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Head Coach Adrian Heath

On the positive aspects of the game against LAFC…

“Yeah, I think the game plan that we set up, I thought, we executed. We knew that they were going to press with five or six players. We said in the week, if we can break this initial press, and then pick the right ball and break, move into space and play into space, then we’ll get ourselves a couple of opportunities and that’s what happened. A great opportunity with Robin [Lod]. Goals change games, especially in these games where it’s so tight. Up until the 82nd minute, we were having opportunities on the break as well so yeah there were a lot of positives to take. We played a very, very good team. Thought we made a really good account of ourselves. We set ourselves up for what’s going to be a big game this weekend.”

On how the game changed throughout 90 minutes…

“Yeah, it is because goals will change games. They change the whole momentum of things. They change the atmosphere within the stadium. They have to get a little bit more desperate and push even more men forward, that leaves more space. It’s all ifs and buts. They did score the goal and they were pressing us, as we knew they would. They’re a really good team. They get after you. They cause you a lot of problems. They swing you from side to side and then look in to go behind. They’ve got a lot of good players and they’ve been well-coached over the last few years. They’ll come back up at the end of the season for sure.”

On his analysis of FC Cincinnati so far this year…

“They’ve obviously changed the roster a little bit and I think they’re probably in a better shape and a better place than they’ve been since they’ve come into the league. I’ve been through what they went through. It’s not an easy time when you’re not really 100% prepared to come into the MLS but they are getting better, they are adding pieces. The last couple of games that I’ve watched, the game against [LAFC] the week before, the game could’ve gone either way. We’ll have to play well, as you always have to do in this league when you play at home or away. You’ve got to earn the right to go and win the game and that’s what we’ll have to do this weekend.”

On the biggest threats from FC Cincinnati…

“Yeah and [Luciano] Acosta’s got his typical, classic, Argentinian, number 10. He finds good spots and gets in them little half-spaces in between. If we give him a lot of time, he’ll pick people out. Brandon Vázquez is going to be available. He’s had a really good start to the season. They’ve got enough threats to cause you problems. If we don’t respect them or play well enough, it’ll be a difficult afternoon.”

On playing again at Allianz Field…

“Yeah, obviously our home record over the last two or three years has been excellent. I don’t expect it to be any different this year. Our supporters have been really getting behind the team, as they always do. We’ve got to make it difficult for the opposition and that’s what we’ll try and do.”

On the best way to get around Cincinnati…

“Well, I think we have to play our game. I think we’ll probably play on the front foot and when we play in the other team’s half when we move the ball quickly when we get it wide and all of those wide areas and work the penalty area, we’re very difficult to play against. If we do that, and we do it well and execute well, we give ourselves a great chance.”

Defender Michael Boxall

On the game against LAFC…

“It’s similar to a few of our other performances where we kind of, defend somewhat reservedly. I mean, we do have our chances with the game and then we just kind of run out of legs, down the stretch, where we come to a little bit of a track meet. I think just a lack of getting the ball in the opposition’s half just makes us do a lot more running than we should have to.”

On not finishing after creating scoring opportunities…

“I know we’re a fit group, we’re a group that keeps running to the death. Sort of like that in the first half, we would’ve went up two, then they had that big chance but through the second half, we know what’s going to come. If we keep pushing, we’re going to get opportunities. If that doesn’t give it away, we just need to stay disciplined and stake it back to make sure we take one more point. We lost a bit of concentration down the stretch.”

On his analysis of FC Cincinnati…

“Every year they start behind, but I think this year they’ve got a lot more about them. They do score and are more dangerous in the final third. Obviously [Luciano] Acosta, he’s always been class for them. But I’m saying that, with all the years, especially at home, a bit of success against this team. Without the fans behind us, in our half… we’ve got to go after three points.”