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Head Coach Adrian Heath

On his thoughts of the performance…

“I thought it was comprehensive. They had a bit of possession in the second half but in sort of non-dangerous areas. I just saw some of the stats there and Dayne [St. Clair] didn’t have a save to make. Eighteen to four was the shot count. If I was going to be critical, and I’m not because the effort the players have put over the past few weeks has been virtually the same group playing every minute, is that I thought if our final ball would have been better at moments the scoreline would have been a lot more convincing than two-nil. But I’m not going to be critical.”

On what was pivotal on both of Luis Amarilla’s assists…

“I think he’s playing with a lot more confidence. He’s got a lot more… a better understanding of the people he’s playing with and around now. He’s starting to bed in. He’d be the first to say that it’s been a difficult start for him. You look at his energy levels, he’s coming back to something that we expected. He’ll be better for that as well tonight.”

On Luis Amarilla starting his second assist on the defensive side…

“The modern game you can’t defend with eight or seven all night. Everybody’s got to chip in. Everybody’s got to… the first line of defense is from the front and we expect our defenders to get deep into their half to create stuff. We’ve got to do the other stuff, the other side of the game. And sometimes the other side of the game is not pretty and it’s hard work. The lads are doing really well with that.”

On an update of Wil Trapp’s injury…

“Hamstring. We’ll have a better idea tomorrow, but it doesn’t look good at this moment in time.”

On Emanuel Reynoso being in the MVP conversation…

“I’ve always said that he has MVP talent, which we know. The one thing that I’ve always said to him, lacking and going back to when he was at Boca Juniors, he should score more goals. He’s a really good finisher. People might think the second one was a fantastic first touch and he knows that the keeper is mid stride to get across to try and take the near post away. He’s a quality player. If he can get ten to fifteen goals every season then we’ve got one of the best players in the league on our hands.”

On if Luis Amarilla has promised a specific number of assists…

“No, he hasn’t. I’ll remind him of that. Was it… he owes me twenty three does he?”

On if the team is at its best at this moment in the season…

“In terms of confidence, I would say probably. In terms of fitness, probably not. As much as I’ll love the game on Wednesday with Everton playing out here, everyone knows what that team means to me. This group could do with a rest you know. The fact that it’s a Premier League team coming in here I’m sure that will get them through. They certainly won’t play 90 minutes. If they’re lucky they’ll do 45. We’ll give them a couple of days off. Hopefully they’ll recharge and get themselves ready because it doesn’t get any easier going to Houston this time year of year. I don’t know what the temperature is going to be down there next weekend against a team that’s much improved.”

On Joseph Rosales’ performance…

“Oh, he was outstanding when he came in. He’s getting better, he’s got a great understanding on both sides of the ball. He’s getting a little bit more composure on it but his defensive responsibilities and being in the right spot is something we’re really pleased with him.”

On the chemistry between Emanuel Reynoso, Robin Lod, and Luis Amarilla…

“Yeah, I desperately wanted Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlongwane] to get a goal tonight because his energy level was unbelievable. The amount of work he did in both halves of the field. But if he keeps getting in the right spots he will get a goal and then hopefully that will relax him and more and more will come. Because I thought he was really, really good tonight at times.”

On what it means to have his family attend the games…

“It’s always good to see them for sure and hopefully the little one will play like all the rest of the family has. He’ll certainly earn a lot more money than we did. Yeah it’s always great to see the kids on the pitch after the game. Generally when they’re on it means we’ve won the game so more of the same.”

On the importance of sticking to your gameplan…

“I thought after about 25-30 minutes in the first half, we started to settle a little bit and start to drop a little bit too early and that gave them a little bit of possession. Probably a little bit more than we would have liked, but at no stage did I think they were threatening with that possession. Sometimes you let them have that in them areas and then you try your counter attack and I thought our counter attack was very very good at times.”

On the congestion of games in this stretch of the schedule…

“I would love them to have a game on a Saturday and not a midweek at this moment in time. A lot of them are carrying little knocks. You can't do too much to them in the week because there's a game on a Saturday and then you have to be careful. Sometimes you can take the edge off them. It's a real balancing act. At this moment in time we're gonna give them a couple days off they won't be in till Tuesday. They won’t really do anything Tuesday and then we'll get ready for the game Wednesday. But my main focus will be Houston. My thought process between now and next weekend will mainly be on Houston.

On if he was expecting Kemar Lawrence to play tonight…

“Yeah, he said he felt fine last time he played wednesday. He's fine. He will get through it. I don't think he likes coming in for treatment, you have to come in a bit early.”

On if he was expecting Taxiarchis Fountas to play tonight…

 “I thought you meant our taxi [Kemar Lawrence]. Obviously for us, when the team sheet comes in and you see their top goal scorer is not on and the guys probably at this moment in time in as red hot form as anybody in the league. So obviously that was a boost for us not seeing his name on the team sheet. I thought you meant Kemar [Lawrence].

On his expectations about Wayne Rooney entering the league as head coach…

“Yeah, I spent a few hours with him last night and he’s very excited about the challenge. I think that he learned more about his team again today because obviously midweek they were at home. I think he knows he’s got a lot of hard work to do but if you look at the start he had, I thought he did a great job with ridiculously difficult circumstances at Derby County. You know, he had a twenty one point deduction before he started. You know, so he’s really keen, he’s really motivated and I’m sure that the players will respond by having someone of that magnitude on the sidelines.”

On his recent conversation with Wayne Rooney last night prior to today’s game…

“No, it was mainly old stories and reminiscing a little bit.”

On similar play designs for corner kicks today that resulted in two good chances…

“Yeah, we've been doing it, and I have to say that sometimes Emanuel [Reynoso] goes off cuff and does what he wants. It’s great when it comes off but when it’s not we have a quiet word after. And you know, it’s difficult to stop, you know we had one in midweek, then we played it in the back for Robin [Lod] and we took everybody into the six yard box. You know, it's something that’s always been working with the guys.”

Midfielder Emanuel Reynoso

On the combination between Luis Amarilla and him…

[SPA] “De verdad, content por los dos goles. Se convirtió Totin [Luis Amarilla] en Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] y yo en Totin porque yo trato de asistirlo, trato de que el haga goles. Hoy me toco a mi hacer los dos goles para ayudar al equipo.”

[ENG] “Honestly, very happy for the two goals. Totin [Luis Amarilla], turned into Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] and I turned into Totin because I usually try to assist him, make sure he scores the goals. Today, it was my turn to score the two goals to help the team.”

On seven goals in last eight games and his current run of form…

[SPA] “Estoy pasando un momento muy lindo en lo individual, también en lo grupal que estamos sumando muchos puntos. Estamos escalando para arriba. Estamos muy contento. Sobre todo la confianza que me da el equipo, la responsabilidad que me da el técnico para tratar de llegar al área, tratar de patear, eso, incremente, es mi gol. Siga creciendo y siga ayudando al equipo.”

[ENG] “I’m going through a really lovely moment right now, individually, and also for the group that is securing a lot of points. We’re climbing up. We’re very happy. Especially with the confidence that the team gives me, the responsibility I get from the coach to keep getting in the area, try to keep shooting, and that, incrementally is my goal. Keep growing and keep helping the team.”

On if Luis Amarilla had mentioned an assist goal for himself…

[SPA] “No lo escuche. Como dije la vez pasada, Luis [Amarilla], Fraga [Franco Fragapane] Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlognwane], todo el grupo, pero principalmente Luis es el que arranca la presión. El hace un trabajo enorme, por ahí cuando no hace goles, pero siempre ayuda, siempre marca al rival, siempre inicia la presión y eso nos ayuda muchísimo. Como dije recién, feliz por el grupo que está sumando y está creciendo. Tenemos que seguir trabajando, seguir creciendo.”

[ENG] “No, I haven’t heard him. Like I said before, Luis [Amarilla], Fraga [Franco Fragapane], Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlognwane], the whole group, but mainly Luis, he’s the one that starts the pressure. He does an immense job, and even when he doesn’t score goals, but he always helps, always marks the opponent, starts the press and helps us a lot. Like I said, happy for the group that’s securing points and is growing. We have to keep working and keep growing.”

On if he was surprised by the first assist from Luis Amarilla…

[SPA] “La verdad que me sorprendió por que la trate de bajar y, por ahí, cuando él hace el primer toque como que se le va para adelante mucho. Como dijo el, a mí me sorprendió mucho, metió un gran pase, trate de definir y mover rápido.”

[ENG] “Honestly, it did surprise me because I was trying to get it down and then, when he makes that first touch, it’s as if it goes forward a bit too much. Like he said, it surprised me a lot, he gave me a great pass and I tried to finish it and move quickly.”

On if he feels he’s in his best run of form…

[SPA] “Si, estoy con mucha confianza. Feliz. Estoy con mi familia, el apoyo de mi familia. Si el mate con Fraga [Franco Fragapane], compartimos siempre en los entrenamientos. Como grupo estamos creciendo y tenemos que seguir trabajando, seguir mejorando. No podemos perder muchos puntos porque estamos muy apretado en el campeonato. Estamos arriba, abajo. Entonces tenemos que tratar de sumar y mantenernos arriba. Feliz en lo individual. A seguir trabajando.”

[ENG] “Yes, I have a lot confidence right now. Happy. I’m with my family, and the support of my family. The mate with Fraga [Franco Fragapane], we share a lot at training. As a group, we’re growing and we have to keep working, keep getting better. We can’t lose a lot of points because it’s a tight playoff race. We’re up, we’re down. So we have to keep trying to secure points and stay up. Happy for the individual. On to keep working.”

On how difficult it is to play game after game, every two to three days…

[SPA] “Es muy duro. Tenemos que tratar de rápidamente pensar en el partido que sigue. Trabajamos rápidamente en el primer partido que nos toca y tres días, dos días, tenemos descanso y empezamos devuelta. Tratar de descansar bien, tratar de comer bien y tratar de rodearse de la familia, tratar de rodearse de los amigos que es lo que nos hace bien fuera de la cancha y después adentro de la cancha nos soltamos muchísimo.”

[ENG] “It’s very hard. We have to quickly think about the next game. We work hard on the game in front of us but then three days, two days later, we have to rest and start all over again. We have to rest well, eat well and try to surround ourselves with family, with friends, they are the ones that help us be good off the pitch so when we play, we’re loose.”

On if the candidacy for MVP is on his mind…

[SPA] “No. Como dije recién, estoy contento por el momento. Trato de seguir ayudando con el equipo con mas goles, en lo individual, tratar de ayudar. Tratar de seguir aprendiendo del técnico, aprendiendo de mis compañeros que son los que me dan la confianza partido tras partido. A seguir metiéndole con todo.”

[ENG] “No. Like I said, I’m happy with the form I’m in. I’m trying to help the team with more goals. I have to try to keep learning from the coach, from my teammates, that are the ones that give me the confidence game after game. Keep giving it my all.”

On what the MLS has given him…

[SPA] “En Argentina, por ahí, en Talleres salí de los inferiores. Arranque de menor a mayor con mucho sacrificio. Después de me toco a un equipo grande como Boca [Juniors] y me encontré con grandes jugadores, con grandes estrellas. Traté de meterle con todo, sacrificio, entrenamiento y jugué muchos partidos. También iba rotando, y por ahí, no pensé que iba tener esa continuidad. Me vine para acá para Minnesota, me abrió las puertas el club. Muy contento acá en club. A trabajar y ojalá siga creciendo en esta liga. El coach [Adrian Heath] me dio muchas oportunidades para sumar muchos minutos y trato de demostrarlo dentro de la cancha.”

[ENG] “In Argentina, in Talleres, I came out of the academy. I moved on to the first team with a lot of sacrifice. Then I went to a big club in Boca [Juniors] and I was with great players, big stars. I tried to give it my all, sacrifice, in each training and I played a lot of games. But I also was rotated a lot and I didn’t think I’d get that consistency. I came here to Minnesota, this club opened it’s doors to me. Keep working and hopefully we keep growing in this league. The coach [Adrian Heath] gives me a lot opportunities to get minutes and I try to show it on the field.”

On what was missing at the beginning of the season between him and Luis Amarilla…

[SPA] “Partidos. Con Luis [Amarilla] no compartimos mucho en el entrenamiento. Yo cuando llegue, el estaba ya lesionado de su tobillo y se fue para otro equipo y no pude compartir mucho con él. Pero creo que partido tras partido nos estamos sintiendo mejor. No solamente con Luis, pero con Fraga [Franco Fragapane], y Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlongwane] arriba. Estamos muy bien, a tratar de seguir creciendo. Al conocernos afuera de la cancha, tomar mate y todas esas cosas, lo reflejamos dentro de la cancha.”

[ENG] “Games. With Luis [Amarilla], we didn’t share a lot in training. When I arrived, he was already injured with his ankle and then he went to another team so we didn’t get to play together. I think game by game we’re feeling better. Not just with him but with Fraga [Franco Fragapane], and Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlongwane up top. We’re good, we try to keep growing. We get to know each other off the pitch, drink mate and all that, and reflect that on the pitch.”