HEAD COACH CALEB PORTER
On whether he felt Crew SC missed opportunities late to pick up three points
I think I’m going to choose to be look at the glass half full today. I’m proud of my team’s fight, the resiliency – again – to come back, this time come back from down two [goals]. Unbelievable fight, proud of their heart, proud of all the intangible things you want to see in your group and in your team. Don’t know how the ball doesn’t go in. If one of those four or five chances where the [goal] keeper makes a save or Gyasi [Zardes] at the back post, that goes in, it’s one of the best comebacks I’ve been a part of, one of the best wins I’ve been a part of. We should’ve, we should’ve won the game at the end. So, that’s what I’m going to choose to focus on, obviously there’s some things to clean up on the goal. They scored two goals on four shots. I think we doubled their shots and yet we gave up two goals, so we have to do better defensively.
On if FC Cincinnati’s game plan was unexpected
No, there’s nothing they did that was surprising. Most teams are going to look to press us and, credit to them, early in the game they did a nice job of disrupting our build-up. We have Connor [Maloney] in there at left back, he’s a right footed guy, Jonah [Jonathan Mensah] as a right-footed left-center back as well, and I think when we got down that side they were able to squeeze us a little bit and gave us some problems. But again, they had four shots, so how much trouble did it give us? I don’t know. I thought we had the better of it. But credit to them first half they were opportunistic, they scored a goal off a set piece and a goal off a quick cross off a quick counter. But what a response from our guys.
On the importance of scoring the goal before halftime
Yeah it was big. Yeah, obviously, when you’re down two-zero, the next goal is key. You know if they score it, the game is usually done nine out of ten times. But if the opponent scores to make it two-one that’s why they call it in football that two-zero is the most dangerous lead, because now the psychology flips on its head. Now they go from thinking the game is nearly done to now scrambling a bit and I thought that goal was key, and I thought the second half it was one-way traffic, it was all us. Stats show that as well. We scored a great goal and had a bunch of chances and we should’ve won, we should’ve won. I think everyone knows that, everybody in the stadium, even their fans, even their coach, they know that. We should’ve. I think they’re feeling better with the point than we are. But I’m happy we came back from two goals down, I’m happy we’re fighting. Obviously, I’m disappointed that we didn’t get the three points and disappointed in the two goals in the first half.
On how the two goals happened in the first half
We went to a zone with a man-to-man on [Kendall] Waston and the reason for that is the matchups weren’t good. We would’ve had to have Harry [Harrison Afful] marking [Mathieu] Deplagne and we would’ve had to have Connor Maloney marking [Darren] Mattocks. So, we felt it was important to have our best headers in the most dangerous spots and then obviously match up Waston who is the key guy. Alex [Crognale] got dragged out a little bit, of the spot he was supposed to be in, and the ball went over his head and Mattocks was there to head it in.
On the first MLS match against FC Cincinnati
Yeah, I think it’s a very interesting game, exciting game. What a great crowd. I want to thank our supporters for coming out full force and giving all they had. It was the loudest game I’ve been a part of here as the head coach of the Columbus Crew. The supporters made me very proud. I had goosebumps before the whistle blew just looking at the crowd. They did their part today.
On the impact of Youness [Mokhatr], David [Accam] and Romario [Williams] coming off the bench
I mean, one thing, we went for it – obviously. We took off Connor [Maloney], we moved Pedro [Santos] to left back and pushed him on, basically, as a winger. Which meant now Youness [Mokhtar] was going to be a little bit more narrow and we obviously flipped those two, late – [David] Accam and him. I felt they brought the push. When you’re down 2-0, you got to take some risks. I didn’t think they rhythm was great in the end. You got to take risks, you got to push your lines high, you got to do what you need to when you’re down 2-0 and I thought we did what we needed to. I thought our adjustments were good at halftime. Obviously, we were the better team all second half. Re-watch those last ten minutes – I will tonight – and you’ll see it’s right there. Their [FC Cincinnati] goalkeeper stood on his head, he made two or three saves – I don’t know how he made them – and the one on the back post, what a great ball by Youness [Mohktar] and that’s a sitter, on a platter. I think with the guy slide tackling, last minute kind of threw Gyasi [Zardes] off but I haven’t watch it again. I thought it was in. I was ready to celebrate. I was ready to celebrate three or four times, to be honest with you. I mean, some of the saves – they’re in the net. I mean, the [David] Accam one that hits the post. My guys did everything they could to get the three points for our supporters. Everything. I’m real proud of them.
On what sets the rivalry against FC Cincinnati apart from the Toronto FC rivalry
It’s an in-state game. Obviously, when you have two cities and people that live in those cities, everybody wants to feel like their city is the best and that was the reason we wanted to leave this game with our supporters having three points. We wanted them on their Sunday to mow the lawn, take their family to the pool and feel like Columbus is the best in Ohio and I think based on performance they can feel that but not based on points – obviously. I think for anybody that was at the game, to see the battle, to see the intensity, to see four goals – I know that they’re going to be coming back after this game and I think anybody that wasn’t at the game will probably see highlights and hear about it from the people that were here and even though we didn’t get the three points, it was a very entertaining game and I think it was a good showcase for the sport and it’s great to have this rivalry.
On the two yellow card FC Cincinnati play
It’s disappointing. It’s a part of our sport I don’t love that they can just kill a game. That’s a professional foul – both of them. He’s [David Accam] in on a break-away and you know David Accam, when he’s running with the ball, one on one he’s going to create something. I think we have to do something about those type of situations because if you know you can just foul a guy and stop basically a goal scoring chance - he’s not the last man. So any foul when you’re not the last man, even though my view it was going to be a very good chance, it’s a professional foul, I don’t love it. I didn’t like where the ball was set because he set it on the first foul instead of 10 yards up on the second foul and obviously, I thought the last one was a handball as well. It is what it is. Maybe it evened out. I know it was a bit 50/50 on Gyasi’s [Zardes] PK as well. In the end, I thought the referee called a good game. Wasn’t an easy game to call. A lot of intensity in the match. Like I said, it was a lot of entertainment and I hope the fans were entertained. I hope they come back. We’ve got a big home game next weekend and we need just as many fans for that game and I promise if they come out like they did tonight, that we’ll deliver the three points, hopefully.
MIDFIELDER WIL TRAPP
On what Head Coach Caleb Porter told them at halftime
Yeah, I think he was just identifying some things that we can do better, of course. Giving up the two goals, like I said, was not ideal, but the fact that we got one back right before halftime was important and we always felt like we could score. Just trusting the plan and trusting the process.
On what he attributes Crew SC’s performance in the first 30-35 minutes of the match to
I think it wasn’t reading their pressure and it wasn’t reading the correct passes. I think we were too slow in possession. If we did play out of the back, we’re stopping the ball instead of moving it. We’re playing guys into situations where they can’t really play out. A big part of it is just reading the pressure and solving the solutions – or finding solutions rather – and I don’t think we did a good job of that.
On whether he sees tonight’s result as positive after a two-goal deficit, or as two points lots
I think you look at the chances down at the end and we felt like we should have won the game, so it feels more like a loss than it does a tie. Which is interesting when you’re down two goals, but we always felt like we could score and when G [Gyasi Zardes] buried the penalty right before halftime I think we felt good about it and we felt good coming to halftime thinking we could score going into the second half. And Pedro [Santos] scores an amazing goal and then at that point, you could see their heads drop and ours, we were certainly pushing. It was just unfortunate, the goalkeeper made some good saves, the defender makes an amazing slide to put G [Gyasi Zardes] off a little bit and those types of things happen but we just wish we could have put one more away.
On the atmosphere with over 20,000 fans at MAPFRE Stadium
As any time we have a full house here it’s always exciting, we get just more excitement, every play just feels just a little bit more important and I think going to the next game in Cincinnati, they’ll bring a great crowd as well and matches up well for a good game, for sure.
FORWARD GYASI ZARDES
On what he thinks of the Crew SC – FC Cincinnati rivalry
I think it’s great. I think it’s great for both cities – we both have MLS teams which is great for the state of Ohio – and I think as games go on, it’s just going to get better.
On what fans can expect from the next game in Cincinnati on August 25
I mean it’s a turf field, so we’ll just have to see what the coaches have planned and what they see from this game and how we can exploit them.
On tonight’s atmosphere at MAPFRE Stadium
It was an amazing atmosphere. The Columbus Crew fans out here tonight, thank you guys for coming out and supporting us, it was very electric, and we look forward to seeing you guys when we go down to Cincinnati.