Pablo Mastroeni, Kevin Doyle react to Colorado Rapids' draw vs. Columbus Crew SC

The Colorado Rapids' Saturday night match against the Columbus Crew in Columbus, Ohio ended in a 1-1 draw. Following the draw, head coach Pablo Mastroeni, defender Axel Sjoberg and forward Kevin Doyle spoke with the media about the match, the season and much more.

PABLO MASTROENI

On his overall thoughts on the match against Columbus…

I think it was a good result. We had two tough games, one against Real Salt Lake, our biggest rivals, KC [Sporting Kansas City], a team that will leave you on fumes after a game. Coming here to a place where this team plays really well at home and usually has unlimited chances on goal, I think tonight we stepped up, had a great game plan, the guys executed and we got a good point on the road.

On what the team is doing to continue their unbeaten streak…

Again, the guys are playing well. But I think, more importantly, they believe. I said to them today, ‘I don’t believe in things mystically happening. I believe that you are in life where you are because you’ve worked to get to the point.’ That is a spirited group that fights hard for each other, that believes in one another, that plays good football and believes that we should be where we are in the standings. Regardless if we are at home or away, the type of demands that they place on each other is the reason why they can grind out results like that.

On why it is difficult to get three points on the road…

I think when you concede first, it’s always difficult in this league. I think the last couple of games we have conceded first on the road. At home, we haven’t conceded first. I think that’s the key in this league—to score first. When you score first, good things happen. Obviously I think we had a couple more chances today that could’ve turned up, but again, that’s football.

AXEL SJOBERG

On his thoughts on the match…

It was a very big point for us on the road. We really got after it today and tried to high-press the game against a good Columbus team. So, it was going to be a challenge the entire game and it really was but I think we really pulled it together, especially in the second half and made a good push forward and then managed to keep them out from scoring at the end.

On how the recent games and traveling affected the match…

We knew we had a little bit of heavy legs but at the same time it’s all about mentality and if you put your mind to it. That’s what Pablo talked about before the game and that’s what we did. We just went out there and despite the heavy legs and despite having played two games and having traveled yesterday. There’s a lot of factors and a lot of things where we could have just given up a little bit. Especially when they scored the first goal, but we’re a resilient team and we’re building on it. Everyone just decided let’s go for this, keep running, let’s keep pressing, let’s go for it.

On how the game plan changed after Kei Kamara was traded…

It didn’t really. We focus on ourselves, honestly. Everyone obviously found out about what happened and he’s a good forward, but we’re going to face him when he plays for New England. So I didn’t really consider it. We prepare for every game no matter who’s on the field, so we just focus on ourselves.

 

KEVIN DOYLE

On coming from behind to draw on the road again…

I think that it’s the end to a great week for us. We entered the week with three games when they only had two but it was going to be toughest tonight. We came here on a trip away from home to a very good team, who were in the MLS Cup final last year, but it was a tough game to a very good team to go down 1-0 and come back again is showing great spirit, a great belief, among us. We never felt like we were out of the game and we really had to dig deep physically to keep going since a lot of the same players have played all the games this week. We stuck in it and got the equalizer and getting that point is really good for us.

On if the draw helps a lot or a little…

It helps a lot psychologically, the spirit of the group keeps going, keeps that momentum, and keeps us undefeated through a few games. Getting one point doesn’t make a massive difference, it might at the end of the season, but psychologically to come here against a very good team and to come out of the week with seven of nine possible points undefeated, we are all extremely happy.

On if the Colorado Rapids are for real…

We don’t want to get carried away with ourselves, quietly keep ourselves under the radar. Hopefully, everyone dismisses us for another six months and we can finish where we are now. Who cares what people think? We made some great signings in the offseason, are full of confidence and we are where we are for a reason so far and it’s up to us to keep that going.


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