Jared Watts against SKC
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Colorado vs. Sporting KC - Postgame Quotes

Colorado Rapids 2 : 3 Sporting Kansas City
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

Pablo Mastroeni, Colorado Rapids Head Coach
On how he views the team’s progress:
I think we’re not too far away. Obviously it’s early in the season, but I think the guys put up a fight. We had similar formations, similar mindsets, both teams trying to press and win field advantage, no one giving up the field advantage very easily, and it was a cagey affair. It’s a great game to build on, there’s a lot of positives that came out of that game, and obviously some things that we need to correct moving forward.

On giving up three goals:
Those goals weren’t, I think, a reflection of the big picture. I think they were, again, lapses in concentration. I don’t think they had the run of play, I don’t think they were overwhelmingly pressuring us by any stretch of the imagination. I think there was three instances where we were just not focused. But again, I think the defensive performance was brilliant, they limited the chances of a team that finds themselves creating more chances than their opponents and I think today our team did a really good job battling hard.

On Kansas City being opportunistic:
I think they found a way, and that’s what good, experienced, seasoned pros do. They find ways in games that aren’t offering you much. They’ve got some wily vets on that team, they dug down deep. Listen, we helped them out a little bit, going down a man in the latter part. It wasn’t ideal for us. But again, the response from the guys, and the battling hard – there’s some things to correct, but the overall feeling for the game for me was a group of guys battling hard for one another against a good team.

On Jared Watts’ performance:
I asked the guy if he could slide into left back. He’s probably never played left back in his life, and we have no left-footed guy on the bench, at the moment we’re plagued with a bit of injuries, and he said absolutely. This guy’s going to be around for many, many years, he’s so versatile, can play a load of positions, he brings a lot of heart and passion to every game, every practice. So really pleased with his performance, along with the rest of the guys. The guys up front made it really hard for [Kansas City] to play easy balls, the guys in the midfield battled their tails off, and the guys in the back, for the most part, limited [KC] to few chances.

On whether switching Watts to left back was on the fly:
Yes it was on the fly. We could have gone a couple of different ways with it, but [Watts] being in the game that was going 100 miles an hour, I felt it was an easier transition than putting someone that’s going from the bench to a game that’s going to be an absolute dogfight and having him adjust in such a short period. I think Watts did a great job.

On taking Marc Burch out:
He came out with an injury, he couldn’t go anymore. I think it was a contusion to the calf, or something with his calf and a strain, I’m not sure. I just know he couldn’t go, so the next guy was up.

On Marvell Wynne being unavailable next week:
We won’t have a few of the guys next week. But every team deals with this, this isn’t unique to us. There’s no feeling sorry for ourselves, it’s just getting after it. We’ve got plenty of guys in that locker room that are dying for an opportunity and the guys that stepped in battled hard as well. It’s an opportunity for new guys to step up and stake a claim for their position on this team and I’m excited about next week.

On his philosophy with playing rookies:
They need to get experience at some point and I’m running a team here. I don’t have 11, I don’t have 12, I don’t have 20, I have 30 players and every player that’s here is here because they’re good enough to be on that field. And if they’re not, then they’re not going to be on this team. I feel comfortable playing every single player on the roster. Those are decisions that are made game to game and I don’t look at them like rookies. I look at them like capable professional soccer players and if you’re on the 18, it’s not because I don’t believe in you. I tell them that “if you’re here it’s because I believe in you and I’m showing it. I’ll keep doing it, and it doesn’t matter if you’re 39, 40 years old. Same thing as the first years. If you’re a player you’re a player, and if you can get the job done, age doesn’t really matter.

On whether or not Clint Irwin will be selected next week:
I think he’s coming to fitness and that’s going to be another choice. Then we’re going to turf, a couple of the guys don’t do well on turf. I hope we’ll have enough to field a team for next week – I’m opportunistic. We’ll find a way. We’re a team and we’ll find a way to put the pieces right. I think the overall mindset, the way we approach the game and the way we handle it, we didn’t sit back and let [ourselves] be scared of the MLS champs. I think that says a lot about the resolve and the character in that locker room. I’m excited about moving forward. It was a great learning experience for us and we’ll take this one and move forward.

Drew Moor, Colorado Rapids defender
On the game overall and the loss:
We had a completely different back four than when we started the game. But at the same time, I needed to get tighter on their third goal. The second goal was kind of a free header in the box, you know, a lack of concentration. We didn’t deal with their couple chances as well as we should have.

On Jared Watts’s performance:
Jared was great today. He’s a very, very good player. He’s got a lot of years ahead of him for sure. Today was a good test for him and he played extremely well. Obviously difficult situation, having to move to left back which is not his normal position. But he’s a utility type guy who can cover in spaces like that. And he did well when he moved out there but he definitely deserves some praise for this game. He was great.

On missed opportunities in the first half:
Yeah it’s a funny game sometimes. But at the same time, we still took the lead in the second half. The header was just…the ball was in the sun pretty much the entire time so I didn’t get a good look at it. There were a couple other half chances for us in the first half that if we put away, it might be a different story. But even in the second half after giving up the goal, we did well to get back in the game and even to take the lead again. It was just a crazy second half.

On the second half:
Yeah, I think we played well in the second half. I don’t think they had a whole lot of chances in the second half. We had them pinned in a bit. Could have taken maybe a couple more chances and we gave up a couple goals that a team like Kansas City is going to come in here and work for and their going to earn goals like that. We’re disappointed in ourselves for not dealing with it well enough.

On Dom Dwyer’s four goals in the last three games against the Rapids:
His goal today was just a blast. I needed to get closer to him but he’s a good player. He’s good inside the box. He’s deadly; he’s got a good left foot. And that’s something to be aware of the next time we play him. 

Jared Watts, Colorado Rapids midfielder
On feeling nerves in his professional debut:
There were, a little bit. The first time maybe I just wanted to make a tackle, get a header, do something simple to find my way in the game. I didn’t want to force it too early, I just wanted to find my way in the game. Whatever the game asked me to do, I just wanted to do that. So there were definitely a couple nerves maybe before the whistle blew but once I was out there, touched the ball and started doing simple things, communicating with the guys, I felt fine. It felt like another game.

On how he evaluates his performance:
I’d just say it’s disappointing first with the loss. That’s the biggest thing. For me, I’m not really concerned about the way I played if we didn’t get the win. So that’s disappointing. At the same time, it’s a moment that I’ll always remember in my career. It was a special day for sure. To be able to make your MLS debut in a home like Colorado with these great fans against the defending champs, I don’t think you could ask for much more, obviously besides getting the win. It was a hard fought game – it’s tough, we’ve got to move on and now we’ve got to focus on Vancouver next week.

On whether he had ever played left back before being moved there in the second half:
No, I haven’t. Obviously difficult circumstances but what I wanted to do was just come in, any way I can help the team. No matter what that meant, what position, I was just going to do whatever was asked of me. I didn’t mind making the transition back there, just trying to adjust. Obviously it’s a tough opponent to do that to. You’ve got to give credit to them, that they fought hard. It was a tough game. But I thought sliding out there wasn’t too bad for the first time, especially against the defending champs. It was a good learning experience for sure.

On being told to play left back:
It was a quick break in the game, I was over there getting a drink I think, and just talking with Pablo, he was like ‘we’re going to slide you in at left back’ and get someone else in there. He was just trying to make adjustments and I was just going to – whatever he asked me or wanted me to do, I was going to do it. Didn’t question him or anything like that, just wanted to do that and help any way I could.