Juan Agudelo goal celebration
David Silverman

Quotes: Revolution 2, Dynamo 0

New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps

On winning tonight despite the weather delays:

“Sure it’s never easy with what we had to deal with. But the message in the locker room was that we can’t control that. We have no control over what’s happening out there, but when we step on the field we can control how we go about the game. I thought our guys were excellent in approaching it and showed some real resolve and some mental toughness.”

On what the team does to stay occupied during a weather delay:

“Well, they keep themselves loose. I think for me, also, we have a lot of time to talk so we’re able to find little areas that we thought we could help break them down. They did a good job. Houston did a good job of really limiting us. We had a lot of the ball but it was hard to break them down. So I think the time to talk during those breaks were pretty good.”

On his team coming out strong in the second half:

“Yeah that was kind of how we wanted to approach the game. It felt like when the game started, you know, those first twelve minutes we were finding a lot of the game, and to have it stop is always difficult. The second time we went out for the first half was a little bit all over the place. But then I think we really dug in and had another halftime, a little bit longer break, and came out and said, ‘Hey look this is our chance,’ and came out flying.”

On scoring another set-piece goal:

“Yeah, we have to. I think we have guys that can serve we have players that can do a lot of different things on set pieces. We’re not all big so we kind of have to manufacture it. I thought Jose (Goncalves), you know his run to the back was something we’ve worked on, something he does well to at least sell front and then come back. Obviously we had a little bit of a fortunate bounce but he was right there to finish it.”

On delays affecting the substitutions he made during the game:

“First and foremost, Jermaine (Jones), that was a tough one to have a guy who is up and down. We were going to manage his minutes anyway but to have to take him out. I think he probably could have played more minutes, but there was some risk in having him shut down and warm back up, then shut down and warm back up. So we played that one safe. I thought Daigo (Kobayashi) came in and did a great job. I thought Juan (Agudelo) was excellent from first touch to the goal he was really good, he defended well and that’s what you ask for. And then Teal (Bunbury) came in and did the same thing, they’re sparks. And when you can do that, that’s where I think we won the game.”

On Jermaine Jones’ first start since returning from injury:

“I thought he was moving, and obviously they had a man on him so every time he went near the ball there was someone right on him, which they’ll do. I like when teams do that because it’s going to open up somewhere else. It takes a little while, because he’s such a big presence and such a person that we want to have on the ball, it can’t just be all at once. We have to work him in. So there were a little bit of growing pains, but I thought he was good and we just have to start playing around him and make sure that we continue to get better.”

On the fan support tonight:

“Awesome. I mean the fact that even after the first delay there were so many people there. The second one, you could still hear people. And the fans that finished the game was something amazing.”

On the difference between the two halves:

“I think that we knew that if we could establish longer possessions in their half we were going to have some. For me, we always talk about the possession stat. The possession stat is, for me, you can take it or leave it. But the possession we’re looking for is in their half and in certain tight areas. And really try to get good long possessions in there because that’s when we’re at our best, and guys like Lee (Nguyen) and Daigo (Kobayashi) and Jermaine (Jones) will be on the ball in those scenarios, and that’s what we need and want.”

On defender Jeremy Hall’s recent run of form:

“He brings a presence. I think he’s been around a while he’s got that veteran kind-of swagger because he’s been there and played in a lot of games. But also I think he brings a good calming influence on the ball.  He’s really good with his passing, and he’s always an option for Farrell out there. I think that helps because now we can move the ball quickly and Jeremy’s willing to make a play. And then from there I’ve been really happy with how he’s defended. I thought he did a great job on Brad Davis, and I thought he did a great job a couple weeks ago when we played in Chicago on Accam, which for me is probably one of the toughest players to defend one-on-one in the league.”

New England Revolution defender Jose Goncalves

On his goal:

“I saw everyone was pretty focused on the ball and the ball came not so far from the penalty spot so I thought I’m going to wait on the second post in case if the ball drops. And that’s what happened. The ball just came great.  I took my chance for a volley and it was slippery. There is no way the keeper can stop if I caught the ball very well.”

On the weather delays:

“A lot, a lot. I think a lot of relief for myself, for the team, for the guys.  I think we showed them that we are a tough team to play.  Even if we have a delay, bad weather, we have to stay in.  We stayed focus and we did our job and that’s why we take our three points tonight.” 

On how the team stays focused during delays:

“Just stay in the dressing room doing work, exercise, moving around on the bike and making sure that we are ready in case (the referee) blows the whistle earlier.” 

On if he can remember a similar situation with weather delays:

“No, never. At this time I am in bed usually, but I have to get the permission to stay up a little more. It’s difficult, but something if it’s the case, you have to be professional mentally a little stronger than usual. You get tired, but (Houston), they are also going to be tired. You must think about this. You must think about the work we did all week. We suffer all week, hard training. That’s why we came out on Saturday to win the game and that’s what we did. If it takes ninety minutes or three hours, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. We need the three points.”

On the importance of the team’s four game unbeaten streak:

Very important. We know that because the last two years, I remember before the break, we lost pretty much every time we were at the break. It’s very frustrating because you go in the break with the mind, you don’t have a good satisfaction. Because you lost a game, you can wait to do better the next one. We just won the game. That’s the second time before the break and it’s just perfect for us. I think we learned from those games we did some mistakes and we have to just keep going. Don’t change anything. Everyone is very focused and everyone knows why we have to take points right now at the end of the season.” 

New England Revolution defender Chris Tierney

On how difficult it was to play in a game with two delays:

“It was extremely difficult. I have never experienced that in a League game, it happened in a couple of Open Cup games we have had delays but nothing like that. That was tough so credit to all of our players and staff. We did a great job and I feel like we just wanted the game more, we just willed it. It’s all worth it now.”

On the toughest part about having to restart twice:

“It’s physical but it’s mental as well. You get yourself up for the game and then there are delays and you don’t know how long the waits are going to be so it’s a very difficult situation physically and mentally. Again, I think we did a great job of preparing ourselves and the whole time we were expecting that we were going to play. No one was talking about cancellations or anything like that so we were in it mentally the whole time and I think it showed.”

On the amount of tactics discussed in the locker room during the delays:

“We go over tactics quite a bit, actually. It actually is a unique situation where we are 12 minutes into the game and we already have a chance to come together as a group and look things over and talk about what changes we want to make. I think especially at halftime we did a good job of making those adjustments and then finding a way to score.”

On the adjustments that were made for the second half:

“(The Houston Dynamo) were obviously were here to get a point. We just looked at some areas where we thought the space would open up and there were little pockets in front of their back four and their wingers were all the way back on me and Jeremy (Hall) so they were basically playing five at the back at times so the space was really in front of their back four with Lee (Nguyen) and I thought Daigo (Kobayashi) came in and did a great job finding those little pockets and we got possession in their end and got the ball moving and did enough to win.”

Houston Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle

On the difference between the first and second half:

“It wasn’t any different, I mean the bottom line is when you’re playing outside both teams obviously had to deal with the stoppages and such forth, but having said that, we are disappointed with the two goals we gave up, except you know I thought New England played better and second half, I’ve got to say that in terms of some of the passing was what we’ve come to know from (them). Having said that I mean with a clear penalty in the first half that the referee in his wisdom decided that Nathan Sturgis pushed him (Jose Goncalves) doing that – never happened, so for me it’s a stonewall penalty. It’s not been given, even there was one at 1-0 at the time to New England when Erick Torres is racing through on the goal and he gets pushed to the ground and he gets a free kick awarded against him, so there was a couple of bizarre things that went on from that perspective, but again I think we’ve shot ourselves in the foot on the goals we conceded and accept that we’re playing against a very good side that New England are, and that’s disappointing. So on this type of surface, the one thing you’ve got to do is pass and move the ball and we certainly did it better in the first half then we started the second half, last 15, 20 minutes, we were the team pushing on again to get an equalizer and had one or two good chances, but we didn’t take enough care of the ball and that’s what we need to do on that surface.”

On the second goal:

“The second goal is two minutes from the end, we’re pushing everybody forward and we’ve lost the ball in a bad area – something we spoke to with the players that New England like to press in those areas and they’ve broke well, they’ve got good qualities when they do that. I still think with one or two errors within that, we could have prevented the goal, but it didn’t and they’ve finished it very well, but again we were obviously pushing on to try and get an equalizer at that point.”

On if his team deserved a goal in the first half:

“Well I mean I felt it was an even first half I’ve got to say that, I don’t think there was a lot that separated the teams, but there’s no doubt we had a clear penalty, that’s very obvious for everybody that was there and there’s to say the referee in his wisdom there decided, bizarrely in my mind, that it was a free kick for New England.”

On the weather delays:

“It’s not ideal, the only thing I’d say is it’s the same for both teams, but we were obviously – DaMarcus Beasley felt his calf in the warmup, he came off after halftime, Giles (Barnes) was playing through his Achilles, with a number of things like that, but I mean that’s the same for both teams so we don’t hide behind that, we accept that, I certainly accept that and we could have played better in the second half than what we did, but even then, when you get to that level, you should make sure that your coming in and the worst you’re coming in at is 0-0 because we’ve lost, I think, two soft goals.”

On their focus for the upcoming weeks:

“The focus, we pick ourselves up and we go again, that’s what we do, that’s the nature of this game. When you’ve had a disappointment you do one of two things, you feel sorry for yourself or you get up in the morning and prepare to do something about it and that’s the way we’ve always been and that’s the way we will be. We knew coming into this, these three road trips that after we were finished we’d have played 11 out of 16 on the road, so what we’ve got to do is in the two games to come is to make sure we’re going to pick the points up and that keeps us there right in the mix for a good run of four out of five games at home. So everything’s there for us, we’re disappointed tonight absolutely because we came here looking to get a positive result and at halftime it certainly looked like that was very achievable, so I think we’ve shot ourselves in the foot and pick ourselves up again look and try to get our squad healthy because Raul Rodriguez missed out tonight, Ricardo Clark’s already injured, DaMarcus Beasley had to come out of the game, Giles (Barnes) was probably feeling that Achilles as well so we have to get those players healthy because those are big players for the Dynamo.”

Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis

On the difference between the first and the second half:

“We had the breaks, they had the breaks though too. I think we came out for the second half, I think our passing was a bit poor there. They kind of had us stuck in our own end, we couldn’t really get out. They created some chances and got some opportunities and we were just unable to break the pressure – in all honesty for a while there. One is on a set piece we need to be tighter on that – I think our guy lost a mark there. We had a couple of chances to even the score ourselves though to be honest with you and we were a bit unfortunate there and then at the end we had a bit of a breakdown as well for them to go up 2-0 – at that point it’s going to be extremely difficult to come back from two goals I think it was the 85th minute, 84th something like that, whatever it was, so it’s going to be tough but our passing and I think our mentality coming into the second half wasn’t as good as the first.”

On the continued pressure weighing on the team with the delay:

“I don’t think it weighs on you, you just get frustrated when you know you can move the ball, we did that in the first half. We moved the ball, we created chances, we had them kind of pinned in a little bit and had them under a bit of pressure so there’s no reason for all of a sudden the game to change. The same personnel is basically out there, they had to go through the breaks but I think mentally that’s one of the hardest things to do is to stay focused and stay in the game. When you get tired and you’re not focused, one of the first things to go is the passing and the sharpness and that’s kind of, I think, the situation there. I said walking out this is all going to be about our mentality, we’re going to have to grind this one out, there’s been a ton of circumstances that we’ve had to deal with tonight, it’s almost one in the morning but they’ve had to deal with (the delays) too and unfortunately I don’t think we were as sharp in the second half.”

Houston Dynamo defender DaMarcus Beasley

On the weather delays:

“It was the same for both teams. They came out after the break and they wanted to win. They came out passing the ball, moving, defending well as a team and we didn’t. That’s basically what it was; there wasn’t anything they did special. We came in after the first half thinking we were okay but in the second half it just didn’t happen.”

On the result:

“Our coaches said, they wanted it more and that comes out of mentality. Nobody wants to be out playing at 11:30 p.m. at night playing in a soccer game. At the end of the day you don’t want to give away anything. We gave up two goals tonight, which we shouldn’t have. It was tough; mentally we didn’t come out with the same mentality as we did in the first half. We have a lot of games coming up right now so this game we have to put it behind us and we’ve got to go and have good result in Portland.”

On the difference between the two halves:

“After the first half, we didn’t have any problems, we thought we were fine. They started rolling after the first five or ten minutes but after that we settled, and we got better chances than they did in the first half. It was a tale of two halves. No one is going to use the excuse for being late, they had the same thing. It’s not like we had more delay than they did. They had the same. We’re not using that as an excuse at all. They wanted to win, they come out with fresh wind in the second half and we didn’t. We didn’t match their intensity, obviously their football came above us and they got two goals.”

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