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Head Coach Adrian Heath

On his assessment of the game…

“I knew the way I watched the lads train the last couple of days that today was going to be a tough day for us. That’s why it was important that we got ourselves into a situation that we did. You know, a lot of tired bodies, a lot of tired legs. You know, there’s three or four of them playing with niggles. Normally they wouldn’t have played today so, I’m so pleased with all the effort the players have given. I think on the balance of play and the opportunities, it would’ve been a travesty if we hadn’t won the game today. But you know, you can't deny that we let the other team back in the game today, and that’s a concern. I was more concerned on Wednesday because tonight I think there was a little bit of fatigue. But overall, I was so pleased with the play. They’re second in the league for a reason. They don’t give in, they make it difficult for you but I got to say some of their approach and play in the first half were outstanding.”

On Robin Lod’s performance today as a central midfielder…

“He’s a coach’s dream. He can play anywhere on the field and just knows the role. He knows how to play football at any given moment. Now, when I think of what we actually paid for Robin [Lod] when we first got him here, he’s been an unbelievable signing. He’s a top, top MLS player wherever you play him on the field and it doesn’t surprise me because as I’ve said, he’s a proper footballer.”

On Robin Lod’s characteristics that impacted his midfield role…

“Oh yeah! He has size, he has strength and he has composure. You know, he’s used to playing in tighter spaces than midfield. So, when it goes to him, you’re never really worried that he’s going to turn the ball over cheaply because he’s such a strong body and he can get himself in between. Obviously, we know he’s not a central midfield player and it was circumstances today, you know, Kervin [Arriaga], and then Joseph [Rosales]. You know, so, I wouldn’t hesitate playing him at fullback because I think that’s where he can play.

On Emanuel Reynoso’s performance & assist for Luis Amarilla…

“Well, he’s a wonderful footballer. I say it all the time, he’s got seven goals now with probably half a season left to go. Like I said to him, if he goes from a five and six goal season man to a ten to fifteen with the assist that he does. The amount of forward passing and creativity that he has, there’s nobody better than him. When he’s in full-flow there’s nobody better than him in the league. Full-stop.” 

On if he has ever played Robin Lod in that position before…

“We’ve played him in a three there, where it’s a little more advanced. But, never in a double-pivot. But, as I’ve said, it didn’t worry me in the slightest because he just gets the game as is just a really good soccer player.”

On Luis Amarilla’s goal…

“Well, we’re hopeful. You know, as I’ve said after the game, it’s very easy to, when you’ve had a bit of a barren spell at home. To snatch at things, and you know, be a little bit uptight but he’s backed his ability and it was a great finish.”

On the team's performance after Real Salt Lake’s second goal… 

“After the second goal, I thought there were a lot of, obviously, we changed the shape and virtually had everybody back with Emmanuel Reynoso up on his own and we just had to see it through. You know, it wasn’t pretty at times, and they suddenly put some size in there. In the end if they’re playing balls in the box and they’ve probably got five players over six foot. So you know, you’re always up against it but we’ve defended a goal well and a couple of big occasions that Dayne St. Clair came up again when we needed him.”

On what led to Real Salt Lake’s First goal…

“I’ve just said to Abu Danladi. He gave it away down here. He’s got to take responsibility to run the ball and play forward. We turn it over cheaply and then they change the shape a little bit and started to leave him at forward a little bit like LA [Galaxy] did. They go man for man at the back and then they shove and extra man forward and suddenly there is an extra body in there between your back four. That's what coaches do. They change the shape and as I said to the guys at halftime, they aren’t gonna go away. Pablo’s [Mastroeni] teams don’t, they are well organized, they are well drilled, and they’ve got a lot of character. I knew we were gonna get tired as the game went on. Soon as they got that first goal I thought this was gonna be a long 25 minutes.

On the yellow card he [Adrian Heath] received…

“No, although it could have been anything tonight with some of the decisions.”

On the hard foul late by Erik Holt on Emmanuel Reynoso… 

“I didn't see but from what I’m led to believe, the guy led with his elbow and certainly Rey’s [Emanuel Reynoso] got a big bump on his head so he’s obviously caught it. I can't comment on that particular incident.”

On the premature ending to the game…

“I did, but it didn’t surprise me. It didn’t surprise me with what was going on at the time. We had a few occasions today where the whistle was blown and both coaches are wondering which way it’s gonna go. We got through it. It’s a huge two games for us.”

On the play that led to Reynoso’s penalty…

“It wasn’t? Thank god you weren't the referee [laughs]. It’s the same again, I'll have to see it again. I can't from where I am. You don’t get a really good view until you see the bigger picture. But on the whole we’ve had opportunities where I think we should have been given maybe two or three this year and we haven’t had them. So if they even themselves out then that's one for us.”

On potential signs leading to Emanuel Reynoso’s big day… 

“No, I think that the most important thing is and you guys are with me most days, you know how many times I’ve said to Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] if we can get him in that little zone outside the penalty area, about 25 yards, the width of the penalty area on the ball consistently, he can score goals. And we know he can score and we know he can make the final pass. Now we just have to keep pushing him and making him believe that he’s got to take more opportunities. He had one in the second half where he’s in the penalty spot and he looked for a little pass to a guy. He should have just got it out and had a go because he’s a really good finisher.”

Midfielder Wil Trapp

On getting six points in the past two matches…

“You can’t overstate the fact that wins just change everything. It’s amazing, when you win two games, what the table looks like but I think for us, it’s just understanding that these past two games, we’ve been up 3-0 in both of them and we’ve made it nervy. On the one hand it’s great - we scored six goals in two games. On the flipside, we just continue to have to push forward and find ways to close out games in ways that are a little less chaotic. In the end, we win the game, we move forward. It’s a big one to travel to Vancouver [Whitecaps] on Friday.”

On how his nerves held up in the final minutes against LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake…

“We’re bending and not breaking. It’s a cliche, but I think for us, there’s a lot of truth in that at the moment. But, ultimately again, six points, two games, you move up the table and we just continue to push forward.”

On tiredness or other factors leading to both RSL goals…

“It’s concentration. It’s also of course fatigue. We traveled to New England, Miami, LA, and then back home. But it’s a quick turnaround. I’ve said it before, recovery right now is so important and we’re going to a place where it’s difficult to win games. [Vancouver has] artificial turf, which makes it a bit tricky, and they’re good at home. Again, it’s about resting tonight, getting good sleep and getting our bodies ready.”

On Robin Lod playing in central midfield…

“Robin is so intelligent. [There are] so many facets to his game that make him effective and for me, he’s really easy to read and work off of and it was fun to see him in a different position and be able to play next to him.”

On Robin’s skillset…

“His skillset is impressive, so of course we want to put him in positions where he can score goals and help the team. But tonight, he filled that role extremely well.”

On Emanuel Reynoso’s pass to Luis Amarilla’s eventual goal…

“Yeah, (jokingly) I think I maybe got a second assist, who knows… But, his [Reynoso] first touch off the pass I play him is spectacular and then Luism it’s a bending run right in front of the center back. The weight of the pass, the finish, everything was just beautiful.”

On when Reynoso may have seen Luis before the pass…

“I don’t know when he [Reynoso] looks around, but he must, because his awareness and time of passing is truly amazing.”

On if the game was over when stadium lights were flashing…

“No, I didn’t. The referee had said there was a minute left, so I figured it was still going. But, there was a lot of cheering. Again, our guys did a good job of just closing out that last minute.”

On getting hard-fought wins consecutively…

“Sometimes winning ugly is exactly what you need to come out of difficult holes. I think for us, going through the stretch that we had before LA, to just win the game was important in Los Angeles, and to win and reward our fans tonight was something that we talked about before the game. We owe it to them to give everything. Of course, we would like to not give up the two goals, but you saw the heart in the battle with tired legs after a long road trip. We ultimately got three points.”

On any signs that Reynoso was going to get on scoring streak…

“It’s always there. There’s always the ability and the capabilities with him. I always look at it as, 'Are we doing the things to put him in positions to be as effective and as successful as possible.’ When we are getting him the ball at the right time in the right spaces, he just works magic, and you saw that again tonight. We need him to continue this run of form.”

On if Emanuel Reynoso playing well means the team is playing well…

“There’s eleven guys on the field so it’s a little tricky to say that completely. Everyone knows he’s the fulcrum of our attack and I think at times we can be too reliant on it. We need to continue to find ways to be multifaceted in the attack. You saw Bongi [Bongkohle Hlongwane] tonight making good runs, you saw Kemar [Lawrence] making overlapping runs and really generating the attack on that side. The less pressure we can put on Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] the better. Of course we know he is integral to our success, but we have other pieces and we showed that with Luis [Amarilla] scoring tonight and with Fraga [Franco Fragapane] scoring last game too.”

On Emanuel Reynoso dropping in for the counterattack…

“I thought what he [Emanuel Reynoso] did really well tonight was the back pressing. To nick possession off their midfielders and then we can move forward. I thought he did an excellent job of just being responsible in those moments and that really helps us as the two midfielders in terms of just winning the ball and now we have space. If you pick off the midfielders you’re just at the back four. That was something that I was super impressed with him. Even last game, he and Luis’ [Amarilla] defensive shape was excellent. Once we win it high they can work their magic, truly. So for me, that was a huge part to his performance tonight. But again, him [Reynoso] occupying spaces and us finding him in those spaces at the right time.”

On if there is a skillset that Robin Lod brings to the midfield that was showcased tonight…

“He can run past people with the ball. When he is in tight spaces he is great at combining and he always has that ability to skirt past people, which changes the game. It changes how they are pressing and how they commit to pressing him [Robin Lod] or myself in those moments.”

On how it felt to back home…

“It’s been like three weeks. The pitch was fantastic, the supporters – as always -but tonight it just seemed like you could feel that they wanted to be back after a while. I’m glad we rewarded them with three points.”