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Post-Match Quotes | NE vs ATL

  • Match: New England Revolution vs Atlanta United
  • Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
  • Date: April 13, 2019
  • Final Score: NE 0-2 ATL (Recap | Highlights)

Atlanta United FC Head Coach Frank de Boer

On whether or not the team fulfilled his expectations:

“Yeah, I expected that because I already said before the game, I had a really good feeling. The last two weeks, we talked a lot but also, we showed a lot of energy; positive energy. We built the confidence and everything was pointing in the right direction. I had a really, really good feeling about not only me, but the other staff members and I think the players themselves, also. I give them a great compliment and also the substitutes came in, but also on the bench the energy was almost 100 minutes there. It’s very positive, everything.”

On the play of Ezequiel Barco:

“You have to make decisions sometimes. He started on the bench, but you want that type of response from every substitute. I’m very happy for him. Of course, happy the most for the team because we desperately needed a win. I think the way that we did it gives a lot of hope for the future. 2-0, I think it could have been 7-1, or something like that. We can look back very positively on this game.”

On why he left Barco and Pity Martinez out of the starting lineup:

“Pity [Martinez] is still not 100 percent. He came back and got married in Argentina, so he didn’t have the full training. We wanted to keep him healthy for the whole season. It’s a risk when you put him in; especially the intensity. Normally, New England are on top of you from the first second and also the pitch, the turf, is not helping for that kind of injury, so that’s why. Normally, they played a different system than they used to play. They [typically] play with two strikers and they didn’t today with Teal [Bunbury] more as a second striker That’s why we put Darlington [Nagbe] on the ten position and coming to the midfield to track the central defender from them into the midfield, or if he stays, Darlington is free and Darlington is at his best when he gets the ball with a player on his back. He turns and he creates space for us, but also the rhythm of the game and I think he played a great game.”

On the play of Miles Robinson:

“This was a different opponent. It was a very strong opponent, maybe stronger than him. Not in the quality, but physically. We have to process that differently sometimes. I always say in my career, when I played against those types of players, you have to give him the feeling that you are shorter than him. But then at that moment when you reach the ball, you take a little bit off of him because those types of players want to feel you and I think he did a great job. I think it’s a great experience to play against these types of players, also. I didn’t know him that well, of course. I saw some footage of him on the field, but still you have to see him live first and he’s a fantastic person. He’s unbelievable at making steps forward and every week he’s eager to learn and I think everybody is happy he’s with us because he’s doing great.”

On the play of Villalba and his scoring chances:

"He’s always a threat, unpredictable skills he has sometimes. His speed is sometimes amazing and he creates. It’s very difficult for defenders to defend this type of player because sometimes you don’t know what he does, but he’s always going one hundred percent and you saw the danger he created for us. I’m very happy with his performance, also.”

On the relief of getting the team’s first three points:

“You want to start as well as possible and I still think we did great in the CONCACAF. I think we can be proud of our performance against them and of course our result in the other league wasn’t the result we wanted. Still, I saw the progress already against Columbus and it’s also a question of time when we get our result. I will tell you, everyone was eager to get three points, including myself, of course.”

Atlanta United FC Midfielder Ezequiel Barco

On knowing if the second goal was going in:

“Yeah, it was a really fast play, a beautiful play by the team and luckily it was able to end in a goal.”

On coming into the game early for an injured Eric Remedi:

“Yeah, it was tough moment for Eric, because he wasn’t able to continue, but I just try to go in with the same will that I was going to have when I was probably going to go on in the second half, so I just tried to have that from start and to do exactly what the coaching staff was asking of me.”

On the impact of getting the team’s first win in its fifth league game this season:

“We have been trying to get this first win since the first game this season. It’s really important for us and it’s great to be able to do it on the road as well, so I think it gives us all more confidence -- the players and the coaching staff as a group.”

On his confidence now compared to his previous experience in Atlanta:

“My teammates and the coaching staff, they do a great job of supporting me and providing me confidence, so every time I step on the field I try and do the best that I can and do what they are asking of me.”

New England Revolution Head Coach Brad Friedel

On the impact of the way the game opened:

“Yeah, I mean, there’s really only one striking difference, for the first half hour, and they were first to everything, to be honest. We set up. We wanted them to kick long. [Brek] Shea and [Julian] Gressel are decent in the air, but that’s what we wanted, and they beat us to every second ball.”

On the attitude on the field and at halftime:

“I think we needed a break. I think the players knew the first half hour didn’t go well and we found ourselves down a goal. I think if the goal stood, then it’s different. Just like the Columbus game here, if the penalty goes in, it’s different. We need that break when we get our chances and we didn’t get it tonight.”

On Andrew Farrell’s performance:

“It’s difficult for any team around the globe to deal with the amount of injuries and the suspension that we have across the back line. I thought Andrew [Farrell] filled in very, very well. He made a couple of crucial blocks. I don’t think, again, in that first thirty minutes, that anyone’s passing was particularly good or sharp. It looked a little bit nervous. We’ll watch the game again, but I thought Andrew, again, gave his all, as he always does, and everyone. Luis Caicedo, playing right back, I know he’s played there before in Colombia, but it’s not his normal position. Brandon Bye, a right-footed player, having to play over on the left-hand side and the effort was tremendous for players playing in different positions.”

On lacking a killer instinct in the final third:

“It’s up to us as a staff to try to instill as much confidence as we can in the players to score in front of the goal and we’ll continue to try to do that. It is definitely not for a lack of effort and we need a couple of breaks, absolutely. But, we’re creating enough chances to score. We’re getting in enough positions to score goals, but we do need to be a bit more ruthless.”

On whether or not there is a need for an additional attacking player:

“That’s something that we’ve been looking at since the offseason and have made nothing mixed about it. The player that we bring in will help us in that regard.”

New England Revolution Midfielder Scott Caldwell

On the difficult start to the game:

“It started from the opening whistle. We weren’t good enough. We were second to most balls across the middle of the field. That set the tone; we gave them too much space, able to go forward, pick up the passes that they’re so good at finding. On the ball, we were too sloppy; not creative enough.”

On the space Atlanta was able to find offensively:

“They played a good amount of long balls and when the ball was travelling, we weren’t good enough to get into that space to win the second balls. When they did play it through the middle, they found the gaps that we weren’t able to close quickly enough. We know they’re good at doing that and we’ve just got to be better. We prep for it all week and they were able to turn and find gaps.”

On what needs to be done when opponents find space:

“Andrew had to clear a couple off the line. We have to do a better job of getting back behind the ball. So once they break that initial pressure, once they get the second ball, if we all get back into our box behind the ball then we’re in better spacing to cover for our defenders a little more.”

On the mood in the locker room following a tough start to the season:

“We’re all going to be pissed after a game like tonight; there’s no hiding that. We felt like we’re a better team than what we showed on the field and we’re frustrated with that, but we’re all in this together. We believe in each other. There’s nothing going on there.”

On the impact the second goal had early in the second half:

“That’s never a good thing. That’s all I can say. I still think after that, while they were getting chances, we were still able to find a few good spots and we didn’t pull the trigger; have that killer instinct. If we get one back, then you never know.”

New England Revolution Defender Andrew Farrell

On marking Josef Martinez:

“They have a really good offense. Obviously, the season that they've had hasn't gone according to the talent that they have. I’m disappointed in the result. He’s a great player, they have great players, and you guys saw that on display tonight. ”

On missing multiple defenders for tonight's match:

“I don't know. I think [it was] my mistake on the first goal – got down in a one-nil hole against a very good team. [That] kind of got their confidence going. They're probably low on confidence with how the season started, so getting that goal away from home gave them a little bit of a boost. It kind of opened the game up. I thought having key guys out – I think the guys who stepped in did a good job. They have so many key players. It's hard to play against them. I like the matchup and it's just unfortunate that one play kind of sets the team up on a low and then it’s hard to fight back.”

On defending Atlanta's attacking group:

“They got guys like [Darlington] Nagbe and [Hector] Villalba and Ezequiel Barco coming in to spring [Josef] Martinez. It’s tough because the one thing they really do is make hard runs. I don’t know if people notice enough. They make these check-ins and sprint into space. It’s very hard to play defense. We knew what was going to happen, we knew that's what they were going to do, and I think the goal – the first one is just tough. They had chances here and there, but the first one is disappointing.”