Post-Match Quotes | ATL vs FC Cincinnati

  • Match: Atlanta United vs FC Cincinnati
  • Location: ESPN World Wide Sports
  • Date: July 17, 2020
  • Final Score: ATL 0-1 FC Cincinnati(Recap | Highlights)

    Head Coach Frank de Boer

    On the offensive struggles and how to fix it before next match:
     “Jeff (Larentowicz) already explained it. We had enough chances against Red Bulls to score a goal. This game was totally different. After 26 minutes we were one man down, then the whole plan what we thought of and how to play against Cincinnati, you can throw that plan overboard. I think that even with 10 men we created more chances than with 11 because they had to come out and didn’t really have an idea on how to play against 10 men. We were more dangerous at that moment. When you play a man down, you have to hope that they will force it, and we will try to get our chances. In the first half it was like that, second half was more controlled. There was no problem for us. Amaya made a great goal with his left foot into the top corner. If he shoots that 10 times, nine times it will be saved by Brad. I’m not worried about scoring goals. If you have to take a striker off because you are down a man, it’s normal that you don’t score two or three goals.”

    On decision to leave George Bello out of Matchday squad:
     “I said that we were going to do rotations and he’s still young and had a hard game vs. Red Bulls. So we wanted to prepare him for the next game. I told him to focus on Columbus Crew and be fresh for that. We don’t want injuries, that’s why I also changed Pity and some other guys at the end because they already played 90 minutes. On the Edgar Castillo substitution, he came in and went out again, but that’s because he hadn’t played 90 minutes but we also wanted to change our plan of attack at that point. We wanted to try and force a goal. I think all the players did everything to get a good result. Before their goal, we didn’t have any problems. We defended well, I’m sure if the game continues we would have created our chances, that I’m convinced of. Again it’s very disappointing to have 0 points and 0 goals. But I think we still have a chance, cause we’ve only conceded two goals against us, but we have to have a good result against Columbus Crew of course.”

    On if he’s concerned about players’ mentality heading into next matchup:
     “Well, I’m satisfied with the character they showed today. Even with two men down, they showed character. I’m not worried about that. The character is there. We just have to do better and score goals. We saw some good things against Red Bulls. This was another opponent that dropped really deep, and we have to be patient. After 26 minutes when you get a red card, then your plan goes overboard. If it was 11v11, I had a good feeling about getting a result.

    I also want to say that if you see this game at 9am, I think it’s for everybody not worth it to play in this kind of conditions. You saw the tempo was really slow, even when it was 11 against 10 it was really slow. It’s no benefit for the supporters who watch it, but also the players. The circumstances were really tough today. We have to really think if it’s good to play at this certain time with this heat. During the night, everybody felt quite comfortable. It’s still hot, but it’s different. We really have to think if we want to play these kind of games. Especially if you want to entertain people, that’s what the sport is about. To entertain, to win of course, but to see good games. I can imagine that for the supporters it was not a game that you want to watch back.”

    On how early the team had to wake up to prepare for today’s match:
     “Well, we had breakfast at 6am. That’s quite the awkward time to get up and have your pre-meal for a match. It’s never happened in my life and I don’t think for any players in their history.”

    On decision to sub off Adam Jahn following the red card:
     “Normally, you are going to drop deeper and Adam is not a player that will beat defenders with his speed. So, you have to have players that can play 1v1. Yes, on set pieces he can still be dangerous, but probably you have to drop deeper. For me the only choice was to take him out.”

    On evaluating games in this tournament in same manner as if a “normal” regular season:
     “I think you can’t do that. Until now, it wasn’t a good preparation before this tournament. We didn’t play a 90-minute game before this tournament. So, you can’t expect your players to show this quality for a 90 minute game, because it’s almost impossible. But still, we are Atlanta United. We are supposed to win games. We want to entertain our audience. That’s our DNA. We have to understand that’s our responsibility. Even if it wasn’t the perfect preparation for this tournament, we have the pressure to win all games. If you are involved in a club like Atlanta United, you have to feel that pressure. We feel it always. A draw is like a loss. Two losses hurts for everyone, our supporters but especially our players. We don’t want it and we want to change it quickly.


    Atlanta United midfielder Jeff Larentowicz

    On the team’s offensive struggles:
     “I think the other night we definitely created chances, enough good chances to score. I think today is a different situation. We get a red card, we have to take our forward off the field. Even in the last 20 minutes of the first half, I thought we were dangerous but weren’t able to score a goal. It is frustrating. I think at times we find ourselves playing without a forward and creating through the midfield with Pity (Martinez) and (Ezequiel) Barco. Today was different situation though having to take Adam (Jahn) off the field after the red card. It’s not something we can continue to do and win games, but I think today the circumstances were a bit different.”

    On what’s at stake for the team following two losses to open MLS is Back tourney:
     “What’s at stake is the hope to get through somehow with a win. Obviously, it’s a bit of a long shot, but that’s what we have to do. We have to win this next game. The Crew have shown to be a tough team, and we know it’s going to be a difficult game. You’re right that it’s not like us to lose back-to-back games and be towards the bottom of a group in tournament play. It’s incredibly disappointing, but I think today was a situation that just doesn’t often happen. I can’t remember a game in the last three and a half years where we’ve played down a man for that long. Today was extremely difficult and we will rebound in five days.”

    On playing in tough conditions today and if he saw a lack of passion in the team:

     “You can’t say there is a lack of passion in the team. It’s a difficult situation. You have to change tactically. You come in with a certain gameplan. You can see in the first 20 minutes or so that Cincinnati is showing us all the respect in the world by playing within their own half. Then everything changes. At that point, I don’t think it’s down to passion, but it’s down to figuring out the tactics of the game. Find those opportunities to score. Unfortunately, we didn’t today. We are playing down a man for 70 plus minutes, so it’s a game that gets flipped on its head.”

    On evaluating the tournament in the bigger picture:
     “I think it can be both. Certainly, this is a situation that none of us have ever seen before and we have to adapt to circumstances that are unique. You definitely say that today was circumstantially one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played in my career. Trying to force a pre-game meal down at 6am and getting to the field at 9am is difficult. But, it’s certainly tests you as a pro, as a team as a club because you have to adapt to it. There are 24 other teams here doing it as well and there are teams that are winning games at 9am. So, I don’t think you can see this is an aberration or sweep it under the rug. You have to be ready to play in all circumstances. Unfortunately, today the red card changes the game. Against the Red Bulls we were the better team but didn’t win. Today we are undone by the red card. We aren’t just going to move on from this like this doesn’t count. We are all professionals and we have to adapt to these circumstances no matter how difficult or unique.”


    Atlanta United defender Fernando Meza

    On the match:

    “It’s frustrating how the game went. In the first minutes of the game we went down a player. The conditions, the time, made things difficult but it’s not an excuse. It was tough for us to generate chances on goal. We’re dealing with this bad luck of having opponents get one chance and converting. But there’s one game left. We still have a possibility (to advance). We have to be self-critical in what each of us did well and poorly and correct it. There isn’t much time to get down, we have to focus on the next game. It’s the last one and we have to win it.” 

    On if the two yellow cards given to Jake Mulraney were fair:

    “They might have been fair yellow cards, but I also think in the second half there was a similar play with one of their players where he should have given a yellow from my understanding and he didn’t do it. I don’t think it was fair, but that’s up to the referee. At the end of the game I asked him why he called it for one side and not for the other, and he responded that one of the plays was a goal scoring chance and the other wasn’t. For me, he should have given another yellow card. But he decides that. It’s not an excuse. We didn’t play well or generate the chances we need to and even if the result isn’t fair we have to accept it and focus on what’s coming. What has happened is over. We have to take the positive and negative and grow from it.”

    On what positives the team can take from this game:

    “After the first send off, even down a player, the game was still under control because they weren’t creating anything. They were getting to ¾ of the field but then nothing. They weren’t creating goal scoring chances. I’ll take away the team’s will and the fact that we dealt with the weather and conditions. It’s not an excuse but it’s very difficult. We have to be positive. We have one more game and have to make it count.”