Quote Sheet: RSL 5-2 Houston Dynamo

Cassar, Morales, Rimando, KB5 and Grabavoy discuss RSL's win

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On the importance of scoring early in the match:

“It’s huge, to kind of take the crowd out of the game, things like that. But it was a special play. We talked about being positive with our passing, it was just an unbelievable start to the game.”

On getting the franchise’s first win in Houston:

“Yeah, I mean it’s memorable. I’m already starting to think about our next game right now. But I am really happy for the guys. This was our first game in the heat and I thought we dealt with it really well. There’s some things that we can work on still but it’s good to get that little monkey off our back and getting three points is most important.”

On Houston’s start to the second half:

“I was a little worried there for a little bit. I thought the passes were out there to complete. We kind of made a couple weird choices. But then I think we settled down a little bit and started to re-control the game and kill it off.”

On GK Nick Rimando’s penalty save:

“It was massive, massive. You know and that’s what Nicky does for us; just when things could maybe turn for the worst Nicky makes one of those big saves that wakes everybody back up, and he did that again tonight”

How much did the red card change the game?

“I thought it almost helped them a little bit there at the end, you know? For a period of time the urgency from them was higher than the urgency from ours. I think that was a problem as we kind of got a little bit relaxed thinking we were up a man, up a goal and Houston turned it up and it took a little bit for us to regain control, but I thought we did the last 25 minutes of that game.”

Real Salt Lake MF Javier Morales

On if you’ve ever scored a goal that fast:

“No I haven’t, that was quick. I think we started pretty focused, and we took chances. I think that was great for us.”

On if you expected to get a goal so quickly:

“No, you don’t expect to score a goal in the first 20 seconds, but we do expect to win the game. We start to push forward in the beginning of the game, and we go two goals. We had the penalty kick, and another goal.”

On getting a first-ever win in Houston:

“Finally you know? This is the first time we’ve won here. It’s hot and humid, and tough to play here. So we're really happy.”

On the team’s momentum going forward with guys leaving for World Cup camps:

“We are deep, we have a deep team, and we have a couple guys who have been waiting for the opportunity to play. It is going to be tough, because we are losing the captain, our top scorer, and our goalkeeper. We have to deal with that, and they’re going to the World Cup. We wish the best to them, but now we have to focus on us, and try to keep winning games.”

On if you have the deepest team in Major League Soccer:

“I don’t know, I mean I hope so. If we are, we have to show it. We have to show that to everyone, and Saturday we have a chance to play a good team against Colorado. I hope that we can prove that.”

On scoring first-ever hat trick:

“Never as a professional. Even in the low divisions I never had one. This was my first time, but I’m happy. I’m always happy to score a goal, but I think I needed it. Those three goals came when I really needed it.”

Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando

On what’s going through your mind when defending a penalty kick:

“Yeah I mean just making the save, and trying to read the player as much as I can. I thought Brad [Davis] was going to take it, and I’ve gone against him a couple times. I think he knew that, so I knew where he goes, and how he likes to switch it up. When [Giles Barnes] took it, he went hard to my right, and low instead of high. Just stay big, and react to it. It felt good because 3-2 is a different game going in there than 3-1 going into the locker room.”

On the penalty save being a momentum swing:

“Yeah it’s a big one. We came in here fortunate not to be up only one, if not tied, because they had some chances. That two [goal] cushion is always dangerous, but we went in there, and they had a good pep talk because they came at us. When we switch the formation that’s when we got the ball again. They got another goal, then the momentum was with them. All in all it was good to go up by two goals. Especially here because we seem to have a hard time closing out games or getting results here.”

On what he told the defense when Houston came with pressure in the second half:

“Just to play. We weren’t playing like we did in the first half. They were playing better with a man down than when they had 11 guys on the field. We just couldn’t get the ball moving. There wasn’t a lot of movement, and it’s tough for the guys who aren’t used to playing in this heat. They haven’t seen that this year, and in the second half there wasn’t a lot of movement, and we weren’t sharp. We have to be sharp especially against a team like Houston.”

On Morales’ quick goal, and the momentum from it:

“That was the fastest goal I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t surprise me with the way Javier [Morales] sees the ball. The way Sabo trapped the ball, and the movement in the first half. He does that in practice a lot where he’ll act like he’s going to hit it hard, and then do that. Never on me though.”

Real Salt Lake MF Kyle Beckerman

On the impact of the quick goal being on the road:

“I think anytime you can go up two early it gets the fans going against them, and boosts our confidence. It was a huge start to the game for sure. It’s something you can build off of after a start like that.”

On Houston’s energy in the second half being down a man:

“I think it comes down to when they are attacking five to seven the numbers become even. We needed to be better on the ball I think. This weather does do a number on us, we’re not used to it. Credit to them I think they brought a lot of energy, and they weren’t just going to lay down and lose.”

On the play of Javier Morales:

“When you score a goal like that, and scoring then getting assists, that’s our guy. That’s what he’s on our team for. That’s who Javi is, and it was a great game for him. One that’s exciting for the fans of Real Salt Lake, because he can do special things.”

On the penalty kick save:

“Yeah it was huge. It’s something that we feel like we have a good chance that Nick [Rimando] is going to save it. It was huge to keep that two goal lead. Going into halftime with that was big for us. Nick is always huge for us.”

Real Salt Lake MF Ned Grabavoy

Thoughts on the match:

“A lot of big moments in the first half, to kind of change momentum both ways. It’s kind of like both teams were pulling back and forth a little bit to gain the tempo, and control the game. It’s a great win, but we don’t sit here and think that we haven’t won here before or past game here. It’s a different year, and a different game. We feel like we can go anywhere in this league and win games.”

On the play of Nick Rimando:

“Yeah he makes really big plays. He makes big saves, to keep games where they are. I think it would be tough to argue that, that play wasn’t the biggest play of the game. To keep us with the lead, but to also keep them chasing the game. The game obviously changed big time with the red card. It’s a good result, but I don’t think we played particularly well in certain circumstances. We calmed down towards the end of the game. Still plenty of things to work on, but we’re picking up points, and that’s the important thing.”

On Houston pressuring in the second half:

“Everyone is going to look and say they’re a man up, but when the ball gets to a certain part of the field you may not be up a man. We’re playing thinking to ourselves, we’re a man up, we’re a man up, but realistically they’re pushing guys forward. The whole second half was basically two v. two. Their two center backs, and our two forwards, and they had both outside backs pushing towards the midfield. The game at certain points of the second half felt like it was even. I thought we did a good job of swinging it back our way, we switched formations and that seemed to calm us down a little bit. Then obviously we tuck some chances away towards the end that just kills them.

Houston Dynamo

Houston Dynamo Head Coach Dominic Kinnear

Thoughts on the match:

“Disappointing day, obviously got off to the worst possible start that first minute there and then it kind of went downhill from there. We were a little sloppy coming out of the gate, but we fought our way back into it greatly and just took a chance going forward the last 20 minutes there. I would love to have a couple subs to put on some fresh legs but we didn’t have that possibility and they caught us in a counter a couple times. So, really happy for Mark [Sherrod], I think scored two good goals for us had a great debut but overall, yeah, it’s a bummer.”

On the effort of the team:

“I think they did a lot on the field. I mean there’s some tired people in there you know, tired minds and tired bodies. The chat we had just said the effort they put in doesn’t surprise me because they show that pretty much all the time and I mean they do show it all the time. It’s just we are making some mistakes now that they’re getting punished for. But Corey [Ashe], David [Horst] and all the guys, I mean everyone tries hard for this team, I think we all know that. There’s a lot of tired guys in there that gave it their all. We just kind of got caught being sloppy in a couple plays.”

What happened with the first goal?

“We have to give Morales credit. I mean it’s a great goal by him. He put it pretty much where he wanted to put it. It takes good skill to do that, especially first touch of the game. Obviously the ball bounced to midfield and bounced in their favor and I don’t think we were close enough to some people. I give Morales credit for that, but I don’t think he should have a wide-open look with 20 seconds on the board.”

Were you surprised at the pressure you put on at the start of the second half?

“Not really, because they were content to sit back and try and counter. We talked about it and said to the guys ‘hey we are going go out conservative formation-wise but try to be as aggressive as possible with our play.’ So we were creating chances, we were getting a lot of the ball, but they were sitting in and just trying to keep their shape it seemed to me—I don’t know what their plan was, I’m not in their locker room. I thought we were playing well, we were moving the ball really well we were asking outside backs to take chances going forward and so with good ball movement we were getting some good possession that’s where I think our chances came from.”

Is RSL one of the toughest teams to keep the ball against down 10 men?

“Any team is tough; you know what I mean? They possess the ball well, it didn’t help that it was hot and humid, third game of the week. We were down for a man for about 63 minutes, which is tough in any league and I think at any level. They know how to move the ball around, they’re pretty smart with their play but at 3-2 I think they were a little bit scared of us, too.”

What is set-up to designate penalty takers?

“Guys practice in practice. Giles [Barnes] took one against Chivas two games ago, so he felt confident going up; there you have it. We don’t have a competition in practice to see who our penalty kicker is. But you know there’s a handful of guys you look and go ‘okay we feel confident with that guy’ and since Giles took the last one I felt confident, so he’s the one to step up and take it. Brad [Davis] is a captain and he’s the one that kind of takes control of that, so that’s kind of the process. I don’t have it written on the board, the guys all kind of decide who the guys are that are going to step up and take it.”

Houston Dynamo FW Mark Sherrod

Thoughts on your first start, scoring two goals:

“It was great and everything to get a goal, obviously I would have loved to have gotten a victory as well. I thought people fought really hard.”

What was going through your head when you scored that first goal?

“A lot of emotions. It’s been a dream since I was a little kid—honestly I can’t really explain it that much.”

Memories from the game?

“It was good to get a goal. I’ve been dreaming of being able to play since forever ago and then to step on and get a goal was fantastic, so I was really happy.”

Houston Dynamo GK Tally Hall

Positives from the match?

“I guess there’s a shed of light in today’s game. We were backs against the wall, we played well and we gave it everything we had. I wish I could have handled the fourth goal a little bit better to give the team a chance because I think we are knocking at their door and to give up a fourth is a killer for us, that’s obviously on me. But now that we were up against it today and our response was good and gave it everything we had and at the end of the game. Most of the guys could barely walk and that says a lot about our character even when things aren’t going well.”

On lessons learned from the first half:

“More than anything else is you have to you have to focus, because when you are focused in you give yourself an advantage when you are focused. You don’t have to play well sometimes, but you just have to focus. The second goal I think is a lack of focus. It’s a free header and a free man in the box. That’s not having a good game, that’s not having a bad game that’s a focus issue and that is a specific point. I think in general if you look at it I think it was a team thing. That’s on us as players. I think we were prepared well and then we got to the field and I just felt we didn’t have that edge, at least in the first half, because in the second half we were down a man and playing against one of the best teams in the league and I felt like—until that fourth goal—this thing’s actually going to happen. I believed 100% that we were going to come back and we were going to get a result out of that game that’s how good the guys were fighting. We just have to put two halves together.”