JJX71425

Head Coach Adrian Heath

On after scoring three goals in one match…

“I was pleased with the players because I don’t think we’ve had a lot of luck this year and you need a little bit of luck when you’re not playing as well as you would like to. For the front players, for Robin [Lod] to get a goal, for Abu [Danladi] to come on and get a goal… just to get three goals in a game, maybe people want to keep talking about it and then we relax, and start to play again. It was a big game for us tonight. We knew that. We rolled our luck. A couple of big saves from Dayne [St. Clair], when we needed him. I was pleased with the guys who came on. I thought they gave us a lift at the right time. There was a lot of pleasing stuff about the game tonight, but more importantly, the result. They’ll [Colorado Rapids] feel a bit disappointed because they probably thought they should have took something out of it but, we’ve had enough of them here where I look back and think, “how the hell haven’t we won a game?” They’re probably thinking the same today.”

On the team’s reaction to the goal given up right before halftime…

“They were disappointed. It was a soft goal. A little bit of a lack of communication. [Bakaye] Dibassy was worried that Dayne [St. Clair] wasn’t going to get there and Dayne was half-and-half because he thought he was going to clear it. It was disappointing but I thought the reaction, during the game, as the game wore on, they came out and started the second half really well. A couple of big saves from Dayne, but after that, there were some good, pleasing moments for us.”

On the possibility of switching Robin Lod to a center forward…

“We know he can do that because, if you look back a couple of years ago, when we went to the Western Conference Final, it was Robin [Lod] basically playing through the middle. We know he can play there. He’s very strong. He’s physically really strong. He’s good with his back to the game. He can receive and it and bring people into the game and he always has a goal threat. It’s another option for us, for sure.”

On Robin Lod bringing a new aspect to the forward position…

“I think he is a little bit different. He’s deceptively strong. People don’t think that of him. Once he gets in front, and he’s got a really good first touch. He gave us a starting point tonight when he got up there. I’m pleased with him because he is gradually getting fitter and fitter. He’s getting back to what he was, what we know he can be. People forget the sort of offseason he had. Being in a tent for five weeks, in a forest in Finland, that’s not the ideal preparation for a new season.”

On Emanuel Reynoso’s performance…

“I thought he was better tonight. I’m not saying it’s the reason why, but his family are here now. They arrived this week. I thought I just sensed him, being a little bit brighter this week, and himself and around the group. These are the little things that people don’t really know about. He’ll be delighted that his family is here. He’s hopefully playing himself into some form. Because, as I’ve said all along, whatever our success will be, he [Emanuel Reynoso] will be in the focal piece of all that. We need him to be the “Reynoso” we know and I thought there was signs of it this evening.”

On St. Claire’s performance…

“Couple of big saves. Yeah, I don’t wanna make light of them. But that's what he's there for. I thought the one that he tipped off onto the post was his best save of the night. The other stuff, I think he should save. But the one he tipped onto the post is the difference between three points and a point for sure.”

On St. Claire’s game distribution…

“Yeah, you know there’s part of his game…he’s a young guy, a young goalkeeper in terms. There’s parts of his game that he needs to work on and he is doing it. He’s working really hard on his distribution, the length of his kicking needs to improve but he knows that. And that’s part of his evolution to be what we think he can become because there’s nothing stopping him from being top, top drawer.”

On St Claire’s statistics on shot stopping…

“Well, he’s got great range, you know, he’s a huge kid. He’s got long arms, he's got big range and I think it helps that he’s probably got the best goalkeeping coach in the MLS. I’m sure the goalkeepers will tell you that. So, he’s working hard and it’s a craft that you over a period of time, you know you look at some of the top goalkeepers and they’re all in their early 30’s. You know, he’s got a long long way to go, and he is still learning and developing and there is still a lot more to come. But, you know, we’ve always had a lot of faith in that. You know that I spoke about it in the past but he’s still learning.”

On Abu Danaldi’s goal…

“I said to him, when he went on, go make a difference and go show everybody what you can do. Cause there’s a football player there, for sure. And he’s been working so hard in training, and I’m just glad he got a little bit of a reward for what he’s put in since he came back here.”

On Hasani Dotson, Kemar Lawrence’s assists and the fullbacks performance…

“Well, I think that the way we tried to play, we bring the wide guys in to play in their little half spaces, the little pockets in there. So you need to get your outside backs high and wide and stretch their defense horizontally. I thought we were a bit better tonight. I don’t think we’ve been as progressive in the wider areas as I would’ve liked this season but I thought they were better tonight.”

On the performance of the defense…

“In terms of defensively, I think that you know, our goals against column has been very, very good the past couple of years. And the more we can keep the same back four together, with the same goalkeeper…I don’t think it's a coincidence that you know, the more you have that continuity, is better for everybody. Everybody feels more comfortable. And I think also, when I look at it, you know Kemar [Lawrence], he’s been out for a very long time. Still not 100 percent yet but he’s getting there, you can see that now. So you know, I’m pleased for [Bakaye] Dibassy because he gets himself in there a lot, and he got a goal tonight. A little bit of stick about our set pieces, but tonight we looked very dangerous on our set pieces for the first time in a few weeks.”

On the amount of having another glass of wine given the three goals…

“No, no, same, the same amount!”

Goalkeeper Dayne St. Claire

On solely receiving credit or distributing it throughout the team…

“No, I definitely deal it around. Seven saves but, we still concede, so we needed two goals at least, to win this game. I’m really happy for Abu [Danladi] to get his first goal back with the club. Definitely a team performance tonight, not just myself.”

On factors leading to his number one rank in shotstopping around the league…

“I think staying big, in a lot of one v. one situations, I kinda thrive in. I enjoy them. With my size, if I can close down the angle, I give myself a good chance and then the determination and passion to try to keep the ball out of the net.”

On the save from Diego Rubio…

“One finger, literally, my middle finger. Looking back at it, I saw the replay when I went inside. In the game, I actually thought I touched it but I didn’t think I got enough in…saw it was hitting the post. On a different day, that might hit the post and go in so I was really ecstatic to see it bounce out and not to one of their two attackers that were right there as well. Yeah, probably the best save of the night.”

On the comparison between the New York Red Bulls game and tonight’s performance…

“I think they’re different. Both games I’ve had different saves to make. There wasn’t just one save to make. This game, they kind of came in waves whereas Red Bulls, they just had a couple of chances, really, at moments. There were some moments where they really put the pressure on us and we had to stand strong and fight back for 10-15 minutes at a time to keep the team in the game and then know that we’re going to push forward for the goal was big.”

On the goal conceded…

“Me and Bakaye [Dibassy] talked about it, just a little bit of a miscommunication. I saw the ball going on the inside of him, so I knew I could get there. He thought the presence of me was the attacker, so he was trying to make a play on the ball as well. On a different day, as well, it doesn’t land right in between [Diego] Rubio and bounce to me, bounces off him and goes out. Definitely disappointing to ruin the clean sheet like that, but at the end of the day, it’s three points and that’s what we came to this game to do.”

On Bakaye Dibassy touching the ball before concession…

“Yeah. That’s supposedly what the referee said, what changed the offside.”

On his analysis of his distribution and how to improve…

“If you ask anyone on our team, they know I want to play out. We can’t always do that here. Distance is something that I’ve been looking to work on because coming from teams that normally play out, I fancy myself in any short pass, to be in passes. I also think it’s tough when they play a back three, I’m looking at Fraga [Franco Fragapane] and Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] wide. They have Lalas [Abubakar] and Auston Trusty. At some times, there’s not much I can do. It’s kind of just a regroup.”

On the team's reaction during halftime after conceding a goal…

“I mean, we thought we had a good half and we talked about not letting that goal define us and to come back stronger. We knew there were more goals in the game, and you can mark that goal as a mistake, but we knew that we were the better team that first half and that we had to come and fight and prove that in the second half.”

On the pressure to score more goals …

“No, I think that we trust in our attacking players, and even when the defense lets a goal in and everybody says you guys aren’t going to get a clean sheet, next game. So going into every game, the defense thinks they’re gonna get a clean sheet, and the attackers think they’re gonna score and that's the way it should be. Going into this game, playing at home as well, I thought the fasn were excellent tonight, and to score those two goals late, I think the fans really got into the game and helped us push through in some tough times during the game.”

On Dayne’s leadership with the club…

“Yeah, I think the goalie role at every club is a leader. I wasn’t in the locker room at half time, wouldn’t have been allowed. But I think that being one of the guys now, on the team, I’ve been here for four years now and I think a lot of younger players who come in to the team this year as well, so kinda just talking to them and I think that the goalie position is someone that’s always talking, and things like that so if I can step up and be that guy I’m willing to take that role on.”

On having Chase Gaspar back…

“Yeah, I mean, first of all I’m really proud of him for doing that. I know it wasn’t easy. And of course, he just has that aura I think. Me and Chase Gasper go back before Minnesota, so I think just seeing him around and knowing that he’s better…I’m really happy for him and I think the whole team got a boost when he came back too, because no one knew how long, to what extent it was gonna be for.”

On Abu Danaldi’s performance…

“Yeah, I think that even thinking about Seattle, he hits the crossbar. He’s getting chances, and like I said I trust in Robin Lod, I trust in Fraga [Franco Fragapane], I trust in any guy there and I think that if they get the opportunity, I think that they will put the ball into the back of the net.”

On Emmanuel Reynoso’s performance…

“Yeah, I thought he was great. I mean, to beat his man one v. one, to create the first goal I thought was great. And something we talked about as a team is to not losing the ball in key areas and to kinda stop those counters that we’ve been conceding and I thought we did a better job with that today as well. I think that our attacking thing isn’t just on Rey [Emmanuel Reynoso], but I think it's a team thing as well.”

Forward Abu Danlandi

On his first goal back with the club…

“Honestly, it’s an incredible feeling. Minnesota is always home. It’s always been a home. To me, it will always be a part of my life. Playing for this team is always an honor. In a situation like this, the last two games in a row, I’ve been trying to get back to the winning ways and try to win some games. The guys had already put in a lot of work so just coming in and just trying to do the best we can, trying to get some points in. We were able to do that. I’m happy to have scored. It’s just a good feeling to be back, to playing and also being able to score for the team.”

On Adrian’s message before going on the field…

“Like he always tells me, “Go in there and be positive.” I know what he wants from me when I go on the field. It’s mostly going on and doing what the team needs because the most important thing is just trying to win. We didn’t want to just take one point. It’s home. We have to set a tone for teams that come here to know that, this is our home. To be able to get a point here, it’s going to be hard. I think the character of the team showed today. Dayne [St. Clair] was incredible. Everybody on the team was incredible today. We all grinded together and we ended up with a win. It’s always great when you end up with a win.”

On playing centrally and on both wings and what is comfortable…

“As I said, I’m one of those people tell me to play as a right back and I’ll play as a center back. I’ll do my best in play but in a way, it’s pretty much the same type of job. Any way out there, what they need me to do, what the coach needs me to do when I go in and even when I start a game, that’s what I’m going to do. For me, it doesn’t matter where I play up front.”

On playing with Robin Lod in the middle…

“You guys have watched him play since he’s been here. He’s an incredible player. So much quality and his movements are amazing. It helps when the people playing around him, to make great space, and you can see it from my goal, him just making a run. That ball, you could have left the ball and taken that touch. He got the defender to stop a little bit, create a little bit of space for him to take a touch and hit the ball. I don’t even know what to say, he’s just an incredible player and is just amazing. It’s a privilege to play with him.”

On the pressure on attackers to score, and relief with getting the three goals…

“It's the job of every attacker on the team, is to score, and as a team we just gotta do our best when we start a game, when we’re playing a game, the goal is to score. Sometimes it's hard you know, and everybody out there that starts the game, everybody that is playing out there, it's not an easy task. And I know everybody wants to try and score and I mean, our number one goal is to try and score. As you’ve said, we have not been scoring a lot of goals and our goal is to score more. Today we proved we have the ability to score more as a team, and everybody that played out there. So, I think it’s a good step moving forward, try and score more goals game in and game out.”

On teammate Dayne St. Claire performance…

“I mean, even when I wasn’t here in Minnesota, I used to watch the games. He’s always been incredible, everytime he impresses. I mean, before I even went in you know warming up on the side and in a span of five minutes he saved three incredible shots and that kept us in the game. And for me, subbing in, that's a very very important thing to know that he is doing his job so I need to do my job as well. I mean, everybody can tell. I don’t have to tell you guys. You guys all know how incredible of a goalkeeper he is and how he has done this whole year in the last six or seven games you know.”

On getting minutes playing as a rightback…

“I am not! But hey, if that's where they need me then I will do my best. I don’t think it's gonna be great but I will do my best!”