

On being the new MLS hat trick leader:

“I’m obviously happy for the record but I’m also happy because we got the win today, especially since we started out the game giving up a goal. That’s not how we wanted to start, but I think we played against a difficult opponent today, an opponent who came in here and really played tough at our home stadium. We just wanted to show what Atlanta’s all about.”

On his broken nose:

“I think I broke my nose again two days ago, but as long as it’s not bleeding, then I’m fine. As long as I keep scoring goals, then that’s all that matters.”

On Andrew Carleton’s first start:

“I think he did really well, especially for being his first start. I think he did well. I think things are always better when you win. We know that he just has to stay on that same path now. He has to keep working hard (and) keep trying to earn his place on the team because that’s how you have to make your place on the team.”

On what was going through his mind after setting the record:

“I was thinking about a lot of things because it’s not every day that you score three goals. I think it just shows the amount of hard work that I’ve been putting in. I’m happy for that and I’m happy for the fans that show us great support every match.”

On developing his heading ability, now having scored seven headers this season:

“I don’t know because I’m a very short guy. I have to thank my teammates and I’m very grateful that they’re able to find me with the service that they’re providing me. I think maybe I have to grow a little bit more.”

Atlanta United Defender Michael Parkhurst

On his overall thoughts on the game:

“It was a good victory tonight. That’s a very good DC United team, much improved from last year or even from earlier this season when we played them. They gave us a tough game tonight but we came out on top. We talked about how it was a big game. We’ve been throwing away too many points at home and we needed that one, so it was a very good victory.”

On Josef Martinez setting the MLS career hattrick record:

“(I’m) surprised he’s done it so quick. It’s just amazing, the tear that he’s on — unprecedented in the league. It’s a tribute to him, it’s a tribute to the team. Not too many players are going to score that first goal tonight. He’s just fearless. Usually when the goalie comes out like that, you shy away. He never shies away. He’s always up for it and it’s unbelievable.”

On Andrew Carleton’s first MLS start:

“I thought Andy did really well. I thought his touches were clean in the first half. He played simple. He helped create the first goal, which was obviously very important for us. I thought overall it was a very good start, something definitely to build off of.”

On DC United’s goal in the first half:

“They caught us on a very good counterattack. I think the ball into Wayne Rooney was a little bit lucky, I think that was meant for Acosta. I was tight with (Luciano) Acosta but the ball went by both of us, straight to Rooney. He lays it off perfectly and once that happens, we’re in big trouble. They have a two on one down our left-hand side and it’s a very good finish. It was way too easy. We got caught out of position and it’s something that we’re going to have to make sure doesn’t happen because we can’t keep on giving up the first goal.”

On DC United with Wayne Rooney:

“They’re a totally different team. They pass the ball really well, they interchange positions very well. They’ve got overloads on the sides with (Luciano) Acosta and (Yamil) Asad on the outside back, on our right side. They just combine very well — that’s what they did on the first goal. (Darren) Mattocks is a little bit different. You have to be wary of him behind. Rooney’s not going too much in behind. Their linkup play and their passing in front of the defense is very good. (It’s) a much improved team, so good victory for us.”

On teams coming into Mercedes-Benz Stadium and bunkering in:

“I think we expect most teams to bunker when they come here. They did that for the most part. Obviously when they go down 2-1, they open up a little bit. I think it plays into our hands when it gets up and down, when the game opens up. Miguel (Almiron), Josef and Tito (Villalba) are so good with space. When teams make it compact, it’s a little bit more difficult for us so I think we expect most teams (to bunker). DC did it well in the first half. We were fortunate, and it was good for us that we went in to the break at least even.”

Atlanta United Defender Chris McCann

On coming back from a goal down today:

“It was huge. I thought we were going to start a trend by going down a goal like last week, but that shows the character of the team. We were a goal down last week, fought back but couldn’t win it in the end. Today, we stuck to our game and what we do best. Our form at home has been a bit indifferent of late, we spoke about that last time, so going a goal down doesn’t help. We are mentally strong though and we showed that. We just stuck to what we know is best and the goals came today. Three great finishes by Josef (Martinez). The guy is just simply on fire. We are blessed to have a guy like that in our squad that can convert the chances up front.”

On Josef Martinez’s form and ability to score goals:

“Yeah he is just scoring goals at an incredible rate. I’ve played with some good strikers, but never with somebody scoring goals at this pace. We are blessed to have a guy like that on our team. You know, he has to be in the right place at the right time, and there is good service coming in from the guys behind him. Ultimately, we are going to have to start chipping in from other places and not rely on him too much. But I mean when a guy is hot like that, he is just irresistible.”

On the toughness shown by Martinez on the first goal tonight:

“Yeah that’s a sign of a good striker. He is always in the right place at the right time. He does a lot of good work in and around the box. He is a handful to mark. You try to mark him in training and you can tell his movement is sharp, and the most important thing for us is that he is hungry. He just wants to score more and more goals. That’s a really good trait for us to have on our team.”

On Andrew Carleton’s performance tonight in his first start:

“It was never going to be an easy game for Andrew to come in. We spoke about how good D.C. United’s attack was and he would have to be on his metal the whole game. He is a confident young lad and you don’t want to overcomplicate things for him. He just had to come in and keep it simple. Do what he knows best, play like he does in training and be comfortable on the pitch. It’s gonna take him a while to get used to playing in these types of games. I thought for his first start, he did really well tonight. Obviously the assist for the goal will boost his confidence as well.”

Atlanta United Goalkeeper Brad Guzan

On the importance of winning before going on a road trip:

“We knew it was going to be a tough game. It was going to be a different game from when we first played them at the beginning of the season. They’ve got some very good attacking options. [We] saw that on their goal. A bit sloppy from us, but it was important to show that desire and ability to come back being one-nil down and ultimately win the game pretty comfortably.”

On what happened on DC United’s goal:

“I don’t know. Obviously not good enough from our side of things. To have [Paul] Arriola free as can be with no one remotely close to him isn’t ideal.”

On his conversations with Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez:

“Listen, throughout a game you’re always trying to solve problems, solve situations that are developing in a game. From a backline perspective, I was saying that we needed to get closer and tighter to [Wayne] Rooney. We were giving him too much on the ball to pull off of our center backs, bring the ball down, and as he brings the ball down there’s obviously four other guys sprinting towards our goal. Just try to limit those spaces and try to take away the initial pass and put him under a bit of pressure because obviously we know his quality when he’s got time on the ball. Just trying to solve little things during the game. Those conversations happen every week.”

On whether his back-to-back saves sparked the rest of the team:

“I don’t know. It was more instinct than anything. Parky, obviously, does a good job to cut out the cross then I was able to get a fingertip to it and then next thing you know you just spread yourself, make yourself big, and it comes off your chest. It was an important moment because it allowed us to, one, build a bit of confidence going into halftime, and ultimately we were much better in the second half.”

On Josef Martinez’s performance:

“As I said beforehand, this guy is unbelievable. Every aspect of his game is phenomenal. He’s a top, top striker, and we’re lucky to have him. We say that all the time. It’s almost getting boring to talk about how good he is. It’s crazy. He’s only going to score more goals, so we’ll be having more conversations before the end of the season about him.”

Atlanta United left winger Andrew Carleton

On what he needs to work on after this game:

“I thought I got a few touches closer to my goal. I need to work on getting a little closer to the attacking goal, so now I can link up with Josef [Martinez] and Miggy [Miguel Almíron] a little bit more. I think a little bit sharper in the final third to create more and more chances.”

On when he found out he’d be starting:

“I found out on Wednesday at practice.”

On whether his family came:

“My whole family came. My two parents and both my brothers and sisters.”

On how different the game is from what he had experienced:

“I mean it’s definitely a step up from USL or youth national team stuff. Everybody is flying the whole game. You have to be pretty fit, and by the 60th minute I was (heaving sound) just dying out there. Adrenaline is pumping so you’re just going the whole time. But as I said, it’s definitely a step up. Everybody is quality, and you see that in the plays if you’re one step off they’ll get past you or break you down.”

On how he thought his performance was:

“I definitely feel like I could’ve done more. There was no way that was my best performance. I was still happy with how I did. There’s always times to go back and work on your game and try to get better and better. Hopefully, whether it’s next week or two weeks from now, whenever the next time I play I’ll try to do better than today.”

On the second Atlanta United goal:

“We had a corner kick. Miggy played it out to Franco [Escobar] and Franco played it to me. I was one-on-one, and I take pride in being good at those one-on-one battles, so I did some move then it was on my left foot. I was a little bit nervous it was on my left foot. I just whipped it in, and it ended up getting to Josef, and Josef finished it as he always does.”

Atlanta United midfielder Eric Remedi

On how he’s adapting to the team

“Good. Luckily my Argentine teammates and Miguel have helped me adapt well to the group. I’m just trying to get used to things as fast as possible.”

On filling in for Carmona and Nagbe in midfield

“The truth is, yes, it’s an important challenge, but hopefully Nagbe recovers as soon as he can to be back with us on the field.”

On where he feels most comfortable playing on the field

“Last season I played mostly as a defensive midfielder. Before I played more offensively so that doesn’t bother me, either. The offensive players are the ones that generate the plays so, I’ll let them do it.”

On how similar his role is here with at Banfield

“It’s pretty similar. I think the playing system is a little different. In Banfield it wasn’t as offensive, as direct. It’s very similar but Atlanta is more offensive.”

On playing in front of a large crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

“It’s beautiful to see a stadium full of people and chanting the whole time. So that’s very good and I enjoyed it a lot.”

DC United manager Ben Olsen

On how the team played:

“I think we played OK, and OK doesn’t count it against them. You got to make a lot of plays that matter in both boxes, defensively and on the other side. I just didn’t think we did that enough to get points out of what was a very good team. They’re dynamic. They’re well coached. They’re in the spot they are for a reason.”

On his decision to not bunker down defensively:

“Well in retrospect maybe I should’ve, but again I thought in the first half we went toe-to-toe with them. [We] still can do a better job of valuing possession. On the defensive end, I think we didn’t make enough plays. When you get a goal, you better do a better job of locking up the eighteen yard box, and today I think we shot ourselves in the foot on two of their goals. I thought the referee was a bit poor tonight. Inconsistent on some of the stuff, and particularly the one that led to the third goal. Lucho (Luciano Acosta) got fouled. He could’ve brought it back, but he didn’t. They went down and scored. They’re a good team. We didn’t take the stand that we needed to to get the points.”

On Rooney’s first start:

“He did fine. He does a great job on the first goal, and this was a good experience for him to go on the road in a tough place against one of the better teams in the league to get a taste/another look at what the MLS is all about. Each time he’s going to get better and better, and we’re very lucky to have him.”

On whether he has gelled into the DC attack:

“He’s been with enough teams and around enough high quality players that gelling and connecting with the attackers around him on the field I don't see as an issue. he can get better right as he gets more familiar with the players. Those connections will become more seamless. At times it wasn’t perfect, but overall a really good shift for him. He put in a lot of work. (Hard to hear next sentence due to loud noise) We got him out of there to manage his minutes and we’ll continue to do that until he’s 90 minutes fit.”

On what Atlanta did that caused Asad to have a quiet night:

“Yamil’s [Asad] been great for us. I think even when people Yamil to make plays all the time on the offensive end, but he gives you so much more than that: his effort in connecting passes and his composure. All that was there, and again I just didn’t think offensively we were clicking enough to give him opportunities to score or set things up. It’s a good team. I don’t know how much this was about us tonight more tip your hat to them. We’ll put it to bed and with two home games this week it’ll be nice to get back. I can’t believe we’re back on the road. It’s hard for me to believe, but we get to have two games at home with our own fans and continue to try to make that a fortress and pick up a lot of points.”

DC United forward Wayne Rooney:

On the stadium and atmosphere in Atlanta:

“I haven’t seen the city since we only were here for one day. It’s obviously a nice stadium so congratulations.”

On how the game played out today:

“Today was a difficult game. Atlanta, they’re on top of the league and they’re a good team. We knew it was going to be a difficult game. We knew it was going to be tough. We had to hang in there at times and unfortunately, we didn’t quite do that good enough today but there’s still a few positives and I’m happy about more minutes today on the pitch, which will help me. Overall, disappointed with the result on a personal level. Happy to get a few more minutes to help me with it.”