NYCFC are now unbeaten in seven games after an impressive 2-0 win against the LA Galaxy. Here are some of the soundbites from Dome Torrent and the team after earning three consecutive shutout road wins for the first time in Club history...
On their recent success on the road...
“I am very happy because when you asked me about that last week I said the same thing, maybe we found the right system for us because this is three clean sheets in a row when we play away. But it is not about that, it is about the feeling, sometimes you are not able to score but the feeling is much better, and right now this team has the possibilities to win some. We feel good, that is important for us when that happens (clean sheets) you have more confidence, even when they have the control or decide to play long balls, if you defend well and fight for every single ball, you have more possibilities to get points. Right now when I see the face of our team, I know they are happy when we are playing this system. We didn’t start well, maybe we deserved more, I said many times that when you are able to win the games people don’t analyze anything, that is normal, but I am a coach, I have to analyze, and I know how important it is, and how happy our fans our when we get points, but sometimes you have to analyze if we play well, if we play bad. A key player arrived for us you know, Héber, and it is not about his scoring, it is about when you are in trouble, you can pass the ball to him and he has the quality to keep the ball, create spaces, he is a good player for us and everybody is better when he is playing.”
On the decisive penalty kick by Maxi Moralez...
“That means he has personality. I remember when Leo Messi missed a penalty sometimes in Barcelona, nobody asked about Leo. Are you sure you want to take the penalty? Yes, you have personality, ok, up to you. I told you many times the soccer belongs to the players, it is about that, I have to convince my players what is the best way to play. Give the ball, pass the ball, and they are happy because we had a lot of passes, that means this team has personality, but when you decide to shoot the penalty or free kicks it is about the personality, it is not in the training. We have 3-4 players able to shoot the penalties really well, but if one player decides to shoot the penalty to me that is not a problem.”
On their play lately...
“I think it is really just putting in the work on the practice field, having small discussions and making sure we are all on the same page. Obviously we have gotten results, good results, especially on the road which was a big thing we were missing last year and the start of this year, but we have put it all together on both sides of the ball, scoring goals and keeping balls out of the back of the net so we have to continue on. Continue to look forward, continue to get better as a group. There is so much more for us I think and the guys are hungry. We can reach another level and I know everybody is committed to it. In this business, it is about having character, showing character in spots where you may not be expected to go and get wins. I think this group, for the entire year, we have faced a lot of adversity at different points of the year, but we have shown that we are resilient, we have a core of guys who will keep fighting for each other and that spirit has really carried us to where we are now.”
On three shutouts in a row...
“I take pride in that. The past 3-4 games have been really good, both at home on the road, we have to have that mentality and now that we have set that bar, I think there is another level for us to achieve, and everybody is hungry, we have a short break now, but I think the guys are really looking forward to getting back to work and fixing what we need to do going into the next away game. We will have to keep performances up, keep the ball out of the back of the net, and keep scoring goals if we want to continue to climb, but we have shown that we can do it, just have to keep working as a group.”
On the team’s performance tonight...
“In my opinion, it was great winning here and continuing the winning streak. We knew we had to do our job. They had just played Wednesday and traveled so we had something in our favor and I think we showed that. We got a 2-0 win and played a good game.”
On scoring the penalty kick...
“Anytime I grab the ball I always have confidence. I wouldn’t be the first to miss a penalty so when you go up there you try and thankfully it went in today. It worked to add to our lead.”
On what the team has done to improve...
“I think we have been showing from five to six games that we are finding the level of play we are looking for. After the game against Montreal playing at home, we had the full roster and now we have a clear idea and we are showing we can play well. Now we are just looking ahead and hopefully we can continue on this positive streak.”
Referee Chris Penso
On awarding the penalty kick:
“Regarding the awarding of a penalty kick to NYCFC in the first half, the on-field decision was offside. The assistant referee used the delay offside technique. Both the referee and assistant referee, after the delayed offside, stopped play for a LA handball, a penalty kick. The on-field decision of offside prior to the handball negates the penalty. Upon review by the referee using video, it was determined the on-field offside decision was incorrect and the NYCFC player was onside, thus the awarding of the penalty for handball.”
LA Galaxy Head Coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto
On the game:
“I think we changed a little bit, because we got Giancarlo [Gonzalez], we played two away games during the week and some players got injured like Rolf [Feltscher] and Jonathan [dos Santos], and then yesterday we had some doubts about Jonathan [dos Santos], and waiting on confirmation if Rolf [Feltscher] was out, so we tried to put another defender to try and help us on the backline. But, I think in soccer you can win or lose with four, or five in the back, or three, or whatever you want to call it, but the most important is the attitude, and we give the first half away. Maybe, with the result, we know, maybe you can say ‘the trip or the games, we got tired’. But, the attitude in the second half was different. We accelerated a little more in the second half, maybe score, and we were very close on the game, but this was game. I think we gave 45 minutes; the referee gave one more minute. We tried to fight in the second half – where we managed the ball, and we managed the game, because they went a little back and we played, almost, the [entire] game in New York’s field. But, we lost, and we need to recover in our next game with Colorado.”
On playing with five defenders:
“I like to play more with four in the back, like we’ve been used to playing almost all year. But, sometimes when we have the games or trips like we had during the week, sometimes we have to make a little change. If you check the player injuries that we have for this game, maybe we needed to change. But, about the result, you check and say why, but listen, nothing happened today. We lost, and that’s it. [I don’t think the formation and the tactics are very important at this point]. I think it’s more important how we can play, and what we can do on the field.”
On Jonathan dos Santos’s absence:
“Well we try, he came in very early, he trained in the gym to see if he could be ready or not, and he said he had a bit of pain on the muscle. Maybe it was better not to take a risk to put him on the field.”
On Jonathan dos Santos playing next week against Colorado:
“Yes, of course. We were talking, and I said to him maybe it’s better not to play today and play next Sunday, because maybe you play today, you start, and you have to go out and you’ll be out for how many games. We play Sunday, Friday, and Wednesday, so I think he’s very important, you can realize that today. We just didn’t put him on the field today because he felt something and he is recovering in the next two or three days to be ready Wednesday to start training for the game with Colorado.”
On playing three games this week:
“I think what affected us the most was making the trip playing the games we played this week, playing Saturday, Wednesday, and Saturday. When we were playing against Columbus, New York was already in Los Angeles. They had the time to rest and get ready for the game and maybe playing as many games as we did this week played against our favor. That’s why I think the team started off looking a little tired, we just played less than three days ago. We knew it and we tried to make some changes in the lineup and we weren’t able to achieve for the team to maintain everything they have shown in the previous games. If we would have won we could have taken the first place on the standings, but a loss always helps to think about things and notice things and improve. We will try to have a good week of training ahead of the game against Colorado and look to play a great game, as well as look to win again which is the objective.”
LA Galaxy Forward Zlatan Ibrahimović
On the team’s fatigue:
“I think it’s a week to get over very fast. Learn from the mistake and already focus on the next game. Three games in a row we’ve lost, obviously that’s not good. We conceded seven-eight goals in the last three games. That didn’t happen in the other games. We need to learn from our mistakes and keep going. We had a chance to take the first spot in two or three games and we did not succeed.”
On seeing less of the ball:
“I think it’s moments when we have the chance. We create situations. We are not 100% in the last third. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes not. Sometimes when you score it’s easy to say that everything went well, but I think we created chances. We created a couple of chances today. We made some simple mistakes which can happen to anybody. That’s part of the game, but obviously it’s not good to lose.”
On if the team relies too much on the long ball:
‘No. It depends on the game. If you’re losing, you have to look for the goal. You risk more. That was the situation today. We were looking for the goal and the fastest way to arrive to the goal is the long ball.”
On not getting a foul call at the top of the box in the second half:
“I said to the ref he’s acting injured, but I didn’t touch him. He kicked me. I touched the ball. I said I didn’t touch him. I said afterwards to look at VAR because that’s why we have this VAR. But he didn’t look at it or didn’t review the other ones. I touched the ball that’s the only thing I know. I didn’t touch him. If I touched him, he kicked me. But he didn’t want to review it. Again, we have this VAR. I think we should take it off and not play with it.”
On the formation:
“I don’t think it depends on the formation that we had. It was an attitude thing where we were not aggressive when we were supposed to be aggressive. We were soft. The second half was better because we had a different attitude and we wanted more. When you’re 2-0 down, it’s a different game.”
On if there was a connection in the last three losses:
“First half today was a lack of attitude. I think in Columbus same thing. We were too soft from the first minute until the end. New York was different, we were leading and some mistakes happened and that’s why we lost. But the last two games I think was an attitude thing. We need to react. We need to change. We need to show what we want by the attitude.”
On if he can help change the team’s attitude:
“I think that comes depending on what you want. Either you want it or you don’t want it. I can do for myself what I want. I don’t say I have a high attitude and the other ones don’t. I think it’s collective. It’s what you want as a collective. One shows the way, the others follow.”
On not having Jonathan dos Santos:
“He’s an important player for us. I think he’s the engine for our team. He keeps the game going. With him on the field we play a different game, he wants the ball all the time. He drives the game and he likes to have the ball on his feet. He gets the game going. So when you don’t have a player like that, you change a little bit.”
LA Galaxy Midfielder Joe Corona
On the team conceding eight goals in the last three games:
"I think we started off pretty well this season. We come from three tough loses and I think it's clear that we have a lot to work on but we have to keep our heads up and turn the page now. Coming from three games in one week is pretty tough physically so I think it is good that we are going to have time to recover and improve a lot more."
On losing three games in a row and not being able to move into first place:
"Our goal was to get into first place, but we couldn't make it happen but now we have to keep working. Those were games where we could have moved ahead but we have to learn from our mistakes I think it is still early in the season for us to be able to fix those."
On if fatigue has been a factor on the team's performance:
"I think that we had been playing very well, today we were missing Jona [Jonathan dos Santos] who is very important to the team but I feel that we have created good chances, but we just haven't been able to finish them."
On missing Jonathan dos Santos in the midfield:
"He's an important player, today Servando [Carrasco] had to fill in for him and played very well but independently from that we had two previous losses. As a team we have to look at our mistakes and work on that and continue to add points as soon as possible."