Sounders Insider

RSL: Early goals ‘massive’

Here’s some of what Real Salt Lake had to say tonight after the 2-0 win over the Sounders:

Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On whether he discussed the importance of the game with the team:

“No, not really. I think everyone in that locker room realizes that every one of our games the rest of the year are important. So I didn’t need to add any pressure to them. We just stressed ‘Lets do it the way we want to do it.’ That’s high possession, high-percentage passes and the chances will show themselves. Credit to the players. We connected 433 passes, and they were meaningful passes. That’s the way we want to play and credit to the players for going out and doing it.”

On the personnel:

“Luis Silva can play several different positions so he knows how to find gaps on the field. He’s comfortable coming inside, he’s comfortable going wide. Joao Plata the same thing. And when you get good movement, it can really throw off the defenders. They have to make a lot of decisions. It involves our outside backs getting forward, it’s something that we’re continually striving to get better at and tonight was a very good night.”

On the importance of getting two early goals:

“It was massive. We created a lot of chances against Portland but we didn’t make their goalkeeper make many saves. Tonight was a bit different. It gave us confidence, and then the way the guys managed the rest of the game was very classy on their part. On a different night we could have even gotten a couple more, but I liked the way the guys controlled the game even when Seattle started to get a little bit of joy we regrouped, got the ball back down on the ground and started to regain control of it rather than giving it away early.”

On how big this win is:

“It’s huge. Obviously we made the distance between us and Seattle. San Jose won tonight. They are all important. We’re going to enjoy this one right now, feel good about it, then Tuesday get back to work against Dallas because we play them twice the rest of the year.”

On the defense and the shutout:

“I really thought our back four and Kyle [Beckerman] and Luke [Mulholland] did a great job because you can see Obafemi [Martins] comes, tucks into the midfield and I thought the communication all night was very good. I thought they covered for each other extremely well and that’s something that we stressed all week long, and it looked like a unit out there, and that’s what I was really pleased about. Nick [Rimando] didn’t have too much to do tonight but what he did he was clean, and that’s a real solid night for our goalkeeper and back six.”

On the return of guys from injuries and if it was a factor in the win:

“I think it’s all those things. I think it’s consistency, I think it’s a good week of training, I think it’s communication. There are a lot of things that go into that kind of performance defensively. But I think they are coming together. Obviously having Jamison [Olave] there I think lifts the group up a bit. His presence, his closing down ability, I think that puts some fear in some forwards. Obafemi [Martins] didn’t really want to be around him too much tonight, and that’s a good thing.”

On Juan Manuel Martinez being in the lineup:

“It was really just to get him into the group, to be honest with you. If things worked out it would have been nice to put him in at the end, but we had guys that deserved to be out there, and I wanted to do what the right thing for the group was, but there was a scenario that Juan would have gotten into the game. But Luis [Silva] came out with cramps, so we wanted to go a different route. He didn’t even train. I didn’t want to throw him in harm’s way either. You don’t know if he goes out there after 17 hours of travel yesterday, not even training with the team, pulls a hamstring. Thought it was the right decision at the time.”

On Sebastian Jaime’s goal:

“It’s not tuning off. This week we did do a lot of shooting after the Portland game. We did a lot of offensive work. Pattern work on Thursday, a lot of shooting on Friday. But I really like that he was tuned in. As the shot is happening, as it’s coming off the bar, he’s not relaxing. I thought he was very good all night long. His movement, because [Roman] Torres and [Chad] Marshall are very good center backs, but I really liked that he was alert on that one.”

Defender Tony Beltran

On getting 3 points against a team RSL is chasing:

“It’s huge. There was no other option at this point in the season, so very proud of the boys’ commitment. Both offensively and defensively tonight, because we all knew how big of game that was.”

On getting early goals and thoughts on them changing games:

“Tremendously. It really does, especially I feel like whenever here at Rio Tinto and we get off to that good start and we put 1, we put 2 into a team early and it could be real tough on an opponent going to the second half and the altitude comes into play and then they start to die, and we possess the ball well, so it’s very pivotal in the game to get those 2 goals early.”

On having Plata back on the field:

“He’s a special player. He’s a game changer, so it’s great when he’s healthy and we want him on the field. We miss him on the field, so credit to him. It’s not easy being out and coming back being up to speed, but he was tremendous tonight.”

On forwards cramping up in the game after giving it everything they’ve got:

“As a defender it really pumps me up when I see a guy like Sebastian Jaime just running for lost causes, and winning balls and putting pressure on center backs. I know personally as a defender, it makes it tougher when a forward plays like that, so full credit to him. He has so much heart. His work rate is tremendous and it’s a huge lift.”

Midfielder Javier Morales

On if this was the best performance of year:

“We didn’t try to play like that, but for me tonight was not a lot different with the last game with Portland. The only thing different was that we scored, I scored today and then the game changed. It’s good when you score two goals and you have time to preserve the ball. The other day I think we controlled the game, but we couldn’t score, and they scored in the last minute. I think tonight was the best performance.”

On how important this game was:

“Yeah we knew it. We knew before the game that is a plus for us right now, because play like tonight, for me against one of the best teams in the league and beating two nothing and control the ball for 90 minutes it’s going to be good for our confidence.”

On what he is thinking before taking the penalty:

“Nothing, nothing. I try to be calm you know and it’s going to be important ball, because it’s going to open the game, so I tried to take it in the way that I did and I’m happy that it was a goal.”

On keeping the clean sheet with one shot on goal:

“Yeah it was important, especially our defenders. They have been doing great in the last game, then they scored in the last minute, and tonight I think they played good. It’s going to be good for everyone. 2-0 like I say against Seattle it’s good to go to Dallas and try to get 3 points.”