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Head Coach Adrian Heath

On the Euro 2020 Final…

“It was disappointing. I think everyone was full of optimism. I think that Gareth [Southgate] did so much right during the tournament, I actually think he made a mistake in, not only the team shape, but his selection. But that’s very easy in hindsight, as I know most weeks, everybody’s got a better answer than the coach. They have hindsight to sort of fall back on and a coach doesn’t. I felt [England] gave [Italy] too much respect and conceded too much ground and lost too much initiative during the game.”

On how the players have been training since the loss in Colorado…

“The players have been excellent. They’re fully aware that the performance that we put in in Colorado was not acceptable. Part of playing football is you lose games, we know that. But there are ways to lose a game of football and the way that we played in Colorado, certainly isn’t one of them. I don’t think we did ourselves justice in any shape or form and it’s probably the most disappointed I’ve been for maybe a couple years.”

On what the locker room was like after the match…

“There was truth spoken and I thought that one or two people let themselves down. I thought that as a group, and individually, we were poor. I don’t think we wanted to win badly enough, and [Colorado] did. Against a team, I feel, are inferior to our team, so that was the disappointment. People were told. We had a few days over the weekend to work really, really hard and hopefully we’ve learned a lesson or two.”

On the decision to send Patrick Weah to Real Betis in Spain to train…

“We thought in this period of time where we haven’t got a second team, we haven’t got the opportunity to give these guys an opportunity. This has been going on for maybe six months so it’s picking the right chance. We thought it was a good opportunity for him. He’s not playing here, and I think it’ll do him good to go and see the demands and level of professionalism you need if you’re going to make a professional and I think it’ll be really good for him.”

On if he expects a more intelligent footballer after training in Spain for two weeks

“Not after two weeks but after a long period of time. The way the game is played there, it is certainly different than MLS. But I think the level of professionalism and the demands of being a professional will certainly stand him in good stead when he goes to Betis.”

On facing the table-topping Seattle Sounders this Sunday…

“It’s never easy against them. I know whatever team that they have, they might have a few injuries and might have a few guys away, but the one thing about them is they’ve got a really good academy, they’ve got a really good second team. They’ve got young quality players, like [Joshua Atencio] who is coming through now. They’ve got good players. The fact that they’ve come in undefeated, they’re coming in full of confidence. And it’s always difficult. I never expect anything other than a really difficult match, home or away against the Sounders.”

On the changes Seattle has made to their shape this season…

“They’ve obviously put an extra man in the back. They’ve been smart because they’ve lost Jordan Morris, which was always their get out of jail card, in behind, stretching the field. [Nicolas] Lodeiro has barely played all season, he’s the guy who knits it all together. They’ve had to come up with what they think is the best system for the players they have available. We know it’s going to be tough, but if we get back to the way we can play, I think [Brian] Schmetzer is clever enough to understand that this will be a difficult game for them as well.”

Midfielder Robin Lod

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On his Euro 2020 experience with the Finland National Team…

“It was a really nice experience, can’t deny that. Tough games. I feel like our team was more surviving, doing our best. Some days we had to expect that they were just a little bit better than us. As I explained, it was amazing. Once in a lifetime, especially for our country.”

On getting back to Minnesota United after being away for so long…

“It’s been nice. Nice to be back, to see the guys and work hard with the guys. It’s been nice. When you play so much with them all year, it’s easy always to come back so it doesn’t take that many days.”

On the tough schedule he’s had traveling and playing immediately…

“I’m feeling good. It’s a tough stretch of games but that is what we love to do, to play the games and enjoy that. I’m looking forward for the games for sure.”

On a tough matchup against Seattle Sounders this weekend…

“It’s going to be tough. Seattle is unbeaten still so I’m really looking forward to make them suffer and have the first loss. In the playoffs, and in the first game [of the season], I think there was times we played really well against them, it’s just some small details and small mistakes we made that they make us pay. I’m really looking forward for it and I feel confident going into against them.”

Defender DJ Taylor

On making his first MLS start against the Colorado Rapids…

“It was a great experience obviously, and also my family was in town. Obviously amazing to finally make my debut. I’ve been training hard every week and luckily the coaches let me finally do that and I think I earned my stripes and I’ll continue to do that as we grow.”

On how hard he’s been training, waiting for his opportunity…

“Yea definitely a sense of reward. To be at home too, with the fans, seeing this great city, Minneapolis and the club and how they support us in everything, it was a great atmosphere for me to enjoy myself and basically do what I love to do. Just play soccer.”

On the difference between MLS and USL…

“Everything is calculated. Whether that’s your touch, shot, how you defend, everything is at a faster pace and it’s much more aggressive on the field. Everybody is giving 110 percent. In USL, you kind of get away with a little touch here and there, but in MLS it’s a whole different story. You have to play faster and know what you’re going to do before you do it.”

On what went wrong in Colorado…

“It was just ourselves. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot. It wasn’t good enough. People usually say that higher altitude is an excuse but we don’t excuses for ourselves. It was a time for us to reflect in the mirror and look at ourselves. We’re here, no vacation with those days off. We’re here grinding just to get better.”

On whether the extra training has benefited the players…

“It’s definitely benefitted us. Obviously everybody came in not happy to not be on vacation. They know the mentality of what coach wants and we’re here to get results. I think it brought us together a little bit. When you grind together, guys come closer. I think it’ll help us for when we play on Sunday.”

On the reputation of the Seattle Sounders and a tough matchup on Sunday…

“For sure. It’s a good club. They’re an amazing team, with the record of being unbeaten but it doesn’t change anything for us. We’re at home, we’re going to play how we want to play and we want to get the three points. It’s one of the games we look forward to because we want to show that we’re one of the best in the league too.”

On how Minnesota approaches such an organized team like the Sounders…

“You can’t take too many risks but you can’t just sit back and let them do whatever they want. I think it’s going to be a good battle. Like I said, the main focus is balance. We need to get more runners in behind, it’s what we’ve been working on, and create more chances in the attacking third. And if we push too high, we don’t want to get caught on the counter with Seattle with their good attackers. I’m sure we’ll be able to do what we need to do.”

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