Postgame Quotes | #HOUvMIN
© Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame Quotes | #HOUvMIN

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On if he had entered the game knowing he could get a point, and if he would be satisfied with that result…
“Yeah. I think that, the way that we’ve been playing on the road. And, with the injury situation that we’ve had. And, the amount of games that we’ve had on the road. Probably. We know it’s a difficult place to come and play. They’re playing with a lot of confidence for a re-settled team. So, yeah, maybe we would have done. Obviously, when you’re 2-nil at halftime, it seems a huge disappointment. But, for the first time on the road in a few weeks, I thought there was quite a lot of positives to take something from.”

On what changed from the first half to the second half for his squad in the attacking third and defensively…
“Well, you know, Dayne [St. Clair] makes a great save on Darwin’s [Quintero] free kick, and then we don’t follow it up. But, no, we knew, said at halftime. We’ve all played in these games when we’ve been on the receiving end. You know, the next goal is going to be the crucial goal, especially on the road. And, you know, I said to them, if they get the first goal, we’ve got to dig in because they’re going to keep coming. As I said, they’re in a rich vein of form, they’re very good at home, and I knew the next goal was going to be huge. So, I didn’t think at halftime the game was won by any stretch of imagination. What I did know, that, if we had some quality on the counterattack, because, I knew they would keep pushing on, that we would have opportunities. And, we did. Kevin [Molino] has hit the post, [Emanuel] Reynoso has hit the post. So, we did have a few opportunities. But, as I said, I’m looking at some positives tonight because there hasn’t been too many on the road the last few weeks, and there was some positives tonight.”

On Dayne St. Clair facing his first MLS penalty kick and familiar face Darwin Quintero lining up against him…
“Well, we did say that, you know, at the time, we’re obviously watching Darwin [Quintero], as we’ve done for a couple of years, every time after training take his penalties. That is his favorite side. His right foot. Keeper’s left. Middle of the goal. And, he guessed the right way and he came up with a big save. I knew it was only fitting that he did, because I thought he was excellent tonight. You know, he’ll be disappointed for Darwin’s first goal because, I think between him and Jose [Aja] a little more communication could have maybe stopped the goal, stopped the opportunity, shall we say, but, overall, he’s come up big on three or four occasions, which is what you need from your goalkeeper on the road.”

On the free kick that Dayne St. Clair saved, but the Loons didn’t cover the rebound, resulting in a Houston goal …
“Great save and we didn’t make the most of the save. You know, their center back or whoever it was reacts first. That’s down to us. You know, it was Kev’s [Molino] man, probably, and, you know, obviously an unnatural defender. And, you always think, you should always think the worst, the keeper might save it, or does it come back into play. And, that’s what happened. But, you know, these things happen.”

On the acquisition of Kei Kamara and his role with the team and if he can be a mentor for Mason Toye …
“Listening to Stewart Kerr, the goalkeeper coach, who had Kei [Kamara] and was working with Kei in Vancouver, said that Kei had a real big influence on Alphonso Davies there, mentally and off the field. I’ve known Kei for a long time. My son played with him in England. In Norwich. And, so, this goes back a long way. And, as he said to me yesterday, when I rang him, only eight years too late, gaffer. So, it’s been … I have tried a few times to bring him into the club. A couple of his older coaches have rang me today and said, 'You’ll be amazed at his fitness levels for his age.' What I won’t be amazed about is if we get quality balls in the box, I think he will score goals. I think the last two years, I think he’s got nearly 30 in 60 games. What is he, fifth highest goal scorer within the league? So we know what we’re getting. And I also know that we’re getting a big personality. And I think at this moment in time, you know, on the road and when we’ve got, at one stage, we’re going to have plenty of home games, I think he’s going to be a huge threat for us in both boxes.”

On this being the team’s fourth game in Texas in the last month of time, and if he still had his house in Austin to visit …
“No, I didn’t. But, as Tab [Ramos] said to me after the game, probably see you in a couple of weeks, here, with a bit of luck. I don’t know who is doing the fixtures, but, my God, hopefully this is the last time we have to visit Texas, because it doesn’t get any cooler. That’s one thing I do know. And, it’s a difficult place to come and play. There and Dallas. So, you know, hopefully in a few weeks we’ll start to get some home games.”

On what role he sees new signing Kei Kamara filling when everyone is healthy …
“I see him playing center forward for us. He’s a goal-scoring center forward. And, at this moment in time, that’s what we’re lacking. You know, I think we’ve had a lot of good opportunities on the break this evening, especially in the first half, and, as you say, I’m hoping that a little bit of mentorship and a little bit of understudy from Mason [Toye] watching a guy that has scored goals consistently within the league. And, not only that, his strength and personality is something that people have spoke to us about over the last week or so since this has been going on. So, delighted that we’ve done the deal. We felt it was something that we couldn’t turn down in the current circumstances. And, we think he’ll be a big, big asset for us.”

On the 88th minute red card to Jan Gregus, and what the process looks like for appealing that decision if they were to do so …
“Jan [Gregus] doesn’t know what he’s got it for, so, that’s the starting point. I haven’t seen it, no. I didn’t know what it was for. I actually thought it was for something that [Emanuel] Reynoso had done. And not Jan. So, we’ll have a look at it. We’ll see where that leaves us. I never hold my breath about these things. But, if we feel as though we could appeal it, then we will.”

On Greg Ranjitsingh’s injury status and his surgery yesterday …
“Yeah, it wasn’t as bad as first feared. So that’s a bit of a booster for the kid. I think he thought the worst and the season would have been over, so we feel as though it wasn’t as bad as first feared.”

On another two-game week coming up ahead and how he approaches the Columbus Crew game, the last meeting going into penalties …
“Well, recovery now. We won’t get back until, what, 2 or 3 in the morning. And then, you know, the next couple of days, the next 36 hours you’re just hoping you can get some recovery into the guys, get some energy back into them and then come up with another big performance against… are they leading the Supporters Shield, I think? Spent an awful lot of money. Well coached. Good pieces all over the field. So, doesn’t get any easier for us. That’s a fact.”

On Kevin Molino’s status …
“He felt his hamstring was tight. You know, obviously, when you get a little bit of fatigue, that can happen. He felt it when he stretched when he hit the post late on. And, same again, we’ll have a better idea tomorrow or Monday to see where we are. But, certainly, the way that he’s playing, we will not be risking him on Wednesday if that’s the case.”

 

MINNESOTA UNITED GOALKEEPER DAYNE ST. CLAIR

On being familiar with Darwin Quintero and his penalty kick save…
“Penalties, I think, are mental battles. So, I was just trying to delay to build the pressure up for the moment and then of course we both are familiar with each other, so I kind of wanted that to play in his head the longer things went on. And then, just make a decision and hopefully save it.”

On being a few games in starting for MNUFC and playing with Chase Gasper…
“I think connection and chemistry is everything. I think when you feel comfortable with your teammates it allows you to raise your game in yourself and then you know that you can rely on someone. So I mean, playing with Chase and being so familiar, but also being with the guys last year, and things like that, I think has been great for me.”

On the initial save of the two goals allowed…
“I haven’t had the chance to look back at it yet, but maybe it’s a ball that’s put across that I don’t have to come out for. Then the second one, maybe tipping that over the bar instead of it allowing to touch the bar.”

On the center back substitution…
“I think Jose [Aja] came in and did well. I mean, he’s someone I’ve started gamed with and I feel comfortable with him on. I think he’s comfortable with the back line. So, nothing really changed for us it was just trying to manage the game.”

On Michael Boxall’s reaction to the Quintero penalty kick save…
“I couldn’t tell you what he said. After I made the save it was a quick second of celebration, but then they were throwing it in our area, so it was just switching onto that because you don’t want to come and concede right after.”

On getting one point from the game…
“I think anytime you have a two-goal lead and you give it up, you’re never happy. I think it’s disappointing, but we will take it and we’ll move forward.”

On seeing Houston the past few weeks…
“Yeah, being on loan in Texas … Texas is very familiar for me these days.”

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