Post-Match Quotes | ATL vs ORL

  • Match: Atlanta United vs Orlando City
  • Location: Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, FL
  • Date: August 24th, 2018
  • Final Score: ATL 2-1 ORL (Recap | Highlights)

Atlanta United Head Coach Gerardo Martino

On Josef Martinez setting the MLS single-season scoring record

“Congratulations to both of them. I think in the U.S. there’s a saying, ‘a baby comes with bread under the arm.’ I think Emilia came with a goal under the arm. With Josef, we knew he was going to break the record. It was just a matter of if he could do it sooner or later. The good thing is he did it sooner. Now this will calm him down. On top of that, he did it with a very nice goal.”

On how many more goals Josef Martinez can score

“I don’t know how many but hopefully a lot more and hopefully they’ll keep helping the team to win. As I said, this will calm him down and he’s lost that anxiety now that he’s got the record.”

On the Supporters’ Shield

“Yes. Winning the Supporters’ Shield is our primary focus, regardless of what happens with Josef [Martinez]. We know that it’s a close battle with Red Bulls, New York City and Dallas in the other conference. It’s going to be important that teams don’t make mistakes in these final weeks. That’s always been our main focus.”

On the difference in the second half from the last 20 minutes of the first half

“What happened in the last 20 of the first half was we lost control of the game. It was more 50-50 with Orlando. When you give the team the ball, you allow them to grow into the game. In the second half we tried to take possession back. The idea was to control the game, try to win it but to do so in our style and not create any disorder or chaos. That’s the opposite of what we wanted. We went out to win the game and we did a good job.”

On Julian Gressel’s performance

“It’s the first time Julian’s played as a right back in a back line of four. As always, he did a very satisfactory job.”

Atlanta United Forward Josef Martinez

On setting the record

“Very special. I’m happy with where we came to play. I’m very happy because like I said last week, if I reached 28 I would be very happy, happier than ever. I’m happy to get the record and the three points.”

On extending the record

“I don’t know. If I knew I would tell you, but all I want to do is help the team.”

On setting the record against Orlando City

“I don’t know if it more special, but it is a big relief for me. When I went in to the locker room laughing, the guys were making jokes about it and now I can make jokes back to them.”

On if he kept the ball

“No, I don’t have the ball, but I am going to save the shoes. I will not play in those cleats again.”

On what he said to Joe Bendik after he scored

“It makes me nervous when people want to kill time. I don’t like when there is a dead ball and people go take a corner and the fans start yelling things at us. What is he going to say to me?"

On if the focus is on the Supporters’ Shield

“The focus will always be the same. Every game I will try to score and win. No matter if there is another record to break or not, the vision will never change.”

On the goal

“I am thinking of a lot of things minus the goal. When I had the ball, I had to think fast. I knew the center back was going to be a good distance from me, so I thought the best thing to do was shoot it and thank God I was able to.”

Atlanta United Defender Julian Gressel

On assisting Josef Martinez’ record-setting goal

"I mean it was cool that I was given that assist but he obviously did a great job at finishing it. There are no words for me to say about him because he is just unbelievable."

On a choreographed celebration

"No, we didn't talk about it. I didn't know what he was going to do. I was going to ask him but then I thought, maybe I shouldn't just because it might not happen. I was actually really tired this time, so I didn't go celebrate this time. He got a big hug after."

On how many goals Josef Martinez can score

"Every game, right? That's what his ratio is right now. Let's see if we can get to 34. I think he is going to get more chances and score more goals."

Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor

Opening Statement

“Obviously very disappointed. It was a game we wanted to try and win for the supporters. Very, very disappointed. Extremely disappointed.”

On if the game plan wasn’t executed

“When you look at the level of the performance, I think it wasn’t good enough. We need to be honest with ourselves. Look, we can point and we can say we had some key players missing, but again, for me they’re excuses. I think for where we want to get to and where we’re going to get to, we need levels of performance that are higher. That’s something that we definitely need to get more. The intensity, especially second half, when you look at the second half especially, we get back in it at 1-1, my hope is that we’re going to go on and we’re going to try to really make it difficult for them and go and garner some kind of momentum and the complete opposite happened. They pinned us in, they were keeping the ball. For us, it needs to be better.”

On how Atlanta kept the ball in the second half

“Good decisions on the ball. When you look at our decision-making when we had the ball, we were giving the ball away in needless areas. Our decision-making was really poor. We’ve got guys that are better than they’ve showed tonight. That’s the really frustrating thing, because it was a game that we wanted to try and win for the supporters. That’s what makes it really disappointing.”

On Carlos Ascues’ performance

“To be fair to him, he battled away. I thought he started to tire. It’s going to take time for him to get used to the speed. The idea, really, was to try to get him in a little slower than that but obviously with Sacha [Kljestan] not making it, we were forced really to throw him in. All things considered, he can be pleased. He gave a very encouraging performance, for sure.”

On if young guys getting opportunities was a look to the future

“It gives them an opportunity to go and play but also when you look at players suspended, players injured, this is what happens. You’ve got a squad so players get opportunities when other players aren’t available. It gives a chance to look at Pierre [Da Silva], it gives a chance to look at, Jose [Villarreal]. Josu [Colman] obviously got a start again. When you look at things, there are players that we want to look at as well. You look at the players we’re missing, it gave us an opportunity to give them that opportunity tonight.”

On Pierre Da Silva’s performance

“I thought he had one flash second half where he cut inside. He was pretty direct, got at them, and then got in behind and got a decent cross. But I think he’s a young guy who’s trying to make his way in a difficult team performance. It’s hard for a young player when you come on in a situation like that to really go on and really impact the game. He needed some other guys to be really helping him as well. It’s unfair to make judgements on a young player when we have that level of performance in the second half.”

On Jonathan Spector’s performance

“I’m sure he’s very, very tired. He managed to start training towards the middle of last week toward the end of last week. He was able to come in. I think you could see he started to tire second half. When you look at most of the team, I think we started to tire second half as well. It wasn’t just Specs. For him, it was important that he got the 90 minutes under his belt having been out for so long with the injury.”

Orlando City Defender Scott Sutter

On build up to the goal

"It was a good play by the guys. We switched the side from one side to the other kind of what we've been working on in training. We needed that, they were quite vulnerable just switch the side quickly I think we did that. I think it was Chris [Mueller] who played the ball inside and Will [Johnson] laid it off perfectly and took it in my stride, closed my eyes and struck the ball. It was one of the better goals I scored in my career.”

On disappointment in this match and momentum going into halftime

"Yeah we did. It's always tough and it has been, so far it's been a bit brutal if I'm honest. I said this a couple of weeks ago the amount that we invest into the games and the energy, the results just aren't coming. I think we're really really trying but today I don't think it was good enough. I think we just need to improve in every which way and I think desire to not concede. On their second goal it was a counter attack from them, there's still five of our guys in there everybody is in their half it's just not good enough."

Orlando City Defender Carlos Ascues

On first appearance with Orlando City

“I feel very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the starting team today. I think that I had a good debut, but I’m not happy that we weren’t able to get the result.”

On result despite good debut

“I’m sad because, aside from my debut, we wanted to win. Our objective was to win. My objective was to win. I’m sad also because we’re in a tough situation. We needed to win tonight and we weren’t able to do it. But now we’re looking forward to next game, to recover, and look forward.”

On playing in MLS

“I think it’s a great league, a league where you run a lot, but I think that with work and effort I can get to a great level.”

On playing in Orlando City Stadium

“It was great, the fans were incredible. Unfortunately, we didn’t give them the result and the three points that they deserved after they supported us and chanted the entire match. But we’ll do it the upcoming game.”

On the communication with teammates

“I felt like the communication was very good. All of my teammates were great with me. I personally don’t fully understand English, but they're making a great effort to make sure that I’m getting all the information."