Quote Sheet: RSL 2-1 New England Revolution

Cassar, Beckerman, Rimando & more react to RSL's win v. NE

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On why Real Salt Lake seemed so rejuvenated:

“I think it was the urgency of play, especially being at home.  Obviously, we had Kyle [Beckerman] and Nick [Rimando] coming back, giving us that extra boost of confidence and calmness on the ball helped tremendously.  I think what I was really pleased with was the way we started the game and the way we finished it.  We were really aggressive in trying to play in their end.”

On what went into the decision to start MF Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando only 36 hours after they returned from the World Cup:

“It was really just communication with those two.  When I was saying [that they probably wouldn’t play], my mind was telling me one thing, my heart was telling me another thing and my gut was telling me another thing.  Once I was able to talk to them and hear their voices, and feel that they wanted to – not that they had to – it was a no-brainer.”

On the atmosphere at Rio Tinto Stadium:

“We felt the energy in the stadium, which was amazing.  We were feeling that energy from the stadium and the fans, and I think it really carries us.”

On his plans for Beckerman and Rimando leading up next week’s match against the L.A. Galaxy:

“I think we’re going to give them a few days off, then re-visit it on Wednesday or Thursday to see how they’re doing and where they’re at.  Going to L.A. – that’s one of those games where our guys try to rise to the occasion.  I’d be really surprised if they say they don’t want to play.”

On the team giving up another set-piece goal:

“It’s something we stress.  All week, we do a lot of work on them.  We do have to give a bit of credit to Chris Tierney – the service from him was fantastic.  I liked the response we had in the second half.”

On FW Joao Plata’s performance:

“He was threatening all night long.  He was making fantastic runs for our midfielders.  He and Devon [Sandoval] were a great partnership tonight.  What I was really pleased with was their work on the defensive end, too.”

On the performance of DF Nat Borchers and the rest of the RSL back four:

“I thought they were incredibly strong.  The whole back four and Kyle [Beckerman] was really solid.  I believe [Borchers’ sliding play to end a breakaway] came off an attacking set piece.  I would have liked to see a foul. There was no quit in [Borchers] – you could sense it was going to be a really dangerous play – and for him to get all the way back and defend the play was amazing.”

On the upcoming match against the L.A. Galaxy:

“There are a little bit of points between us right now, but they have a few games in hand.  Any time you go head-to-head with a team that has a lot of confidence – especially now in the second half of the season – is going to be a six-point game.  We’re really excited.  It’s a place where we do extremely well, especially against the Galaxy, and as long as we have eleven players on the field, I think we have a good shot.”

Real Salt Lake MF Kyle Beckerman

On whether his desire to get this team back in good form played a factor in his decision to play:

“Yeah, but I think it was more important to come back and help the team.  The results are going to go up and down throughout the year – each time will go through a rough time – and it just so happened to happen when Nick [Rimando and I] left.  It’s all about how we want to try to improve our performance, and that’s what the main goal was.  Improve performance, and the results will come.”

On what went into his decision to play tonight:

“Yesterday, we talked to Jeff [Cassar].  We were, I think, hoping for a 3-0 score around the 60th minute and have a nice walk-off.  I told him that I was ready to go 90 if I had to, and it was fine.”

On the fame and notoriety that comes with being on a World Cup roster:

“Salt Lake is a soccer town, whether you like it or not, it is.  People recognize us when we go around town.  Maybe [the fame] will be a little more outside of Salt Lake, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

On whether Friday night against New England was special, or just another game:

“I think there was a little more buzz in the crowd directed towards us, but I think that the excitement around July 4th was big.  Being our first game back, it was unique and it was fun to be a part of.”

On whether Beckerman and Rimando made the decision together to come back at the same time:

“We talked a little bit, just ‘how are you feeling’ and ‘have you talked to Jeff [Cassar],’ this and that.  We both had the same mindset – we just wanted to play.  That’s what we passed along to Jeff, and that’s what came back from him: to play.”

Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando

On whether his desire to get this team back in good form played a factor in his decision to play:

“We kept an eye on the guys and how they were doing with results.  It’s a long season, and that was our message to the guys: to not dwell too much on it; we go through skids.  Even when Kyle [Beckerman and I] are here, we go through skids.  It’s a part of the season, and part of the game.  Coming back was just about coming out and getting those three points.”

On what went into his decision to play tonight:

“For me, I contacted Jeff [Cassar] when we landed in Atlanta.  His first words for me were ‘there’s no pressure at all, we want your body right mentally and physically.’  My answer to him was ‘we’ll see when we land.’  I felt great, let him know that, and woke up this morning with a text from him, asking if we were ready to go.  Both of our answers were ‘yes.’”

On the fame and notoriety that comes with being on a World Cup roster:

“I think we’ve been on the map for a while, with Real Salt Lake and the World Cup.  To hear the buzz that it had around here, not only in Salt Lake but around the country, I think we opened some eyes to new soccer fans, for sure.  I think us getting notoriety among other players in the World Cup and Major League Soccer is going to go up, for sure.”

On whether Friday night against New England was special, or just another game:

“It was emotional – the welcome we got.  The fans here are great, and they’re going to will us to the highest level.  Getting back on that field, wearing our colors, is something I’ve wanted to do since I left [for the World Cup].  I couldn’t play in front of my fans, couldn’t see my kids – I’ve missed being with them.”

On the craziness that was the final ten minutes against Belgium:

“It was definitely busy. We weren’t sitting down at all, we thought we get one at the end, for sure.  I think those kind of games, when you go back and forth after getting that goal, I think it surprised Belgium a bit and put them on their heels.  We were desperate at the end, throwing balls into the box – it wasn’t pretty, but it was exciting for the fans.”

Real Salt Lake DF Nat Borchers

On Real Salt Lake’s overall performance:

“We’re one of the few teams in the league that is always tracking back and always trying to cover for each other. It’s evident that tonight, that’s what kind of team that we were. We tried to help each other out and get back and put numbers behind the ball, and I think that was why we were so good.”

On the team’s energy level:

”I thought we were pretty energetic against Chivas as well. We were down to 10 men, and I thought that we played really well after that. We were really energetic.  I think that definitely Kyle and Nick give us a boost, and we’re at home, but I don’t think those last stretch of games, it wasn’t that we were not energetic. I think there were a lot of factors in that.”

The importance of getting the victory after the break:

“It’s great. This was just an important game for us just to get out of the rut in terms of the results and build the confidence again.”

Real Salt Lake DF Chris Schuler

On the overall performance of the Real Salt Lake defense:

“I think one of the things is the coaching staff tried to have us hold a little bit higher line. We had that week off for the World Cup, and they noticed that we were dropping and getting a lot of space, and it makes it very difficult for the midfielders to cover all of that space because we constantly drop and we play that diamond in the midfield. So it’s just a lot of ground to cover. And we’ve been trying to hold a little bit of a higher line and it’s been successful so far.”

On holding the higher line as a back four:

“I can’t attribute all of our possessions to holding a higher line, but I definitely think that it helps. We’re just in a better position to defend when we give the ball up, because when we’re compact versus dropping immediately and giving more space to the other team.”

On having MF Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando back in the lineup:

“Of course, you know I was just like everyone else watching them play in the World Cup like three or four days ago. Even before then, they both bring something else to the table beside their skills. They bring something else, and it was pretty cool to hear the crowd give both of them some love today. Yeah, definitely good to have them back.”

On the upcoming tilt against the L.A. Galaxy:

“Honestly it’s a little soon to start thinking about that game for me 30 minutes off of the last game.  My number one goal is to try not to make any critical mistakes for every game that I play in, so I know that will be at the top of my list versus [the Galaxy].”

New England Revolution

New England Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps

On his overall thoughts on the match:

“It's tough. I don't think that we played well in the first half - didn't play well enough to win the first half. But I thought throughout the game we were pretty good and did a little bit better job, but a little bit cynical from the referee to give two penalties. It's a tough one.”

On if he got an explanation for the first penalty:

“I'm not going to talk about the referee over than the fact that from start to finish it was a little bit cynical. But then again, we fought hard, but we've got to do a little bit better job.”

On his team's response to going down a goal:

“I mean, it's tough. [Real Salt Lake] is a good team. You've to credit Salt Lake. I don't think that they need two penalty kicks to beat you, but tonight I think that's what they needed. I think we can do a better job. I've got to look at the film and see where we can get better.”

On why he moved A.J. Soares to the defensive midfielder position:

“We wanted to get some bite in there and some ball-winning. To A.J.'s [Soares] credit, I thought he did a nice job tonight.”

New England Revolution DF A.J. Soares

On his overall thought on the match:

“I thought we played well enough to get at least a point. We defended really well and had plenty of chances going forward. To get no points is super disappointing. I'm disappointed with both calls on the penalty kicks. It's a hard one to swallow because we didn't deserve to get no points.”

On if there was any explanation for the call on the first penalty:

“I don't know. I didn't get an explanation, but I didn't ask for one, so I can't tell you. But he saw something, called it, and it's fair enough, he's the ref and he can make whatever call he wants, I guess.”

On the team's response to falling behind:

“I was really happy with the response, and that's Darrius Barnes. That's what he's going to do. He has phenomenal character and he took it on his shoulders to just pull us right back into the game, so he did a great job there and he played well on the night. So I'm happy with the response but at the end of the day it doesn't matter if you don't get any points.”

New England Revolution DF Darrius Barnes

On his overall thoughts on the match:

“It's a tough result. Obviously the goal was to come here and get a result and at least try to get a point if not three. Unfortunately that did not happen. I thought in the first half we played into their hands a little bit too much and they had control of the game. After that, I think in the second half we came out and played. I thought that we had the majority of the play and we were a little unfortunate not to get a point out of this game.”

On the response to going down a goal:

“I think the response was good. [The goal] kind of woke everybody up a little bit. Obviously we feel like that's a tough [penalty kick]. I don't agree with it but that was the call and fortunately we responded. We tied it up and it's one [to] one at halftime and we felt good going into the half. We knew we didn't play our best stuff and we're still tied one [to] one. At that point we thought that it was our game to lose. We knew we were going to come out and play better - we had to play better in the second half, and I thought we did. We created tons of chances and we should have finished a couple of those. Unfortunately there was another PK that the ref calls, it's his decision, and then it's two [to] one.”