ring make it here

Make It Here | Johnson, Ring & Torrent Previews

Sean Johnson 

On playing at Citi Field in 2017…

“I remember it was Decision Day, a lot riding on that game. I think we found ourselves looking up at the big Jumbotron after the game against Columbus to see where we were going to be seeded. I think from an aesthetics standpoint it’s obviously a different stadium, but playing on this field with our fans in the stadium it’s going to feel like home. Obviously we got to train here today and have gotten a good feel for the pitch. I think the pitch is in great condition going into tomorrow so yeah we’ll approach it the same way, it’s not going to be any different.”

On having the bye…

“Obviously that plays into it, you know, the amount of minutes they’ve logged in the last game. It’s hard not to be up for a game like this so I know, regardless of how many minutes they’ve played, they have the players and the experience to come out and really give it their best go. We’ll have to be prepared for that and we can’t take it lightly. We have to start the game fast as well and make sure the pace of the game is where we want it to be. I think controlling the pace of the game will be key tomorrow for us to come out victorious.”

On how single elimination changes things…

“It’s been a bit different, it’s a different mentality as the game goes on. There’s no second-leg, you’ve seen both in regular time and extra time different philosophy from different teams. Different teams pushing harder as the game goes on. It’s like every game is it’s own final, that’s kind of the feel that it has and it’s been great. The action has been exciting, obviously from a fan’s perspective and just watching games, there has been a lot of goals and it’s been exciting. It’s a good format, I think.”

On concerns of the length of the time off affecting the team’s intensity… 

“I think we’re ready, like I said if you can’t get up for the Eastern Conference Semifinal then you shouldn’t be here, you shouldn’t be playing here at this point of the year. I think we’ve done a good job to position ourselves to have a home game at this point. So us taking care of business, nothing else matters. We have a group that has shown up time and time again when questions were asked and we’ve answered them. We’ve got to do that again tomorrow night and we can do that going forward if we want to hoist the trophy.” 

Alex Ring

On takeaways from the last match against Toronto…

“I mean, that was our third game within a week and I think you could see that we were a bit tired during that game. We were a bit sloppy defending also and we weren’t as proactive as we’re used to so we didn’t have a good balance. I think that’s why they played a decent game because we let them.”

On single elimination format…

“I like it. I think home right is really important, especially in this format. It has been very entertaining to watch as a spectator. I don’t know how it was on the pitch, probably a bit nerve-wrecking, but no I think you can see there’s a lot at stake. They’ve been good games, good tempo, really intense, and that’s how playoff games should be.”

On Toronto’s minutes in Round 1… 

“It’s the playoffs. It’s not going to matter if they played 120, 180, or 190. They’re going to be ready and we should too.”

On takeaways from last year’s early playoff exit…

“Playoffs are different. You can’t afford, little things are going to decide these games as you’ve seen in the games before. We just have to be switched on. We can’t afford to make sloppy, easy mistakes. The team who has the courage to play but makes less mistakes is going to win. That’s what it’s all about.”

Dome Torrent

On first impressions of Citi Field…

“Oh really good. The grass is perfect, it’s really good. I never seen before, but the feeling is good. I don't want to waste time about the stadium because it is what it is, but it’s really, really good.”

On the scrimmage with Chicago…

“Good feeling because we need to compete a little bit after it has been 18 days. It was a good feeling because every player could play. The feeling was much better after the game and my feeling was that they are ready to play the playoff game because it was a game with rhythm. Both teams fought on every single ball, it’s good, we needed to play at least one game against an MLS team.”

On Héber’s fitness…

“Héber is ready to play. I don’t know if maybe he’ll start to play, maybe he can play 30 to 40 minutes, but he’s not injured right now. It’s good news for us. I need to find the right players to play against Toronto and that means for me the best players are the players who in the moment have rhythm and have more chances to play than other players.”

On impressions from studying Toronto…

“It’s totally different. For example, remember the last game when we play at Yankee Stadium against Toronto? We missed six players: Héber didn’t play, Maxi Moralez didn’t play… It’s different, but when you play the playoff it’s another competition it’s not the same as the regular league because if you make just one mistake you’re out. Maybe the referee makes a mistake, maybe me make a mistake and you’re out, it’s totally different. You can prove in this week. Every single game was close and that means it’s totally different playing in the league in the playoffs.”

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