Quote Sheet: RSL 2-2 Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Cassar, Borchers, Wingert and Morales comment on RSL 2-2 VAN

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On the reason for Real Salt Lake’s lackluster second half:

“I think it was the choices that we made on the ball.  We had a two-goal lead, and we really needed to take care of the ball.  I thought we gave it away a little too cheaply.  We also got a little bit out of shape – giving up the ball away in poor areas, guys in different spots and not spots to defend properly.  We’ll learn from it.”

On whether the team is learning from its game-to-game stoppage-time mistakes:

“The last [stoppage-time goals] were set plays – I thought our defending set plays was better tonight.  That’s a good question.  It’s something we’re going to have to look at, and just be more cognizant of recognizing danger.  I think we could’ve closed this game out relatively easily, but we made it hard on ourselves by giving the ball away.”

On whether Vancouver or Real Salt Lake was the reason for the late collapse:

“I honestly don’t think it was anything they were doing – I think it was all what we were doing.  When guys are making runs forward and turning the ball over, now we’re out of shape.  It’s something that can’t happen.”

On why MF Luke Mulholland came off during the second half:

“Luke put so much work in, and I think he starts to fatigue a little bit.  He was having a little bit of a stomach issue, and I felt that we were giving a bit on that side.  I just wanted to bring Sebastian [Velasquez] in to bring energy to the game.  I think Luke was fantastic – he was very good for us.”

On how Cassar aims to correct Real Salt Lake’s trend of conceding late goals:

“I think it starts with video, talking about it and showing the players what could’ve been done – what choice could possibly be made.  Obviously, the staff has to look at themselves, and I’ve got to look at what I could’ve done better, first and foremost, to help the guys.  Going over video, keep stressing it, putting them in situations in practice where they have to defend a lead.”

On the cause of the club’s fast start in the opening stages of the match:

“Every time we’re at home, we want to start off right and really get the fans into the game.  I thought the first half – there was so much energy inside the stadium, and the fans were a huge part of that.” 

On FW Joao Plata’s performance:

“Joao [Plata] is a sparkplug.  Whether he comes off the bench or starts the game, he puts the fear in defenders.  I thought he did a great job tonight.  I took him out a bit early, because he’s coming off of a hamstring injury, and I didn’t want to put him in a position where he’d possibly re-injure himself.”

Real Salt Lake MF Javier Morales

Thoughts on the differences between the first and second halves of the game:

“We have to be more consistent. We have to know that the game is 90 minutes, not only 45 minutes.  I think the first 45 was a pretty good game. We had a couple of chances and scored two goals, but the second half wasn’t good enough.  We have to improve because it didn’t fall for us. But they deserve it because I think their players were much better in the second half, and we didn’t even pass the ball two or three times. It’s a little bit painful because we were ahead in the score but I think it’s justice.”

Thoughts on lessons that could be taken away from the game:

“I think that the last couple of games happened the same, but we keep the results so that was good. I think that when we get the goal we have to keep playing better and better because that happened.  They had a couple of chances in the second half and they scored two goals.”

Thoughts on Vancouver’s second half performance:

“They were down two and had to go forward. I think it was more our fault than them playing better, because if we can control the ball for a long time, maybe it would have been better.”

Real Salt Lake DF Chris Wingert

On conceding two late goals:

“Every game takes on a life of its own. There are games we won 1-0, there are games that we have a late goal, and then we play somebody else and it’s completely different situation. But we need to continue to learn from our mistakes and try to improve; we’ll try to do that later this week.

On what led to RSL’s lack of shape in the second half:

“They were leaving three or four high and they didn’t care if we had the ball in their end. Once we got out of their pressure we got to do a better job of keeping the ball and possibly score a third goal. We gave up two goals that we shouldn’t have. We shouldn’t have to score a third, we should be able to kill the game off. There were a number of ways of winning that game – keeping them off the scoreboard, or scoring a third and the games probably over and we didn’t do any of them unfortunately.”

On what worked so well in the first half but not the second:

“The energy in the first half was awesome. Our forwards were working so hard, defending too – they were incredible. We were firing on all cylinders and putting them under pressure knocking the ball around. We had two good goals and we were playing like how we like to play.”

On the tie feeling like a loss:

“This one definitely feels like a loss.”

Real Salt Lake DF Nat Borchers

On what happened in the second half to concede two late goals:

“It’s momentum really in this game. They came out and pressured us really high so we weren’t able to keep the ball in the back and get any rhythm. They played with three high and they did a great job of running behind us and putting pressure on the back line.”

On RSL’s frequency of giving up late goals this season:

“Yeah you know, it’s tough because it’s on the last play of the game. It’s like we had the opportunity to clear the ball and win. If we get past [Steven] Beitashour’s tackle and we go out and scored another goal we go home a little bit happier. Soccer is a cruel game. It’s the bounces of the game sometimes that you don’t have control over. You got to give credit to Vancouver. It’s a tough lesson for us to learn at this point in the season to not be able to close the game out at home and being able to be better at positioning and our decisions overall with the ball, but we’ll learn from it.”

On whether or not the team was thinking about Rimando possibly tying the all-time shutout record tonight:

“No, it’s all about results for us. We are obviously excited for Nick to get that record but at that same time we want to get results at home and get three points. If it doesn’t come now we’ll get two shutouts for sure. We’ll get two shutouts sooner or later.”

Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman

Thoughts on Vancouver scoring the equalizer:

“They got the ball and then the guy just hit the shot that was probably a one in a hundred type shot.  Unfortunately, we were just on the wrong side of the tie tonight. We just got to keep getting better and push on and get a win the next game.”

Vancouver Whitecaps

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Head Coach Carl Robinson

On what he said to his squad at the half:

“I just said they needed to believe in themselves more. We played a quality team tonight and I knew that. They are very set in the way they play. They are fantastic at it and they have been in the final three of the last five years. It is always going to be a test and I didn’t want us to be fearful. I think we were fearful in the first 45 minutes especially in the first 10 minutes. We went two goals down and dug us a massive hole. Prior to the last minute before halftime, David Ousted kept us in the game with a good save on the young boy [Joao] Plata. We were comfortable but we didn’t do our jobs correctly with the information I wanted to. I told them at halftime what I expected, we dug ourselves a hole and had to try and dig ourselves out. The next goal was going to be critical – if they got it probably likely to be game over, if we got it game on. Prior to us scoring, I think we had three or four good chances where we could have got one but didn’t and I looked at the time and thought maybe if we freshened up a little bit and we got a little bit of luck.”

On Nicolas Mezquida’s performance tonight:

“Listen, Nico [Nicolas Mezuida] was great. He was lively, wants the ball all the time and he’s a pest and he is always trying to get into the final third which is great.”

On whether or not the draw felt like a win:

“Yeah I think it does. It is a get out of jail card because we were two-nil down and we dug ourselves a hole. It is important we learn from that. I said to them today that it is about character. In the last two games against top teams we have shown that if we go behind it isn’t over.”

On how you get the second half performance to carry on to the next game:

“Great question. I am sure Jeff [Cassar] will be asking the same question to his boys. That is the challenge. When you have a young group of players like I have, it is important you try and get their consistency levels and belief. And like I said, they played with fear in the first half and I don’t want them to play with fear. I am not a coach that puts players under pressure. I put demands on players because I know how good they can be and I think they need to start believing how good they can be because we are touching the surface at the moment.”

On the decision to leave Jay DeMerit at home and start Johnny Leveron:

“It was based on the month coming up. We have a big month with the Canadian Amway Championships so there is going to be lots of time for certain people, so I wanted Johnny [Leveron] to play. Johnny [Leveron] had been training very well and I think he deserved his chance. My decision was based on the face that Andy [O’Brien} looked fresher than Jay [Demert]. After 10 minutes I was questioning it because we were two-nil down. He didn’t defend the goals very well at all but sometimes you hold your hand up. [Alvaro] Saborio is a fantastic player. In the first half he absolutely man handled us and showed how a center forward should play. In the second half we got a little more brave with him and kept him quiet. Players are always going to have periods in the game where they do well, and in the second half every one of my players did well.”

On whether there are any long term concerns over Pedro [Morales]?

“I am disappointed I didn’t bring him because your [Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales] against my Morales would have been an interesting matchup. Javier [Morales] is one of the best players in my opinion that Major League Soccer has had. The way he plays the game is brilliant. Part of the reason for bringing in Pedro Morales was that I had the fortunate opportunity to play against Javier [Morales] many times. He is a nightmare to play against and I think he showed how good he was today. I need to get my Pedro Morales back so we can go Morales v. Morales.”

On further proof today that it doesn’t matter who you start, you have guys on the bench who can change games:

“I told them a lot of games are won from the substitute’s bench and today was a perfect example and it is going to happen throughout the season. It is important if you are in the starting team you give everything you got and if you are not and are on the bench, you are going to have an effect in the game. I have left young players out who aren’t in the 18 because we have such a young talented group of players coming through and hopefully that will continue. Obviously, we might lose a few players to the World Cup so that will give more youngsters opportunities.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC DF Steven Beitashour

On how the game felt:

“Obviously it feels like a victory and it is good to get an away point.”

On the two different performances in both halves:

“The first 10 minutes of the first half were pretty bad and then the crowd got behind them [Real Salt lake] and I was just happy we didn’t give up a third. If they went up three, it would have been too far. Nothing is a dangerous lead and we definitely had a good talk at halftime and we executed in the second half.”

On his big tackle to set up the equalizing goal:

“Yeah well I was hoping he would take another touch when he was dribbling because I knew if he played it behind it would kind of be over so I was just waiting for the touch and right when I saw it I tried tackling and I was on the floor and saw Sebo [Sebastian Fernandez] take it and he has a rocket. I had a good angle from the floor and Nick [Rimando] is a great keeper and that ball moved on him so nothing against Nick [Rimando], but Sebo [Sebastian Fernandez] can really strike the ball.”

On the first ten minutes of that match in which RSL scored twice:

“I don’t know what it was. We just were on our heels a bit. We didn’t play to our standards and we got punished. I think they had three good chances and they scored two but we stuck in there and fought to the end.”

On earning a road point:

“Anytime you are down two nothing and you get a point on the road, it almost feels like a victory and so we just have to keep that going till next week.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC GK David Ousted

On the halftime speech:

“A little bit of yelling and it got us going and I am proud of us for getting the point here [Rio Tinto Stadium]”

On seeing the young subs come on and make a different:

“ Carl [Robinson] said all along that this wasn’t about the 11 or 14, that is was about the 25, and we have shown that the guys coming off the bench have made a tremendous impact every time they have come on and that is a great thing to have.”