Training Quotes SJvMIN

Training Quotes | #SJvMIN

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On if there is any advantage either way since they have already played one another back in March …
“Only the way that we both play. I think we’re both very familiar with each other. We played them towards the back end of last year and we played them early on this year. So, it’s pretty fresh in our memory. Obviously, they’re a little bit unconventional in the way they do things, in the general term that they play. And, they probe and give you different problems from a lot of teams. But, so far, we’ve handled that quite well. But, we know, they’re in form at the moment. They’re a really tight knit group and we know it’s going to be tough. So, we’re going to have to play well to get a result. In terms of are we too familiar, or not familiar, no, I think we’re both aware what both teams will try to do. And it will probably come down to small details, as it always does – scoring at the right moment – that will probably influence the final result.”

On the status of Romain Metanire and if he can’t go, what the concern will become with San Jose …
“We’ll see. Romain [Metanire] will be gameday. As will Kevin Molino. We’ll make that decision then. But, obviously, they stretch the field out enormously. They’ll try to spread you out as a group. Whether it be [Magnus] Eriksson, whether it be [Cristian] Espinoza down the other side. They’ve got threats. They’ve got people who can run with the ball and beat people. So, whoever plays out there – if Romain doesn’t make it – we’ll have a challenge on. You know, it’s something that we’ve spoke about. We think we’re well prepared for what they will do. The secret is, try and keep them at bay for long enough periods and maybe get a goal on the counterattack, and work from there. Because, as they proved in this tournament, once they get a head of steam up, they’re very difficult to stop.”

On the bookies having San Jose winning this game, being viewed as underdogs and should the Loons be viewed this way …
“Well, probably, on what people would perceive as current form, maybe that’s, you know, the bookies aren’t often wrong, are they? I don’t see many poor bookmakers. Certainly, I haven’t. We know what’s coming. I have tremendous respect for [Matias Almeyda]. I think the conviction of his actions with his group are incredible. Because it’s something that everybody doesn’t do. And, you know, there are bad spells, there are bad losing streaks, but he never waivers. And the players have obviously all bought in. You only have to see their reaction to goals and their reaction to victories after the game, to see that they’re all bought in on what they’re trying to do. So maybe they are favorites. I don’t know. But, at the end of the day, I know that it’s going to be a tough game and that won’t be swayed either way with what the bookies think.”

On the importance of winning this tournament with a Concacaf Champions League spot on the line …
“That’s a good question. It’s one of them things, I know it’s not the answer that people want. The old, taking each game at a time. You know, we’ve got too much to think about on Saturday night with San Jose, than think about is it going to be LA or Orlando, or who is it going to be from the other side of the group? Obviously, we want to go as far as we can. I said to the players after the group stage, you know, we’ve been here four weeks. What’s another two weeks, guys? Let’s stay in this and let’s play with the same determination and the same enthusiasm that we’ve done so far. I said that I think we’re getting better. We’re playing ourselves into the tournament. Which, is always a good thing. We certainly haven’t peaked too early. I think the best is yet to come. So, yeah, if we could, in a week or so time, be in the final and quality for the Concacaf Champions League, I would be a very happy man.”

On how he hopes to exploit San Jose’s edge, if it exists, in this upcoming game …
“Well, every game is different. I always think against San Jose the first goal is very important because of the way they play. As I said, once they start to get up a head of steam, they get some momentum going within the game, they’re very difficult to stop. They keep pressing. They keep putting you under extreme pressure. And when you’re playing a goal down early on, you actually start to make decisions that, probably, you wouldn’t do normally. So, I think the start is going to be massive. I think the fact that we know each other really, really well will help both teams. I think they both know what we’re gonna try and do. So, yeah, I think it’s going to be a tough game for us. And, I don’t really think the 5-2 win for us in San Jose – which seems an eternity ago – will have much bearing on what’s happening tomorrow. We both had four months off. We both have been going through a lot of difficulties our way from football. It’ll be 90 minutes on its own. We’re just going to look at the next 90 minutes and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”

On what Romain Metanire’s injury was during the game, and if he trained today …
“He was with us today. He’s just got a slight problem. Just a bit of a tweak on his hamstring, so, we’ll see.”

On how he would assess Luis Amarilla in the past couple games, and if he is still playing through his injury …
“I think, like a few players, everybody, after such a long layoff, it effects people differently. Not only Luis [Amarilla], I don’t think as a group we’ve maybe got to the level that we were before the big break. But, he’s training really hard. And, like most strikers, he’ll like a goal to get him going again. We’ve been talking about Robin Lod last week. I’ve seen a difference in him in the last couple of days, and I’m sure once we get enough opportunities for Luis, he will score goals. Because, you don’t score the goals he has and lose that overnight. It’s a case of he’s going to have to work through it, as all strikers do, and I’m sure that if we present him with the opportunities, he’ll put one or two of them away.”

On his keys to success on set pieces …
“Doing what’s asked of the players, but, ultimately, it’s the service. If we can get it in the right spot, we do have people who can attack the ball. If you look at the likes of [Michael] Boxy and Jose Aja. Luis [Amarilla] has got good movement. Obviously, we will miss that threat of Ike [Opara]. He scored two goals against San Jose last time. We’ll obviously miss that. But, it’s like anything. They’ve very dangerous on set pieces, [Magnus] Eriksson puts really good quality in the box. And if you do that, and you attack the ball, then you have a good chance of getting opportunities. And, that’s what’s happened for us. We’ve put the ball in the right spot, people have been really determined to get on the end of it and then we haven’t given the first ball up. We’ve been alive for the second one and we’ve scored two or three goals from that.”

On Tyler Miller’s mustache …
“I think I’m best staying out of this one, on the mustache stakes. Obviously, the players have been having plenty of fun about it. I don’t know how long it’s been growing. It didn’t look too thick the other night. But, I think he’s got to grow it until as long as we’re in the tournament. We’ll see what it’s like at the end.”

 

MINNESOTA UNITED GOALKEEPER TYLER MILLER

On how the Loons have bee successful on attacking set pieces …
“It starts from the great service that Jan [Gregus] has been able to put in for our attacking players. Any player that’s in that situation would say that it really stems from the quality of the service and Jan has been able to deliver so far in this tournament which makes it easier for our attacking players to just get anything they can on it and we know that we have some big guys that can be dangerous in those situations. I think it’s a huge advantage for us.”

On how the team has defended against set pieces …
“I think we’ve done really well. I don’t really feel that we’ve been in any danger. There was one chance that came in our last game that I wasn’t able to make the save on but other than that, I think our team is really disciplined and has been strong in the box when it came to those aerial challenges.”

In the importance of succeeding in this tournament to make a statement for the club …
“In this tournament, you’re really seeing how difficult it is after four months off to come back and get into top form. But from the first game against Kansas City to our last game against Columbus, I feel like each game, we’ve progressed in little ways and been able to build on each performance. So I’m really proud of the guys in that fashion and that we’re only getting better game that we play. I really feel like San Jose is going to be a tough test but I feel really confident in how our team is performing and I think that it’s just a huge momentum boost. Going into this quarterfinal, we know it’s going to be a difficult game but obviously, we’re very confident in our group, in our squad and we just continue to build off that confidence that we have.”

On his new mustache …
“It’s honestly come about because of boredom. Aaron Schoenfeld has inspired me, he had one for a few days and then he was kind of begging me each game to join him in the mustache trend so I told him for the last group stage game, I’d do it. During the [penalty kick] shootout, I was having fun, I was enjoying playing and was able to make a save so I just wanted to keep the mood light and that’s what all of this is about. Yeah, we’re playing a game in the middle of a pandemic but just trying to enjoy it and really throw it back to the days you’re playing club soccer and there’s no crowd noise, you’re just playing for the love of the game.”

On either team having the advantage even though they last played each other in March …
“We know what San Jose is about, we know how they play – they haven’t changed that since March when we played them last time. I think they’ve only gotten better to be honest. So I think it’s going to be a tough task. Obviously, it’s a one-off game so anything can happen and we’re prepared for that but I think we’re approaching it in a completely different fashion than how we played them back in March because that was two games into the season. Now, we’re a few games in, they’ve found a good run of form and so have we so I think it’s going to be a very exciting and good game.”

 

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER JAN GREGUS

On the Loons' success over San Jose with their man-marking style of play …
“They have the specific style but it’s going to be a different game so we can’t really look at the game we played at the start of the season. Like you said, they kind of play man-marking all over the field so we have somethings that we know will work and that we know we will try to use against. “

On his service key to successful set pieces this season …
“It’s on us to have good set pieces and my job is to put [the ball] in the right spot and finish it with a goal and luckily we’ve been able to score a few from set pieces so it can only help us.”

On what does it mean to succeed in this tournament to the team …
“Well obviously we want to be the best and to be that, we need to beat the best. We can say that last game we beat probably the best [team] so far in this tournament. There are many great teams and next one is San Jose. So that’s how it goes, we always want to win, want to improve and we work day by day.”

On Tyler Miller’s mustache and if he will grow one himself …
“Oh my god, I can’t really tell you what I think about it because it … it looks awkward. *laughs* But I told him, there’s no chance for him to shave it now so he needs to keep it. If he looks that way or other he needs to keep it.”

On the success defending set pieces, especially without Ike Opara …
“There are few moments where we could do better for sure. Especially the one against Colorado [Rapids]. The second goal, we should to better with that one and maybe we would win but, I don’t know. If that is the case, I wouldn’t be sitting right here. Still work to do but in general, we do pretty well. We have strong, big size so we try to use it.”

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