Adrian

Quote Sheet: MNUFC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On his feeling about the game overall …

“Really pleased with the effort, desire, energy. We spoke about it in the week: This was gonna be one of them games and I was worried about it. But the things that I was worried about didn't come to fruition this evening. The energy from the players was terrific. The only thing lacking was the final ball in the final third. What did we have, 30 crosses? 37 crosses? I can't remember the last time I was involved in a team that got 37 crosses off and probably didn't get on the end of more than two or three. That's an issue.” 

On the strategy of attacking wide …

“We knew they'd set up and try to take away the middle of the pitch and we said let's switch the play. I thought we did really well in that in spells, but we never really had the great killer ball in. Darwin [Quintero] put a great ball in that bounced through the six-yard box first half and I expect somebody to be on the end of that. That wasn't to be. But as I said to the players, I can't fault their effort. It's another point towards where we're going to try to get to and I've been doing this too long to look down at a point. Points are important and it's another clean sheet and we'll go again next week.”

On his team’s defensive performance …

“I thought we had excellent preventative marking when we were attacking so much. Vito's had a save second half but first half, I don't think he had a save to make. We were pleased with a lot of aspects of our play. Our ball movement, circulation — at times — was excellent. Just the final third we couldn't pick a pass tonight.” 

On the double substitution to bring in Abu Danladi and Mason Toye …

“They gave us some energy, which we thought one of them might produce something. I don't know if he was offside, but Mason had the chance, didn't he, after the little knockdown from Miggy. They've earned their opportunity, they've been training well. Especially Mason, you know, he scored seven goals recently. It is what it is, we'll go again.”

On Miguel Ibarra’s performance …

“He was okay, gave us the energy that he gives us. As I said to the front four, I expect someone, one of them, to produce me something at some stage and we haven't really had that today.”

On what it takes to get that final ball …

“You've got to get quality, keep that sustained pressure, which we've done. We had a ten minute spell in the first half where they really didn't get out of their own final third. It was just a little bit of quality was missing and that's the most important part of the pitch. Always has been, always will be. That's why the Josef Martinezs' go for 20 million, 30 million. That final third of the pitch has always been and always will be the most important part of the game.”

On Darwin Quintero’s yellow card and the implications for Portland …

“It's disappointing but ... it's strange because I ... I don't want to talk about it anymore because I don't know what a foul is anymore. I don't know what a handball is anymore. I've been doing this over 40 years and you watch the World Cup Final and the guy's not even looking and it hits his arm here ... today the ball hits the guy with his hand up here and even the referee's got his arm up here saying it hit him on the arm! I don't know what is and isn't a penalty anymore.”

On the consistency of the calls this evening …

“I actually think Armando [Villareal] is one of the best referees. I don't think he's had his greatest day today. I'm more disappointed with the time of both halves. Two minutes — there was somebody down for more than two minutes, we timed it. So forgetting all the other time wasted so ... five minutes? For the game that we've had today? Not sure that's right. But hey, I'm not a referee.”

On Chase Gasper’s performance …

“Outstanding. Thought he was Man of the Match today. Thought he was absolutely outstanding. Once again, he's played against Reyna, he's played against Venuto. Pace, people who are a threat, I think he's been outstanding and I'm so pleased for him.”

On Vancouver’s progress since the first game of the season …

“We had a brief chat after the game and I know they're in a difficult run at this moment in time. We've been there. You've just got to keep believing in what you're trying to do. You believe in your group and I thought they battled for him today. I heard one fella say to him last week, Do you feel as though you've got the players? I thought the players showed a real battling performance today for him. Hopefully that can continue.”

MINNESOTA UNITED DEFENDER CHASE GASPER

On if the results reflected the way they played …

“No, they don’t. I thought we deserved the three points but I mean that’s soccer. You’ve got to tip your hats to Vancouver. They came in, they fought to the very last minute, they made the game very tough so hats off to them. I just don’t think it fell for us tonight but keep our heads up. We’re gonna focus this week and we’ve got a huge game next Sunday.”

On what was missing …

“In soccer, that final pass, the bounce, the header, I mean we put so many shots that just went over. We hit the crossbar, we had a few bad bounces so I mean that’s just happens some nights. Unfortunately, that was the case tonight. I thought defensively the whole team did well. We locked down again and that’s really what we’ve been focusing on these past few weeks, not conceding goals and so I thought the team defensively, we did our job at not conceding. Just take the positives out of the game and I thought that was the biggest positive.”

On not wanting to let down Adrian Heath …

“Yeah definitely, I thought we were all over them from minute two, we were already in their box. I think we definitely didn’t let him down. I think we came out intense, focused and what’d he say 37 crosses or something like that. I mean, we were on them the whole game. Like I mentioned earlier, it just wasn’t our night. The final pass, the final bounce hit the cross bar. It happens in soccer but we’re going to take the positives out of this game and focus on the next week.”

On going up against some of the top right-wingers in MLS …

“Yeah, [Yordy] Reyna came on my side a few times. He’s really good, really fast, creative player and I think it’s been the continuing trend of fast, smaller creative wingers that have been right-wingers I’ve been marking but it’s a learning experience every game. Just go in, try to do my best, work my hardest, do what my coach tells me. So tonight and this week, going to reflect on the game, figure out the positives and the negatives of my game specifically and just try to get better every single game.”

On if he’s holding his own as an MLS left-back …

“Yeah, I feel like I’m definitely holding my own, but you can’t get content, that’s where you kind stall out. I’m just getting started and I’m hungry. I want to get better every single game so that’s my goal. Every single game get better and better.”

MINNESOTA UNITED GOALKEEPER VITO MANNONE

On the clean sheet tonight …

“A little bit of disappointment, but we kept this run going. We look at the positives, we have to focus on the next two months because it’s a long way to go. [There is still] Still twelve games to go and it’s important not to lose these kinds of games. It definitely feels like two points lost, but at the same time we have another big game on Sunday with Portland Timbers and then we have a massive game against them in the semifinals. We need to stay positive and think about working hard. The effort was there tonight, we gave 100 percent, but we weren’t as bright as usual around the box.”

On keeping your composure when lots of play is away from your goal …

“Yes, these games can be tricky ones. At the back you don’t see as much of the ball and all of a sudden you have to switch on for a shot or something, it’s important to stay focused 100 percent on the game without dropping outside the game.”

On the amount of crosses and what it’s like to view from a distance …

“Vancouver came here with five losses in a row and you could see that from the start, they dropped into their box and put everyone behind the ball and said ‘ok we are going to defend the crosses’. They let us go on the wings with Romain [Metanire] and Chase [Gasper] and they expected to clear every cross. Sometimes you get lucky with a bounce and sometimes you don’t. It nearly went in for us and it nearly went in for them. Sometimes this game is all about the first goal and unfortunately tonight we didn’t find the goal.”

On defending in front of the Wonderwall in the second half …

“Yes, sometimes teams come here and they try this trick to put us in a different spot. Hey, it doesn’t change anything in football. We are ready to play and obviously we try our best to play this game and get the three points. Maybe by the end it will be an important point. It’s up to us now to keep this run going and focus on the next game.”

On the implications of Darwin Quintero’s yellow card suspension …

“He is a big player, but as I said this team is made up of twenty-six, twenty-seven players and everybody needs to be ready to jump on board and be ready, 100 percent and [we] are going to miss his quality and creativity but we have players who can help us and that’s what the team is all about and everyone needs to be ready to push on and help achieve the objective, which is to make the playoffs.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER ETHAN FINLAY

On if he sees it as one point earned, two points dropped, or a combination of the two …

“Well the fact is that it’s one point earned, but I think we feel like we gave two up tonight in the end. It’s obviously a game that we think we should win, but saying that they had a good game plan tonight, they executed, we weren’t sharp enough in the final third, and that all results in a zero-zero tie.”

On what he saw out there tonight playing on the wing …

“I thought that movement had to be a little better in the box. We just weren’t quite able to get on the final ball. We were very close a couple of times, Miguel [Ibarra] came pretty close, Mason [Toye] had one there. It was kind of just that final touch, and I think just putting more guys in the box, I’ll have to go back and look how many crosses had two or more guys. It felt like that a lot of the time, we kind of just had one or two guys in there and we didn’t have enough guys in the box. So I think that if we’re going to have 37 or more crosses, we’ve gotta have more guys in the box and that’s something we need to work on.

On if he noticed a difference in playing against a true left back like Ali Adnan …

“No, I mean for probably like 60+ minutes he didn’t go forward too much, and I thought my job tonight was to run him a little bit, and I felt like in the end he was probably a little tired. He played pretty conservative defensively, and I don’t think compared to the stuff I watched before that he got as high up the field as he usually gets. He’s still got a really good left foot, and things like set pieces he can be really dangerous on. It’s a matchup I was actually looking forward to because I heard about this guy back in 2015, I remember watching some of his Serie A tape at the time, so yeah I know he’s a pretty good player and he’s got heavy femurs, but I don’t think he had anything on goal tonight besides one from distance that went over on the corner.”

On if it felt nice to have the full week off …

“Yeah, it did, but that’s kind of what’s so disappointing about only coming away with a point and no goals here, because we’ve had a down week compared to what we’ve had over the past 4-6 weeks. Now we get an extended long week looking towards Portland, so we just gotta move forward with it.”

On his thoughts about having to play Portland in back to back matches …

“It’s weird for sure. It’s weird because it’s in two different competitions and they’re both very, very meaningful games. It’s not a situation where you can drop points or drop a result in either one, that’s just the facts. I expect that we’ll put a full lineup out for both games and we’re going for everything, we kind of have to at this point. Portland’s a team that’s chasing for a playoff spot and right now they’re on the outside looking in, and they need to come here and gets points. They’re a team that’s trying to win trophies there, and so I think they’re going to take the Open Cup very serious. Yeah they’re on the road, but they have full intentions to come in here and get a result for the Open Cup. So managing that, and then the second game could go 120 minutes, so this could be a big week for us coming up."

On what the priority is for this season …

“You’re in the semifinals of an Open Cup competition which isn’t quite and equivalent to a twenty-second regular season game obviously. But it would be a bad idea to think we ca drop points on Sunday and focus too much on Wednesday, that could be something we regret come October 6. I really think we have to stress it. Tonight was a missed opportunity to extend the league on some teams and now we are right back in the dog fight. I haven’t seen some of the results tonight and I don’t know where the standings will be, come that Sunday [Decision Day, 10/6], but the advantage still sits with us. We have the home games. We don’t have to travel and we have the home field advantage. This is what we train for. This is what preseason is for and we are getting our depth back and you saw that tonight.”

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