Jan yelling

Quote Sheet: MNUFC vs. SKC

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On the celebration in the locker room …
“We're pleased, obviously, but we go again, don't we, in another three days. I want them to be pleased, I want them to be excited, because they've worked really hard for what they've achieved. But we want to go even further than that. We don't want to just get in the playoffs, we said that. I didn't read one publication, I didn't read any magazine that tipped us to be in the playoffs this year in the Western Conference. So kudos to the staff, to the players, who've proved a few people wrong and I'm delighted for that. Delighted for our ownership group, Dr. Bill McGuire, all the investors in the club. Pleased for our fans. It's not been a pretty evening in terms of football, but in terms of a will to find a way to win a game, I couldn't fault the players, certainly in the second half, I thought our will and our desire was magnificent.”

On what he said at halftime …
“I think I have to be careful with what I said at halftime. We got into one or two and we told them, 'Let's go play in their half of the field, let's play with a bit more desire and put them under a bit more pressure.' I thought we stayed in our defensive shape a little bit too much in the first half and let them get a foothold into the game. They're a good team, they've got good players, so it didn't surprise me.”

On having a two-point cushion …
“I haven't even looked at the table.”

On being two up on third place in the Western Conference …
“Let's hope it stays that way. But we won a big game! Let's go on and see if we can win this game against LAFC. I know nobody gives us a chance, but it'd be nice to beat them on Sunday and that'll be three times we've beaten them out of four.”

On the team starting with a lack of energy …
“I don't think it was a lack of energy, I just don't think our play was good, I don't think it was crisp enough, I don't think we moved the ball quick enough. All the things that when we've been good at home, that's what we've had. Quality wasn't as good as it's normally been, but in the end of the day, I can criticize as much as I want because sometimes football is not all about free-flowing football, about people showing you how good they are. Sometimes it's about rolling your sleeves up and having the desire to actually go and get a result. Hook or by crook, however you get there.”

On what he got out of the subs [Abu Danladi, Ethan Finlay, Hassani Dotson] …
“We had to change the shape. The change of shape actually helped us more. I was going to do it at halftime, but I wanted to see if we could get a little of impetus going, actually get a foothold in the game. The more I watched it, the more they had that spare body in midfield and they were using it well so we went to a 4-3-3 and matched them up in the middle of the park and I thought that helped us enormously.”

On the quality of Hassani Dotson’s finishing …
“I'm not sure that was his best finish since I've been here. Did it take a deflection? I'm not sure he's been working on that in training. But hey, they all count. It doesn't surprise me. He has a great feel for the game and even playing and not wanting to stay behind the ball, he went on to the next ball. The kid's had a really good year.”

On Vito Mannone’s performance tonight …
“I said on Sunday in Portland that I thought he saved what he should save. Tonight, he saved a couple of things — those were top drawer saves. They're saves that keep you in the game and that's why goalkeepers are so important. The second save. The first one, he got a big hand to it, but the second save's the one, the reaction, and it was a big night for Vito.”

On Osvaldo Alonso’s goal …
“He's very happy in there. First thing he said to me when we signed him: 'I've been in the playoffs 10 years on the trot — I am not, not making it this year.' So, I'm pleased for him to keep that record going. And just his desire, and the one thing about people like Ozzie, I thought him and Jan put a great shift in at times. Ozzie's infectious personality and enthusiasm to play the game the way that he does, rubs off on people. As I say to people like Hassani, if you want to model yourself on anybody, don't look any further than this guy.”

On getting so much out of the rookies this season …
“We've done really well out of the draft. If you look at Dayne St. Clair was on the bench, Abu came on — he was out of the draft a couple years ago — Mason's given us a lot of important moments recently, Hassani, Chase, we've done really well out of the draft and all them kids can be really, really please with their input. They've added something to this group this year, which sometimes you don't get for such young kids.”

On his feeling of making the playoffs for the first time as a coach …
“It means everything to me. I'm proud of what I've done as a player and what I've done as a coach, but this is the most important thing because it's the next thing. When I came in, after the first year, I still think getting 10 wins is probably as big an achievement as making the playoffs, for what we had to go through that year. And only people within the club will know that. I'm really, really proud of everybody connected with the club, especially the players, the ownership group. I'm really pleased with our supporters, who have been nothing short of magnificent since we've been in this stadium. This is just the start. We have to keep moving on, we have to keep trying to get better and that's what we'll do.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER HASSANI DOTSON

On scoring the biggest goal in professional career …
“Yeah I would say so. It was the game winner but the credit goes to the team and all the effort that everyone in the organization has put for us to get here.”

On receiving the ball at the top of the box …
“At first I just played it to Ozzie then I saw a little gap and I just asked for the ball. At first I was going to slide it to Ethan but the defender, he changed his movement so I just decided to take it myself.”

On taking the shot for the game winning goal …
“I took a few extra touches because against Real Salt Lake I tried shooting with my left foot a couple times and they blocked it so I was just hoping that this one went in the goal.”

On celebrating after the ball went into the back of the net …
“We were all just excited. There weren’t many words being said it was just a bunch of screaming and you know being embraced by the fans is just a good moment.”

On playoff excitement …
“I’m very excited. I mean it's big for all of us here, we are all very strong competitors and we want to be the best and to do that we have to keep playing the best we can and keep winning games.”

On doing the double knee slide …
“That’s probably the second time and my knees are burning from it.”

On first knee slide attempt …
“It was probably U-11.”

On preparing for LAFC on Sunday …
“I think we are going to enjoy the moment right now and as soon as tomorrow hits to start recovering, like I said we want to win every game and the game plan is not my decision so everyone here is just going to focus on that and do the best we can.”

On what was said in the locker room at half time …
“Just that we needed to do more, obviously we were down. Just do more, fight harder and play like we want it.”

On tactical instructions received before coming on …
“Just to play on the side of the 4-3-3. Play with Darwin on my side so he can get the ball from the outlet.”

On getting a new haircut for this coming Sunday …
“Yeah. Chase told me I should braid my hair and I told him if I score another goal before the end of the regular season happens that I would do it, so we got to start looking for an appointment.”

On having a stylist ready …
“Not yet, not yet.”

On bleaching his hair like Dayne St. Clair …
“Who knows, maybe? We have to keep you guys guessing.”

On bleaching hair after one more goal …
“Yes, only if we have another goal in the last two games, I’ll bleach my hair.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER OSVALDO ALONSO

On the source of his frustration in the first half …
“When you come here at home, play in this game, trying to win the game and you start losing, it’s always frustrating but we believe in our team. We believe in ourselves and we fight and fight until the end and we've got to be sure to make it through to the playoffs.”

On what it means to him to go back to the playoffs …
“When I came here, nobody thought we were going to make the playoffs. And we’re here in the playoffs, so very excited and very happy. Because, from the beginning, we believed in this team, that we were going to make the playoffs. And we did it. So, now we got to keep going. We also have two more games. And ready for the playoffs.”

On if he told Adrian Heath that the not-making-the-playoffs streak was one he wanted to end when he joined the team, and they were going to be in every year now …
“Yeah, when I came here… First, I wanted to win the playoffs, and tried to win the [U.S. Open] Cup. That was my goal when I signed here with Minnesota. I told to Adrian [Heath], before I came here, I said, no, I have to go there to give my best for the team, my team, we did it, during the season, to make the playoffs. It was hard, but finally we did it. First time ever for the club. We’re happy, we’re excited and glad to keep going.”

On what it means to score two goals at historic moments in Minnesota United history …
“[It's] been amazing. Scored the first goal, I’m always going to remember. And today also because losing 1-0, it’s the kind of goal to give you the motivation to keep going to win the game. But, for me, it’s the thing if we fight, we fight. Wasn’t a pretty game today, but, at the end of the day, we win. We go 2-1. Tomorrow the newspaper is going to be Minnesota in the playoff. Doesn’t matter how you win, you did it. We did it.”

On what the scene in the locker room was like at halftime …
“We always believe in our team. We come in here, I say, guys, we have 45 minutes to turn now. Everybody was focused. We come out. Like I said before, we fight, we fight to the end. We never give up. And we finally did it.”

MINNESOTA UNITED GOALKEEPER VITO MANNONE

On his thoughts on the win tonight …
“It’s a great achievement, great win, and there’s more time to celebrate because there’s another game in three days. We’re trying to let it sink in because it’s a historic moment for the club and it’s a great achievement after a long season. We’ve just fought so hard, and it’s a great achievement for the club, the fans, the team, the staff, and everybody involved.”

On what he said to Romain Metanire after his goal saving tackle in the 74th minute
“I try to be there for them and they try to be there for me, so it was an important moment that tackle. When I make a save for them, it’s the same way around and they thank me. Tonight inside of the dressing room they thanked me again, and it’s just a great feeling to respond to that. To give something back and for them to give me something back with amazing tackles like Romain’s.”

On fans chanting his name over and over again …
“It’s great. It’s a great feeling. You don’t get this many time in your career but when you get it you need to enjoy it. I really work hard and was probably the nicest moment for me in the past few years. I lost my mom and it’s been difficult moment for my family, I came over to the states and I’m very proud. When I hear my name, I’m hoping that song goes up to the sky because my mom and my god are there to listen and they have given many sacrifices for me. It’s an emotional moment for me.”

On Sporting Kansas City’s first goal …
“Hell of a ball whipped in. We knew Johnny Russell had these kind of balls and we didn’t pick up the bodies. It was a wakeup call, we didn’t start as we wanted. It was a difficult night for us but sometimes we dig deep, we’ve had many games like this and we learned from it. You take away a win that we should not have won but grit. It was nice to come out to work hard and come back after that goal. It was a difficult first half because they came here, they stretched us and they were wide open with the wingers. It was difficult, they had good players on the ball they created chance after chance and we dug deep. Second half we said, come on we have to give something back to the crowd and they pushed us as I said, great achievement and great win. It doesn’t stop there, we are second and we need to stay second.”

On seeing a handball during SKC’s goal …
“No, I need to check again but you tell me. You saw more replays than me, I didn’t. I thought he hit it with his shin or with his knee somehow but I don’t know how it went because he was so close. If it was [a handball], I would be angry because he took a clean sheet away.”

On what the celebration was like in the locker room …
“It was fantastic. We were kind of tired because it was a long night and a long season in general, but we traveled back from Portland which was a difficult game, we had this game to win, and sometimes when you need to get the job done it’s difficult, because you’re the team that’s at home and needing to impose the game, and we felt the pressure a little bit in the first half. All in all we came back strong. Tonight was a game of passion and heart. We dug deep and ran until the 92nd minute, so it was fantastic. It was a difficult win, but something that showed what we’ve done all season. When you’re struggling or in a difficult position you need to react, and that’s what all of these boys did all season.”

On how the post game locker room compared to the halftime locker room emotions …
“Very different. Halftime we needed a response, and we encouraged ourselves in a bad and a good way. It doesn’t matter, whatever needs to be done, we do it. It was a fantastic reaction in the second half. We were on top of them, we were fighting more, we gave it all, even if sometimes we gave chances away. I thought we gave it all to get the win, and it showed tonight.”

On what Osvaldo Alonso has shown as a leader on this team after showing a lot of emotion at the half …
“Everyone was emotional. We knew we were much better than that. This is a lesson for the next few games, but we can’t allow teams to have better starts on our own field. Everyone played great. It was a great effort from everybody. We deserved this playoff and the crowd deserved this playoff, and today was a lesson to not give away too many first halves, because it’s difficult to come back. Not many teams give you that chance to come back.”

On setting the club record for saves tonight with 122 …
“I’m proud of it. Any record is something that goes into history, so I’m proud of that. I’ve been trying to do my best since stepping into this club. Any save is important, and every save can help my team to gain points, and that’s the most important thing to me. At the end when we sit down and look at the stats, I’m going to be happy about it."

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