Quote Sheet: RSL 3-3 San Jose Earthquakes

Jeff Cassar and Joao Plata comment on the team's draw at SJ

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On the match:

“I think San Jose imposed their will on that game, which they do a fantastic job of. I think that if we were a little better with possession, and more sustained on attacks, we could have taken the air out of this game early on. After they started applying pressure, applying balls in the box, they started gaining momentum and it’s tough to get it back when they start rolling like that.”

On surrendering a two-goal lead:

“I think if we didn’t give them any fouls or free kicks and defended set pieces well, it’s a different result; probably a win for us tonight, but we have some stuff to work on. It’s early in the year. I’m just really proud of the guys. Four points in two road games – super pleased with that. It feels like a loss right now, but at the end of the day, it’s a point on the road against a very difficult team.”

Real Salt Lake FW Joao Plata

On the team’s performance:

“We played very well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t win, but we didn’t lose either. Ultimately we are content because we realize it was a result on the road against a dangerous team in San Jose. We couldn’t get three points tonight, so we now shift our attention to getting three points next week.”

On the first two games of the season on the road:

“[LA] Galaxy and the San Jose [Earthquakes] back-to-back on the schedule is daunting for any team or player. Both teams play physical soccer and you just have to be up for the challenge. We did that tonight, but just fell short.”

San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes Head Coach Mark Watson

On the result:

“That’s kind of standard stuff around here, isn’t it? Once again, we had a great start. It was disappointing to see the game seemingly slip away from us. We got a bit sloppy and dug ourselves a big hole, but once again, our guys found a way to push to the end and get a point out of the game.”

On conceding a goal before halftime:

“The heads were down. It’s your home opener, you get off to a great start, the team had a lot of energy; to concede three goals and one just before halftime, the heads were down. It was a matter of sorting ourselves out on the field and making sure the heads were back up when we went back out there. We wanted to start the second half with energy and fight and a belief that we could still get something out of this game.

On Real Salt Lake’s performance:

“They’re a good team and keep possession. There’s a couple things we needed to do better. They had too much time on the ball. Kyle Beckerman is a big part of what they do, and we gave him too much time on the ball. We knew we needed to sort that out for the second half or we would have had no chance to get something out of the game.”

San Jose Earthquakes MF Sam Cronin

On second half adjustments:

“I think it was our energy. We just weren’t as focused in the first half. We were taking too long to organize ourselves to defend, which gave them too much time on the ball. We will take the tie. It’s good to get the point, but we have some things to work on.”

On defensive effort:

“We played with a makeshift backline for most of the game. When Jason [Hernandez] went out, we played with only three in the back; Khari [Stephenson] and I were sitting in the midfield with one in the back and the other in front. They continued to sit off of the ball to preserve their lead, which gave us more time on the ball to shift it wide or play it in the box.”

San Jose Earthquakes DF Victor Bernardez

On stoppage time equalizer:

“It was a corner that [Alan] Gordon flicked my way with his head. I anticipated the ball bouncing my direction, so I adjusted my body to play the deflection. I am just blessed to have been put in a position today to score two goals which my team absolutely needed to get a tie at home.”

On the match:

“Tonight we realized the caliber of the opponent we were facing. I didn’t feel that we were sharp enough in the first half as they beat us to every ball and scored three goals. At halftime, our coaching staff made their adjustments to the offensive approach and thankfully it worked for us to get a draw.”

On injuries to the defensive unit:

“We struggled mightily in the first half surrendering those three goals, but I can’t blame those on our injuries. Instead, we tightened up as a team and you saw a stingy defensive effort in the back line. I can’t say enough about the men who stepped up on defense tonight.”

On upcoming match at Toluca:

“We are ready for that match. We are confident in our play and really felt we could have won tonight and the first leg against Toluca. The key is finding how to play well over 90 minutes against a strong Toluca team that is already in midseason form.”