Training Quotes | #SKCvMIN
© Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Training Quotes | #SKCvMIN

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On being unbeaten in nine games and if this is the strongest group he’s had all season…
“Yeah, obviously it would have been nice to have Luis [Amarilla] available and Ike [Opara] as well, maybe Tyler [Miller], have the full complement of players but this is the most players that we’ve had available for training probably all year. It’s a nice problem that I’ve got. We’ve now go to look at leaving people behind, which has not been the case all year. Everybody has come back from the internationals, we’ve got a really good mood within the group and we’re all looking forward to it. It’s going to be tough, but I know that if we play like we can, we can win this game.”

On the intimidation factor of playing in Kansas City…
“If I’m being perfectly honest, I’ve said this before, we haven’t played well. It is an intimidating atmosphere but that’s because of the opposition. Everybody knows I’ve got an incredible respect for Peter [Vermes] and his staff from what they’ve done there. This is a good team, top of the West. We know what’s coming. But Peter also knows that if we play like we can, this is not going to be easy for them and that’s all I’m looking for, for us to put our A game on the field. And if we do, we’ll take whatever comes our way. Certainly, we know it’s going to be tough, but we’re not going to go there afraid of competing and trying to win this game.”

On having extra time to prepare…
“It’s always nice for different reasons. It gives us an opportunity to get plenty of work into some people who’ve not been available, it gives us time to clear one or two knocks off one or two other people. But more importantly, it gives you a little bit of time to prepare. We know what’s at stake: this is the season on the line. Win and advance, lose and go home. We know what’s at stake and I’m really looking forward to the game.”

On how impressed he has been with Sporting Kansas City this season…
“I’m always impressed with them. They spent a bit of money this offseason on quality, but you look at their record, they’ve missed the playoffs once in the last ten years. As I said, I couldn’t have more respect for Peter [Vermes] and his staff, for what they do. I always use their club as a barometer for ours, similar market size, and compete every year and that’s we have to aim to become. Looking forward to it, we know it’s going to be tough but we’re capable.”

 

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER ROBIN LOD

On playing as the false nine the last two matches…
“It’s been going great. It’s good to play with guys like [Emanuel] Reynoso, [Kevin] Molino and [Ethan] Finlay, so it’s been nice.”

On being able to play alongside Kevin Molino, Emanuel Reynoso and Ethan Finlay at once…
“The chemistry there is really good. As I said, I enjoy playing with them. All of the players are smart players and all of them have different skillsets so it’s really nice to play with those guys.”

On being unbeaten in nine games, and the team’s strong run of form…
“It’s been a tough year for everyone, not just for only our team, but for others as well. Been fighting with some injuries, but happy that, I think, almost everybody is fit to play so it’s been great.”

On what it will take to win in Kansas City…
“We just have to play our game and give everything what we got. It’s not easy to go play in Kansas City away, as everybody knows, so we have to be our best.”

 

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER ETHAN FINLAY

On how his previous MLS Cup Playoff experience can help in this run…
“We have plenty of guys who have some experience in the playoffs and I think that will help us. Getting through that first game, for everyone as a group, I think was extremely important and probably the most valuable thing that our group will need and will learn from going into this game against Kansas City. It’ll absolutely help. Going against a very seasoned, veteran team that’s been in the playoffs consecutive years, nine or ten, couple years ago, broke the streak last year, but very experienced team we’re going up against but we have a lot of experienced players here as well.”

On how Robin Lod as a false nine changes the attacking quartet…
“What it allows is a little bit of freedom for the front four, obviously, to interchange at times. At times, I’ve been on the frontline and Robin has pulled out wide, where he’s comfortable on that right-hand side. We’ve seen [Kevin] Molino and [Emanuel Reynoso] Rey, interchange at times in the ten spot so I think having a little bit of that fluid motion up top has been extremely valuable. We’ll see. It gives us a lot of great options off the bench if we continue with that formation or if we have a lineup change come Wednesday.”

On the unity within this group and being unbeaten in nine games…
“We’re finding our form, we’re getting healthy. We had some injuries in that September timeframe, had some guys who were missing for other reasons. We’ve been thrown a lot over the last few months but as we’ve gotten healthy, this group has continued to get stronger as we’ve gotten into the playoffs here. Anything can happen as we’ve seen from some of the results in the Eastern Conference. We think we can go [to Kansas City] and compete and win and I know they’re probably bitter about how we beat them down in Orlando late. It’s going to be a great contest.”

On the intimidation factor of playing in Kansas City…
“For me, it goes down to there’s just not a ton of fans there. There isn’t going to be the Blue Hell that they would usually have, would be right on top of us during the game. That takes away from all of us, as players, you love that energy, that atmosphere. This group, if you look at the first two results this year, relished going on the road. Got a result in one of the toughest places to play in Portland. Something I wouldn’t have been afraid of anyways, we’ve already proven that we’re not afraid of that going into that. It’s unfortunate times that we’re in, obviously, because it makes for a great atmosphere, especially come playoff times. We’re excited and this group will be ready.”

 

MINNESOTA UNITED DEFENDER CHASE GASPER

On advancing to the Conference Semifinals after last year’s first round loss…
“It feels incredible to make history with the club. Like you mentioned, we were unfortunate to get knocked out in the first round last year, so to get over that first round, that first challenge, it’s a huge step for us and I think it was a great performance by the entire team. A complete team performance so we’re going to carry that momentum into the next game.”

On what makes this group so special…
“I just think the camaraderie. I’ve never really been on a team where everyone is this friendly, this close and I can truly say that everyone is friends on the team. No one dislikes each other, there are no problems. It’s just fun. You look forward to coming to the locker room every day, talking and joking around with your friends and then to come out on the field and work hard, play with them, it’s a very rewarding feeling. It’s the team camaraderie.”

On what to expect from Sporting Kansas City…
“I think we just focus on what we’re good at. When we played there earlier in the season, we started the game really flat. It hurts when you give up an entire first half and then they come out and in the second half, chance after chance, you’re most likely going to concede. I think we just focus on what we’re good at and improve the small details from this last game. Feeling good and confident about what this team has to offer going into the game against SKC.”

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