USATSI_18188627

Head Coach Adrian Heath

On LAFC’s pressure towards the end of the game and how he tried to change that…

“I thought we made poor choices with the ball, to be honest with you Andy, most of the evening. I thought, in the first half, we had four or five glorious opportunities if we would’ve picked the right pass and we didn’t. In the second half, we did the same. I know they’re small margins but Robin [Lod] has this great chance for us to go 1-0 up and then you would’ve thought that they would press even more and then more opportunities would come our way. Unfortunately, we didn’t take it. It’s the oldest saying in football, “goals change games,” and then the longer you’re doing it…I just thought we made too many poor choices with the ball and that has been our biggest problem tonight.”

On coming out of LA with a 2-0 loss after creating so many good chances…

“It was a good chance, but he doesn’t mean to miss it. At the end of the day, when you come to a place like this, you have to take them opportunities when they arise. You can’t squander opportunities. We’ve had a couple of good results here in the past but we’ve scored when them opportunities and them moments have come our way. Tonight, we didn’t. We were having a good little spell when Robin [Lod] had the chance. I felt, and I said to the boys at halftime, if we don’t concede anything silly by beating ourselves, we will get opportunities to go and win the game. But we made too many poor choices in their half of the field most of the evening.”

On the reason for the poor choices made in the attacking half…

“I thought we did a really good job at breaking their press. We had so many, really good opportunities on the counter-attack, even in the first half. We didn’t have enough cutting edge in the final third, the final ball wasn’t good enough. I kept saying to the staff on the side, if we don’t give anything away, we can take something from this game. But as I’ve just said to the players, we cannot go to teams that are going to be towards the top of the table and turn the ball over as much as we did in their half of the field when we’re in very good, controlled possession. That was the biggest issue for us tonight. The first half and the second half, four or five glorious opportunities, two-on-two or three-on-two, and we picked the wrong pass. You can’t do it at places like this because you know they’re going to have chances because of the way they play.”

On the lineup change to the front four…

“I have to say, I thought the first half, we restricted them well. I don’t think Dayne [St. Clair] had anything to save that he shouldn’t save, a couple of long-range efforts and I was pleased with that in the first half, where we restricted a very, very good attacking team to a few long-range efforts. Obviously, Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlongwane] and Abu [Danladi] got in a couple of times down the side, on the break and picked the wrong pass a couple of times. As I’ve just said to the guys, against the better teams, we can’t make them mistakes in their half of the field.”

On bringing in Franco Fragapane and Luis Amarilla in the second half…

“[LAFC] were on the front foot at that stage and it was still nil-nil and we were still having them little, isolated breakaways. I just thought that maybe with Robin [Lod] in there, we might get a bit more quality and get Luis [Amarilla] in the box but no. They are relentless here. They keep you on the back foot. They press. They take chances with their press because they try and steal the ball as high and as often as they can in your half of the field and they’re good at it. Teams have come here all year and struggled with the press but I thought we did a good job at managing that.”

On Kervin Arriaga and Joseph Rosales as the midfield duo…

“Yeah, I thought they did some really good stuff. They’re both talented boys. They’ve both got a lot of energy. We like the pair of them. We think it’s two really good players there. I thought they coped really well considering [LAFC is] a team that plays with three in the middle of the park. Their energy levels, they covered a lot of ground, made a lot of tackles, and a lot of interceptions. There was good stuff from them two.”