A17I2581

Head Coach Adrian Heath

On being on an advantage for 70 minutes, but only walking away with one point at home …

“Well, I look at the week and Galaxy, San Jose and this game… should be sitting on maybe seven points if you look at it logically, opportunities we’ve had. Chances compared with the opposition. Possession we’ve had. Crosses. Corners. Every stat you want to think of, we’ve been miles ahead of everybody in all the games. So, to only get two points is very disappointing and, it’s not like we haven’t had opportunities again to win the game. Goals change games. I say it every week. And had we scored first half – a couple of opportunities – it changes the course of the game, the way that they defend and the way that they play. But, all ifs and buts. The bottom line is we got two points out of nine, and we should have got minimum six maybe, seven. So, there you go.”

On the incredible amount of contact Emanuel Reynoso took throughout the game …

“It’s every week. Every week. It’s let’s have a gang up. You do it first. I’ll do it second. You do it third. People can complain. Stats are there. Every week. Talk about protection of big-time players in the league. I’m not about sounding off, by the way. I’m more about in general. If you look at the game.”

On Emanuel Reynoso’s status after such a tough game …

“I don’t know. We’ll have to see tomorrow. He’s got a lot of bumps and bruises for sure.”

On if he thought the team was too vertical in the second half like he thought the team was in the San Jose game …

“No, not really. I thought we created a lot of opportunities. We’ve had lots of crosses into the box. We had a couple of one on ones. I think we had a couple of great opportunities. I think of Juan [Agudelo] one of one. [Michael] Boxall had an incredible chance. If you’re not creating chances, then you look at all the stuff. But, we’ve had chances again tonight. And unfortunately, you know, it comes back to bite you when you don’t take them chances.”

On if Adrien Hunou is still integrating into the team, or if the integration process is complete …

“I think he’s struggling from a lack of confidence at this moment in time, which, strikers do when things aren’t going well for you. But, you know, you can’t hide. You have to keep putting yourself in there, putting yourself in the right spot. Hope that something drops for you and you get an opportunity. We’ve all been there and unfortunately he’s going through one of those spells at this moment in time.”

On if he thinks there’s something specific that isn’t clicking for Adrien Hunou …

“No. I just don’t think…at this moment in time, he needs a goal. He needs to get some confidence back into his game. The only way that will happen, is, as I say, you can’t hide, you have to continually get into the right spots. He knows where to run. He knows when to get there. And now he needs to score some of these opportunities that he’s getting.”

On having one goal in three games, and if it’s the most frustrating offensive spells …

“It is. Because it’s not like we aren’t creating. As a coach, it’s worse when you go, how many chances have we created, or how many shots have we had? Every game we’ve had opportunities. So, that’s the disappointing thing. And, you know, I’ve just said it. The goals change the whole complex of games. When we’re on top, at this moment in time, which, we’ve been again today for large periods, we haven’t been able to capitalize on an opportunity that then changes the course of the game. Changes the course of the way the opposition have to defend. If they want to get something from the game. And, you know, unfortunately, at this moment in time, it’s not going for us.”

On this being the third or fourth year Major League Soccer has put this game against Sporting KC as part of its Rivalry Week and if he feels there’s something different about this match up compared to others …

“I think it’s growing. And if we want to be what we want to be as a club going forward, there’s going to be a lot of encounters against Kansas, because 10, 12 years on the trot, they’ve made the playoffs. So, if we’re gonna be where we are gonna do, then we’re gonna have a lot of games against them. And obviously going to be in the same conference. I think it’s growing. For sure.”

On playing 70 minutes at an advantage and if he thought his side should have played more aggressive and the striker numbers are only one goal …

“You don’t think we were? I do. I do know. 23 shots. How many corners? Efforts in the box? That’s aggressive. Yeah. We’ve just spoke about that. Yeah, we’ve got to take these opportunities that we keep creating. In terms of being positive, being aggressive, for sure. And, you have to give to opposition credit. They looked dangerous on the counterattack later on when we were throwing more and more men forward. I say this kindly to everybody, people think you have a divine right to win because you’re at home. Have a guess what, the opposition want to win as well. And they make it difficult for you. And they’re a good team. Well coached. Well organized. I was more concerned late on at conceding because of the amount of bodies we were pushing forward. In terms of being aggressive and being positive, I don’t think we could have been much more.”

On bringing Patrick Weah into the game and what he saw from him …

“I’ll keep saying this. Pat [Patrick Weah] is a work in progress. He’s got a lot of natural talent. A lot of natural ability. And I just felt the way the game was today, he might have given us a little spark. Because the one thing he can do, he can beat people one of one. And, I thought as the game, we were playing in their half, if he got a one on one with [Graham] Zusi, didn’t really happen for him in space, but, we’ll keep working with him. It’s a project. But there’s certainly some talent there.”

On having Michael Boxall back in the lineup and how that effects the team’s overall defensive performance …

“I said yesterday to the players, it was a really difficult decision. Because I don’t think Brent Kallman has done an awful lot wrong. In fact, he hasn’t done anything wrong. But, the fact that Boxy [Michael Boxall] has been fit now for probably two games, we feel as though we need to get him in the team to get his match fitness to where it’s got to be. You know, I looked at this month, with the games that we’ve had, and now we go to Houston, and then we’ve got a break. I always felt that it was going to be a crucial month for us. So, we need to take something from this game in Houston and then hopefully, with the fortnight break, [Franco] Fragapane and Robin Lod and everybody be fit and healthy, we can regroup and go from there.”

On Emanuel Reynoso being selected an MLS All-Star, and if it’s smart to have him play in the All-Star game following today’s grueling game …

“Well, we’ll see how he is tomorrow. I’m not quite sure how he is now. He’s in with the physios. His hand is all bruised, we’ll have an x-ray on that. His hamstring is tight and he’s got a few cuts and bruises on his leg. So, we’ll have to evaluate that. In a perfect world, we’d love to see him go and represent the club. His talent deserves to be in the All-Star game. But, we’ll see tomorrow.”

On how much closer the club is to signing a player currently out of contract …

“We’re talking, like four or five clubs are. It looks like the same players are being offered to every club. And, obviously, it’s just going to be a case of if we think something can come and help us for the sort of last third of the season.”

On being a top-level striker himself, and how he gets all of his attacking players’ confidence up when they’re in a rut …

“It’s not easy. You have to keep trying to keep their confidence up. As I always say to players, the only confidence I can give you is I keep picking you. You know, hopefully, they get in the right spots. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like where everything, every chance is very, very difficult when it’s not really. You start double guessing yourself. You have two touches when you should only have one. You have to play instinctively. And that’s what we spoke to the guys. Don’t overthink it.”

On if Major League Soccer as a league is getting tougher and longer with the constant expansion, double-week games and more navigation from the club sides …

“The last 18 months, two years have been strange for everybody. Every coach I speak to. Going back to the pandemic and down to the bubble. I still think we have not equaled the all out and everybody knows where we are. The schedules are not what they used to be. We have breaks. Then we have a Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday. And it’s not been easy, for sure. Not just for us. For every team in the league as well. In terms of the size of the league, I’ve got other things to worry about then to worry about the size of the league to be honest.”

On the Emanuel Reynoso red card …

“I’ll have to see it again. Peter [Vermes] has his opinion. I’ll have mine. At the end of the day, the referee had two gos at it. He had a look. Red card. Went and had another look. Slow motion. Red card. So, I don’t know. We’ll see.”

On the overall officiating of the game …

“It’s one thing we have to be careful of. I’m not sure about today. Time wasting is going to a new level in the league. I’ve got a simple answer to it, but people don’t want to hear it. It’s difficult when you have two really big injuries in the game. Stretchers getting brought on. All the subs that we had and there’s only five minutes. Not sure that would have been what I would have put up. I think he’s a good referee, Marc [Marcos DeOliveira] is one of the better ones, I feel. But, time wasting today was a little bit frustrating.”

On his simple answer to solving time wasting that nobody wants to hear …

“We only talk about time wasting in the 85th minute. When it starts from the first half. I’ve said it all along. Stop. Give someone a yellow card. Next time you get a red. Trust me, it’ll stop. But we go too long and we wait until too late. It aggravates the crowd. It aggravates the players. But, I’m only a coach.”

Defender Michael Boxall

On returning to the lineup after a lengthy rehab stint…

“Against 10 men for the majority the game kind of helps because when you're out for five weeks or so, you kind of do question your fitness but think for that last 60, we kind of control the game being a man up, but just couldn't quite get one pass [Tim] Melia. In the terms of being back out there, it feels great. To be honest, I was a little bit surprised because Brent has been superb since he's had to step in and I was kind of surprised that I took his place because he's done so well for the last few weeks.”

On feeling different during rivalry week against Sporting Kansas City…

“I mean, not particularly. It's weird that it's well over halfway through the season and it's the first time we've played them. Obviously MLS tries to market something in their rivalry week so to us it doesn't really seem that much. At this point of the season, we're needing to really get more points on the board than we have been. I think we've been there or there abouts, but not quite finishing the job off so kind, of leaving us a lot of work to do in the remaining matches.” 

On the challenges of scoring with a man up…

“Yeah it's frustrating but I know the guys are working hard and it's never easy when you're dealing with injuries and players out. Yes, squad is a little bit depleted, especially the players that we've kind of counted on for goals in the first half of the season. We just got to keep working and keep finding a way. We're still very much going on a little run, we push ourselves up the table when we want to be hosting a playoff game so that's still our mindset and we just need to keep working away.”

On feeling this was two points from this week rather than six or seven…

“Oh yeah, for sure. I think given the circumstances in San Jose when you're up a man for that amount of time, and then certainly for the same for today I think we need to do a lot better, especially at home, especially today against Kansas City. They defended well in numbers. [Tim] Melia made some big saves, but I still think it's on us. We need to do a little more and finish our chances, me included. 

On tension between Michael Boxall and Khiry Shelton...

“After the red card they weren't too happy about it so I think they were trying to just get under our skin to do what they can to try to even up the match. There’s nothing in it. I think a few players running 20 meters to come and push me, it's nothing. It was just one of those things that happened within the 90 minutes and nothing to really think of after.”

On the whistles called …

“Yes, a lot of very soft whistles, particularly in that second half. No whistles when [Tim] Melia is taking his sweet ass time to take any kind of restart. I think we could do a better job to keep the game going there.”

On worrying about the defense being stretched …

“I think the first half I did just because I’m still recovering from my injury. Because of the games, what two games for the last weeks, I haven't been able to have a full proper week of training to really stretch yourself on a full field, it's all kind of been small stuff. It was a little concern in the first half but then once everything got warmed up and you kind of forget about the little niggles and just get on with it. Second half we kind of pinned them in and they just had like long balls that Bakaye [Dibassy] kind of dealt with them fairly comfortably.”

On advice to Adrien Hounou on a scoring drought …

“I don't know if you've seen my goalscoring record but I'm probably not the one to talk to him. But we've all seen what he's capable of and we've seen it with other players, probably myself included, where it takes a bit of time to settle. Obviously everyone outside the room kind of expects a lot more because maybe the price tag or everything that goes along with it, and the expectations are there. We know what he's capable of. Particularly coming from overseas, you need a bit of time to settle so obviously we'd like to be scoring a hattrick every week. He's still finding his feet, but we know it's about the quality there. It’s just needed to keep working on the training field and keep working on game days too.”

Advertising

Advertising