190618_USOCQUOTES

Post-Match Quotes | ATL vs CLB

  • Match: Atlanta United FC vs Columbus Crew
  • Location: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, OH
  • Date: June 18, 2019
  • Final Score: ATL 3-2 CLB (Recap | Highlights)

Atlanta United head coach Frank de Boer

On getting off to a better start, but having troubles holding onto lead late:
“No, I think we had opportunity to score maybe three or four more goals. We weren’t secure in the passing or in the final pass towards our chances. They had a lot of problems to create something. We were also deadly in transition, a lot of times they just gave us the ball. I think also in that period we played quite good. When they scored the goal, we dropped too much back. After the (weather) break, we put more pressure on them. We knew, they are going to play long ball. We had to get more pressure on them. With this field, it’s difficult. You see on their second goal, the ball just slips through. But still, it’s a great achievement. It’s great for Brandon Vazquez of course, he was starting and scored two goals. It’s nice to see that when Josef (Martinez) is not here, he can replace him quite well.”

On advancing to the Quarterfinals for the first time:
“We are only going for one thing, and that’s to win the (U.S. Open) Cup. It’s nice to go through to the next round, because you can only win the Cup if you advance to the next round. We want to win the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup. That’s our objective, and next time we will play at home and that is an advantage. Hopefully the supporters will be back supporting us. In an empty stadium it was tough, hopefully in a month we have a lot of supporters that will support us and help us achieve another record, moving on to the next round. Hopefully we can achieve that.”

On what Brandon Vazquez is doing well right now:
“I think you can see tonight, he was challenging, he was winning duels. He was sometimes a focal point where guys can play to him and he will play to guys under him. He also was clever tonight, like on that shot when he hit the post, he sees the defender is trying to pass back and he gets in between that pass. I think he had a very good performance.”

On how Ezequiel Barco looked in his first game back after U-20 World Cup:
“I thought he was great. He was a threat every time. With his energy and ability, he played really well tonight.”

On what the team needs to work on before playing Toronto in MLS action next week:
“I think especially in the special moments, we have to recognize those better. You can’t sit back and you have to track back. Sometimes the opponent will push you back, but you have to get back into that momentum that you had earlier in the match. That’s the most important thing. We lost a little bit of our iniative in that period, and we want to always have that. There will always be parts where you are maybe a little bit loose, but we have to try and get it back a little earlier.”

On an injury update for Hector Villalba:
“He’s scheduled to come back tomorrow, so hopefully he can slowly join the group. We have to wait though for the exam with the medical staff and then we will have an update. He’s already back in Atlanta and hopefully he can join the group at 80 or 90 percent and within a week he can be back to 100 percent.”

Atlanta United forward Brandon Vazquez

On being tied for the Golden Boot in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup

“Yeah, but the focus is on the next game now and the grind continues. It is what it is.”

On his two goals

“The first goal, the defender took a bad touch, and I read it. I poked it through his legs and went 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper. And slotted it into the second post. And that was five minutes in, so it was nice to have the lead and the confidence.”

“And the second goal, Leandro played me over the top. I’m 1-on-1 with the center back, I fake like I’m going to go back, but I keep going down the end line and into the box, and I see Barco coming in, running second post and I’m looking to slot him in. And it goes in the second post.”

On the chance in the first half that hit off the post

“I saw that one in already, but it didn’t curve as much as I wanted to. If it happens, it happens, but I have to keep my head up and keep working. And I made it up, I got my redemption goal in the second half.”

On Guzman’s heavy first touch and if it was on the scouting report

“It’s something more that comes during the game; I don’t know, I kind of just sense it – when to go and when not to go. And that was one of those moment where in my head I knew I had to go for that.”

Where his confidence level is right now

“After two goals each in these past two games, I feel good about myself, but like I said, the work doesn’t end here. We’ve got more games to look forward to and I need to produce more. And that’s my job and I’m working hard for the team.”

Atlanta United defender Michael Parkhurst

On advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time in club history

“We said it before the game that we hadn’t advanced past this round yet and we wanted to be sure we did that this year and to take steps further as a club in each competition. It was a battle out there tonight, but the Open Cup is about advancing.”

On Vazquez’s form and what he’s doing well

“He’s working really hard. That first goal comes off pure hard work. He closes a guy down, wins the ball and then composure in front of the net – it was a great finish. Both goals he scored tonight were by himself. The second goal, too, it’s a long ball – there’s nothing to it. He beats his man to the ball, then beats his man and tucks it in. It’s amazing. It’s great. It’s a big confidence boost to him; and to the team as well when Josef [Martinez] is away, we have guys scoring goals. Romario [Williams] scored a goal the other night and now Brandon has a bunch under his belt. It’s good that we have that depth. And I’m happy for him because he’s worked hard.”

On Barco’s return

“I thought he was aggressive in the final third, taking people on. He worked hard. He made a couple plays defensively tracking back. He can run all game. That chance he had late in the game, he outruns Waylon Francis who had only played about 20 minutes maybe. He didn’t finish it, but he’s got that endurance to keep going. So, I thought he was sharp, a good re-introduction for him.

Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson

On his goal

 “It was a set piece that we worked on earlier in the last week. It was drawn up beforehand.”

If he was stunned to be that open

 “No. I think the coaches knew where their weaknesses would be on set pieces. I curled around the back and they thought there would be an opening there – and there was.”

And on the header

 “Yeah. It went it so that’s all that matters.”

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