Postgame Quotes | #MINvCIN

Postgame Quotes | #MINvCIN

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On a solid game defensively for the Loons, and what he saw from his team tonight …
I thought the mentality of the group was very good. You know, I think the defensive block was good. And that was the pleasing part. The people put themselves in good spots to defend the goal, which is something that we spoke about in the past. When we needed it, the keeper came up big for us with a couple of big saves.

On what he liked about Dayne St. Clair’s shot stopping this evening …
He’s a big kid. He’s got great length. He’s a big boy. I just thought he looked calm. As I always say to the goalkeepers. Save the stuff that you should save. And, occasionally, you’ll come up with a wonder save that people will talk about. But the most important thing is saving what you should. And, I think he did that, and he’s done that since he’s come into the team.

On playing better last week against Real Salt Lake, but finishing with three points versus one tonight …
Well, that’s football for you. With a clean sheet, we always have a chance. Because I always think we have enough talent on the field to score a goal. I’m thinking back now, Robin [Lod] could have had two or three really good opportunities in the first half. And, then the second half, I thought we were a little sloppy at times. Our final ball wasn’t good enough. But, in the end, a quality finish from Kev [Molino]. But, when we needed him, and, watching the highlights now, Dayne [St. Clair] has come up with a couple of crucial saves, when we’ve needed him. I’ve said it a million times. Goals change games. And, you know, Dayne has come up with two great saves when we’ve needed him to.

On more on Dayne St. Clair and how he has grown into his role as starting keeper on the squad …
Well, he’s a very confident boy. Stewart Kerr is working really hard with him. Thinks he’s got a really, really bright future. I think he’s one of the best young, if not the best young, goalkeeper in the MLS. You know, if he keeps improving, keeps listening, keeps listening to people who have been doing this for a long time, i.e. his goalkeeping coach, he has a very bright future. As I said, at no stage were we worried about putting him in. I know one or two people were thinking, do we need a new goalkeeper? But, all along, I’ve thought he was going to be good enough, and here, he’s proving that.

On Kevin Molino not wasting much time coming off the bench tonight …
No, he’s, you know, when he’s fit and healthy, he’s a proper player. We know that. And, you know, it’s a good finish. I’ve had him for over 10 years now. The one thing that he does, he gets as much satisfaction of making goals as scoring them. So, I was pleased that he was selfish and went all the way. Because, at times, he looks to play with people too much when he has opportunities to take shots at goal. So I was pleased for him.

On if he was surprised with the space Kevin Molino had on his goal …
Well, obviously, at that stage of the game, they were chasing the game. And, you know, obviously, at 1-nil, you still think you’re in it. As they are. So they’re still pushing men forward. I did say at halftime, the longer the game stays the way it is, we will get opportunities on the break. It’s a case of making sure we make the tailing pass at the right time. Rey [Reynoso] gave it a lovely weight. The weighted pass was terrific. That basically made his mind up for him to keep going. As it was in the end, it was a good finish.

On Kei Kamara’s 130th goal in MLS, first as a Loon and how many more are on the horizon …
Well, hopefully a few more before the end of the season. As I say, I feel as though he’s getting better each game, he’s getting better each day in training. He hasn’t played a lot of football this year, so he’ll need to get into the rhythm. Obviously, that will do his confidence no harm. And, as I say, we think he’s going to be a big asset to us in the running.

On if he ever got an answer from the league on if players will leave for International Duty with their national teams …
Yeah, they’ll be staying. They’ll be staying here.

On Kei Kamara not playing a lot of soccer this year, and if it’s been difficult for him to acclimate himself in training and how he has gotten himself up to speed …
Well, if you know the guy, he comes in every day with a big smile on his face. He wants to work hard. You know, he’s obviously looked after his body. He’s 36 years of age. He’s still in exactly the same condition as he was 10, 15 years ago. So that’s a credit to himself. I know that once he gets in a rhythm and he starts to get in a better understanding of the people around him, he’s going to get better before the end of the season for sure.

 

MINNESOTA UNITED FORWARD KEI KAMARA

On scoring the first goal in a Loons jersey…
It’s great. A lot of credit to Chase [Gasper] for that because he took a really big hit to the ankle and I’m sure that wasn’t easy.  I just needed to make sure that it counted, and I am happy to say that I had my first goal for this team. A great win overall, a great win for everyone. It was a great team effort the way we played today.  In our last game at home we definitely were disappointed to not get all three points.

On Dayne St. Clair and his development…
I’d be lying if I said he’s not good. He got a shutout tonight and made some big saves. He’s my teammate and I have to see him every day so I have say nice things about him right now. He’s good, he has potential. I actually talked to him and said he’s got to kick our butts a little bit and scream at us when we aren’t doing the right things in front of him. That’s one of the big things, when he does that he starts becoming a leader.

On the penalty goal and Chase Gasper getting a bloody sock from the challenge…
That’s a fair trade. I got a goal, he got a bloody sock and we got three points. Both of us will celebrate that together, so it’s a fair trade.

On keeping track of your career goals…
Thanks, actually as I was walking in the door, Sam, our video guy told me I had 130. It’s great that people keep score for me, but I’m not keeping score. The only score I know is zero MLS Cups. It’s nothing to sound sweet, but that’s what I have been hunting. The goals are going to come, I’ve always said that, it doesn’t matter where I go or what team I play for I am going to work hard and I’m a goalscorer and that’s going to happen, but I’m not counting the goals anymore. If I can score a goal to give us three points, I just want to be in a playoff position so that we can battle for an MLS Cup.

On FC Cincinnati’s lead in possession…
We had three points. You can possess the ball, but at the end of the day you want to win the game. We made sure that when we had our chances — even though we had a lot more chances that we didn’t make count — we made our chances count. Possession and winning the game are two different things.

On if the team played better last week to a draw than this week...
It’s definitely a funny game. Sometimes you play worse and you sneak out with points. It’s good, give credit to the rest of us in the locker room. We worked so hard in that last game, and for myself being the first game here in this stadium, we wanted to get three points from it. But it didn’t happen and we didn’t put our chances away. But we had a full week, which it has been a while for our team to get a full week of training and recovery. We knew coming in to this one, there’s nothing more we want than to get three points and put us in a better position, because the turnaround is quick. We are back at it again in just a couple days and so we had to make sure that tonight was different than the last home game.

It’s getting closer to that November 3rd date, so please let’s make sure we stick together and doing for our kids and our kids’ kids after that. I am talking about voting. Make sure we don’t forget the date. If you are away, let’s make sure we vote. Doesn’t matter what side you are going, just make sure you vote.

On the ‘heart hands’ goal celebration…
Heart hands. Heart-shaped hands is always going to be there. It’s going to follow me wherever I go. I’m just happy to be here in Minnesota so I can bring Heart Shaped Hands [Kei’s foundation is called Heart Shaped Hands] over here. I’m disappointed to not have the fans in the stadium so I can share it with them, but it’s just Heart Shaped Hands that I want to share again. It’s my trademark celebration. I wish there was people in the stands because then more people will start picking it up.

On the celebration starting…
I was the first player to the heart shaped hands celebration. Somebody else trademarked it. I love the heart shaped hands. I have my Heart Shaped Hands Foundation which I do help back in my country Sierra Leone. It’s my celebration – it started in 2010/11 and it’s something that is a part of me now. I enjoy doing it, because the fans love it. There is nothing better than scoring a goal in your home stadium and seeing the whole crowd do it. There is nothing better than heart shaped hands.

 

MINNESOTA UNITED DEFENDER CHASE GASPER

On getting stepped on the foot and seeing the play unfold…
That just comes from practice. We’ve been really focusing this week on, I mean there’s several terms for it, but like defensive pressure — so, or attacking pressure — when we have the ball and we’re attacking, it’s you get on your guy and stay tight, so even if we do lose the ball, we’re pressing them in, basically, their own box and so, you know, they panic and it just worked out … so we started pressing immediately and they took a bad touch, I got there first and the guy stepped on me, so we got the PK. That just started at practice, is working on that defensive pressure when we have the ball.

On Kei getting the penalty and him getting a bloody sock…
*Laughs* Yeah it actually … it hurt a lot. But I mean, you got to do whatever you can to help the team. So, I’ll take a little scratch on the ankle, no big deal.

On Dayne’s growth since being starting keeper…
It’s been incredible to watch how much he’s improved in just this short time … he got a lot of good experience when he got loaned out and we were happy to have him back when they recalled him and I think he stepped in the goal and has done phenomenally. I mean, everyone can attest to that. Obviously, the clean sheets speak to that. You know, there’s a confidence and he has a strong presence behind you. Loud voice. Amazing shot-stopping capabilities and he’s just a great goalkeeper to have behind you. As a defender, you’re very confident having him behind you and he’s a great friend, great guy, so it’s all-around good package … and he’s done an incredible at filling in in that position.

On minimizing opportunities for Cincy…
It goes back to that defensive pressure I was just — or attacking pressure — I was referencing earlier. Anytime we get the ball up the field our back line, if you noticed it during the game or if you go back and rewatch it, our back line is so quick to step up because that drives their forwards and attacking players crazy because then they have to readjust or else they’ll be offside. When a forward is constantly moving to get back onside, he’s not focused on the runs he should be making. So, just little things like that, like stepping anytime the ball goes backwards for them or forward for us, just stepping three to five yards, whatever it may be, those little things can throw off the rhythm and chemistry of their attack. That’s what we focused on a lot this week and I thought we executed it very well.

On the funny game and playing better last week, but getting more points tonight…
Soccer, futbol, is one of those crazy games that that happens. You can really be on one game and sometimes lose … or like last week we just got a point when maybe we deserved a little bit more … and then tonight where maybe we weren’t as clinical, we weren’t as clean, in the attacking third, but we did our job defensively, we didn’t concede goals … and that’s one of the key themes in going into every game. Because we have so much attacking talent on our team that if we keep a clean sheet, we’re pretty confident we are going to win the game, because we know we can produce goals with the quality we have up top. It’s definitely just a funny game and these things happen, but you got to take the three points however you can get them. We are pleased with the win tonight and we know what we have to improve on so we are going to focus on improving those aspects of our game.

On Kevin coming back from his injury…
No, he didn’t waste much time at all! He’s an amazing player and an amazing teammate and an amazing guy in the locker room … so we are happy he scored after a little nagging injury, but the team is ecstatic to have him back on the field scoring goals and helping the team win and that’s what’s most important. I’m really happy for Kevin, he’s always great every time he comes in, he brings such a different element of controlling the game … and he’s kind-of like the maestro when he’s on the ball and he makes great things happen. It’s always a confidence-booster when number seven is in the game.

On seeing Mason go…
It’s definitely tough to see a friend go… like you mentioned, we hung out a lot, we’re great friends, but I’m also excited and confident for him because he’s an incredible player. He has amazing abilities, amazing potential. He’s shown this league what he can do. And sometimes you need a fresh start, maybe a different situation and so, we are all thankful for everything Mason did for this club … he’s a great guy so we wish him nothing but the best. I know he’s going to succeed in his future. He’s a very good player and we’ll be rooting for him.

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