- Match: Atlanta United FC at New York Red Bulls
- Location: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
- Date: May 19, 2019
- Final Score: NYR 1-0 ATL (Recap | Highlights)
ATLANTA UNITED FC HEAD COACH FRANK DE BOER
Q. How disappointing was the performance and the result, considering everything before?
FRANK DE BOER: It was an ideal situation for us to get three points out of here; so, everybody is very disappointed to get not even a point out of it. Yeah, the time was right for three points.
It's always difficult to win here, but I think we were the better team with 11. When they dropped, we couldn't manage to create really good chances and maybe it's because we had a long stretch. There were a lot of sloppy passes; I don't think it was lack of concentration, it was maybe tiredness, I think. That's why we couldn't pull the trigger, for example. Of course, we had two chances for Josef [Martinez] in the first half, and the second half, we tried everything, but we were not capable to finish it.
Q. Was it more a function of fatigue --
FRANK DE BOER: Yeah, I think 100 percent it's fatigue. That's why I gave them now two days off, because we have to be physically but also mentally ready for Salt Lake on Friday. You know, I saw the spirit was there. They want it, but maybe the body and the mind sometimes will not do what you think you want to do.
Q. Was the red card more of a curse or a blessing?
FRANK DE BOER: Normally they call more out but still, I don't think so. I always prefer to play against 10 men, and we have to do it better. I think the next time, we're going to do it better and then hopefully we are much more fresh. And also in the one against one, because at that moment, you're going to be in a lot of times one against one and somebody has to create a chance or an assist at that moment. I think Dion [Pereira] did quite well when he entered – there was a threat from that side. It's a pity we lost really three points today.
Q. A pity you struggled holding on to the ball or making anything happen today. Is he a player that will probably get rotated out just to give him a break?
FRANK DE BOER: We have to look. Everybody comes in on Wednesday, but I don't know. It's also very good for players to play 90 minutes and come stronger out of that. We're going to see on Friday.
Q. You won five in a row, so I mean, even though you lost today, you've been disappointed with the loss but are you happy with where your team is from the beginning this season?
FRANK DE BOER: Yeah, of course, against 11 men, we know always it's very difficult, and you saw the respect that they showed us; that they didn't go fully forward. And we created our chances. I thought we could have created much more chances because a lot of times, the last pass wasn't the right speed or something like that. I think that's mental exhaustion a little bit and also physical. Hopefully we can do that better on Friday, but still, I'm proud of the team that they want it; that they fought for the last second, and again, it's a pity because when there was a time to get three points out of here, it was today.
Q. I know his form has gotten a little better as of late, but why hasn't he been able to excel consistently during these first couple months of the season?
FRANK DE BOER: Yeah, it's a different league, also. So they tolerate a little bit more here – and I like that – and he has to adapt to that. Maybe in other leagues, you get rewarded for that, but here, a lot of times isn't. It's getting adapted. It's getting better, but he's still not there where we want it to be but he's coming, that I'm confident of.
Q. How many more times it will be before you think you get him where you want him to be?
FRANK DE BOER: I think after we have a period of rest and that he's really okay. Now he can strengthen himself again and first rest and then strengthen himself and I think he's there where we want him to be.
Q. Whose responsibility is that, on the Red Bulls go, was that Robinson?
FRANK DE BOER: I think it's communication both between Franco [Escobar] and Miles [Robinson]. They were in between. And there was only one man to mark. Yeah, that's communication. Of course, Miles is young, and maybe, I don't know, the language barrier, but still it has to be solved, and at that moment, we didn't. You always see it happening like that. They were one time in front of a goal, and they scored out of that, and you always get a point -- they always get one chance in a game. It's always like that.
Can you say it's a chance? He made a great goal because he did it – he had it with the side of his head. I think if he does it 100 times, 99 times it will not happen again, but we have to be more accurate and more secure at that moment and don't give them a chance. It was long ball and we couldn't anticipate it, and that's maybe the time that we have also in our mind.
Q. What happened after the final whistle?
FRANK DE BOER: I don't know, I couldn't see it. I really don't know. Have to wait. I know exactly what you know, so nothing.
Q. These teams have a developing rivalry and you can see the tension between the teams. Now that you have your first taste of it, could you tell?
FRANK DE BOER: Yeah, but it's nice, you know, to have that kind of rivalry between two teams, because that makes the sport fun I think to watch. They are eager to win against each other, and they do everything to win it from each other. There will always have to be respect, of course, on both sides, but this is what you want. This is what you want to experience every week.
ATLANTA UNITED DEFENDER MICHAEL PARKHURST
On the rivalry between the two teams…
I mean, all the games are always physical and intense. But we were upset with how Lawrence stood over Tito at the end of the game and barked at him, just don’t think there’s a need for that.
On not being able to take advantage of the red card…
Yeah, we just weren’t clean enough tonight, too many sloppy passes, too many missed passes, missed crosses. They sat back deep and we didn’t do a good enough job of putting pressure in behind them, we didn’t have enough runners in behind I didn’t think, trying to stretch the line and create small openings in front of their center backs. Credit to them, it was difficult to break down, but we’ve faced that type of defense before and we need to do a much better job of moving the ball quicker side to side and opening things up.
On the goal…
Yeah, to their credit it was a fantastic goal. A really good cross, a really good header, there’s nothing Miles [Robinson] could have done and I don’t think Brad could have done either, he couldn’t have headed it better, so credit to him on that goal. I’m not sure how the play started but we need to shut those things down earlier and try to keep them pinned. They’re going to break every now and then and credit to them for creating that goal, but we need to do better on the offensive side of the ball.
ATLANTA UNITED GOALKEEPER BRAD GUZAN
On the team’s fatigue…
Yeah, I think both mentally and physically. We weren’t at our best with the ball. We knew it was going to take a lot to come in and get a result. Probably them going down to ten men in a way, we probably took our foot off the gas a little bit and we just weren’t sharp enough in the final third and then obviously when we concede it becomes that much harder.
On marking Barlow for the goal…
Uh, I don’t know. I mean, in that instance it happened so quick… from my point of view it’s a sloppy goal to concede.
On rest being needed going into next match…
Yeah, for sure. Listen, when you have the run that we did, at some point it’s going come to an end, that’s happened today, not the end of the world. We now have to make sure that we get back to Atlanta tomorrow, rest up mentally and physically… lose-lose games, the travel, it takes a lot out of you mentally. But you rest up and make sure that when we step on the field come Friday night, we are 100% at our best.
ATLANTA UNITED MIDFIELDER TITO VILLALBA
On what happened at the end
“A normal 50-50 ball. I don’t think he’s going with the best intention, the number 3. I get mad. I get mad because in no moment did I show any disrespect. So I don’t know why he does that.”
On his motion walking off the field and the Cup gesture
Of course, because as I said before in no moment did we show them any disrespect. We came last year, won here, and no one showed any disrespect to anybody. And I think we expect the same from the other team. That’s how they are. When they win everything’s good and they don’t show respect, and when they lose nobody says anything and they leave.
On if the player said anything to him
“He told me various things. I think it’s normal in football. But it goes beyond that. That’s why it makes me mad. I have the feeling that, like Tata said, we came and won and didn’t say anything to anyone. And today they win and they show disrespect. You have to act the same way.”
On if he felt the same thing in the past when the teams play
“Yes, I don’t know why they take it like that.”
On if things are more personal after the playoffs
“I think so. It’s ugly when a team wins a championship on your field. I’m sure they take it that way.”
On the game, playing up a man
“The feeling is positive, taking into account we’ve played every three days. I think this is the sixth game. And we haven’t made many changes. I think most guys have been playing, maybe a few changes. So the fatigue makes it so we don’t move the ball, circulate it well, but I think if we had had the same rest the result could have been different.”
On playing up a man
“It happened around the 40th minute. If they had continued with 11 the second half would have been complicated because of the fatigue. We weren’t defending like we have to, we left spaces in the middle. And we realized it but it was because of fatigue.”
RED BULLS HEAD COACH CHRIS ARMAS
Q. How does it feel to get a win so rewarding the way you got it tonight?
CHRIS ARMAS: It feels great. It feels great to win. It feels great to win at home in the fashion that we did. It's great to see our guys commit the way that they did on every play for the entire game. Set pieces in tough moments, and so I'm really proud of the guys, the guys that started the game and the guys that came into the game, the guys at halftime that weren't even playing, supporting each other. So it's really, really a great win.
Q. I have to ask you this, the red card?
CHRIS ARMAS: It looks like he's the last man -- inaudible -- and he was up a little bit. I didn't get to see the play, but I'm sure they got it right.
Q. Congratulations on the win. Two-parter. First, just on the way this team is winning games and have one of your best players in Brian -- and you talk about Brian and his contribution but now Raul comes off the bench and Red Bull II, what does it say about the team but also with him scoring that goal?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, yeah, I got to see on the inside over the course of the last few years, the work that Brad putts in every day, and how he is a mentor to those guys.
So he doesn't, it doesn't show up on a day like today for him, but even for Brad, to see his mentoring skill with those guys, everyone looks up to him and the strikers look up to him. There's a lot of information been exchanged.
Yeah, and in the end it says a lot about, again, our club and the structure, the layers, the USL, the job they are doing, and I said it with John and those guys, how they prepare. John Wolyniec is a legend at this club and he mentions the strikers, he talks about the little things, the video. There's a lot of that going on so he prepares those guys in a real way to be ready for what's out there.
Q. Just on the post-game dust-up, what did you see from that?
CHRIS ARMAS: I was shaking Frank de Boer's hand wishing him well this year. There's going to be a motion, right. There's a lot on for them. It's becoming a little more of a rivalry here and there. It means a lot to us at home. You've been through some tough moments in this year already, and yeah, honestly, it's very normal stuff I think at the end of the game sometimes when teams are fighting.
Q. The assist on the goal --
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, at halftime, we talked about a few of the ways that we'll score. We knew we could create a few chances, whether it's a set piece or a foul, because we are going to be in transition from us being organized and catch them, or it could be from some football where we are going to have courage to play -- Nealis drives on the ball, our center back, and he makes a really good pass just to give us an out, and then Danny puts a perfect pass -- listen, Danny Royer, what he's meant for our team in these years, is he's very inspiring, his play. He's intelligent and he's always up for it, and he's intelligent both sides of the ball and tactically, he's always connected.
So yeah, I think it showed tonight the demand, it's not just get guys behind the ball. There's a lot more to it. So he did a big job.
Q. What was the message to the team after this good game?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, there's lots of little messages in there, but understanding the opponent was going to be important; Atlanta, knowing their strengths, where they can hurt us, where they are strong. So we always talk about the opponent and in terms of the game plan. And then of course, we talk about us a lot.
Again, where we want to attack. Where we can have success on the day. And yes, there's no real big message. We wanted to try to, we knew them coming in, we'd probably see two things: Direct play, and make the same slow. We saw both of those. They were going to build out of the back all day. We were up for the press as we saw early on.
But we thought, we'll step up all the way and make them kick and put them in a game that they really aren't as comfortable. They had a plan coming in right away, you could see it, from Martinez, these little clipping balls. Our staff was amazing, the short notice in these last weeks preparing footage and training sessions. It was a big team effort.
Q. Kaku, seemed like he was playing a little higher up the field today and seemed like he had a lot of energy the way he was playing. Obviously he came out the second half but what did you see from him today in his performance?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, look, at the start of the game, you're asking him to stay close to our striker. It's Brad, it's Brian. That's where he is very special. Up the field, his final passes, he's always able to handle the ball and has good ideas. Knows how to operate in tight spaces up the field.
We had a decision to make, even when we go down, but it was going to be important to still have a guy out there that can keep the ball give us some buzz and provide an outlet, not just a striker. It was a big demand for him to move to the side of our midfield, but he was very, very good. He had discipline. He had control all day long. And what we -- one of the things we loved about him when we brought him here, is that he works. He plays both ways and he gives a lot to the team. It was impressive.
Q. I just wanted to follow up with -- Kemar wasn't available last year in that September game, he was such an important part of that win. Do you feel like he was extra motivated in this game? You mentioned the emotion. Seemed like he was playing with a lot of emotion in this one specifically?
CHRIS ARMAS: I think we all know Kemar Lawrence is a special player and a special personality. He has bite and he has passion and it means a lot to him, and when he gets a run of games and gets the fitness, he has something different. You can see it. You can feel it, what he brings. Even at full strength, I mean, if you think about -- we know how good Atlanta is, especially up their right side with Gressel, with Escobar, and Kemar has always done a pretty good job. But he was really up for it today. He even mentioned after to the guys; that he hats been waiting on this one. He missed out on it last year, so it's awesome for Kemar.
Q. You mentioned understanding Atlanta today. When you go down a man and your team is still finding those chances to go score a goal or take a lead and skill time, what does a team have to look for, to find those chances when they don't have an extra set of feet?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, we actually even talked and showed a slip at halftime. With the ball, there's still time to play, and it wasn't going to, we didn't want to just hang on. We didn't. You know, we went out -- tactically to make some adjustments, but there was a discussion "when we win the ball," and how can we score.
So again, I mentioned earlier, a few different ways we can do that. But it was going to take courage and it was going to take guys having some calm, and ideas, and guys moving, as tired as they were, and to go from defending to attacking was going to be not just a one -- we didn't want just one -- and we put together a pretty good play.
Q. Do you think in some ways going down a man, trying to break you down, that was more of an advantage for your side?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, yeah, I mean, I think, again, we talked earlier about what their strength is. I mean, they are the best possession team in the League, of course, FC -- Dallas -- per the statistics, they are built for possession but they are also built for transition.
In many ways -- we are not going to talk about our game plan right now because all really you got to see at full strength was them hitting some long balls and then we had ideas of how it would go like that and like this.
So is there strength crossing the ball in flanks? I think they have some footballers that can play. Yeah, were we forced into this and forcing the ball wide? Yeah, it takes a little away from what they really do with transition. You could see when we are careless with the ball and we had some bad giveaways in the first, even numbers there, they are dangerous going the other way.
So that did force us into a more disciplined structure, and maybe helped us control spaces a bit more.
NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER AMRO TAREK
On trying to slow down a fast Atlanta attack…
We knew this before the game. We had to keep focus because they like to play balls in behind, especially with Martinez. I think we did a very good job. It’s amazing.
On the mentality being down a man…
I think we really believed we could win. Coach said this between the halves. We always want to win but one man down to this team, we have to keep space tight in the back. So, it was incredible from Sean that he just steps and plays that ball and it’s an amazing goal from Tom Barlow.
On both USL players coming on as subs and making an impact…
It’s just amazing. You can see the depth in our team. You can see the character of these players who are very young but don't have any fear to play against Atlanta in front of this crowd. It's just amazing.
NEW YORK RED BULLS FORWARD TOM BARLOW
On his first MLS goal…
Dream come true. I couldn’t picture a better day. A perfect moment. Happy we got the win and happy I scored my first goal. So, it was awesome.
On the buildup to the play…
I just remember it popping out wide and Danny making the run. When I came on, coach told me to try to get in behind and I was lucky to get behind the center back. He played a perfect ball and I was able to get my head on it. So, it felt good.
On the confidence a good start in USL brought him…
Yeah, definitely. Scoring goals, your confidence starts to build. When I came up here, I just tried to keep doing the same thing and not change too much. The guys have helped me a ton and I'm just happy I was able help the team.
NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER SEAN NEALIS
On his play…
Yeah I just felt that I had to do my job, we all have to stick together and we ended up getting the result we wanted. We also had to face a lot throughout the game, and you couldn’t ask for a better performance from a great bunch of guys.
On defensive plan…
Just constantly communicate, keep the positivity going, make sure everybody’s staying up, staying alive, make sure nobody’s getting down on themselves because as the game progressed, we knew we were going to get a goal.
On his involvement in the goal…
Well, Danny’s [Royer] got a great right foot, he put in a great ball, and Tom [Barlow] did his job and finished, so I didn’t really have to do much on that play.
NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER KEMAR LAWRENCE
On what being able to play today meant…
I told you what was going to happen. I told you what was going to happen, right? I told you I’m going win it, right? I’m going to win it for my team. We went out there and we did that. I told you. I’ve been carrying around a lot of anger, because I got injured last year and I missed out on all of the biggest games ever for my team – Conference final. And I just knew, I had that feeling that gave me such an awesome thing to just be on the field and I just had that feeling if I was on the field last year, we would have won that game. So I had the worst offseason last year, knowing I was injured, knowing I couldn’t help my team, everything I could do was text guys or try to motivate guys, so getting back from injury and facing these guys when I’ve got my full fitness level, it was just amazing and the only thing on my mind was to repay them for how my team felt last year, and I felt like we did that tonight.
POOL REPORTER RESPONSES
On why you decided to call a foul after Josef Martinez produced a shot on goal?
The holding offense was by RBNY Tim Parker denied the obvious goal scoring opportunity.
On replay, there appeared to be mutual contact. Was that at all evident via replay?
The offense was committed by Tim Parker.
Was any discipline handed out for the post-match fight?
No misconduct was issued after final whistle.