Post-Match Quotes | RSL vs ATL

  • Match: Atlanta United FC at Real Salt Lake
  • Location: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT
  • Date: May 24, 2019
  • Final Score: RSL 2-1 ATL (Recap | Highlights)

Atlanta United FC
Head Coach Frank de Boer

On the loss:

“It’s tough period because you have a lot of games behind your back. It was not an easy game tonight, when you’re fighting back into the game. The first half you’ll see they started a little bit better but afterwards we controlled, we had the better chances. Maybe we had a lack of position in the last phase but we had some good opportunities, like Michael Parkhurst, he had good control and one-on-one against the goalkeeper. He had one shot on goal in the first half. In the second half, we struggled in the beginning and after we had to make some stops and changes. We came into the game and made a good equalizer and we had a better of the play. It’s so hard to get nothing out of Salt Lake.”

On the final goal:

“It wasn’t in front of me. I had shouted ‘make a foul, make a foul’ because they were trying to escape and we have to recognize that in that moment. We still didn’t do that and they just kept on going. Every time it’s like a domino, it just drops, it goes, and every time we are too late. Of course, you can say it’s a good goal, but it cannot happen. We have to make the foul much easier on their half and we then we can settle back behind the ball, then it’s no problem. It really was the last second they scored that goal and we can blame ourselves for that.”

On moving forward:

“We have to be very disappointed that we don’t get a point out of this game but there are still a lot of positive things that we can build on. We have two home games so we have to take that advantage with us. I have confidence with this stretch and those two games at home, that we will do fine.

On Pereira’s start:
“He did really well. It was a hard match and he had to cover a lot of work, but I think he did really well and he can be proud of his performance.”

On what happened in RSL’s first goal:
“I don’t know what exactly happened. They were in their own half and we came every time. We tried to press but we were too late so then you have to wait to press. We still went to go pressing and you see what’s happening: they make a switch to the other side and you get those quality players in a one-against-one action. Maybe because Saucedo scored against Toronto exactly the same, we have to anticipate it better. You could say it’s quality, but we have to do better in those situations.”

Midfielder Dion Pereira 

On his thoughts of his first start:

“Obviously I think I did okay to be fair. I tried to get on the ball as much as possible. Obviously, it was a tough game, tough surface, I’m not used to that. But I think I did okay for my first match.”

On what his coaches expectations were for him”

“Just do what I've been doing. As I've been coming on as a substitute I'm trying to get out of my mind. But he just said be confident and get on the ball as much as possible.

On what he needs to work on:

“Producing more chances more throughout the game. Like how I've been doing as coming on as substitute. Obviously, to get eight minutes underneath me is obviously a good start. I just need to create more chances to be fair.”

On Frank and Parkhurst’s high thoughts of him:

“That's a massive confidence boost. This one was a hard one to take because obviously the team worked really hard during the week trying to prepare for this game. But we’ve got another two home games before our break off in June. We just have to focus on them and try to get a win out of those.”

Defender Michael Parkhurst

On what happened on that final goal:

“I don't know how they broke down the field. But you know, when Savarino picks it up in the middle of the field and we allow him to get free. That's a tough one. He's a very good player, he's very shifty. But we have to try and keep him in front of us.Maybe we needed to double team him there. But once he gets a shot off, it's a great shot. So obviously, we're disappointed.”

On the toughest loss this season:

“I think anytime you can see it in the 90th minute last kick of the game, it's tough. It was a long trip out here. You know, we played hard, and we fought for a while to get back into the game finally tied it. And it's a tough place to play and have a good team. We were came out of here, one, one and been fine with that. So for sure, that's a tough one.”

On Dion's first start:

“I thought overall, he was solid. Like I said, it's a tough place to play and I thought that he did his job defensively. As a whole, the team didn't create too much tonight. So I don't think that he performed poorly. So overall, I think that he's got a bright future for us, and he'll play many more games”

On the final passes in the last 30 being fatigued:

“We need to be a little bit more dynamic. I think right now, we're just a little too easy to play against. We need more runs inbehind, we need more shooting from distance. We just need to know the offense to click a little bit better. We shook things up a little bit on the offensive side of the ball today to try and spark that but it didn't quite work out. I still think we'll be fine.”

On Frank screaming “foul” in the final seconds:

“I couldn't hear anything. I figure it's possible. I have to go back and look to see if we had a chance to foul. If you foul Savarinoright there, it's it's kind of a dangerous spot as well. Maybe prior to that we had a chance.”

Real Salt Lake

Head Coach Mike Petke

On the win:

“I have a very happy team in there for one reason.  We deserved that win.  100 percent.  There have been games over the last couple years that we've won late that you could argue, we weren’t the better team. There's no relief in there.  In that goal,there's justification. And the guys are happy and I mean, if we're going to win the game two to one I'd much rather win it like that, for the organization and for the fans. It was an exciting ending. It was a very big game for this.”

On being satisfied with the win:

“I don't think there's one team in the history of soccer for 90 minutes that you could say it was pleased every second. But for the most part, yes, I mean we talked about a game plan all week. We talked about playing the number one possession team in the league, first or second highest payroll in the league, which means they have very quality players. And we want to limit certain things. We want to push them in certain areas. And, for the most part - for the majority of the time - very pleased with how they executed.”

On the mentality in the team:

“At halftime we talked about Larentowicz stepping out a lot towards Dami (Kreilach) who was dropping.  That left a gap.  We talked about Parkhurst and Shea, who were very aggressive stepping out and leaving space behind. For me in the second half but also in the first half, you saw us seeing that and exploiting it. Not so much centrally but out wide. These players have confidence. Not overconfidence, not anything more than what they should have. We have good players, my owner’s here, and I'm glad that he's here watching that and the last two games and he's happy. I've talked about it before, a long time ago about the setup of our organization which I believe in and I like. A very close homegrown team. We're not going out and spending millions and millions on players and I like that. I prefer that. But, I think that gets lost a lot of times you know is that there is still development within the team and when you see games like today and last week, two in a row now, where things are clicking and players are taking responsibility and players are playing aggressively, it's what you want to see as a coach.”

On Bofo Saucedo’s performances:
“I’ve said it to everybody in the locker room that you’ve got to earn your spot.  Just because certain players aren’t playing right now doesn’t mean they haven’t earned it.  It means that players ahead of them are also earning it and those are the tough decisions that you make.  Bofo has been taking advantage of his opportunities over the last couple of weeks.  I have to do my best to keep him as grounded as possible because he still has a long way to go in cleaning up certain little things, but he’s shown over the last two weeks what kind of player he can be in large chunks of the game.  I’m proud of him.  He’s going to keep earning these opportunities as long as one of two things don’t happen – if he doesn’t dip in form or another player doesn’t overtake him in form over the next couple of weeks.”

Forward Jefferson Savarino (translated)

On his goal:

“Happy and content. First, for earning the three points. Content for the effort of our team for the 90 minutes.”

On if they felt they deserved those 3 points:

“Yes I do believe we deserved it. We had a lot of opportunities and we could have gotten a goal a lot sooner but thank God we got to 90 minutes and we took the 3 points.”

On if his dad is good luck at the matches:

“It’s always a blessing that my father is by my side. I am very grateful to God. You say it’s luck but I always give the praise to God for the goals I make.”

Midfielder Albert Rusnak

On the late winner:
“I felt like we played a very good game against a top side. And they came back into the game with the goal and it was probably their first clear look and the first time they really opened us up and they scored on that. So it was kind of bitter to concede a goal with the performance that we were doing for so long. But I think today was meant to be three points. It was meant to finish like this.”

On responding after the Atlanta goal:

“The substitutions and the goal let them back in the game. And at that point, it was kind of mixed feelings whether a point is enough here. But at the same time, we wanted to kind of creep up and push for the win. So as much as they wanted to win at 1-1, so did we. And with a bit of luck, we managed to get the three points.”

On winning three straight:

“It was important for us to get back the momentum that we had last year at home. We were a very strong team at home. And after a couple of poor games here, we're finally starting to pick up the points, and also the performances. So now we've got two games on the road and there's no better way to go into those two games away than right now.”

Forward Sebastian Saucedo  

On Savarino’s goal:

“The whole bench went crazy. This is a game where I’m not going to say we dominated because when an away team comes to us or any game, they try to be aggressive. Of course they’re going to have the ball. I can tell you that we played very well offensively and defensively and I felt like we didn’t deserve to lose. Honestly, we had opportunities, we should have scored two or three. Obviously, Savarino’s goal was enough. It’s an unbelievable goal to win like that.”

On winning possession:

“They’re coming to us at high altitude and we knew that they were not going to keep the ball for long periods of time and be able to make us tired. If anything, we came out with a game plan to make them tired and us be the aggressive team. We did that. Atlanta kind of panicked in between the first 30 minutes until half, and same thing second half. A very unlucky goal that we got scored on, and that’s a typical goal they score down the line, cross it and finish. We only look to build on that and see what we did wrong to achieve the next thing and the next game.”

On this being the most exciting finish of the season:

“We all know that we have very good players and talented players. The fans deserve these type of exciting games and we play for this, for us to enjoy these games. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a lot more games coming that we’re going to be able to score more goals, but obviously, we just beat the defending champions. There’s a reason why we should at least have a chip on our shoulders and say, ‘You know what, we just beat them and we can keep going towards the next game.”

On if the game is starting to slow down for him:

“Like I said, it’s so tough to start a few games, then go back to the bench. I think now you get into the rhythm of the game where you don’t have to go to every ball and go crazy like you would when you get the opportunity. Now it’s like managing your time and being able to see when you can go forward, when you can defend, when you can attack. That’s just what it is. Obviously, don’t drop my shoulders now. I just scored another goal, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to start the next game. I have to keep going, we have a special team, talented team. You guys have seen it. Savarino wasn’t starting in Colorado, look at Savarino. He just scored the winner. We just have to battle it out in training, day by day.”

On his goal:

“If it wasn’t for Damir [Kreilach] making an overlap, I don’t think I would have had an opportunity to shoot on goal. I received the ball, he makes an overlap, it was a huge gap that Brad [Guzan], the goalkeeper, gave me. Happy enough to be able to place it and celebrate with our fans.”

On the confidence the win gives the team:

“We have a really tough week coming up, Wednesday and Saturday. Just being able to manage how we go there and approach every team. We’ve had game plans towards every team and they’ve worked so far, so I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we’re going to win every game or tie every game, there’s going to be losses coming up, whatever, but it’s how we overcome those situations, how we manage to get ourselves out of those holes. I think we have a great locker room. If we’re down, we have veteran players that will help us be motivated towards the next game.”

On Damir Kreilach’s celebration with him:

“He just asked me, ‘If I didn’t make that run, where would you go?’ We both had a little laugh. At the end of the day, like I said, that’s like an assist from Damir. He drags two players. Either the two players follow me, and I pass it to Damir, but he obviously helped me out and I scored the goal.”