Quote Sheet: RSL 3-2 Chicago Fire

Cassar, Beckerman and Rimando react to RSL's dramatic win

POSTGAME QUOTE SHEET
REAL SALT LAKE 3-2 CHICAGO FIRE
TOYOTA PARK
MAY 3, 2014

Real Salt Lake

Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On the team coming back from a two goal deficit to defeat the Fire

“It’s crazy because I felt we were playing very good soccer for us in the first half.  We created several good chances, Sean Johnson made a couple unbelievable saves, and I was really happy the way things were going.  So the halftime talk was positive.  It was to continue to keep doing the things that we are doing because all it takes is one and then they start to get nervous, everyone starts to get nervous and the guys never stopped working.  The quality in our attack was fantastic.”

On it just being a matter of time before Plata and Saborio scored:

“Without a doubt.  I thought they were doing a lot of the right things.  Their movement to get in behind their back line was fantastic and we were getting Javier [Morales] in some really nice positions with the ball.  And then that happens, we’re going to get some good service.”

On the second and third goals being nearly identical:

“That’s what we wanted to do, possess into those areas and try to work it around to get not just a whipped in ball from wide, but a nice service from ten, fifteen yards inside.”

On struggling to close out teams lately and getting the win tonight:

“This team has unbelievable character.  It’s a credit to them.  They knew that they had it in them, and you could just see with that first goal, all we needed was that goal to get it going and build the confidence.  After they got the second one, they were like, ‘we might win this game.’  It’s unbelievable how they want to continue to push and go for wins on the road.  It’s fantastic.”

On almost being an inch or two from being down 3-0:

“It takes something like that from Nick [Rimando], a special save, to tip it off the bar that really kind of gives us a wake-up call.  That is what Nick does for us.”

On Plata’s scoring:

“His energy on both sides of the ball is what’s really fantastic.  He’s always energetic on the offensive end but I was really pleased with how he was holding up the ball and tracking and defending.  He ended up playing the left side of our midfield at the end of the game.  He’s doing everything right now.”

Captain Kyle Beckerman

On the match:

“It was a lot of fun.  This is one of the games I will remember.  I will remember a game like this forever, I think.  I think our main focus was to get one and get some momentum and go for the second.  Then you never know.”

On the team’s demeanor at halftime:

“We were bummed we were down two-nothing.  No one wants to be down two-zero, but we felt at halftime that we weren’t playing bad.  We gave up two shots and two goals.  So we felt like if we can keep playing the way we were and create chances and get a little tougher in the back, we felt like we could get one.  And once we got one, we knew that a comeback was possible.”

On whether the team used continuing their unbeaten streak as motivation at halftime:

“It wasn’t, no.  Really. It’s 90 minutes, and every weekend there’s something that happens and last week, it happened to us where we were up two-zero in the 82nd minute.  I think that was what our feeling was.  Look just what happened last week.  Why not, why can’t we do it the other way around this week? For me, I was happy to get out of there with a tie, but then when you kind of saw what was unfolding, I figured we might get a third here. And sure enough we did.”

GK Nick Rimando

On the match:

“It’s been [exciting] like that the last couple of games.  But it’s good.  It showed a lot of character from the guys to come back two-nil down and nearly got a third and I think the game would have been over if that happened.  We showed some character out there and we pressed the game and finally get one in stoppage time for us felt great.”

On the team’s chemistry:

“Right now, we are feeling good.  We still have a lot to improve on and to work on where we want to be.  Each game we are trying to get better and I just felt today was another step in the right direction.  Playing down and then coming back and getting three points on the road…whenever you get three points on the road, it’s huge for the confidence.  We got another big step next week against Houston.”

On dominating possession but being down 2-0:

“I think we pride ourselves a little bit in possessing the ball and going forward, sometimes we possess the ball, and it breaks down, and the other team gets a chance because you are so forward.  I think that’s what happened on one of their goals today, but we know that’s our downside.  We have to make sure that when we lose the ball that we cover as quick as we can.  At the same time, we are moving forward in each game and everyone in this locker room knows it could be better.  Being down two goals, yes, it was frustrating but to come back, it feels good to win that way.”

Chicago Fire

Head Coach Frank Yallop

On if the Fire were the better team tonight

“No, cause they weren’t. The first half was good, the second half we were totally out played. Very naïve from us. At some point you have to figure it out on the field. I can’t do much from where I am at except make changes in certain things, the lineup, and get other players in, but you got to stand up and be counted.”

On how frustrated he feels

“I feel terrible because I thought tactically we had it figured out. We did great in the first half, but the game is 90 minutes. You got to punish them with another goal, but I said at half time ‘they are going to come at you because they’re good.’ I don’t think we really wanted to win that game because we didn’t show it. If we wanted to, we would have put our head through the ball, and be good at that stuff. We had a total collapse in a game we should have won.”

On if the team broke down from Real Salt Lake’s pressure

“They’re a good side. They could have scored a couple first half [goals].The whole game is in ebbs and flows, we had some chances, took them, they had a couple, and Sean made two great saves. We’ve played eight games, we’ve not won yet. We got to go to a tough place next game, and we got to get a result.”

On keeping morale high without getting wins

“We will find out next week. We’ve not had that happen to us collapsing like that in the second half. Take nothing away from them but we should see that game out, 2-1, even 2-2, but not 3-2. I got to figure out who is going to be punching and fighting the whole season, the whole 90 minutes.”

On if there will be some changes for next week

“It’s a bit early for that, but I would think so.”

On if there was too much respect for Real Salt Lake

“They play a certain style of game. It’s a possession game. We just kept going backwards and not stepping into people. We tended to drop and have low pressure, but that doesn’t mean no pressure. You still got to try to win the ball back and then break. I don’t want to be that deep, but we ended up that deep. You got to see that game through. We’ve got to be man enough to see that game through, and we didn’t.”

On positives from that performance

“We scored two goals. I guess that’s a positive. When you lose it’s sickening. It’s very difficult to take. First half, Sean made some good saves and we played pretty well. Then a crazy 15-20 minute spell, we give the game to them, which is really disappointing.”

Captain Jeff Larentowicz

On what changed from the first half to the second half:

“We stopped doing things in the second half that we did well in the first – we conceded ground, allowed them to play in our end, didn’t connect passes once we had it, and if you do that against a good team they are going to beat you.”

On how RSL was able to do that:

“They crowd the ball, they get a lot of numbers, and they’re good at finding ways to keep possession.  They make you work defensively, so once you get it you’re tired and they wear you down.  I don’t think it was a conscious thing where we said ‘alright let’s hunker down,’ we just have to defend and defend properly.”

On how to move forward:

“This is a mental test for us.  All the positives we’ve been putting on things, we can’t do it any longer.  It’s been weeks and tonight it’s a loss, it’s not a game where can say we played a complete game and didn’t get the points, we didn’t.  We have to look at the mistakes we made and move on. Like I said, it’s a mental challenge; we can’t go in the negative direction.  The guys have to keep a positive attitude, guys have to honestly assess what they are doing personally to a man, go home and figure out how they are going to work harder and push themselves to have a positive attitude and push on. At this point it’s difficult – you can go one of two directions and we have to push forward and have to expect that we can learn from our mistakes and move on.”

GK Sean Johnson

On the result:

“I think it’s obvious that it doesn’t feel great, after we were up 2-0 and losing at home.  I can’t really describe the emotions right now; it’s a difficult one to swallow at home, being up.  We can’t make excuses for it though.  We were not good enough.”

On the shift in the game:

“We have to search for answers.  I don’t know what happened, we were up 2-0 on cruise control, the game was in our hands and they scored one, they scored two, get the momentum and before you know it they won the game.”

On what’s next for the team:

“This was definitely a test for us.  We’ve got to look at ourselves, there’s no one for us to blame.  We’ve got to look at ourselves in the locker room and come up with a solution.  We keep digging a hole for ourselves, there’s no reason at this point in the season we should be where we are - we should be close to the top of the table.  We’ve had games in hand; off the top of my head we’ve had four games now that I feel like we should have gotten a win.  Scratch the ties, we’ve taken a step back now with the loss.  We’ve got to get back to training.  We can’t get down; we can’t let something like this affect the mood of the team.  We have to keep chugging along; we have a handful of games left, so we have to dig in.”

On the difficulty of staying positive during the winless streak:

“This is our job, professionally, game in and game out we have to have the same attitude and find a way to win games, plain and simple.  We’ve been through everything tactically, physically and mentally I think now we have to find what it takes to win these games.”

On the coach’s reaction to the loss:

“Obviously we’re not happy with ourselves and the coaching staff is obviously disappointed with the result – there’s really not much more to say.  There’s disappointment all the way around.”