JJX76209

Head Coach Adrian Heath

On the unpredictability of today’s game…

“That's part and parcel of the game. I thought we started too slow and they started well. Our possession was poor in the first half. Two or three of their better opportunities were really cheap turnovers from us, picking the wrong option and possession of the ball. I thought the second half, when we changed the shape a little bit, put an extra body in midfield, it certainly helped us. After we got the goal, I honestly thought we might get another one. Can’t fault the lads’ efforts and spirit to keep going, but in the first half we didn’t play well against a really good team.”

On the momentum late in the game…

“The goal gives you…the way we played suddenly we weren’t dropping off and backing off. We saw the confrontation, if you like, was so far higher up the field, it gave us an opportunity to get around people and make it a bit more uncomfortable for them. Having another body in midfield, bringing Joseph [Rosales] on helped us, because then it wasn’t too big of spaces for them to get their second and third man on the ball.”

On Seattle's first goal…

“Poor giveaway, we had it again. It’s a quality finish. As I say, cheap turnovers in your own half cost you dearly, against good teams and their a good team.”

On bringing on Joseph Rosales at halftime…

“I thought he was excellent when he came on, I really do, he showed a lot of personality, got on the ball. Even his first touch he turned out and ran past a couple of people. He's a good player, we know that. He trains really well and he can be really pleased with his half, for sure.”

On Joseph Rosales’ play creating a penalty…

“He’s full of life, he wants to run, he wants to get up the field, he's got a little bit of bite in him, he's a good passer of the ball, knows when to break forward like he showed for the goal. He certainly gives us a bit more solidity in the middle of the park and that enables us to keep an extra body further up the field. Putting their back four under a bit more pressure. I thought they had too much time and space in the first half. It's an old saying but give good players time and space and they’ll show you.”

On the team’s struggles against Seattle…

“They’re one of the most storied franchises in the MLS. You look at the amount of money they’ve spent on that group of players. Good players, well coached, good personality, they’re good, experienced pros. People like Joao Paulo and even Kelyn Rowe coming in and playing at fullback. They’ve got a lot of good pieces but that’s twenty years in the making, probably more. That doesn’t surprise me every time we play them, they’re good. They’ve got good players. You bring in [Raul] Ruidiaz off the bench and [Nico] Lodeiro goes off and Ruidiaz comes on. Then Jordan [Morris] goes off and you bring in the kid [Leo] Chu they’ve spent a lot of money on. It is what it is.”

On how results against better teams show where the team is at…

“No, cause we’re talking about a team that’s in the semi-final of the Champions League, and 18 months ago, Supporters’ Shield, They’re just a really good team and every time that you play a really good team, if you don’t play well, which we didn’t in the first half, it’s gonna be difficult, tonight was difficult for us. Second half, I thought there was a lot of positives.”

On the player inconsistencies at the backline…

“Well, I don’t think we’ve had the same back four for one game. Everything has changed. It was nice to get Kemar [Lawrence] some minutes. He’ll be better for that. Hopefully Romain [Métanire] will be available for selection by next week as well, which will help. We’ll have some big decisions to make but I’m just pleased to get a few of the guys back. [Franco] Fragapane trained the last couple of days, so I would think by the middle of next week, hopefully, we’ll have a full complement to play and pick from.”

On adapting to player inconsistencies with player personnel at defense…

“We just try work on the group that you’ve got. This week hasn’t been easy with people away, international duty, you don’t know who’s coming back. Like Schmetz [Brian Schmetzer] was saying the other day, it’s difficult. The guys go away for two weeks, and you get them back a day before the next game, which is ridiculous but that is another argument.”

On changing the starting formation shape…

“It’s an option. Tonight, it looked better because of the way the opposition played. We knew that they would have extra bodies in the middle of the pitch the way that they play. We had to get another body in there to get us a foothold in the game. The change at halftime helped us. As I said, we could keep three players higher up the field. The line of confrontation was a lot closer to their goal and they were under more pressure so they didn’t have as much time to pick the pass because they’re good players.”

On Adrien Hunou not coming off the bench in today’s game…

“I think the changes that we made certainly helped us. Second half we were a lot better, we were probably the better team in the second half. I didn’t want to disrupt it because I thought after we got a goal we were gonna get another one.”

On Adrien Hunou status in the pecking order…

“He keeps training, his opportunity will come. Like it does for everybody.”

On the difference between the first half and the second half…

“Well I changed the shape, you just mentioned it. We went to a 4-3-3 and an extra body in midfield helped us. That back four earned a little bit more pressure. Maybe we should have started with that. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.”

Midfielder Wil Trapp

On tonight’s performance and formation change between halves…

“I’ll start with the second question. Definitely. You could see it in the way that we were able to get more pressure on the ball and create more chances, and then actually affect them when they had possession. The first half was really, really difficult to get close to players because they were outnumbering us pretty well, so that tactical shift helped nicely. If I think about the game in general, I think it was a tale of two halves. At the end of the game, we’re pushing and that’s more of what we are as a team and what we need to bring out from the beginning. Getting punched in the mouth and then having to come back only gets you so far and when you play good teams, it’s not easy to do.”

On how to motivate himself and the team when down against the opposing team…

“It starts with generating chances. I think we did that. You get the penalty, Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] scores the penalty, and then you feel the momentum the crowd starts giving to buy into what we’re doing. It’s not one of those situations against a good team you want to be in.”

On how getting a yellow card in the first ten minutes changes his game… 

“You have to be super smart. You have to be very cautious about which challenges to be in and which challenges you can’t really make, especially when the game opens up like it was. Managing and understanding that putting a hand on this guy or nipping at somebody’s heels, especially with the way Ismail [Elfath] was playing this game a bit more close to the chest, in terms of the yellow cards that were coming out. You just have to think about that.”

On the battle at midfield before the first Seattle goal…

“A little bit in the sense of you want to make a challenge but who knows. It’s one of those where, for me, the last game and this game, I have to be better about deciding what those challenges are and maybe it’s leading with the left foot instead of the right foot so the studs don’t come up because that’s what [Ismail Elfath] said. In my opinion, I got the ball on it but he was worried about the studs on the right foot coming through.”

On satisfaction feelings after Adrian changing the system…

“Absolutely. We were able to match up better. They didn’t have a free guy in the midfield as much. When you can get pressure on the ball, you can turn the play over and generate more chances.”

On the referee of the match…

“For us, it’s just understanding how he is refereeing the game. Is he, a little bit, like I said, more close to the chest on the fouls that he’s calling and then giving yellow cards away? There’s certain moments where I think we have to be smarter and more composed with how we’re addressing it because it’s really easy, especially when you’re down a goal and you feel like you need to be pushing, to take it out on the referee. We had a meeting, just now: it’s not about the referee. It’s about us as a team playing. You can always make those excuses but ultimately that’s not what wins you games.”

On Joseph Rosales and playing alongside him…

“I think Joseph [Rosales] does a great job of bringing that energy. You could tell, with the play on the penalty, he was just aggressive going forward. He’s trying to make a play. When you’re coming off the bench, you want to get yourself into a rhythm, that’s a great way to do it and he did a great job tonight.”

On the growth of Joseph Rosales as a player…

“He has a great skill set and great versatility as well. He can play a number of positions and for us, that’s really an advantage to have. As someone that is going away with the national team and then coming back, you could see the confidence.”

On the first ten minutes and the first half…

“The first five minutes was… man… Abu [Danladi] had a huge chance. Robin [Lod] had a chance and it felt like, if we just convert one of these, it’s going to be a good night for us. You saw the impatience come through. We were generating chances. We were coming on a break and then we’re trying to do it every time. When that game becomes almost like a Final Four basketball game, you get tired and the spaces get bigger, and then you’re running a little bit more. They have good players that get around the ball and their understanding of space is impressive. It almost hurt us slightly, in the sense of, how many chances we were generating off the break because our impatience showed through.”

On the inconsistencies of personnel and adapting as a team…

“If we tie or win this game, we’re not talking about that so much, are we? The past two games have been shutouts and we defended fairly well before that. The inconsistency or variability, I guess you could say, in the lineup has given guys the opportunity to play. It has shown versatility in guys like Bakaye [Dibassy], for example. I think DJ [Taylor] has done a good job when he has come in. If I’m thinking about the Red Bulls game, I think he had an excellent game. So much of the backline is finding consistency, finding relationships and comradery and building that over time. Of course, when you have everyone available, you can find the best 11 or the best back four, in this regard, and work from there.”

On getting over the own goal and moving forward…

“The own goal, it’s unfortunate. The best thing you can do in those moments is to try and surround the player that it goes off of with, I always say, body contact. Make guys feel that you understand it and it’s not the end of the world. We’ve got to move on and pick each other up. For Brent [Kallman] in that case, it’s one of those where it’s crossed, shot, you’re trying to make a play, but what can you do? It’s just a part of the game. You’ve got to move forward.”

On being named captain at the start of the season…

“It’s part of who I am and the trust the coach has put in me. Continuing to build relationships with my teammates and really take the mantle is what I’m focused on.”

On the game as a measuring stick…

“In ways. In other ways, no. The first four games we played tough opponents. You think about going to Philly away, going to Red Bulls, and playing Nashville here at home. Those were tough games and almost a trap game with San Jose. Measuring stick? Yes but also just an opponent that we like to play and we want to beat. It’s more frustrating in that regard because they’re a team that, at times, has our number and we don’t like that.”