post-match quotes - 10.3.20

POST-MATCH QUOTES | FC Dallas 2 - 2 Columbus Crew SC | Oct. 3, 2020

Head Coach Caleb Porter

Opening statement

Yeah, I'm really proud of my team, you know, the way we play that second half with all the adversity we were dealing with guys dropping like flies injury-wise, an official who, you know, I've been vocal, I'm not a fan of; he's never going to help me. That was the case again, and our guys just never gave in, they kept fighting, they kept working, they kept grinding, they rolled their sleeves up. Whether we would have won the game, drew the game or lost the game, I would have been proud of this group. The second half, the character they showed, the personality they showed, the aggression they played with, that's the way we need to play. That's our game: relentless and, you know, intensity. I thought we pushed on, we pressed, we disrupted them, we won the ball high, we attacked with purpose and we have to do that more. First half I didn't think was bad, but just not quite aggressive enough. Still, I think there are times, especially in the first half, where we have to finish our chances, you know, and [it was] unlucky to give up the goal, but the guys just, again, rolled their sleeves up and they didn't sit and pout or hang their heads at halftime. They knew the task at hand and they went to work, and I was really pleased and proud of the group. Two games on the road: It's always good to stop the losing streak. We've not lost two in a row the entire year, so it's great to get that draw on the road. I thought we'd get the win and now we go back at home. The mindset has to be and the goal is three points.

On the team raising their level of intensity in the second half of the match

Yeah, when you have a team, where when you need more, and you get more, you have to bottle that. This group has a special quality. We talk a lot about system and tactics and, you know, we pride ourselves on being organized and then playing a very detailed style of play. But I'm telling you … the desire is the most important thing. That's the edge: the desire and just that aggression in the duels, that purpose on the ball. We're always organized, we always have a good shape in the attack and defensively but within that, we have to be more aggressive defensively winning duels. We're always around it, but when we actually go and we get body contact and we put our foot in and tackle, then we turn the team over and it creates a transition … and we did that second half. First half, we're there, we just don't go and tackle enough in those moments. And then on the ball, when we move the ball quick, and we play forward and we have that purpose to goal, we're very difficult to stop. So we have to clone that second half. That's the way we want to play. I thought we would win the game... I really did. But even if we lost, I would have been proud of the group. For me, if we play that way, we're going to win a lot of games. So, we have we have to keep trying to get a 90-minute performance just like that.

On Pedro Santos and other players stepping into their roles

Yeah, he's [Pedro Santos] been outstanding for me since I've been here and he's had to play different roles, and he's playing basically a holding-mid today and he's played left, he's played right, he's played the 10 … one game last year at the end he was playing left-back. So he's a guy that just … can play different positions, and he works so hard. I thought actually he would find a goal at the end there. He got some really good spots and just missed that final ball and that finish, but again, we'll take the result. We didn't come here for the point, but we'll take it. Obviously, it sets up the home game nicely. We just have to take care of business in that next game. I also thought key to the match, honestly, was Aidan Morris coming into the game. I thought he gave us... when I talk about duels and ball winning, that's an important part of any team. We're good when we have the ball, but if we don't win the ball, then we don't have it enough. I thought there were times where our shape was good first half, but we never won the ball and we let [FC] Dallas have it too much. So, having a ball winner on the field, or an extra ball winner on the field, I think helped us. I don't have the numbers, but I'm willing to bet that he was one of the highest guys in winning duels certainly in the second half. So, unbelievable [for] a young kid to go in there and to do that. I'm real pleased with him today .. and Emma [Boateng] as well. Emma I thought was a real spark when he went in to the game.

Midfielder Pedro Santos

On intensity and focus during first 20 minutes of the second half

Yeah we spoke in the locker room and we thought we needed to... we should've been more aggressive, you know, because we are, we were down one-zero and we want to press high to get up early in the second half, and I think we started the second half better because we scored a goal, we become aggressive. We were more aggressive in the second half and I think it changes, a little bit, the game for our side, and it was lucky for us to get one point from here.

On his confidence going into spots where he can produce positive results

I always try to do my best for the team. Wherever I play in the right, the middle, on the left, I will try to help my teammates and I'm feeling very comfortable right now and I feel like playing really good soccer. So every time I move to the number 10, I know my job and my teammates know that I can help the team and I'm happy because I'm scoring goals, I'm creating the opportunities for my teammates and I'm doing assists, too, so I just want to get this performance and help my team every game.

Midfielder Aidan Morris

On his mindset entering the match in the second half, team’s intensity in the second half

It was unfortunate about Lucas [Zelarayan], but a coach told me what I needed to do and I tried to go out there and do my best to kind of follow the instructions he was giving me at half time; he always tells me to be ready. But yeah, just bring the intensity and kind of just read the flow the game and also go in there and win duels and be aggressive.

On the team’s response during a short turnaround before the next few matches

I think the main thing would be, I think all clubs around the country do it, it's just recovery. It's getting your players back in and kind of letting them physically rest but more importantly, just mentally kind of decompress. Now, we're just focusing on the next game. It's not just physical, but it's just kind of getting the tactics right and being ready for the game, like I said, mentally and physically. So, it is difficult the quick turnarounds, but it's important to get back out there into the facility and kind of sharpen up and be ready for the next game.

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