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Head Coach Adrian Heath

On the performance against Portland…

“I thought it was very mixed bag. I thought, when we’re good in that 25 minute spell in the first half where we go from being 1-0 down to get to 3-1, some of our attacking play was outstanding. Conceivably could have scored more. We can’t hide the fact that it’s probably our worst defensive performance in maybe the last two years. Our back four, which has been pretty solid and pretty set, certainly Boxy [Michael Boxall] and Dibassy [Bakaye Dibassy] and it was Romain [Metanire] for a long time…I just look at it and I think I can’t remember where we probably made as many poor choices as we did on the day. We were going backwards when we should have been coming forward, we were in forward when we should have been going backwards. We’ll put that to a bad day at the office because, as I say, [the back four] have been outstanding for us over the few years, but it was a particularly poor defensive performance.”

On the defensive effort as a collective…

“It’s always a collective. And the way that they [Portland] play, the way that they set up and play lends itself to putting more bodies in your half of the field, so that causes you problems. Then on the counter-act, when we had the ball we broke… we looked like we were going to score every moment that we broke on them. It’s a bit like chicken and the egg, what comes first? For me, it was one of them games where we needed that fourth goal before it went to 3-2 because the game, as I said at halftime, was like a basketball game. We had six against their four then we’ll turn around and they were doing exactly the same. Great entertainment for the TV, bit of a nightmare for me and Gio [Giovanni Savarese].

On the offensive outputs from Luis Amarilla and Bongokuhle Hlongwane as of late…

“I thought certainly Luis [Amarilla] looked as sharp as he’s been since he’s come back to us. Maybe for a full 90 minutes, I think it might have been Bongi’s [Bongokuhle Hlongwane] best game. Two goals, two games and an assist as well so he can be really pleased with his work over the last couple of weeks.”

On the front four clicking over the past few games…

“Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] has been scoring goals, so his confidence is high. Fraga [Franco Fragapane] now is starting to get in the box, which is when he’s at his best. Luis [Amarilla] got a couple of goals. Bongi’s [Bongokuhle Hlongwane] got two-in-two. As a front four they’re very, very confident, which no matter what I say to them, I can give them the confidence by picking them in the team, there’s nothing like playing well and scoring goals to give players that confidence and belief in their own ability. Certainly at this minute them front four are very, very good.”

On the upcoming match against Colorado…

“We’ll have a little look. Obviously tonight we’ll have a good opportunity to get a good study of them. They’ve changed their shape a little bit of late. They’ve been playing a three for quite a while and now they’ve gone back to a back four again, so that presents other challenges. They’ve got probably an extra man forward then they used to have before, but we know going into Colorado is never easy, you know the altitude, etc. There’s no easy games. If we play well we’ll have a chance to win. If we don’t, it will be difficult.”

On how the Western Conference has been playing out this season…

“I feel as though it will go to the last game like it did last year. We had that crazy game at the [LA] Galaxy where we could have gotten fourth and we could have gone out the playoffs completely. I don’t expect anything different. And every game, certainly against a Western Conference team, it becomes really, really important.”

On the England Women’s National Team Winning Euro 2022…

“Bringing it home, aren’t they. Them and the men. I’ve always liked women’s football, there you go. Fantastic. Actually I think this was an unbelievable moment in women’s football in England because it’s obviously always played second fiddle and probably always will because the men’s game is so big. Absolutely magnificent. I thought the team were excellent. Coach was brilliant in their substitutions and everything. The biggest thing that I can say is all my friends, that are all crazy football fans, they enjoyed it and were glued to the TV as much as they are with men’s game. Onwards and upwards hopefully.”

Defender Alan Benítez

On his first weeks since arriving…

[SPA] “Muy bien. Me senti muy tranquilo, muy comodo en el equipo y con todos los muchachos.”

[ENG] “Very good. I have felt calm, very comfortable with the team and all the guys.”

On getting adjusted to the team…

[SPA] “Muy bien. La verdad que Luis [Amarilla] me ayudo muchísimo en eso, entregarme rápido a lo que es la ciudad y también al equipo.”

[ENG] “Very good. Honestly, Luis [Amarilla] helped me a lot in that, getting acquainted with the city and the team.”

O_On his thoughts of the quality of play in MLS…_

[SPA] “Es una liga muy interesante. Una donde se corre mucho, se juega mucho. Muy diferente al futbol de Paraguay, a lo que yo estaba acostumbrado. Es muy buena, la liga.”

[ENG] “It’s a very interesting league. One where you run a lot, you play a lot. Very different from the soccer in Paraguay which is what I’m used to. It’s a good league.”

On what he sees his role in this team…

[SPA] “Creo que voy a tener un rol muy importante porque el equipo juega mucho por las bandas, por mi lado, por los dos lados y por eso tengo que estar muy bien preparado físicamente para todos los partidos.”

[ENG] “I think I will have an important role because this team plays with the fullbacks a lot, on my side, on both sides and so I’ll have to be very well prepared physically for each match.”

On how the travel in the league can affect play against Colorado…

[SPA] “La verdad que no se la distancia que hay entre Minnesota y Colorado pero creo que va ser un juego de ida y vuelta como fue en todos los partidos, como fue contra Portland. Creo que vamos a correr mucho y vamos a intentar de ganar el partido.”

[ENG] “Honestly, I don’t know the distance between Minnesota and Colorado but I think it will be a back-and-forth match, like it’s been every game, like it was against Portland. I think we’ll run a lot and try to go out and win the game.”