Pablo Mastroeni, Colorado Rapids Head Coach
On the effectiveness of the performance in the second half:
Today they found a way to shut that team out in the second half. You can’t teach that. You don’t work on that – you can talk tactics and techniques all you want, but on a given day, with emotions running high, [Vancouver] wanting to score a goal and wanting to get back in the game, the resiliency of the group and their ability to stick together, and work through those tough times, was tremendous today.
On the players working hard throughout the match:
I don’t know any other way. Those players, every game we’ve played this year, have come off the field exhausted. And that’s why we’ve been managing them through the week as best we can, to try to recover. We know the type of effort they’ve put forth, not only physically, but it’s draining to have to communicate, it’s draining to have to think and conceptualize ideas that are foreign to them. I think today, coming off an MLS break and a couple weeks of not playing MLS competition, to be able to respond like they did was a step in the right direction for the group.
On the performances on the wings of Marvell Wynne and Chris Klute:
Huge. If you want to get forward, you’ve got to make them defend. And the only way to make them defend is for your guys that are typically more defensive-minded to move forward in the attack. Now you have attacking-minded players [on the opposition] having to defend, and they’re not very good at that across the league, across the world. They don’t want to do that. I think Marv and Klute did a really good job of that in the first half, of putting them on their heels and creating imbalances in the midfield, releasing Vicente and Deshorn and Powers and Kamani, and I think a part of that was the stability that Nicky [LaBrocca] and Wattsy [Jared Watts] provided in the midfield, allowing guys to get forward. That was a focus this week, I think they executed it to a T, and again, the will to want to get forward, and the success they’re having when they’re doing it, validated all the work.
Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids midfielder
On the game overall:
I think it was a very important win coming off the break. We wanted to start off on the right foot getting three points especially at home against a conference team. That was big. Going into the game we wanted to have a strong defensive performance. A team defensive performance. I think getting the two goals helped us really focus on the defensive side, and I think we were successful today.
On Vicente Sánchez’s return:
Vicente brings not just quality to the lineup but he brings a lot of confidence for everyone around him. He brings the whole team up. So stepping up for that penalty kick we knew he was going to score. It’s nice to have another guy that can unlock the game in there.
On looking towards Friday’s game and 4THFEST:
We’re extremely excited about the 4th. We’ve got one less day of rest but it’s one of our favorite games and we know it’s one of our fans’ favorite games so we’re looking forward to a really packed out.
Shane O’Neill, Colorado Rapids defender
On the defensive performance:
We went in with a game plan for Vancouver. We knew they had some good speed up top, with Hurtado and Mattocks, and I think we executed perfectly tonight. The first half we were really smart, kept the ball really well, but in the second half it was more of a grind, just trying to battle it out. We did that. The communication on the backline was huge tonight, it was a lot better, and I think going forward that has to be the standard. If that’s the case, I think we might go on a good run here.
On getting Marvell Wynne and Chris Klute to attack up the wings:
It was an emphasis for us, especially in the second half. They had a lot of room out there. It was good from Wattsy [Jared Watts] and Nicky [LaBrocca] to find them out there. I think we could have found them even a little more, I think that would’ve taken off a little pressure in the second half, because obviously we were under quite a bit of pressure. But we held out, we got the clean sheet. We had kind of forgotten what that felt like, so it was good to get one tonight and get the confidence back.
On how to repeat this performance:
Just communication along the back line, asking the same from each other as we did tonight. In the last 15 minutes, we were all just fighting for each other. I think if we do that, first half it’s all about controlling the game, setting the tempo, possessing. Second half you just have to grind it out. As playoffs approach, these games get tight and the defense has to step up.
Carl Robinson, Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach
On whether the Wednesday game against Montreal affected play today:
Maybe, but I think they played Tuesday as well so I’m not going to use that as an excuse. Obviously we know it’s altitude and the pitch was slow but I think they deserved on the day so I’m not going to use that excuse.
On what went wrong in the first half:
Lots. I think we sat up to try to keep possession of the ball a little bit better. That happened in certain stages but we took away our threat and then we give away two bad goals. At the end of the day if you look at both goals, the lead up to them has not been great with not right positioning. We switch off and then allow [Powers] to turn in the box and shoot through two legs. And the second goal was a penalty which I’m not complaining about. It’s a blatant penalty, but a miscommunication between Nigel [Reo-Coker] and David [Ousted].
On what he sees from the team in the last two games (a loss and a scoreless tie):
I think we could play better. We know that. Obviously everyone will look at the result and I said to you all along that we’re going to win games we don’t deserve to win and we’re going to lose games where we probably don’t deserve to as well. Today, I don’t think we deserved to win the game. We probably got what we deserved, and we’ll go back to work.
Nigel Reo-Coker, Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender
On losing their first match in nine games:
If you look at the whole season so far we’ve lost three games out of 15. That’s not bad. We’re disappointed. Every team around the world has spells like this. Even the top teams. Manchester United, Liverpool, you name it. They go through a spell in the season where they might lose one or two games and we’re just going through it now. There’s so much believe and confidence in this team right now that we’ll definitely bounce back. That’s going to be the real sign and the test of how good of a team we are and I do believe that we will bounce back.
On whether they were outperformed by Colorado:
I don’t really think that we were truly outperformed. We gave away two poor goals and they didn’t really create too many chances. I don’t think they dominated possession in our half at all. We had good possession. I think the one thing that we can be disappointed about today is that we gave the ball away too easily in certain areas. We should have worked harder to keep it better in certain areas. But like I said, you’re going to get games like that in the season. For us this is the first real bad patch of bad ones. At least three games so far, 15 games into the season, is still a great place to be.
On what happened that caused the penalty kick:
I just think it was a miscommunication between myself and David [Ousted]. I saw David coming out and then we kind of hesitated amongst each other and no one really took command of the full situation.
Medhi Ballouchy, Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder
On how it feels to play again after his injury:
Happy to be back. It’s been a long time out. Tough game though. I’m still disappointed we’ve lost and I’m looking forward to keep contributing. It’s unbelievable to be able to get in and be around a real soccer game. It’s been a long time. When you [tear] your ACL and come back, and then [re-tear] it again, and these are long terms injuries. A lot of players don’t really come back from those. Sometimes it’s mental and sometimes it’s physical. For me it’s been a steep, steep hill, and I’m finally at the top and I’m playing. I’m happy that I’m playing but I’m disappointed that we lost.
On approaching his 200th MLS game:
Little things. I think I bring hard work every day. I think you guys can see it in training, I try to do it quietly and sometimes it rubs off. I think that’s where we’re at at this moment. I think we need to get back to the simple things – work really hard and stick together, make sure we do the right things, and look forward to the next game, one game at a time.