NEW YORK RED BULLS vs. COLORADO RAPIDS
March 15, 2014 AT RED BULL ARENA
COLORADO RAPIDS HEAD COACH PABLO MASTROENI
On his first game as a head coach:
It was good. I think the guys played well. I think they were organized and I think that six weeks of preseason was validated with a good point here on the road.
On the referee’s decision calling for a penalty kick for Colorado:
If it’s against you it’s a tough call. If it’s for you you’re OK with it. I think referees are out of our control. We can talk in circles about it but what I like to focus on is the guys, the attitude, the performance and the way they came out and played.
On the performance of the team’s young players:
We have a lot of young guys out on the field. I think for a guy like Dillon Serna, in his debut as a starter in Major League Soccer and a lot of second year players out there…and I think coming in to Red Bull Arena against some of the players that they have and what they accomplished last year it’s something to be in awe of… I think once they settled in they put in a decent performance.
COLORADO RAPIDS MIDFIELDER DILLON SERNA
On playing the full 90 minutes:
I felt pretty strong. Obviously, I got my debut last year and only played like 15 minutes. Getting the start today was unbelievable and I’m just excited for the home opener next weekend.
On his chemistry with teammate Shane O’Neill who he played with growing up:
Yeah, I think we definitely have chemistry. We played together with U-20s as well so I think there’s definitely chemistry there playing on the same side of the field.
On getting a point on the road against the defending Supporter’s Shield winners.
We were pushing for the three points but last year at the end of the season, a point is going to make you or break you. So a point coming out of here is huge.
COLORADO RAPIDS GOALKEEPER JOHN BERNER
On getting his first MLS start:
Amazing. It was an amazing experience. Something I’ll never forget for sure.
On giving up his first MLS goal to Thierry Henry:
You know going into it – you see the guys on the filed you’re playing against – it’s a dream come true to play with these guys. You get scored on by him…I’ll always remember it for sure.
His assessment of the team’s first game of the season:
Obviously, we wanted to come in and every game we want the three points. I think we have some things to improve on. But I think getting a point at New York for their home opener-- I think we’re all right with it.
NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH MIKE PETKE
On team’s performance in 1-1 draw with Colorado Rapids:
First 20-25 minutes I was very happy with our start. Our pressure was all over them and we didn’t give them anything. Perhaps we got a little bit tired; we got a little bit stretched. The second half was an unfortunate goal for us to give up and at times we lacked creativity and imagination. Having said that there (were) a couple of goals to be had, we just weren’t able to get the winner.
On penalty kick awarded to Colorado in the 72nd minute:
I’m not going to say anything about the call. That’s the game. What am I going to say about the penalty kick? Perhaps if the guy was (Jamison) Olave’s size maybe he wouldn’t have went down like that. Olave looked to step up, stand his ground, keep it in front of him and the referee made a decision. It’s unfortunate for us. Fortunate for Colorado and you move on from it.
On performance of replacement referees:
I think it’s no different than the last 13 years. There’s always calls you agree with and there’s always calls you disagree with, period. I’m not questioning, I’m not criticizing whatsoever. The yellow card on Armando, I could be completely wrong and everyone here could disagree with me, but he jumped up, was the first to win the ball, then the opponent jumps up into his arms and he gets a yellow for that. Again it’s one of those things where perhaps he saw something I didn’t. The referees aren’t the issue with anything today.
On how team has responded after conceding a harsh goal in both games this season:
We started the game for the first 20 minutes exactly how we wanted to and how we wanted to play the game. We weren’t able to maintain it, whether it be a physical thing or a mental thing. We didn’t give them much the first 15-20 minutes we played in their end. The only thing I was worried about in the first part of the first half was perhaps we were being a bit too aggressive. Defensively we could’ve been exposed to the counter. Aside from that there were bits and pieces from then on in, there were periods of good stuff and there were periods of very good stuff. Overall at home, a point, I’d much rather three but it’s the second game of the season, 32 to go.
On performance of Lloyd Sam:
He’s head and shoulders above where he was last year at this time. Came in with a good attitude, worked hard and he focused on what we want out of him as a right-sided midfielder. I’m very happy with Lloyd.
On performance of the back line:
One thing I’m happy about the defense today is that they were in sync defensively, in Vancouver they weren’t. We worked a lot this week on holding the line, stepping up together, dropping together, and working off each other and for the most part it was good. I’m happy with them. It was a good response for us to go out, for specific positions on the field, for defense it was a good response out of them.
On what the biggest issue was between a draw and a win against the Rapids:
Lack of creativity, lack of imagination and unfortunate not to put away some of the chances we had. At the end of the day the first two teams we’ve played the average age is somewhere around 27, 26, 25 maybe I’m pushing the button. You could see, from Vancouver to here, the work rate that these teams put in. I’ve said it all along from last year to now to our guys, in this league you have to match the work rate and the intensity. After that, the better team wins. The talent rises usually. We’re behind the eight ball, these guys (Colorado) worked hard today, Vancouver last week, we had periods where we worked hard and dipped. Like you said a little bit of a lack of creativity and imagination and at the day it’s the second game of the season, so we’ll move on from here.
On Pablo Mastroeni’s coaching debut and similarities between the two of them:
I can’t judge him off of one game but knowing Pablo as well as I do, his team at times really reflected the type of person he is. All in, fiery, hardworking and Pablo has some talent there too. I know what he’s going through, we recently spoke over the last week, I’ll probably grab a beer with him in the locker room after this and we’ll talk some more. I know exactly what he’s going through and there’s going to be ups and downs for him, and today I guess you could look at it from their standpoint and say it was an up.
NEW YORK RED BULLS GOALKEEPER LUIS ROBLES
On penalty call:
From my vantage point I feel like the defender has his right to stand his ground, but I’m guessing my angle is the probably not the best angle because I see the back of (Jamison) Olave. I spoke to the ref afterwards and he said “he was too physical coming from behind him” and I have to respect that.
On replacement referees:
There’s been some chatter but for the most part it is just part of the game we have to face right now. I feel like for the most part they have done a good job. I hope we get our referees in there as soon as possible and I hope they end up getting what it is they are looking for, but, it hasn’t been something we think about or even talk about too much.
On the team’s defensive effort during today’s game:
It was nice having Olave back, he is a huge defensive presence for us and he did a good job organizing, and it’s really tough to be him one-on-one, so that’s something we took advantage of today. Esepcially because they have really fast guys, so having him back there to plug in the middle was huge for us today.
On the amount of shots he has faced in the first two games:
I feel like there have been a lot of opportunities but they haven’t necessarily been as threatening. If Olave plays it well and pushes him all the way to the side and he still gets a shot off, we have the advantage there. Those are the chances we gave up today, for the most part. The defensive line was solid, and I think one of the biggest things that we can take from this game is that, since we are a work in progress, there were more positives today than negatives. If we continue in that direction I think our trajectory is pretty good.
On the team’s 0-1-1 start:
I feel like we were in a similar position last year, right, and it worked out all right. So, it’s a 34 game season and I would much rather we sort out some of our insufficiencies right now, and I think that was the theme last year. If we can peak at the right time, which we did, then we will be a much more dangerous team into the end of the season then, say, the middle of the season.
NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER LLOYD SAM
On his performance as well as the team’s performance overall:
Well we drew 1-1 so that’s all that’s on my mind right now, like that should have been three points I think and after going one-nil up, to give that away. So, it doesn’t really matter how I played because we got to win games, especially at home.
On if the team gave the game away:
Yeah, I’ll tell you we gave it away. We shouldn’t even put that up to question to be a call. There was no real danger at the time. Obviously it’s done now and we got one point. It’s not good enough.
On the penalty on Jamison Olave and what he saw:
It’s one of those that sometimes they [the referees] give it, sometimes they don’t. Maybe outside the box they’ll give it more than inside the box, but it was given and we shouldn’t even put that up to debate.
On his assist on Thierry Henry’s goal:
Where I had the ball I knew that if I put it towards the back post there would be a couple of guys there. In my head I would have thought Tim [Cahill] before Thierry, but I was happy that he converted it.
On how he feels playing this season:
A year ago at this time I wasn’t even fit. I wasn’t ready to be a part of the team, really and truly, but I was trying to get through it. So, he’s [Mike Petke] right, I’m much further ahead than last year.
NEW YORK RED BULLS FORWARD THIERRY HENRY
On the match:
I thought it was a fair result. After all, they [Colorado Rapids] played well. We didn’t do enough to win the game, so just have to go back and work harder.
On the penalty on Jamison Olave:
On the team’s defense:
I think the team defended better.
On if there is panic in the locker room:
No there’s no panic. Like I said to you, we have to go back to the film next week and do better because it wasn’t obviously enough to win the game today. But yeah, we were in that situation last year. We wanted to start better, but we obviously as you saw didn’t. It’s going to be a tough game against Chicago [Fire] next week, so we have to prepare for that.
On why the team seemed to lose its energy after the first 10-15 minutes:
I don’t know. We have to see what happened in the game and work on it next week.
On Lloyd Sam’s play:
It’s a team effort, man. I keep on saying it. You know, some people are going to shine sometimes, some won’t and that’s the way it is. At the end of the day it’s got to be a team effort. Overall, I don’t think we did badly today, but we didn’t do enough to win the game.
On what the team can do better next week:
We’re going to have to work and talk to each other and we’ll see next week.
REFEREE ALAN KELLY (FROM MLS POOL REPORTER)
What was your view of the penalty?
Yeah I saw a challenge from behind from the defender [Jamison Olave] on the attacker [Marvin Chavez].
And the second question you had in terms of did he [Olave] initiate the contact? Yes, he did. That’s pretty much it. I don’t mean to be blunt, but in terms of the questions that’s the straightforward answers I can give.
The attacker was stationary and Olave charged into him?