Jan and Ethan

Quote Sheet: MNUFC vs. Orlando City SC

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On if it was two points dropped or one point gained …

“Well, it’s two dropped. If you don’t think that we didn’t deserve something out of this game, you don’t know anything about football. My God, I don’t know how many chances we’ve had, how many final third entries, how many opportunities we’ve had to pick a pass. Two dropped.”

On having a large advantage in shots tonight and on Wednesday …

“Final third. [We’ve] got to do better, I just told the players. [We] can’t keep getting our football between both boxes. Tonight at times, [our football] has been absolutely outstanding. [There] was just not enough quality in the final third. We can hide behind it if we want, no we can’t. We’ve got to do better, individually and collectively.”

On sending in a lot of crosses late in the game …

“When you get desperate, you put it in the box, don’t you? The thought of maybe coming out of the game with nothing was unthinkable really, but hey, it is what it is.”

On Angelo Rodriguez coming off in the first half …

“He’ll probably be better tomorrow and then it will settle down a bit.”

On how Angelo Rodriguez’s absence changed the game …

“Well, obviously, they [Angelo Rodriguez and Abu Danladi] are two different types of players. Abu [Danladi] is more about pace and all about running in behind, trying to stretch the field. Angelo [Rodriguez] is more about [ball] into feet, posting up, trying to bring [other] people into the game. I thought we started the first 35, 40 minutes really, really well and it was only a matter of time before we got a goal. Days like this, like we said last week against Colorado, if you don’t take your chances when they’re coming along then eventually it’s going to punish you. I’d like to see the penalty [on Nani] again and really see the close up. So, we’ll see.”

On the 31 crosses coming tonight …

“You’ve got to work the final third, always, no matter who you are. Manchester City, who everybody thinks plays the best football in Europe, score more goals with crosses than anybody. We haven’t had enough quality in the final third today.”

On how Hassani Dotson did in the absence of Osvaldo Alonso …

“I thought he was excellent. I thought Jan [Gregus] and Hassani [Dotson] were excellent. I thought Chase Gasper was maybe the best player on the field. Absolutely amazing, the two kids, absolutely fantastic.”

On Abu Danladi’s goal …

“Well, I think the goal will give him a bit of confidence. That’s one thing [that] he’s been lacking a little bit of [confidence] as of late so that will help.”

On scoring more goals in the attacking third …

“Well, unlucky, [a] good save, bad finishing, a mixture of everything, I think. If the final ball was a better choice, at times. It’s a disappointment. I’m disappointed that we haven’t got the three points. I know people might think, well he scored late, it’s a point. I always say to you guys, never underestimate getting a point at any stage of the season. It might prove [to be] really valuable to us moving forward. My overriding thought is the disappointment at this moment.”

On the emotions running through him at the end of the game …

“It [the second penalty call] was offside. It’s the same when you’re in that situation when you keep teams hanging around for as long as they did, you always leave yourself susceptible to conceding late.”

On what the coaching staff does moving forward to improve finishing …

“We’ll work at it. Work about where we put the ball, where we make the runs, a little bit of everything. We’ll work on it because it’s part of our game that’s letting us down at this moment in time. We continually are getting the ball in the final third, in good spots and not getting enough out of it.”

On Mason Toye …

“Well, he’s obviously going to be very important now. That’s what I’m saying. The goal will probably do Abu [Danladi] good moving forward. Mason [Toye] will be available on Thursday night but we are going to need him now because if Angelo Rodriguez’s [injury] is a bad hamstring then you don’t know. It could be four, five, six weeks, we don’t know. It could be two, I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see until probably Monday. [That] would be the best guide at it.”

On if Angelo Rodriguez’s injury pushed up Mason Toye’s return to the team …

“Mason [Toye] has been excellent the last few weeks. [He’s] put himself in a good spot. He got the two-match ban, could’ve been worse. He’ll have an opportunity.”

On what it will take to secure a playoff position …

“I think it’s going to be a lot more than people think. The way that a lot of teams [are playing]. A lot of teams are going to play each other. I think anything over 47, 48 might get you in. Over 50 might get you in the top four, I don’t know.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER HASSANI DOTSON

On taking Osvaldo Alonso’s midfield spot tonight …

“I wouldn’t say I took his spot, I filled in. I thought I did well defensively, I won the ball, I connected on passes. I think one thing I need to work on, or one thing I would’ve liked to see more of today was my range of passing and maybe breaking lines. Going from me maybe straight to Abu [Danladi], Angelo [Rodriguez], or Darwin [Quintero]. But overall I thought I did good, or at least better than Real Salt Lake. Now I just keep trying to get better from there.”

On if he sees tonight as one point won, two points lost, or something else …

“I think we all see it as two points lost. I mean, they’re a good team, we all know that, but I think we’re a good team and being at home we expected the three points. It’s a little disappointing, but it’s time to bounce back and take care of business on Thursday.”

On his thoughts on the 60th minute penalty awarded to Orlando …

“I thought it was kind of harsh. I mean I haven’t quite seen the replay back, but I thought maybe he was falling over before and maybe that should be the challenge you make when someone’s shooting. From in the game, I thought it was kind of harsh.”

On what emotions he went through in the 90+ minute when Orlando was awarded another penalty but this one was taken back …

“I had all the confidence in Vito [Mannone], you’ve seen him do it against Dallas at home, but I was kind of confused. He went back and ended up calling it offside, which was a relief, but as you can see we were trying to score and after that we weren’t playing for the tie.”

On if the high number of crosses was a testament to Orlando’s defense and taking what Orlando gave them …

“I thought that once we were in their final third, they were content to just sit back. They have big guys in there so they were just like, go ahead and whip it in, if you guys score you score. But if you look at some of the chances we had, we were just unlucky that the goalie made a couple nice saves.”

On what Jan [Gregus] told him as they were paired in the midfield and he was playing in a different role …

“He was just really supportive. He knows my strengths, and I know his strengths, and all the guys even are like, okay if you get the ball shoot the ball. It’s nice when you don’t have to second guess yourself when you have teammates, older teammates, more experienced teammates lifting you up and telling you to be yourself. You know, me and him both can get out of tight spaces, and it was nice. You can see how we’ve improved from Real Salt Lake, so I thought that was good."

MINNESOTA UNITED DEFENDER IKE OPARA

On the yellow card ...

“I still want to see it again. I think live, the ref was in a tough position. If he lets it go, he can review it. I’m not really sure. I'm frustrated with myself because I thought I got to a pretty good angle and I actually wanted him to shoot the ball because I liked our chances there and he was pretty clever with what he did and he went down really soft. So even if it was a penalty, he sold it and he earned it in a very soft way. I would like to see it again.” 

On what he said to the referee at that point …

“Nothing he just gave me the yellow for the foul.”

On if you’re saying he’s a joker ...

“You can put that in your story from video. I still want to see it but he was actually at least wanting to hear my plea but he didn’t check it so it is what it is.”

On the difference between striker's Tesho [Akindele] and Dom Dwyer …

“Yeah they’re both physical. Tesho [Akindele] is in good form right now at the moment so it’s not easy to defend him. Dom [Dwyer] is unfortunately going through a little bit of a rut so Tesho [Akindele] brought in a nice change of pace that made it a little difficult for us. They both have qualities and tonight I think that they showed a little bit of them. I think I liked what we did defensively for the most part in this game.”

On what’s been going on in the locker room …

“Frustration in the sense of we wanted these 3 points. I haven’t seen all the results yet but it looks like some of them have gone away. An opportunity for us to push our gap and push for the playoffs. I think in retrospect, being able to go into the 90th the way we did and the heart that we showed, maybe this point comes to be very valuable moving forward. I think we’ve had a couple points, you know, that Philly game, we look back and wish we would’ve at least gotten the point there even though we were at home. I think they're all going to add up even though we did drop two but we’ll move forward on Thursday.

On the emotions at the end of the game …

“Yeah I guess that’s MLS. As a player you try to keep your head into it but sometimes you get lost. It’s entertaining I guess if you’re neutral.” 

On [Chase] Gasper defensively …

“He’s very intelligent and Chase that’s one thing you see right off the bat. His soccer IQ is high and he competes and his tactical abilities and his knowledge are very high for his age and he’s willing to learn and listen and take communication from his staff and guys on the field. He’s just improving every week and hopefully that rookie wall is a myth but he’s been very good for us.” 

On the end of the game ...

“Yeah, he just started putting numbers in the box. Just caused a little chaos because you know as a defender when you start getting numbers from an attacking team in the box it makes things difficult. Just look at the goal that we scored, just shooting number in the box, after the rebound and being in a good spot. Numbers in the box cause chaos and that’s ultimately what we were trying to do at the end and it worked out.”

On Hassani [Dotson] …

“Hassani is a player and he’s been playing several positions and he’s grasped all of them at a high level. I don’t know what position he’ll end of playing but when he’s on the field I’ve got the upmost confidence in him.”

MINNESOTA UNITED FORWARD ABU DANLADI

On scoring and what that moment felt like for him …

“I mean, it was great. A great, great feeling. Also, it was tied. Which, I wanted to get back and score again. I really wanted to get three points. I mean, at the same time, you’re just happy you scored. But at the same time, you just want to get a win and your team wants you to get back and reset and go again. It was a good feeling. And also, first goal in the new stadium, so that was very, very exciting.”

On if he heard the crowd chant his name after his goal, or if he was too focused in on the game …

“Very, very focused. I mean, I knew it was loud, because I could tell. But, just more focused on – because Adrian [Heath] was on the bench [yelling], "gotta get back, gotta get back, let’s go back, let’s go back." So that’s mostly what I was focused on.”

On what his thoughts are on Orlando’s penalty that was awarded …

“Very, very questionable. I’ll say that some of these decisions are made in games. That’s why you have the referee to make the decision, there’s nothing the play can do about it. It’s not the right call. If it’s the right call, there’s nothing you can do about it. You just have to look forward to coming back and trying to assist the team.”

On what went through his mind when Angelo Rodriguez went down and Adrian Heath called upon him …

“As a soccer player, you train to pray in your mind, anything can happen. I just wanted to [play]. The only thing was, make sure you don’t forget your shin pads. That was kind of going through my head but it was good but very unfortunate he got hurt. Players, anyone can go down at any moment. You have to be ready, so, I was ready.”

On the amount of attempts on goal the team had between tonight and Wednesday night’s game against Colorado, and what needs to be done to help convert those attempts …

“We have to do a better job of just finishing. [We have to] do a better job in the final third, for sure. And, with me included, just try and get on the end of the ball and just try and at least hit the target. That is very, very important with [the] games going forward. It’s very, very important to make playoffs. And those are very, very important opportunities, we have to grab them and make sure we do better at them. At the end of the day, that’s going to determine if we win and get more points, or you lose points. So, that’s very important.”

On his first goal since April and what the stretch without scoring was like …

“It’s been a long [period of time] with injuries and stuff. Things have kind of been hard. Just focusing and getting my head up and keep working hard. Just doing the extra little things. The coaches have always believed in me and given me the opportunity to play, so that’s really, really good. I really appreciate that and I have to prove to them that I’m going to make the best out of this opportunity they gave me and hopefully, this game, and all the games coming up, that I’m able to help the team. Because, at the end of the day, helping the team and doing what the team needs is the most important part.”

On how he has been feeling this year …

“I mean, it’s just there and there with the injuries, but it’s one of those things, I’ve done through this before. Every year, I learn how to deal with it. And this year, I feel like I’m dealing with it much, much better. I’m taking care of my body on and off the field, and I’m eating right and going all of the extra steps at training. That’s very, very important. Just making sure that I’m doing all the stuff that’s going to keep me on the field and ready to go every weekend.”

On all of the emotions he went through during a game like this …

“It was very, very crazy emotionally because that last PK that he called, I was like, wow, I can’t believe that this just happened after we worked really hard to come back and tie the game. I’m glad that the ref was able to reconsider and know that it wasn’t intentional. I’d  rather take a win, but one point is better than losing a point or two.”

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