Quote Sheet - What They're Saying After #RSLvFCD

FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez
General thoughts on tonight’s match
It’s not an easy place to play. We are right there with them at the table. There are a lot of things on the line, so they showed that. They took initiative in the first half. We were a bit fortunate, but you create that fortune with making plays, and defensively we had guys step up in the backline and our goalkeeper helped keep us in the game. I thought we reacted better after the first 20-30 minutes. We created a few chances ourselves, but I don’t think we reached or found more of our game until the second half when we were able to control spaces a little bit better defensively. We did play an open game in the second half. The first 20 minutes, we created better [chances] but we needed to secure ourselves defensively. That’s why we went with a line of 3 centerbacks to again control space, protect our box and protect the spacing behind. It’s an important point that I’m sure will make a difference at the end, but we have to move on quickly. We can’t be high or low. We just need to be steady and look forward at the opportunity we have to play home again.

On the decision to have Matt play off the bench and to start Jesus over Fafa…
Matt wasn’t clear to start medically or enough to play 90 minutes. He’s coming back from a hamstring, so it would have been a really high risk to start him. We knew we could either play him 20 to 30 minutes, so that was the decision based on medical support. He came in and he helped us, obviously, which you saw. With Jesús, we thought Jesús had a positive game and Fafa had a lot of great energy as well in the last game. We wanted to have Fafa come off the bench to close us. That was part of the tactic. We wanted to start Jesús. He was more of what we saw the other night which we thought was positive. He’s a little more false and gives Ryan a little more space to attack, but we made a modification at the half to just have a little more vertical option with energy and that was the idea. Fafa came in with energy and helped us. 

On the locker room talk to get team momentum going in the second half...
I obviously felt RSL’s [momentum] at home and they are pushing the game and pushing to beat us. I felt we were a little reactive with second balls, so they were playing pretty direct and winning any second balls and creating attacking chances at top of our box and near our box. We have to be a little more aware to read second balls and third ball moments and I thought we did that much better in the second half. The other was just to organize ourselves better. If we are going to press, we need to press together. If we are going to midblock, we need to drop, drop off and reorganize, and be compact. Just making it a little clearer that in these key moments without the ball, what are we doing? We cannot spread. We cannot have loose lines. We need to be compact, narrow and deny entry passes and again, I thought we did much better in the second half.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer
On playing in the altitude
It’s an added challenge. Guys can start feeling heavy lungs, start burning and you don’t feel the same. That’s what a goalkeepers job is. I need to be there to help out when things aren’t going well and tonight I was able to do that in some key moments that helped us stay in the game in the first half. The guys played great in the second and I didn’t have to do too much of that. That’s the thing, as a team, we all step up when it needs to be done and lean on each other. Maybe we’re not having the best day so that what its about 

How he’s feeling and what happened during the halftime talk…..
I feel good. I’ve played a lot of games in my career and in the squad. We had a good couple days of training and we’re always working on things. We had a good couple of days and solid conversations within the group where we were all feeling good. You step into a game and you never know what’s coming. You have to be as ready as possible and ready to let your body react and be as focused as you can. It went my way tonight with some of the saves. 

Halftime we were talking about things we could do better to try and change the game and get some more chances going forward, get a little bit more control of the game and not be pinned back so much and be giving away so many chances and we were able to to do that.

Again, it wasn’t our best game overall but in the second half we were able to expand a bit and not be so locked into our box and push them back. We had a couple of great chances and we were able to get Fafa in and use his speed. We changed the game in the second half and gave ourselves a bit better chance. At the end of the day we come away with a solid point.

FC Dallas midfielder Michael Barrios
General thoughts on tonight’s match…
We knew it was going to be a difficult match with the weather, the field, the team, the altitude. The important part was that the team was focused from the first minute until the final whistle. We had some positive moments, but there are still things to improve on. We had some chances that we didn’t finish. But we got an important point tonight, that’s very valuable. Now it’s time to rest and spend some time with family tomorrow before we start to train again on Monday for our match against Inter Miami. 

On what was missing in tonight’s match to get a win…
I thought the team was very concentrated. We had chances, but we need to finish them and that’s what’s missing. If we scored a goal, we could have won the game. But like I mentioned earlier, we got an important point on the road that is keeping us in the playoff run and keeps some distance between Real Salt Lake in the standings. Now we have the chance to play two matches at home and we hope we can take advantage of them.

On the altitude and weather affecting the match…
Yes, the weather and altitude do affect the match at the beginning. I think you were able to see that in the first half, but in the second half we adapted to the altitude. We played better, attacked more and we were able to hold on to the shutout. 

On returning to the field…
Happy to be back with my teammates. As a player, one always wants to be part of the matches, but last match I had to watch it from home due to my yellow card accumulation. But I managed to stay positive throughout that time and I worked hard for the next opportunity to be with the team again. Today I had the chance to be in the lineup and I tried to give it my all. Even though things might not go a certain way, I do my best to give it my all and today we had a big match and earned an important point.