Here are the postgame quotes from Real Salt Lake’s 2-0 victory over New England on Saturday night. The quotes are courtesy of the Real Salt Lake communication department.
REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
On reserve players filling in for regular starters…
We put the challenge on them to rise to this occasion – to step out and step up and make a statement for themselves. Not only for us, but for everybody in the league of what kind of players they are. We see them every single day at training, and we have a whole lot of belief in them, but a lot of people don’t see those players enough. I think they made a big statement for themselves and for our club tonight.
On Paulo Jr.’s goal minutes into the second half…
Hugely important. The first goal in and of itself was hugely important to get us in a positive place where we can then play with a lead. I guess they were a team that was really tired and should be desperate at home, and I think we played pretty darn well with that lead. Obviously to get that second goal puts us in a really comfortable position.
On reserve players…
I think we do a fair job in our training sessions making sure that everybody knows what’s expected of them. We had a good chance at half time – we were already up with our one-nil lead – to talk about what kind of decisions we want and what we want to be doing tactically with and without the ball. I think the guys followed through with everything that was put to them tonight, even from minute one with the plan we approached the game with.
On Will Johnson’s ejection…
It was very disappointing. Will’s a hugely important piece for us in the midfield with the amount of ground he covers and the work rate that he has. We will miss him on Wednesday night. There’s no doubt about it, but I think there enough guys out there that have shown they’re quite capable. We shouldn’t miss a beat.
On resting regular starters…
It just had to be that way. Not only because of the [upcoming] game against Colorado, but then CONCACAF directly behind that and the fact that we had two turf games in a row for me is very difficult, especially for some players that are carrying some lingering injuries or having to worry about swelling in their knees and ankles. I would say that the guys who stepped in…credit to them. They really made a statement.
On preparations for New England this week…
It’s a lot of work on the coaching staff to break down the video in short amount of time and be able to present it to the players. [I give] credit to my assistant coaches. They did a fantastic job and I think we entered this game with a really nice game plan that frustrated New England.
When did you decide on this line up?
About two weeks ago. We try to think about things and make plans several weeks out. We don’t tell the players about it. Of course, things can change as you go along, but this line up was in my mind about two or three weeks ago … I think they did a good job. Our players are showing now to be a pretty mature crew, and not get themselves into situations that they shouldn’t and make undisciplined choices.
REAL SALT LAKE GOALKEEPER KYLE REYNISH
On his first MLS win…
It feels awesome. To be honest, I didn’t feel like I had to do quite as much as I have in some other games. Over four years now I’ve been waiting to get it, so I think [I] appreciate it a little more than some other guys who maybe get it earlier in their careers.
At the start, I think they definitely pressured us. They have some big bodies and any set pieces you give them, you know they are going to be dangerous because they have such big guys coming in to your box. I think we resisted the initial wave, the first 15 minutes of pressure. I think we rebounded a little bit we got possession and played a little more to our rhythm than falling into their game.
I think everybody responded pretty well [to the amount of cautions in the match]. We’ve had some tough calls over the years, and we’ve all gone through it before. It was nice to see no one lost their head. I think it’s easier when you’re playing here than when you’re in some of those CONCACAF games with the foreign teams. I think everyone is growing and maturing the longer we play together.
I think [this game] shows that we can put some of our reserves, or not our consistent starters in, and you’re not going to have a drop off when the other guys need a rest for the Champions League games.
REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER COLLEN WARNER
I think with Javy (Javier Morales) there are big shoes to fill. I thought our forwards did a fantastic job just creating chances on their own and combining as well.
It was a general consensus (on the corner). I was going shorter more than longer on that one. I put the ball in a spot where he could go and win [the aerial ball].
On the second goal coming early in the second half…
We knew we were going to have to kill the game and we weren’t expecting to get it that soon. The sooner the better I guess.
For how congested our fixture list is right now, our coaches have faith in us. Coach can rest the bigger players that are necessary for the bigger games. The coaching staff has a lot of belief in everybody on this team, so that helps a lot.
How did RSL’s midfield match up with New England’s tonight …
Really well. We were disappointed when they had the possession because we felt that in the midfield, we were leaving their extra guy. They had three (midfielders) in there, but once we sorted that out, I thought we did well. We did well to dominate the midfield after that.
Changes made at the half…
We definitely came out wanting to press in the first 15 minutes. We were trying to sort out that extra player that was there, then they also switched their formation at the beginning of the half, so that might have something to do with it also.
REAL SALT LAKE DEFENDER CHRIS SCHULER
On first MLS goal…
It feels good to get the result. It feels good to get on the board, definitely. I’m a bigger guy and it’s kind of expected. It’s good to come through. I’ve got to give a shout out to C,J. Brown for helping me out a lot after practice working on that. I’m a big guy. I feel that if I don’t score a goal every now and then, I’m doing something wrong.
Every time you get a chance, you’ve got to do the best with it, because you are not going to get many opportunities. I try to push myself every day, and I try to step in and do the best I can.
There is good professionalism to be learned from [Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers]. They each have their own approach, but they definitely bring something to the table to take away.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION HEAD COACH STEVE NICOL
“Well, I guess there’s no hiding behind anything: we weren’t good. The first half, we probably found their men more times than we found our own, and if you’re doing that — I don’t care who you’re playing against — you’re going to be in trouble. You have to give them credit. They had great shape, they kept solid and just tried to hurt us on the break. We gave them a rotten goal from a set piece and then we’re up against it. We made the changes, and then we gave the ball away again at the halfway line and we end up going two down. It makes it difficult. For that game to have three red cards is pretty incredible. I haven’t seen any of them, but that’s tough to swallow. We weren’t good tonight, but we lost Shalrie (Joseph) and Pat Phelan for next week in a game which nobody challenges in it up until the red card.
I thought we had some fatigue. We didn’t have any spring in our legs, but at the same time, it doesn’t hide the fact that we really should have played better than we did. You give the ball to the opposition as often as we did; you’re not going to win games.
It’s the manner in which we gave [up the second goal] that’s the worst thing about it. We lose a ball at the halfway line, which is unforgivable sometimes the way we lost the ball tonight. As much as I’m shell-shocked with the red cards and everything that happened in the last 25-30 minutes of the game, it doesn’t hide the fact that we got what we deserved tonight.
I think when you see decisions going against you the way they did, it’s very easy for us to sit on the sideline and say you should keep your head. I don’t think anybody was over the top, but certainly guys were getting frustrated. At least we were frustrated — at least we showed a bit of something and wee bit of passion, which is always good. But frustrating is the right word for the whole evening, never mind the last 30 minutes when the cards were flying around.
As I said, we were heavy-legged, we didn’t have a lot of spring. [RSL] came in and did it right, give them credit. They had a good shape, didn’t make any mistakes, cleared the lines, and then relied on guys breaking. They got it right and we got it wrong.
On Kenny Mansally …
When he came on in the middle of the night, he was cutting in, putting some good balls into the box and getting some shots off. So we were looking for that. Obviously we were looking for Marko (Perovic) to get on it and get after them as well. But it didn’t happen. It didn’t materialize. We didn’t get on the ball in the right areas as often as we wanted to.
We need to sit down, look at what happened, why it happened, how it happened and all of that other stuff and then we’ll talk about it. Straight after the game is not the time to be commenting on certain things.
On Ousmane Dabo …
I would hope that he’s going to be joining full training sometime this week … we’ll see what happens.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION GOALKEEPER BOBBY SHUTTLEWORTH
On the play of the team in the second half …
This isn’t a good result for us. We really wanted to take three points at home, obviously. It just didn’t happen tonight. It wasn’t working.
On the change of formation in the second half …
We switched to a 4-4-2 (in the second half) and we wanted to get it wide and try to get balls in the box. They got one quick right and away and the red cards and everything just kind of went from there.
On if he could have done anything on the goals …
The first (goal) I’m calling for and I’ve got to get through the guys, so the first one’s definitely on me. Second one, he’s coming in and it’s a tough ball. He can put it either way. I just tried to stay up as long as I could and he just kind of tucked it away pretty nice … that’s a backbreaker for us, going in one-nil and coming out we’re ready to attack. We want to go at them and that happens and you’re trying to claw back two goals to get back into it. It’s tough and it’s hard to go from there.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION DEFENDER DARRIUS BARNES
It was hard for us to keep the ball and get anything going attacking-wise. They got that first goal and it kind of took the air out of our sails. And then they get that second one early in the second half and that just killed us a little bit. I feel like we came out with the right mentality in the beginning of the second half. Marko (Perovic) had a chance out there right before they scored. If we could have gotten that one, that would have been huge for us, momentum-wise. But it was just a down game all-in-all for us.
It definitely got chippy in the second half. The game got heated. The tackles started flying and I feel like we just have to do a better job of keeping our cool. Of course it’s frustrating when the game’s like that sometimes and the other team has more of the ball, and one thing leads to another, but I feel like we just have to do a better job of keeping our cool so we can keep our guys in that game and then the next game as well.
On the impact tonight’s ejections will have on next week’s game in Houston …
It just means that some people are going to have to step up. That’s going to be a big game for us – we would hate to go on a two-game losing streak. It’s a good thing that we have a week off to prepare, train and get our bodies rested from this past week. But it’s time for some guys to step up and show what they’re made of, and hopefully they can do that in Houston.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION FORWARD ILIJA STOLICA
When we started the second half, we all have the expectation that we are ready to change. We changed the formation. We started two strikers and were trying to press them more up in front, to press the defensive line of Real Salt Lake. Unfortunately, after two or three minutes of the second half, they get a second goal and it’s very difficult moments, especially when you go out in the first five minutes [and they] get a goal. I think psychologically it’s very hard. We were still thinking and trying and believing that we can make a difference. Then unfortunately we got one red card, Shalrie, and then a second one and probably it was very hard to make any change.
On the second half goal being a turning point:
I’m sure about it. There [are] breaking points in every game … Every team that scores the first goal in the game, it’s important to open the game good. The last minutes of each half, they are the most important and the first minutes in the second half. Because when you are losing 1-0, you step on the field with more pressure and willing to change things and if you get a goal in the first counter that cuts you starting off the second half and it’s hard to come back. Psychologically, it’s very hard. But it’s one more game.
It is bad, the loss, and we have to look forward because until now we’ve had good results and we have to change. We have to analyze this game and we have to get ready for the next one. This is about soccer every weekend. It’s a new challenge and we have to forget this as soon as possible and go into the next game.