Postgame Quotes: Union 3, Revolution 1

Postgame quotes following the Revs' 3-1 loss to Philadelphia

New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps
Disappointing result, disappointing lack of finishing in the first half and I just thought, obviously, it was an awful goal to give away before half. So there’re a lot of things that go into a game, so there’s a lot of things that need to be looked at and it starts with me.

You can say it was an off night, you can say it wasn’t our night but that’s the easy way out. I think we had chances to score goals and I think that one of the first chances with Patrick Mullins getting a good shot on frame, wasn’t all of it though, it was ok. And then Teal (Bunbury) had a shot that was blocked and then Diego (Fagundez) missed and three of our best finishers all had cracks at a shot that I would’ve liked to see one of them put their foot on it.

I think we’ve talked about this … we brought Brad (Knighton) in to compete with Bobby (Shuttleworth). We want to keep pushing each other and keep angling. I thought Brad looked really, really sharp in the Open Cup games and that’s what it’s there for, and that’s why our three subs went the way they did, because of the sharpness of Open Cup. So, I think it’s always a tough conversation. I think Bobby’s been really good this year and I think this decision was more based on sharpness.

I don’t think (Philadelphia’s goal) was the shape of the back four, I think it was just a miscue and a mistake.

I thought Saer (Sene) was very good. I thought our two subs did a nice job before (Steve) Neumann came, I thought (Kelyn) Rowe, Saer did a nice job of changing the game and getting us back into it. The second goal was really a dagger because I thought we were getting momentum. We were starting to play like we know how to play and I thought you’ve got to credit Danny Cruz and it was a great finish, a great goal. But after we made the subs, I thought those two guys in particular - and Neumann, too – but the three of those guys really impacted the game and changed it.

I thought we should’ve taken our chances in the first 15 minutes. I thought there were probably two chances we could’ve finished and then I thought we were second best, quite frankly. The bad goal was the final straw of that first half. I don’t think we were good enough all the way through and so that goal really hurt us and I think halftime was a pretty fiery halftime. No one was happy with what had happened in the first 45 minutes, including myself. I wasn’t happy with, whether it’s my preparation and whether we as a staff weren’t getting our guys ready. But we had ample chances to score, we didn’t. At the same time we didn’t play our best stuff either. I thought in the second half it was much more our type of energy. 
  
New England Revolution defender Chris Tierney 
I actually thought we started the game well, created some chances, but just couldn’t take them. We were just missing that little bit of sharpness right now that’s the difference between winning and losing games. It’s that final ball, it’s near misses that were going in for us when we had our good run of games earlier on, and they don’t seem to now. Then we had to chase the game, giving up a couple of poor goals and couldn’t get back in it.

(The goal at the end of the first half) hurt. I know how important it is (to score) the first goals in this league. First goals are so important and we always talk about starting well and scoring the first goal and we didn’t do that. We dug ourselves a hole by conceding and then we got to chase the game and got away from original game plan, didn’t make the adjustments we need to and just not good enough all around. As individuals and as a team, we’re going to take a long look at this one and try to be better for Salt Lake.

New England Revolution defender Jose Goncalves
It’s very frustrating (to give up the goal at the end of the first half), especially when we are playing well, moving the ball, creating chances. To give up a goal, it’s always difficult to accept, but we have to react very fast and that’s what we did in the second half, but we couldn’t find the net. Saer (Sene) came in scored a great goal, put us back into the game but the third goal killed us a little bit.

I don’t think it was because (the defense) did not play together. I think the backline, we have enough experience to adjust ourselves each game. It was just a miscommunication. It’s difficult, in the last few games we concede some goals like this, a misunderstanding or communication and it’s something we have to better in, starting with myself.

On the backline we shall speak a little bit more, maybe louder, but it’s something that happens very fast in the game. We’re a little bit late to react, the ball was right into his feet, Brad (Knighton) had nothing to do with this goal. It’s my mistake and I take the responsibility.

We had two weeks off, we discussed about the last mistakes we did in the last few games, tried to adjust and tried to be better. It was a good two weeks, we did a lot of stuff and of course when you come back here and get to another loss it’s difficult. But we move as a team, we lose as a team and we win together. It’s not only a one-person show. This team, we cannot, forget is growing, we have a lot of new players. We are playing now to stay up with the league and that’s what we are doing every week. It’s a matter of time and we are progressing and I don’t see any team we cannot put our head down. We have to stay up and play the next game, like every game is the final. That’s our motivation.  

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin
I thought we were organized defensively; we dodged a bullet or two in the first 15 minutes. We thought it was important to get through the first 15 without giving up a goal. This is a very dynamic attacking team New England has, so if you let them get started, they’re a handful to deal with. I thought our team played good defensively all night from front to back – our forwards defended well and our center backs did a good job – the whole back line did well. It was good, I was happy with our performance.

We mentioned at halftime, one of our assistant’s mentioned, that we needed to be kind of countering their counter attack. So they would counter us and they would really throw numbers forward aggressively and it was just a matter of us connecting that first pass and then maybe having a guy actually turn and go at them, like you saw on the (Danny) Cruz goal.

That’s one of those you do it nine times, you make that hard run after Conor (Casey) flicks it and that one that he finally did, the ball actually came to him. I think it was a little mistake from them but you have to assume that the worst was going to happen, so it was a good play from Sebastian (Le Toux).

(The team) did good. It has zero to do with the coach, it has nothing to do with the coach. It has to do with the players.  I have good players. I would say that the first half of the year we had a lot of very good players that had a poor first half of the season. This is the second half of the season, it’s a new start for them. Again, like I said, it has nothing to do with me, it has everything to do with our players. I’m really proud of the effort tonight, they played very well.

It’s been a whirlwind. I mean, I’m from Philadelphia so there are lots of phone calls that you’re dealing with. It’s an exciting time but at the same time, you kind of grab it and run with it and do the best that you can with the interim tag and leave the club in a better place – that’s the goal. Make the playoffs: that’s the goal.

Amobi (Okugo) did a great job in center midfield. He broke up a ton of plays, connected his passes, and you saw Mo (Edu) in the air. Athletically, he can compete with anybody. Mo is a soccer player. I’ve said it before, he can play any position on the field – he’s that gifted. He was our captain tonight, he led us, and the guys bought into him holding things together back there and he did a good job. Plus, he can pass out of the back, so it’s a very good thing.

Philadelphia Union defender Omobi Okugo
Our strategy was to keep things compact. Our coaches stressed that New England likes an open game because they have the necessary players that are good on the run and can keep the ball well. We focused on keeping a compact unit and broke whenever we got the chance.

New England has great players on the ball. Our focus was to stay compact in the middle and to keep them from playing their game in the midfield with a possession style of play. 

The first goal was very rewarding for us. (Sebastien) Le Toux is very hard-working and he was able to put it in past the goalkeeper when he got the chance off that mistake in the back.

Our play in the past couple of weeks has been fine and luckily we had the Open Cup games to help us move forward. It is due to our coaches that are doing a great job moving us forward and keeping a fresh mentality going forward into the season.

I think that a huge reason for our success is the fact that our coaches tried some new ideas tactically defensively and offensively. We were able to get adjusted to them quickly and it has turned to great results.

I like playing in the middle as I’m getting more touches on the ball.  I’m used to playing there as well, and feel comfortable there. The most important thing is that I want to help the team as much as possible, so I am willing to play wherever the coaches want me to. 

Philadelphia Union forward Sebastien Le Toux
We tried to be very organized as a team because we knew their quality and they beat us at home last time we met. They usually tend to play a possession style game – so we tried to keep our line and whenever we moved forward we did it together. We tried to play similar to how we did against New York a couple of weeks ago because they play very similar style game.

On the first goal, I saw that the defender was heading it back to the keeper so I was able to slip my leg under the ball and luckily it went into the back of the net. I also have a lot of confidence right now and I was very lucky – ended up working very well.

It feels great scoring the amount of goals that I have in the past couple of games.  I was injured for a little while with back spasms which I was playing with – so the fact that I feel 100 percent going into the game feels great. I just want to feel as well in the future and I know that I can bring more to the team. If the coach puts me more as a forward along with my confidence I think that I can do well going into the future.