Head Coach Adrian Heath

On the importance of the performance and three points against LA Galaxy…

“Obviously, on the back of two defeats, certainly the Wednesday game as well in Kansas which was very disappointing for everybody, but the response from the players was magnificent. As I said after the game on Saturday, the crowd were unbelievable as well. It was a really good day for us all around because we managed to get our forward players back on the field and obviously, some of the football we played was excellent as well. It was a great result and sets us up nicely for what’s going to be another very difficult game this weekend again. [Houston] are undefeated in three, got a couple really big performances. Darwin [Quintero] has got himself back in the team and playing really well. We know what’s coming at the weekend.”

On the defensive turnaround to get the shutout after giving up four goals in Kansas…

“I think I said before the game on Saturday, considering we’ve conceded eight goals in two games, I think we’ve got the fourth best defensive record in the league. That’s been a strong point for us. But to get a clean sheet, I think, was huge. I’m sure Tyler [Miller] will tell you, the way the modern game is everybody has to attack, everybody has to defend and it was a huge shift from the four midfield players. Ozzie [Alonso] and Wil [Trapp] were playing against three and Ethan [Finlay] and [Franco] Fragapane worked so hard to make it very compact in there. There was a lot of pleasing stuff for sure.”

On Emanuel Reynoso returning from injury and have a good performance right away…

“He thinks I moan at him too much because I keep saying ‘you don’t score enough goals.’ And what he needs to do, and you’ve heard me say it since he’s been here, if we can consistently get him the ball in and around the 18-yard box, he’ll either produce something with a little magic or a slide little pass or he’ll make goals, score goals. And he’s got to do more of it because he’s a quality player.”

On having a good number 10 that likes to defend…

“He’s very much aware of his defensive responsibilities. As I’ve said, all of them were at the weekend. I thought the level of commitment from everybody was outstanding. But we have to go and do it again now. We’ve got two players who are not out here with the rest of the group and it’s going to be huge for us moving forward. Now we’ve got ten games left. I think Greg Vanney said it best after the game, we’re at that stage of the season where every performance and every point matters. You’re trying to get in the playoffs and then you’re in the playoffs but can you get a homefield game. There’s something on every game now.”

On a tight Western Conference playoff race…

“For the coaches, a bit more stressful, I can assure you. The one good this is because we’ve played each other each week, you feel as though even if you don’t get the right result this week, if you get the one next week cause you’re playing another team that’s in and around you, then you’ve got an opportunity. I think it’s going to be really, really tight all the way through but I’m really looking forward to the next ten games for sure.”

Defender Michael Boxall

On the strong result against the LA Galaxy and what it did for the team...

“We dug ourselves a little hole from the two games earlier in the week, which were two kind of tough matchups but we definitely left ourselves short on the midweek one [against Kansas City]. We knew what we needed from this game, certainly a performance at the very least and I think we gave that with the energy from the crowd and got what we deserved.”

On playing back home and feeling like a must win game…

“Because we know what we’re capable of and with how well we’ve done at Allianz as well with our fans behind us, we should be taking points, if not winning every single game we play there. No matter who walks into the building, whether it’s the top of the standings, whether they’re at the table near the bottom, we need to pick up three points at home. That’s our mentality from the get go and it helps when [Emanuel Reynoso] does what he did on the weekend.”

On a tight Western Conference playoff race…

“Similar to, what was it, 2019 where every weekend you could swing three of four places. First time I had a look at the table on the weekend since two months ago and I was kind of surprised at where we were. I thought we were doing a bit better but everything is in our hands, we just have to take care of everything we can control.”

On Emanuel Reynoso’s performance on Saturday…

“It just makes our jobs so much easier at the back because he gives you something to protect as well as dictating the flow of the game. When we’re defending for a few minutes at a time, he takes the pressure off of us and makes sure we look after the ball. And, obviously, anything within 30 yards of the goal, he’s dangerous. Whether he’s providing, or as he proved on the weekend, scoring bangers.”

On getting the shutout after giving up four goals in Kansas City…

“I like to think that Kansas City was an anomaly but it’s only that if everyone does their job for 90 minutes, which against Kansas City, we didn’t. As I said before, those are the performances that I expect out of our group and it’s not just the back four and Tyler [Miller], it’s the whole team digging in and doing their job. We’re tough to break down when everybody does their jobs.”

On having a whole week to prepare for Houston Dynamo…

“Now that we’ve got all our bodies back that we kinda need and hopefully everyone stays healthy, time to rest, recover and then once again, another big week coming up. Three games. Gotta start on the right foot against Houston.”