Smith: "We controlled large portions"
Rapids Head Coach Gary Smith
On the game…
“We could have been 2-nil up in five minutes. The two very best chances of the game, I thought, for both sides. The one that was flashed across the box and Conor slides in on, I think is a fabulous opportunity, and of course Omar’s header from the corner. So, on another night, we could have got off to a fine start and my nerves wouldn’t have been jangling as much as they were, at the end.
But again, I thought we well deserved the win. We controlled large portions of the first period. As expected, they are a good side, they started to shift the momentum and take some sting out of the game as the game unfolded in the first period. But all the best chances went our way, I felt.
Second period, they had the elements and showed a little bit more ambition going forward. Once the goal was scored, I just felt we were a tad tentative. On one or two occasions we tried to overplay it a little bit.
But all in all, a wonderful result, and I’m mostly happy that Conor scored a terrific goal in open play.
On Conor Casey and his goal…
“He is an extremely difficult guy to deal with, because he has that combination of physical strength and good mobility. You combine that with some very good technique, and tonight he is up there for his very best performance of the season. Not just for the goal, I thought his overall play was excellent.”
"It is the mark of the individual, given his baron run of goal scoring. On an occasion where he breaks free and finds a chance and an opportunity, he chips the goalkeeper. There are not too many people who would have the audacity to try that.
It, again, reflects the quality of the player, and the technical ability of the individual. He does things that are quite mindboggling, that I am not sure people are expecting. It was a wonderful finish and a true game-winning goal."
"For the players this is a big confidence boost and something they can push on with. With another clean sheet tonight, they can draw an awful lot from that. They are more than capable against the best sides to be creative and to keep the defensive side tight. You have to remember this group is in a transition in terms of formations and shape and they are still creating chances that we still need to improve on, but also making it difficult on other teams.”
“I think he (Conor Casey) come up with one that none of us were expecting. It is a fabulous goal and a worthy match-winning goal. And on top of that I thought his performance overall was up there with his best in general play this season.
Everything that is played into his body, it sticks. He is bringing other players into the play and buying us some time to allow the midfield to join him. His ability to switch the point of attack has improved enormously. And deservedly he got Man of the Match and hopefully it give him confidence moving forward.”
Rapids FWD Conor Casey
On his goal…
“I think Omar (Cummings) put me in (the box) and I got tangled up with the defender. I saw that Kasey (Keller) had come off his line so I looked to go to the back post with my shot and it found its way in. It’s been a whiles since I scored in the run of play, so it felt good for sure.”
On the win…
“We haven’t had a league game in a couple weeks so to win these last two, it helps us gain some momentum. This year we have played well and sometimes without the win coming so it is good to play well as a team and get that win.”
Rapids DEF Pablo Mastroeni
On the team’s form of late…
“We have established ourselves as a decent possession team this year and when we move the ball quickly we find each other in good spots. That is critical to our play- that we move the ball quickly. If you are going to take someone on, make that decision before you receive the ball and like-wise when you are going to pass the ball, know where you are going with the ball.
I think today we did a good job of moving the ball quickly, which gave the next guy a couple more seconds. Those seconds add up over time and give you that much more time to think and make good decisions. There are a lot of thing we are still working on but for the most part I think we are quit content with the way we are moving the ball.”