MNUFC Head Coach Adrian Heath Speaks to the Media

Quote Sheet: MNUFC vs. Philadelphia Union

After a barrage of 29 shots, Minnesota United was downed 3-2 by the Philadelphia Union in a frustrating afternoon at Allianz Field. The Loons spoke to reporters after their first home defeat of the season, here’s what they had to say:

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On how he looks at this game …

“I’m proud of the players. I thought we were magnificent. I thought some of our play was outstanding. You know, we’ve been talking about taking our opportunities when they come. Somebody just said it’s the most shots for 10 years in the MLS. Hey, a little bit of a percentage of that, we would have been probably clear. But, I’m not going to let that mask what was an outstanding performance on the back of the shift that the guys did on Wednesday in Atlanta. I thought there was some fantastic performances. I thought Hassani [Dotson] was fantastic again. Ike [Opara] was good. I thought the two center midfield players were excellent. There’s been a lot of positives tonight, and it doesn’t seem like many for me at this minute, but I’m sure, I’ll watch the game back again this evening, and tomorrow no doubt, there will be a lot of stuff that I can be really, really pleased about.”

On Philadelphia blocking 15 of the Loons’ shots …

“Yeah, that’s called good defending. That’s great defending. I’ve just said it in the dressing room there. I thought some of their last-ditch defending was of the highest order. People throwing their bodies on the line to stop goal-bound shots. The keeper came up big when he needed to. Came for crosses in traffic. But, I’m not going to stand here and criticize my players, because they don’t deserve it.” 

On what he wanted to see on the last goal that Philadelphia scored …

“Ah, Brent [Kallman] should attack it with his feet. I don’t know why he’s going to head it. That’s a mistake. That’s one of them things that you can address that one as much as you want, but with his feet he clears it.”

On if he had any issues with the penalty …

“I’ll have to see it again. It looked like the guy had done him on the run and just got across the foot of it. One thing I will say, I thought they were very, very good and shall we say, professional, at knowing when to stay down. I thought [that] broke the flow of the game up. We had the energy of the crowd going and suddenly every time that ball went in the box, somebody was down. And it doesn’t really help you when the goalkeeper gets booked in the 94th or the 95th minute. Doesn’t really help you.”

On how many goals Angelo Rodriguez just himself could have scored today …

“I’ll have to have another look, but we had plenty of chances. That’s all I know. And this isn’t down on Angelo [Rodriguez]. Darwin [Quintero] had a couple, Ethan [Finlay] had a couple of good opportunities. Hey, this is a collective. You know, we all lose today. Nobody wins. But, if we play like that at home, we’re going to win a lot more than we lose.”

On Hassani Dotson’s last few performances, and if they have impressed him …

“[It has] not surprised me, because I think the people who work here a lot have come to train him and know what my feelings towards him are. I said last week, was it, he just gets a good feel for the game. He’s got really good feet. Very competitive, which is probably one of his strong points. He understands the game. And I think he’ll be one of them guys who could probably play like he’s done today, and in three or four different spots as well. So he can be pleased with his contribution this last seven or eight days.”

On Hassani Dotson taking the shot himself versus passing it to Miguel Ibarra who was open to his left …

“Yeah, but he’s, you know, he gets a really good feel for the game and he understands that the one thing – and I said it a few weeks ago to the staff – is he’s a really good finisher. Maybe one of the best finishers in training that we have. So, it doesn’t surprise me. A couple of times tonight, he’s cut in on his right foot and I want him to have a go because he’s a very clean, positive striker on the ball.”

On his thoughts on Andre Blake specifically …

“I thought he was terrific. I thought he came in traffic and I don’t think he dropped one thing. And when he did, he was back on top of it. I’ve always thought he was a top-class goalkeeper and nothing happened today that changes that opinion.”

On Kevin Molino and what it meant to see him score a goal tonight …

“Well, he came on and gave us the creativity that we know he’s got. I think the year before we bought him, he got well into double figures in assists. You know, he needs to get himself going again, but if he stays fit, he’s a top player at this level. That’s a fact. Because we’ve seen it. And what we need now is for him to stay fit. He’s got the Gold Cup coming up, so he’s got games with Trinidad [and Tobago] coming up. I know they like him, so hopefully when he comes back from that, he’ll be a lot sharper and fitter than he is at this moment in time. Because that extra sharpness and explosiveness is only given to you by games, not the amount of work you can do Monday to Friday. So, hopefully by the time he comes back from Trinidad he’ll be a lot sharper.”

On if he’s expecting all four of the international callups to leave in short order …

“Yeah.”

On if Abu Danladi was holding his hamstring coming off the field tonight, and if he’s concerned …

“No. I think he’s okay, I think he’s okay. I hope so. I thought he gave us a spark when he came on as well. He gave us that dynamic athleticism that he has, so we’ll see.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER HASSANI DOTSON

On his first MLS goal …

“The ball came in from a cross and bounced up and I could see there was a little opening on the left side of the defender and I tried to hit there because I was guessing it was a blind spot for the goalkeeper and it went in.”

On the aftermath of his first goal …

“I think in the goal it was like [an] ‘Oh my God, you scored,’ kind of moment and it was to get greeted by the guys in that.”

On whether that was his first MLS shot and if he’s hoping for more this season …

“Yup. Hopefully, hopefully.”

On whether he did anything to commemorate the goal …

“No, it was a nice moment but it doesn’t feel good today because we got the loss. I thought everyone put in a shift and we were unlucky not to get three points.”

On whether he considered passing the ball to Miguel [Ibarra] instead of taking the shot himself …

“I like to do shooting in practice here and there, and I just fancied myself a hit.”

On having a veteran like Miguel playing in front of him …

“It was really helpful to me. He runs his socks off, he’s always there helping me. If he sees I’m in a little bit of trouble, he makes the extra angle to support and it’s really helpful.”

On pressing forward more than previous games …

“Yea, and also I think just the way the opposition played, both sides of the outside backs were open.”

On preferring cutting on the right or pushing on the left foot and going for the cross …

“Can’t give you that one. I don’t want to be predictable for my opponents.”

On today being a confidence boost for him personally …

“It was nice. You don’t think about that anymore. [It] gave me a little more confidence for me going forward and maybe taking more shots in the future.”

On how many goals he thinks the team should/could have had …

“I think we had a lot of opportunities today but sometimes that’s how it goes.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELER KEVIN MOLINO

On the last year …

“Tough, mentally you know, what won’t kill you makes you stronger. Like anything, every dream has its obstacle and in football you have to overcome it and when you overcome it, it becomes a story. Happy to be part of the team and back in the squad.”

On his goal ahead of the Gold Cup …

“Yeah, it’s not just the Gold Cup, the last couple games I got injured, you know it had been a tough time for me but that is who I am, what I go through in life. That is who I am and I’m going to keep going no matter what is the obstacle and [I will] keep fighting for the team.”

On confidence boost after scoring …

“Yes it’s confidence, I am looking forward to the next game. Unfortunately I have to leave to go the Gold Cup when it strikes so confidence to take me into the Gold Cup and work on my fitness and get back in the squad.”

On changing the game before coming onto field …

“No, nothing, just bring energy you know, liven up the guys when they sub me in and Abu. He had a big part too coming on and assisting me but we changed the momentum of the game but unfortunately we didn’t get a point but we look forward to the next game.”

On not being able to score many opportunities …

“No it’s a difficult time you know and that’s when you see your true mentality when the attackers go through a difficult time. Now we have to stay focused and keep grinding each training session and continue working, it’s going to change soon.”

On pushing forward too much towards the end …

“No, it’s just unfortunate. We got twenty some chances you know, we should’ve taken some of those opportunities and that’s how the game goes, when you don’t score, you concede. You know we conceded late and we lost. We have to keep the mindset, keep working together as a team, fight every day and you know God is good.”

MINNESOTA UNITED DEFENDER BRENT KALLMAN

On the last goal that Philadelphia scored …

“Set piece. Corner. The ball gets recycled. A little bit of a scramble. I was looking around, I was kind of – we didn’t have many numbers at the back post – so I stayed in the spot. The ball came in, and I kind of got frozen because, I think it was their forward, that was in front of me jumped, and he looked like he could nod it on. So, I was kind of stuck in case he got something on it and I was going to have to react, so when it barley went over his head and I went to get my head on it, he cut in front of me, I think it was [Auston] Trusty cut in front of me last second. So, it’s obviously, it’s one I’d like to have back. If I keep my feet moving, then I can attack and it’s not a problem.”

On what he was thinking after the game when he stayed on the field for a little bit …

“I was just exhausted. Just disappointed. [The] guys put in so much work to get back into the game. We really felt like when we got the equalizer, that we were going to find that goal and get three points. And then we end up getting nothing out of it, so just a little disappointed. But, we move on. Move forward.”

On having so much momentum after tying the game, and if they pushed too much forward in an attempt to win …

“I don’t think so. No, I don’t think so. I think we were still bound. Sometimes, I mean, you saw even in the first half, the game was wide open. So, sometimes when they clear the ball and have guys in good spots and they figure it out then they’re going the other way. So, no. I thought we wanted to keep putting pressure on them while keeping our shape. And I think we did, but yeah, it was just a scramble play off of a set piece.”

On the amount of blocked shots that Philadelphia had …

“Yeah, but we got to be better going to goal. I mean, when you have enough quality, you know where the defenders are, you know where they’re going to put their legs. You miss that on purpose, so, we push for it. Those point guys were flying around, but we just have to finish our chances.”

On the words that he exchanged today with head referee, Allen Champman …

“Well, I thought he missed a couple calls in the first half. And then I got the yellow card on a penalty. And then I got a play that my jersey gets ripped in the first half. On my way back to my position I said, hey, look at my jersey. He’s grabbing me. And he tells me I can’t talk to him, now I’m on a yellow card. You can’t talk to me with that attitude. I said, what? What attitude? Are you kidding me? I can’t have a discussion with you because I’m on a yellow card? That’s ridiculous. I didn’t really like his demeanor towards me at all. I thought it was unprofessional. But, it is what it is.”

On his penalty call …

“I think it’s the right call. I had the – that’s another one that I really want it back – I had the position at the spot, and I was so confident that I was going to clear it. I actually took a peek to see who I was going to clear it to, and in that half second, I slowed down and he was able to get the toe in front. And I did make contact, so I think it was the right call.”

On the crowd having a problem with the officiating and the stoppages on the field from Philadelphia players staying down, and if he thinks it was a fairly called game …

“You know, didn’t feel like it in the moment. It did feel like he missed some stuff. But, you know, that’s going to happen. They have a tough job. Especially the pace the game is played at.”

On what Hassani Dotson showed tonight …

“I think he showed that he has quality, too. He’s not just this athletic, powerful defender. He’s got a lot of quality. And that was, what a strike. He’s showing everything that he can do. And a couple situations, as well, that he went 1v1 and he’s blowing by guys and stuff. So, he has a really well-rounded game, and was able to show it off today.”

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