Coaches

Quote Sheet: MNUFC vs. LA Galaxy

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On his overall thoughts with the team’s performance tonight …
“Disappointed. We were the better team for large periods of the game. We had the best chances all evening and I can’t remember Vito [Mannone] having to do anything until maybe, the goal. The amount of times that we attacked down the right-hand side and we got good balls into the box. I can think of two or three clear-cut chances. As I said to you in the week, at this level it’s going to be really small margins and we didn’t have the quality at the end when we should have done so. Robin [Lod] has had a great chance first half. Angelo [Rodriguez] has had an unbelievable chance with the header and there were a couple really, really good opportunities when we didn’t pick anybody out with the final ball. Overall, I was pleased with our performance and pleased with the commitment. I couldn’t ask for any more. We just came up short because we didn’t have the final ball, nearly all evening.”

On what he said to his team after the game …
“I haven’t spoken to them yet.”

On why Darwin Quintero didn’t start the game tonight …
“He was ill and didn’t train with the group on Friday and I didn’t want to start him just in case we had to move him or change him too early.”

On if there was anything that went into starting Angelo Rodriguez over Mason Toye …
“We just thought that at this moment in time, Mason needed a break.”

On if finishing in the final third has been an issue all year …
“I don’t know about all year. I think if you look at how many goals we’ve scored compared to everybody else in the league, we’re probably in the top half.”

On none of the attackers scoring in the last five games …
“That’s probably why we aren’t playing on Thursday. We didn’t have enough quality in the final third. We got enough balls into there. I don’t know how many crosses we put in, whether it be Ethan [Finlay], Chase [Gasper] or Romain [Metanire]. We just didn’t do enough to get on the end of stuff. I’m really proud of the guys. They’ve put in a great shift again. You could tell the desperation they had. They were defending late on and when you consider who we played, I think it’s a good marker of how far we’ve come.”

On if he saw what he wanted from Robin Lod tonight …
“Robin, just like Thomas Chacon, are both still have their best days ahead of them. People forget that Robin was on holiday when he signed. He already had his season and was on four weeks of virtually doing nothing. He’s been chasing his fitness but he’ll get better.”

On what must happen to take the next step next year …
“We have to get better. We have to bring quality in. We did last year and we have to do the same again. If we do, this group will be a match for anybody. But, we can’t stand still, not in this league, not in the Western Conference because trust me, if we stand still, we lean backwards. We have to bring quality players in and that will make some big decisions. We have some big decisions to make over the next few weeks before we decide what we do.”

On what’s going into those big decisions …
“We don’t make a decision on one player after one game because you probably wouldn’t have bought Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] if you saw him tonight. Pretty abysmal. He’s only scored 500 goals. You should enjoy him, by the way. As I said before, it’s a bit like Frank Sinatra. He’ll be dead before we know how good he is.”

On his emotional state after the game …
“I’m extremely disappointed and I know that people will say that it’s been a good year and it has. It’s been a good year from where we were but we’re better than the attacking half that we had this evening. If we want to get where we want to be, where everybody wants to be, we have to get better in the final third.”

On the second goal …
“We turned the ball over too cheaply. I know what it’s like in them situations when you lose a goal. Then everybody starts running around and you stop doing what’s got you the success so far. We started to clear our lines too quickly so they just played. Playing through the middle, getting it out wide, getting numbers up out wide and starting to get quality in the box. You get desperate, I get it. It's human nature but we were all over the place when they scored the second goal and there was still time to actually do something about it. At one-nil you’re always in the game as we proved. We got a goal but you can’t go chasing the ball and running all over the place when there’s still 18 minutes left to play.”

On the field, tonight …
“The field played well considering what we’ve gone through and what was happening on it yesterday. I think it’s been better than what we’ve been playing on recently anyway so fair dues to the grounds man and his crew for what they’ve had to put up with in the last couple of weeks. I think they’ve done an incredible job to get the field in the condition it was in tonight.”

On if the field played any factor at all …
“No, I thought the pitch played well.”

On why the composure might have not been there in the final moment …
“Sometimes you get caught up in it. Sometimes you have a night where you don’t pick a pass. There’s no right or wrong answer to it. It’s just that our quality was a bit off in the final third tonight.”

On if he would deem this a successful season …
“Yeah, from where we were. But, I think you know me better than that. I don’t take a lot of satisfaction from playing in just one playoff game and I know tomorrow that won’t be any different for me. I’ve been used to playing or being very competitive and tonight we came up a little bit short. I’d like to mention the crowd. I thought that they were incredible as they’ve been all season. They couldn’t’ have done anymore to keep the guys going. It’s a bit disappointing for them.”

On the right side of the field tonight …
“I said at halftime, with Kevin [Molino] down that side as well, we didn’t use the numbers up as well as we could have done and I thought we were a little bit rushed in our play. At times, we had more times to compose ourselves and maybe pick a better pass. I don’t know how many crosses we put in from the right-hand side tonight and we knew we would have that numerical advantage down that side because that’s the way they play. That’s the disappointment for me.”

On if there is anything to take from this game for next season …
“Hopefully if we’re in this position next year, let’s go try and win one. At this moment in time, no.”

On what the qualities are that need to be added …
“I want to get better all over if we can. There’s not one position. We know where we need to strengthen and if we do and get the right pieces with what we’ve got, I think we’ll improve again like we did this year. That has to be the aim. To get better again.”

On what he thought wasn’t working on corner kicks tonight …
“The delivery at times.”

On how frustrating it was not to finish chances in the first half …
“Not just frustrating but before the game started, I think a lot of people would’ve thought that, that would’ve been a terrific half for us. I don’t think Vito hardly had a shot to save in the first half. Zlatan had one shot from 30 yards. We were talking about a team that’s been up there with the best in the league for probably 10 years and we dominated every aspect of the game in the first half apart from the one important one, scoring a goal.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER ROBIN LOD

On the game ...
“It feels bad of course. As you said we had great chances. Especially my chance, it’s one that there’s no excuse to not put the ball inside of the goal. It feels bad to let the team and the fans down in this moment. I think that if we scored in the first half, the game would’ve been much different and would be much easier for us. It was difficult for us today.”

On if he was surprised about the chance coming to him …
“Yeah, it came at me fast. But as I said, I still have time and all the space to make the goal. There's no excuse.”

On his first season with Minnesota United …
“It's not easy to come straight away in the middle of the season in a new league and in a new place. It takes time to adapt but as the time goes, I felt better inside the team but I think I have so much more to do.”

On if there were nerves the first 15-20 minutes …
“Yeah, of course everybody is excited for the first place game and there’s a lot of things inside your mind maybe affecting some things.” 

On the overall strength of the forwards …
“I think we created enough chances to score a couple of goals. The finishing wasn’t the best and I think we could do much better. I think we have the quality to do much better.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER JAN GREGUS

On the emotion of the evening …
“Well, it wasn’t a game that we should have lost. We had a lot of opportunities and we didn’t score. They scored, so that’s how it goes. In my mind, it's not a game that we should have lost.”

On if he thought they should have come out with at least a goal from the first half …
“Yeah, yeah. We had a few opportunities. I’m just glad to keep the pressure on and create our own chances. Like I said, we had our opportunities but we didn’t score, so that’s our mistake.”

On if there was a feeling of hope after he scored his goal and it was 2-1 …
“Of course. It gives you all the energy, it gives you a boost. We put Vito [Mannone] on the corner, so, we really tried to push the whole team up to score the equalizer, but we didn’t.”

On his goal …
“Just driving the ball real good, and then I just waited in front of the goal and thought that maybe I would have a look at goal.”

On if Minnesota United had the better chance to win, the way the game was being played …
“Yeah, like I said, in my mind, it’s still a game that we should win. We had much more ball possession than them, but they had a killer instinct in front of the goal when they needed it. They had two or three good opportunities second half when it was 0-0 still, and they didn’t score. And then, they, in 10 minutes, put two back. So, it’s kind of hard for us.”

On if he feels like the season was a success …
“Yeah. The season was a great season. Obviously, a new team of new players coming together. Our aim was to go to the playoffs. We did that. Now, of course, you want to go and win the Cup. And you feel the reality, but, it is what it is. We went to the final of the [Lamar Hunt U.S. Open] Cup as well. I think this is a strong team, strong characters, strong players and we built this club this season.

MINNESOTA UNITED GOALKEEPER VITO MANNONE

On the two goals that LA scored …
“It's a tough one today because we were on top of them and we had a lot of chances to score. Unfortunately, futbol is a cruel game. If you don’t take your chances on the first one it’s very unfortunate. We got a lucky bounce on one shot and the guy has a free shot on the goal and it’s an easy goal for them. Second one, we lost a little bit of our heads and didn’t press the ball out and they had a good strike. After that, we tried to react and come back into the game but it was maybe a little bit too late."

On his thoughts of the game …
“It was a very cagey game. It was tight and there weren't many chances. We had the best chances and when you’re down and you don’t score you get punished. At this level, unfortunately, you know many games during the season we got away with it because we fight hard and always lift up and try and equalize it and get a tight win, you saw that a lot at Allianz Field but it wasn’t today. We took the chances and nothing. I thought we could get a last push in the final 5-10 minutes, but there wasn’t enough time. After you concede one, I think the game was kind of gone.”

On if he thinks the result of the game aligned with how they played …
“No, completely opposite. We were better than them in many areas during the first half and big parts of the second half too. I remember Angelo’s [Rodriguez] header in the second half. I remember Boxy [Michael Boxall] had a touch and the keeper missed the ball completely, that’s another chance. Robin Lod, three yards from goal. I can remember just on top of my mind three or four chances where we need to put the ball in the net and then that changes the game completely and it’s a different game. Listen, it’s futbol, soccer, whatever you want to call it, it’s always the same story. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t go your way. Sometimes you might get a lucky bounce or something like that but we didn’t tonight. They had the lucky bounce for the first goal and they opened scoring and it was difficult to come back.”

On if he wonders about his future as the season comes to a close …
“No. As I’ve always said in the past, I’ve done my maximum and I put my heart out every game. It’s been an amazing season. I received back lots of love from the fans and the crowd gave me the opportunity to have a great season and I’ve really enjoyed it. So, until now they didn’t speak to me, my club in England didn’t speak to me so we have time. I’m not in a rush. It was a case of putting everything out on the page and was really concentrated and focused to achieve something with the club. I think, in a way, I am very proud of what this team did because it’s not easy. You open a new stadium and everyone is thinking it’s easy, we’re going to have a nice season, few players bonding a team together and everything clicked. I thought this was an excellent season and a historic one for the club. The fans love this place and they always give us 100% so that’s amazing. We went all the way in the cup and we made the first ever playoffs at Allianz Field. We have to be proud and I tell you what, this group of players, if they stick together and keep working hard, you’ve got a mix of youngsters and veterans and really good players with very good professions. I think if they stick together I think they’re going to achieve more and more in the future.”  

On if he considers this year a successful one …
“Yes, very much. I think I had a few objects in my head when I came here and I thought we reached almost every object, personally and as a team, as a club. I wanted to make the playoffs, we did it. I wanted to go for a trophy and we almost did it and it was an excellent run. In general, personally, I’m very happy because I played every game and it was important for me to feature for this club and to give something back to the club, to the stuff and they gave me the chance to bring in fans."

On if he expects to return to the club …
“Yeah, I’m open. I really want to sit down and relax a little bit. I’m not going to be making decisions like this in a moment like this because while I gave everything for this club and for this season to go well, my emotions are still up and down. I want to relax, talk to my family, talk to my agent, talk to whatever clubs want me, and obviously I need to talk to Minnesota. There are many things that need to happen, and I’m really not the only person that’s deciding my future at the moment.”

On how his relationship with the Minnesota fans will influence his decision for next season …
“I came here and tried to put myself out there. Whatever club I’m at, this is who I am. I give 200 percent on the pitch, and I’m a fan myself when I’m out there. The fans, they pay the money, they love the club, and they want us to do as well as possible. That’s what I’m trying to do every time. I do this for my family, but also for the fans that are there to support me. I think for this club especially they’ve been amazing this season and we couldn’t have done many things without them. You’ve seen what they’ve given us, home and away, home especially. This has just been an incredible place to play at. These fans are going to be a solid base for this club going forward. With this core of players, we have big possibilities and a big future ahead of us, and it’s important we keep going and keep the fans pushing us and keep them happy. As long as we do that, there’s a bright future ahead of us.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER OSVALDO ALONSO

On the having the atmosphere, the field and the better chances throughout the game, but not finishing with the result …
“A little disappointing. You know, to give everything you have and you give away two goals and lose the game – that’s what I’m disappointed by. But the playoffs were there for the team. It was a great season. Now we have to look forward for next year.  I'm very happy for the performances this season but disappointed for today but to keep going, look forward and get ready for next season.”

On if something changed during the window of the five-minute span LA Galaxy scored both of their goals in …
“We had a chance and then they scored and another in five minutes. I think we lost the game in those five minutes. Very disappointing. When they scored the first one, we got disorganized a little bit, we wanted to go forward too quick and then scored the second one and it was too late to come back. Like I said, very happy for the performance, for the team, very disappointed for the result but looking forward to 2020. I’m very proud for the team and now have to look forward.”

On his yellow card …
“That’s the part of the game, the yellow card.”

On his overall opinion of the season for Minnesota …
“Good. Open Cup Final, made the playoffs. It was great but we want more and unfortunately we lost today. Like I said, you have to look to 2020. This year is over, we have to look to make it to the playoffs next year, nothing left because life is like that. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win and when you lose, you have to look forward.”

On playing another year …
“Me? Of course I want to play. I’m going to play next year. I have a contract through next year so I’m going to play next year.”

On if he felt like the team was lacking in form in the last couple games …
“I think we played pretty good today. I think in those five minutes we lost the game but I think overall we gave it everything we had. From the front to the back, we fight, we run. It is what it is, soccer is like that sometimes. In two minutes, five minutes you can lose the game and you  have to walk away with the loss. Like I said, disappointed but happy for the performance for the whole season because the whole team, every time we stepped onto the field we gave it everything we had and today it was the same thing but unfortunately we gave away two goals and lost the game.”

On the scoring drought in the last 10 games …
“I think it’s part of the game. We didn’t change anything, the whole game we had a lot of chances, they scored their chances and its part of the game. If you concede and you don’t score, you lose the game.”

On what the fans have meant to him this season …
“I can’t forget to say thanks to them because they were there every time you play here, win or lose, and they always support you and care about the same thing. I’m trying to give my best to acknowledge them because they’re always there for us so you fight for them and they always support us. Like I said before, they deserve more from us but unfortunately, we lost.”

On the condition of the field …
“The field was okay, it wasn’t a factor. We had the chance to score and it was even, even for both teams, the field. Like I said, it is what it is, look forward. Now, there’s nothing you can do. Now, enjoy with the family and look forward to 2020.”

On whether he thought the season was a success …
“Yeah. We reached the Open Cup Final, made the playoffs, better than last year. Was a success for us, big improvement.”

On what he does as the captain to stay prepared …
“Two and a half months off. I’m not 20 years old anymore so I have to keep training because I want to come back ready for the next year. I’m going to be 34 next year so it’s going to be big for me to be ready for preseason.”

On where he’s spending the offseason …
“Miami and Cuba are the two places where I’m going to spend my offseason.”

Topics: