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Quote Sheet: LAFC vs. MNUFC

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On the team’s defensive performance in the game …
I think we had to be the most disciplined that we've been all season. We spoke about trying to get the people in the right spots, defending the box in a certain way, trying to make a play in front of us and not allow big spaces in between the lines and in behind us. They executed it incredibly well. We knew we were going to have to withstand a lot of pressure, as you do here. That's why they're top of the league. They're very, very good. I thought our discipline was absolutely magnificent and we knew that they would go nearly man-for-man at the back when they were attacking and Mason's quick. People don't realize how quick he is and we knew that we would get opportunities on the break. I have to say, I didn't expect the two goals — certainly the second one anyways. Thought the first one was a magnificent finish, but I thought the second one took everybody by surprise, even the keeper.

On what LAFC looks like without Carlos Vela …
When you get a world-class player out of your team, every team is going to miss it. But now they bring Rodriguez in, they've just paid how much for him? $11 million or something? Every team is going to miss Carlos Vela, because not only can he score goals, he makes goals as well. Every time the ball goes to him, you think, 'This is a problem.' We were very pleased to see his name not on the team sheet, to be honest, before the game. I'm just so pleased for the group because this group was so disappointed after losing the Final to Atlanta on Tuesday night. For them to pick themselves up and put that type of performance up on the road against the MLS league leaders, who haven't been beaten at home all season, speaks volumes about the character of the group.

On Mason Toye’s breakout season …
I'm a big believer that you get out of life what you put into it, and he's getting all the rewards [out of what] he's put in this season. This is a kid who continually wants to work hard. He's working hard at his craft and as I always say to the players, you get out what you put in, and we have to bring him off the training ground, literally we have to bring him in and tell him, 'No more.' To save his energy, to save his legs, because he just wants to keep working away and trying to get better. If he continues to listen and learn — 'cause it's still early days for him — the kid has a good chance because nobody wants to be a star more than Mason Toye, trust me. He's going to put all the hours in it takes to get himself there.

On whether they expected Toye’s breakout at the start of the season …
We drafted him for the simple fact that we knew he had all the tools. He's 6-foot-3, can jump through the roof, he's quick, he's got good feet, he's got good instincts and what he had to do is learn where and when to run and now he's learning that. It's still early days for him, but he has a huge, huge upside.

On getting his 50th MLS win …
I didn't know until somebody told me after. Fifty, now we move on. It's a nice little milestone, but we've still got an awful lot of work to do and it's nice and there couldn't be many better places to come and get the 50th win than here. It's a fantastic stadium, fantastic atmosphere, really good team as well. So it's a really pleasing day for us.

MINNESOTA UNITED FORWARD MASON TOYE

On playing against LAFC’s high pressure attack …
Adrian [Heath] told us all this week that as good as LAFC is they leave themselves really exposed. They leave us two-versus-two up top a lot and almost one-versus-one sometimes at the top because they commit so many numbers forward. He just said basically if we win the ball, because we have so many numbers in the midfield they can spray into the channels for me to go and run and get it and I feel like I had more speed than their two center backs. That’s what Adrian told us what was going to be the game plan and I think we did a good job of executing.

On scoring two goals against LAFC …
It doesn’t surprise me at all. I work really hard every day in training and I’ve been doing it for as long as I’ve been here. So, I think that I’ve put in the work and I think that it’s just showing the fruits of my labor here to be scoring these goals and that way I’m doing them. It doesn’t really surprise me, I’ve been working really hard to get myself into these opportunities.

MINNESOTA UNITED DEFENDER IKE OPARA

On playing at Banc of California Stadium …
I just think with the atmosphere it’s a big game every game here. The crowd did a great job of selling it out and making a great environment, especially for the home team. I think if you relish these game on the road, as I do, it gets me juiced to go as well. I just like to win.

On still having to play LAFC in Minnesota …
We’re looking at each game and not going too ahead. Houston [Dynamo] is next. It’s one game at a time and we’ll get to LAFC and adjust. I know they’ve obviously clinched the playoffs and possibly supporters shield so they might be resting guys and rotating guys so they have an interesting month ahead of how they are going to go about their game. When we meet head- to-head, we’ll adjust.

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