Head Coach Caleb Porter
On Crew SC’s performance tonight
Yeah, disappointed to be out of the competition with the group we had here, healthy and available – we put out the best group that we had. We threw a lot into it. You could see that in the effort, in the attitude. We're all disappointed to be out of competition. We made it difficult, obviously, [in] the first 13 minutes, giving up two goals against a very talented team, really the first two chances that they had, and they were self-inflicted – the way I look at it. Both goals I thought were avoidable and in saying that, I thought we showed a lot of fight – more fight than we’ve shown in a lot of games. It was good to see the group keep swinging and fighting and pull a goal back to go 2-1. Disappointing to give the third goal – at halftime that was one of the main points that I said, ‘we’re going to get the next goal but we have to have discipline.’ Those one or two moments are going to happen in in transition. Again, the third goal I thought was a mistake on our part. We learned from those mistakes and I think we build on the overall effort and attitude and fight that we showed. Disappointed to not find the third goal. I thought we were going to find that, and I think so did the guys and we were right there, several occasions. We had looks and chances and half chances. Maybe calls we should have had along the way. I thought the way the official handled the last 15 minutes, I thought was shocking. Played right in their hands. They’re [Atlanta United FC] smart, they’re a smart team – have very good players and good teams find a way to win. I think we’re evolving to be a team that has that killer instinct and that edge. I’ve talked about that a lot and I’m seeing it more and more each game and I certainly saw it tonight, against a very good team. When you look at statistics, we played the team toe-to-toe and we are right there in every category. That’s two games in a row versus MLS teams – where we played NYCFC and Atlanta [United FC] two very talented teams, two very good teams and we played toe-to-toe and we were right there in terms of performance. So, we’ll build off the positives and now with the [U.S] Open Cup gone, we’re going to throw everything into the last 18 games and we need to approach these games with the same attitude, effort, intensity and performance in a similar way but limit some of those mistakes that have cost our team points this year.
On Crew SC players stepping into new roles
We knew with the group that we have, obviously with some guys gone, that this is the group that we’re going to roll with. We’re two [U.S.] Open Cup games and now the next four league games, so I’m encouraged with the play tonight, not with the result, but I feel very optimistic and I have a lot of hope moving forward if we play like we did tonight and [against] New York FC, but with the group we have available here, a few guys getting healthy again, I’m encouraged, and I have a lot of hope that we’re going to turn this thing around in the next 18 games. We have to take it 1 at a time. We’re in a little bit of a do-or-die mentality and mindset so we need to stick with that. Obviously, we have 18 games so every game is not a must win, but certainly at home our mindset needs to continue like it has with these Open Cup games. I think that’s a good thing because we’re kind of in that mindset, where every second matters and certainly every point matters, especially at home.
On his reaction to the players’ and fans’ reactions to the officials.
Yeah, you can’t throw stuff at the officials obviously, but [the reaction] was normal. Obviously in a game like this where it’s do-or-die – right? You win or advance, you lose or go home and a lot of emotion because guys are done. They’re out of the competition and obviously it happens where at the end of the game people voice their opinions and then they get out of there. So obviously that happened, and I think you saw with our group just how bad they wanted it.
On returning to action following his injury
It’s a good feeling for me. Obviously, it wasn’t the result that we wanted but we got to continue working, proving that we are a good team.
On his cross resulting in a goal
I was expecting to play the ball to JJ, that’s why I crossed hard, and that’s why the ball went in.
On building off his appearance tonight
The idea for today for me was to get a couple minutes of play, obviously, and now I feel good. This week I am going to train hard and work hard to see if I can play for Sunday.
On whether Crew SC is looking forward to playing again on Sunday
I mean every day, every single game we really try to do our best on the field to stay focused. Because we lost today it doesn’t mean we are not going to continue with the effort.
On his overall thoughts on the match against Atlanta United
I think everyone did their job. We slipped up and gave up three goals, but overall, we will use this as a learning point now. We have 18 games left in the League and that’s what the focus is, we just got to keep going.
On his assist on David Accam’s goal
Harry [Harrison Afful] took a shot, I took a touch – kind of went wide, just trying to get the ball in. I saw David [Accam] open and went with him and he did the hardest part, which is finishing it.
On facing Sporting Kansas City on Sunday
Obviously, this left a sour taste in our mouth but we’re ready for the game and we just gotta move forward.