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Head Coach Adrian Heath

On the feeling in the locker room after this win and putting an end to Seattle’s record unbeaten streak …

“I’m pleased for the players. I’m pleased for the supporters. By the way, I thought they were magnificent today. It might be as good of atmospheres as we’ve had in the stadium. They got us through in the end, so, hats off to them. But, no, we know they’ve got a few injuries, they’ve got a few people away. The starting eleven that they put out, there’s probably seven of them that have played most of the games this year. And, as I’ve said, everybody knows the respect I have for [Brian Schmetzer] and his coaching staff. I think they do an unbelievable job. Four finals in five years, I think it is. So, we knew it was going to be tough today. The one thing about it is, you look at the young kids they brought on at the end, big, strong, pace all around, so, I’m pleased for the players. Because, I thought, actually, for the first 35, 40 minutes we were far and away the better team. I thought once we let the game get stretched, they started to get their spare man in midfield on the ball a little bit too much for my liking. But, overall, it’s a big win for us and it sets us up nicely for next week.”

On if he feels like Robin Lod scored twice …

“Obviously, I spoke to Alan [Kelly] after the game, and he said, obviously, they would have checked it in the situation. I thought it was a penalty. But, hey, it is what it is. We got over the line anyway.”

On what happened in the altercation on the sideline in the second half between Abduolaye Cissoko and himself …

“Well, we’re fine. You know, we spoke about it as he came off and was subbed off and I spoke to him again about it at the end of the game. As per usual, I told him to get up, I didn’t think he was injured. And then by the reaction, he didn’t look as though he was injured. And, I didn’t realize he was such a big boy until he stood up right in front of me. So, it might have been a mistake, that one, to say. Hey, we all live and learn.”

On the substitution of Niko Hansen for Adrien Hunou and flipping those two players and why it would work …

“The one thing the players were talking about at halftime was the heat and how hot it was. And, I said this before. We’re still working really hard with Adrien Hunou. He had such a long period of time when he didn’t play that he’s still getting there. He had some really nice touches first half. We know he can play up there. We just thought when the game was getting late on, Niko [Hansen] might give us a bit with his energy. So, hey, all you do is you make them decisions, hope that they have an influence on the team, and, obviously putting Robin [Lod] up there got us a goal again. So, you know what you’re doing.”

On Emanuel Reynoso and his skills on the field today …

“I still think he’s a little bit hit and miss at this minute, by his standards. But he’s working hard at training. If we’re gonna make runs in this playoff towards the end of the year, then we certainly need [Reynoso] firing on all cylinders because he’s a difference maker.”

On talking to Alan Kelly after the game, and if he mentioned any possibility of a red card challenge on the almost goal – when Robin Lod was taken down in the box – if they weren’t going to look at VAR …

“I didn’t get to ask him that, no. No, I didn’t. Sorry.”

On it being difficult to get anything on goal until the 75*th\* minute and what was lacking for his side …

“When I look back at the first half, I thought our approach play through the middle of the pitch was excellent. And we got the ball from our half of the field into our final third quite comfortably. And if you look at it, we probably didn’t have enough to show for that. I thought we were better at running forward without the ball. But it’s got to be a work in progress, because we know that the four of them can really combine, they’re all on a similar wavelength, but we have to have a little bit more end product. That’s for sure.”

On his defense keeping Raul Ruidiaz quiet this afternoon …

“I thought, certainly first half, we were exceptional. We just dropped off a little bit in the sort of last five to 10 minutes. And once the game got spread, that was when they had the two good chances, the two good saves from Tyler [Miler]. We spoke about it at halftime and trying to keep nice and compact, not allowing space to work in. Because the one thing about [Raul] Ruidiaz, no matter what he does in a game, you know that if he has one chance he invariably puts it in the back of the net. That was my worry. Because, at any stage, lack of concentration from the defensive shape that we were trying to implement, could cost you dearly against teams like this.”

On his moment with Brian Schmetzer before the game …

“I said to you yesterday, I’ve got so much respect for Schmetz [Brian Schmetzer] and their organization. When I arrived here, maybe 13 years ago now, I went around a lot of MLS clubs and not many were as cordial as the Sounders were. I think Sigi [Schmid] was the manager, and, you know, they were incredible. I went and stayed there for a few days, trying to learn about the soccer in America and they couldn’t have been better. So, I‘ve got a lot of respect for them.”

On Emanuel Reynoso playing more on the right side in the second half …

“I think he just thought that that was where the pocket of space was, was down that side. I know he likes playing with Robin [Lod], they’re on the very same wavelength, both very bright footballers. So, no, we don’t want to try and restrict him to where he plays. We want him to go and try and find the game. At times, I want him higher up the field because that’s where he can do his most dangerous work. And little passes are going through the backline rather than through the midfield. I’m so pleased for the players. A good reaction from what we had in Colorado. What is it, we’re one beaten in nine now? So, let’s keep this going.”

Midfielder Robin Lod

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On opening up for the goal...

“I mean I just listen to what the coach wanted and the goal on the front and obviously, Niko [Niko Hansen] bring some more pace on the right side so I mean it was a good switch I guess. Niko assisted another goal.”

On finally taking the win against Seattle...

“I mean, as you said we had tough losses against Seattle so, obviously, it's really nice to beat them today, for sure.”

On feeling like Robin scored twice...

“I mean I only scored one but I think we should have worried about the penalty at least on the on the situation. That's how I felt. I haven't seen it in the replay but as a live, I thought there was definitely there.”

On the team’s response after the Colorado game...

“Yeah, I mean, obviously the Colorado game was really low from us. I mean the work rate wasn't there. People didn't play their best as I would say but yeah I'm happy that the team bounced back and work hard and we deserved this win for sure.”

On doing more with Franco Fagapane, Adrien Hunou, and Emanuel Reynoso in the game...

“I mean in the end, the final third is the most difficult part of the game and it comes in small details to have the final pass more better and I think it's the small details but I feel confident that we will find it later or sooner.”

On Adrian Heath mentioning the atmosphere at Allianz Field being the best it has ever been...

“I could agree because it was my first game with the full stadium since back in 2019 so, it definitely was really good. The fans are great and I love them and all the credit for them making noise and it makes us players play more.”

On the heat...

“It was really hot. I could say that. Maybe the tempo wasn't that great, but obviously the weather makes the part of it so it was tough conditions today.”

On Emanuel Reynoso playing more over to the right side...

“I mean, same for [Emanuel Reynoso] as for myself, like as I am left footed, I think it's easier to come with the right side and play more from there to center. It's just, maybe for him, feeling more comfortable coming out there and also having some combination play there. I don't think we spoke about it that much but I think it's just how he felt more.”

Defender DJ Taylor

On the team’s playing after Colorado game feedback…

“I think it’s a perfect result, exactly. We played the way we wanted to play after the Colorado game. I’ve told you that we needed to look at ourselves in the mirror and just work together as a team and get the result. Obviously, I think we showed that today in every aspect of the game whether that was defending or attacking.”

On what was working for them on the right side of the field …

“I think Seattle with their five men in the back, it gives me more space with Robin Lod pinning their outside back against their line. I had more space to be in this little in-between zone, pull out their midfielders, so they either come with me or I get the ball and push myself into the final third. I think those little runs in behind from Adrien [Hunou] and then [Emanuel Reynoso] in the hole, I was able to have a lot of success finding them. There were a lot of opportunities with that, when they play five in the back.”

On his perspective if Robin Lod could have scored twice …

“Yeah, I wish. There was also that one play where I tried to play Bakaye [Dibassy] and then it ended up with Robin [Lod] almost scoring, which is kind of funny. But yeah, it was a crazy goal obviously. I wanted to celebrate with the team but I was so tired that I went and just grabbed some water. But definitely for sure, I think Rob did well today and he definitely deserves the goal.”

On whether he thought Robin Lod called fouled on the first shot on goal…

“With Adrien [Hunou]? I think so. It looked like it. I think maybe he needs to work on his falling over a little bit, like a French actor. But yeah, I think it was a foul. He felt like it was a foul as well.”

On weather conditions …

“They were difficult. I think we’ve trained in hotter weather here in Minnesota but yeah we didn’t let that bother us. You know, just stay mentally sharp and focus. As long as you prepare and hydrate before the game, you’re all good in the game once you get in there. ”

On how he felt about the backline responded with Raul Ruidiaz …

“Yeah, I think we did well with a lot of preventative marking. I think that’s kind of one of the key things that Adrian [Heath] told us to do before we came into this game, was to be aware of [Raul Ruidiaz] and when we were attacking to make sure we were tuned in to stay locked in, so that he couldn’t get out but then play out of pressure, which we didn’t allow them much space. Luckily [Brent Kallman] and Bakaye [Dibassy] did a good job at closing in on them, so they really couldn’t get the ball to his feet.”

On how he’s grown in comfort and confidence since his first game …

“Yeah, I think I’ve grown a lot over the last three weeks. Obviously, debuting with 45 minutes was good and obviously getting my full 90 in Colorado, which is even one of the toughest places with the altitude. But I knew coming back home it was going to be a great experience. Obviously being home with the fans, they change everything for you. I knew this 90 plus would get me through it. I feel like I’m in shape enough now too to go for however long the coach is willing. ”

On if he’s made it difficult for Adrian Heath with Romain Metanire …

“Yeah, I think I was brought here knowing about Romain [Metanire] and obviously it’s my job to be there, if Romain is out of the picture, then I’m the next guy to step up. Obviously, I think I’m making my case now and showing Adrian [Heath] that I can do that. But at the end of the day the choice is up to him, I just got to be able to push that. So that he has a harder choice to make.

On what was talked about in the locker room with the first win against the Seattle Sounders …

“Yeah, I honestly didn’t even know about that until after the game. It was talked about in the locker room after the game. You know I felt happy and proud to be a part of the club and beat Seattle obviously with the history. But yeah, my mentality was ‘they're unbeaten, so let’s be the ones to actually beat that record and show the league what we’re here to do,’ which is obviously going to the playoffs and winning the cup.”

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