gregus open cup

Quote Sheet: MNUFC vs. New Mexico United

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On any frustrations of giving up an early goal…

“Yes. I just said to the boys, it was a strange evening I felt. There was a bit of everything in the game. I thought at times we were really sloppy. I thought at times we were outstanding. I thought at times some of the combination play was as good as you’ll see. Then we would have a five-minute spell where we would stop doing what we know we are good at. I know it’s difficult when you’re winning the game 5-1 but you have to do what’s right, what you think is right in that particular moment. At times, we turned the ball over too cheaply and the one thing I said to the guys before the game, you might have to be patient because they do possess the ball well. They’re good at that. I thought the six [goals we scored] flattered us. Every time we broke I thought that we might have a chance at scoring apart from the final ball in the second half. We had three or four unbelievable opportunities to score more. I want to congratulate New Mexico. I think they’ve done incredibly well. [They’re] really well coached. I think Troy has got a really big future in the game. I thought that their support was fantastic. They’ll be really disappointed probably with the score line but they can be proud of what they’ve done in this competition considering it’s a first year club and Troy and his staff can take a great deal of credit for that and I think it’s only onwards and upwards for them as a club.”

On if it’s that good at the club that you can win 6-1 and still dissect things…

“Well, it is but at times we’ve been through this before. It’s win and advance in the cup competitions. If it had been a scrappy 1-0 win and in two days’ time, nobody looks at how you play, they just see that you’ve got through to the next round. So, it was a big score line and at times as I said, I thought that our attacking play was outstanding. As Troy said after the game, it’s something that they haven’t come up against in the past, that quality and speed of play and the speed of movement, speed of thought because at this stage, that’s what more important.”

On if he’s worried about complacency translating over to MLS play…

“Trust me, let’s hope it doesn’t do Saturday because if we keep giving the ball away like that to Dallas, it will be a different story. They know that. I’ve played in games where it gets sloppy because you keep looking at the scoreboard and you think, hey, we’re going to get through this. You think that the more you just take your time a bit but the more you make it more difficult for yourself. But it looks as though we’ve come through unscathed which is another of my concerns. I think we’ve just got everybody in the club fit now. I’m really, really pleased and now we’ve got to get ourselves home. Get ourselves prepared for a huge game on the weekend.”

On if he has any preference on facing LA or Portland in the semi’s…

“As long as we’re at home, I’ll be fine.”

On scoring 4 times in 12 minutes…

“Yeah, quality movement, quality pace, speed of play, speed of thought, clinical, passing to people in the right spots at the right time. My favorite saying, give it to people when they want it, not when you finish with it and that’s what we did.”

On how big Miguel getting his first goal at Allianz was...

“It’s good for him. He’s put in a real good shift today and he’s followed in and then he showed his composure. [It] would’ve been easy when you’re desperate for a goal just to blast the ball. He went to play it and then just dummied it and let it roll. He’ll be pleased with that.”

On New Mexico’s first goal…

“We’ve watched probably their last four or five games and they’ve come up with some sort of trick plays and that was another one of them [the goal] but we’ve been through that. It’s not like we hadn’t seen that corner. That’s the disappointing thing and that’s what happens when you turn off for a split second and that’s what happens at this level of football.”

On if there’s a special switch that needs to be flipped at this level of a cup competition…

“Not really. I’ve just said to them that some of my greatest memories in football have been wining cup competitions and now you’re a couple of games away. Trust me, when you get to 50 odd years of age, you’ll look back and remember these games. It might be a semi-final or something so who knows. There’s been a lot of great players who’ve never won anything. All of a sudden, you’re a couple games from winning something. We didn’t take the game lightly, that’s why we put the team out that we did and now we advance.”

On if Jan taking the free kick was a coach’s decision…

“By the look of it, on the field, they decided it between themselves.”

On if he initially thought that the goalkeeper was sure handed…

“We’ve got an awful lot of respect for their group. As I’ve said before, I’ve got great respect for what Troy’s doing. I knew that any player that they had would be confident. They’re a first year club and the team that they put together and the football that they play is an absolute credit to USL, to Troy and New Mexico.”

On if any of what he has watched reminds him of his first days at Orlando…

“Well they play with a lot of confidence and I think that comes from the coach letting them express themselves. They play from the back and at times when it’s really, really tight, they don’t just clear their lines. They actually want to work it through the thirds and they do a bit of a different thing by pulling the full back’s right in to try to get extra men in there. They’ve obviously thought long and hard about the way that they want to play and although the last couple of weeks has been a bit difficult for them, I fully expect them to be in the top at the end of the season and when the playoffs get round I’m sure they’ll do very, very well.”

On if anything stood out in Angelo’s hat trick…

“I thought that the turn and the shot in the bottom corner was an excellent finish. That’ll do his confidence no harm or good. The good thing is when you get to that situation, it’s a situation where you can bring him off. We’ve had a huge game on Wednesday and the fact that he played 60 rather than 90 makes a big, big difference. We managed to protect him a bit in Montreal as well so I’m sure he’ll be firing on all cylinders come the weekend.”

On if he’s feeling good with the congested slate and where the teams at right now…

“As I just said, the great thing is that everyone looks as if they’ve come through unscathed. We’ve got nobody injured at this point in time. It’s a good little period for us considering the amount of games we’ve had in a short period of time. To be standing here saying that we have a clean bill of health is a huge bonus for everybody.”

On how the team focuses for this weekend…

“We’ll do what we’ve been doing. We’ll try and prepare as best as we can for every game. We’ve actually probably put more into [preparations] for New Mexico then we thought because I know what these occasions can be. But it’s a quick turnaround again. We’ve got a couple of days to show guys video, to show them what we think the strengths and weakness are of FC Dallas so it is a quick turnaround but we’ve worked hard, the staff has worked extremely hard away from the games to make sure that the players are prepared in the best way.”

MINNESOTA UNITED FORWARD ANGELO RODRIGUEZ

On first hat trick with Minnesota United…

“Obviously, very happy because as a forward, I always want to score goals, let alone a hat trick but what I take away from this is we move on to the next round and are one step closer to winning the tournament.”

On what it would mean to win the US Open Cup this year…

“First, we would have a title, it would get us into the CONCACAF Champions League and it would guve us prestige. It’s not easy to be a champion so it would be very important to us to win this tournament.”

On coming off early knowing the next game is this upcoming Saturday…

“Coach talked about how important tour upcoming match on Saturday was at halftime and, I’ve said in other interviews, what’s more important for me is our league performance and obviously we have a tough match (on Saturday) and we need to win it.”

On winning a career trophy…

“Yes, I’ve got three and I want to win more.”

On confidence change from recent form…

“Up top we’ve been working hard for that. There was a time when the ball wasn’t finding the back of the net and now we’re clicking, that starters, the subs, those who did work in Montreal. All of that is important and it’s going to help us get to the playoffs and hopefully win the (Open Cup).”

On joking with Darwin on who will win the golden boot…

“I didn’t know about that but I always try to score and am ambitious with it. Sometimes it doesn’t happen but you work through that and what’s happened, has happened and now we think on Saturday.”

On having to score an equalizer…

“We were upset by the first goal because it was one of the things we talked about all week, not to start the game off slow because we knew (New Mexico) was a team that would take advantage of those situations but as a team, we were focused on what we wanted to accomplish and we were able to come back and thank the Lord it was with six goals.”

On being a game to remember from being a quarter final or hat trick…

“This game is already in the past. We’re happy, I scored three goals but now we move on to Saturday.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER MIGUEL IBARRA

On how his first goal at Allianz Field feels …

"I’ve been waiting for it, so just getting out there, getting the goal, was amazing for me. It’s been a couple games that I haven’t scored, so coming back and getting on the scoresheet is big for me."

On if the hair change had anything to do with the goal drought …

"I think I’m going to keep it. I mean, we haven’t lost. I obviously scored. So, it’s going to keep going."

On if the goal drought was part of his decision to change it …

"Definitely. Something different."

On the counterattack, his run, his goal and the thought process behind all of it …

"Yeah, definitely. Just make sure I make a run forward. I saw Darwin [Quintero] had the ball and I know he plays it. The center back went with me and left [Kevin] Molino wide open. And I continued my run, in case the ball came back out to me."

On what advancing to the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup means to him and the team …

"It’s big. We went in the tournament thinking nothing of it and now we’re actually full of confidence thinking in mind that we can win this whole thing and lift up a trophy here on the lines."

On any preference between facing LAFC versus Portland …

"No. We know both teams are on fire right now, so it’s going to be a good game between them and we need to be ready whichever team we get."

On if he’s more comfortable playing on the right instead of the left since he’s right footed …

"Yeah, definitely. Even though everybody keeps saying I only score with my left. Even though I’m playing on the right."

On if the team is ready for Dallas this Saturday …

"Yeah, we know they’re right there on the table, too. So, I mean, that’s another big, massive three points for us, if we can make sure we get three points. We’re at home, so, our mentality is not to lose here."

On being up by so many points near the end of the game, but still hustling around the field and what that says about his work ethic …

"I think that’s what I’m known for. Make sure I’m always running 90 minutes, 90+ minutes. I gotta make sure – since day one, since I first got here, that’s what I was known for – I gotta continue doing it."

On how the legs are right now …

"Good. I just took an ice bath so I’m back to normal."

On what it says about the team right now that Adrian Heath was critical about a few things after the game even though the team won 6-1 …

"We know it was not one of our best games. We did go out there and perform and make sure we got the win, but there’s little things we have to fix. And if we fix those things, we can be a really big, better team than we already are."

On what giving up the goal in the seventh minute did for the team …

"I think it just woke us up. I think that goal – it happened right away – and we, it woke us up. It made us say, there’s no way we can lose this game. We got the goal right away, which helped us a lot."

On how the team feels to be able to advance to the semifinals…

“We started this tournament, maybe, not thinking a whole lot of it but now we’re in the semifinals and we’ve got it in our heads that we can win it all.”

On if the team was worried that New Mexico scored first…

“No, when they scored, it woke us up. It gave us the jolt of energy because we couldn’t leave it like that, we couldn’t take this team as if they weren’t in the MLS. It woke us up and we scored six goals.”

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