On setting the lineups for U.S. Open Cup games) “Obviously there’s some guys that are going to continue to play because we don’t have a lot of options in the back. It also gives the opportunity for some players to get on the field that maybe haven’t started. Alex Caskey played well for us off the bench on Saturday, so it gives us the opportunity to possibly start him. He’s an Atlanta guy, so I’m sure he’s excited about that. It’s something good. The Open Cup has been good for us in the past, sometimes it’s helped us in a rhythm of play and get some results. Right now we could use a good result, as well.”
On playing an NASL team and the local connections...) “That’s what the Open Cup is all about. For those players, it’s an opportunity to say, ‘Look at me. I think I deserve to be playing where you guys are at.’ Raphael Cox is obviously a local kid who’s been in the league before with Salt Lake. [Ciaran] O’Brien has been in the league, as well, with Colorado. They’re guys who want another shot at it, so here’s their opportunity. I know those guys will obviously be motivated to play well, all their other players will be, as well. They’ve got a very experienced player up front in Reinaldo Navia, who’s played a number of times for Chile and is an older player, but is a guy who I think has six or seven goals for them at this point of the season. They’ve got quality and a desire to move forward and pull an upset.”
On the attitude going into this two week break from MLS) “They know we still have two games. We want to get through the Atlanta game to ensure ourselves a second game. This is, as I said to some of the guys, it’s opportunity week this week. If you’re not starting on the field on Wednesday, you know you’re going to start on the field on Friday in the reserve game. Everybody is going to get an opportunity to show themselves and show that, ‘Hey Coach, you’ve been looking past me, you need to look at me because I’m a guy who can play.’ It’s a great chance for our guys and they would be making a big mistake if they look past it.”
(On a potential second round matchup with Portland...) “There’s only a meeting with Portland if we take care of Atlanta, so we have to look towards Atlanta and we have to be prepared for that game. Anything can happen. You see the results in the past of teams getting upset in the Open Cup, and that’s something we don’t want to see happen. We’ve got to take care of business on Wednesday night, and then we’ll focus on the next.”
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(On Leo Gonzalez’s availability for Wednesday...) “He trained more today. He was in as a neutral player the whole training. Wednesday is probably too early, but he could a possibility then for a game next Tuesday if we advance on Wednesday. At least today he made progress so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
(On having an Open Cup game on Wednesday and a Reserve League game on Friday...) “We’ve got to deal with it the way it is...We’ll rest some guys obviously...From that standpoint we just got to look at it individually and just keep our spirits high and keep pushing through these next set of games.”