Atlanta United 3, Real Salt Lake 1: What was said

Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak, right, gets knocked to the ground by Atlanta United forward Hector Villalba in an MLS soccer match in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 22, 2017. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

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Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak, right, gets knocked to the ground by Atlanta United forward Hector Villalba in an MLS soccer match in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 22, 2017. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

What was said following Atlanta United's 3-1 win against Real Salt Lake on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium:

ATLANTA UNITED MANAGER GERARDO MARTINO

On the key to defeating Real Salt Lake

“The key tonight is we capitalized on our opportunities. We had two chances to score. One we pressured them and forced them to make two mistakes and one came on a counter-attack. Other than that, it was a very easy game.”

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On the game

“We had to pressure them at the top because they have some guys in the midfielder and going forward who are very fast, very good with the ball. We needed to neutralize them right from the start.”

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On if five points is a good total from the road trip

“Before (Montreal)? Yes. After? No.”

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On Brandon Vazquez

“Brandon works hard, he works hard in practice. He always gives a good effort. He’s a player who always wants to improve. We had an opportunity to bring him on his first road trip and put him on the bench. Him being the third forward on our team, he had a chance to play tonight and converted his chance.”

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What factored in to starting Jeff Larentowicz instead of Julian Gressel?

“The duo of Jeff and Carlos (Carmona) have been playing really well together. I think they’ve been improving together. I didn’t want to break that duo up, especially with (Albert) Rusnak and (Luke) Mulholland in the game. They are two really attacking players and I thought we needed some defensive presence in the midfield.”

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On the inconsistent play and start of the second half

“We entered the second half playing well. We weren’t really happy with how we played in the first half. My message to the team was to be aggressive. We wanted to come out aggressive right away.”

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On the end of the game

“In the last two games we’ve kind of let points slip away from us. Tonight I thought we played well, especially with the substitutions Real Salt Lake made. Their coach put in some really attacking players at the end. We were able to overcome it.”

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On getting to play at home

“We are really looking forward to returning home and playing in front of a full stadium with the full crowd supporting us.”

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BRANDON VAZQUEZ

On his first MLS experience

“It was an incredible feeling making my debut in MLS. It was such an amazing experience and something I’ll never forget.”

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On his goal

“I was confident we were going to pull through in the game. I have a lot of confidence in the team. I knew that we were going to do it.”

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“I’m looking to make more goals and have more wins as a team.”

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On when he found out he would be in the 18

“Right after warmups, after the warmup I found out I was going to be in the 18. I was excited.”

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On if it was the first goal he dreamed of scoring

“A goal is a goal. I was excited to have it and will keep adding to the scoresheet.”

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On the play

“Miguel (Almiron) played a ball through to Julian (Gressel), who was running onto the ball. He tripped. The defender stopped and I kept running and I took a touch past the goalkeeper and was there to slide it in.”

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MICHAEL PARKHURST

“It was a great performance. We came out strong. The early goal put them under pressure. They got to us a little bit at the end of the first half. We were able to withhold and get into the locker room leading 1-0. We were happy about that. The start of the second half we got the early goal. A lot of positive takeaways but the most important is we got the three points.”

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“It was intense. We knew it would be. Most games are. We wanted to make sure we came out with the right intensity. It being an away game we wanted to make sure we matched the intensity or raised it. We did that. But we also wanted to be smart and make sure that we avoided unnecessary cards, fouls and especially red cards.”

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“It’s great to end this road trip with three points. We are looking forward to being home again.”

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On if five points is a good total from the road trip

“Yes, we will take it. We left points on the table I think. But, all in all, we are happy with where we are right now. We have to take advantage of our home games.”

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On if there are any traditions for treating rookies who score in their first game

“Nothing on the docket. We will see. We are happy for him. He’s been working hard in training. It was nice to see he was composed right there and sealed the game for us.”

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On the issues in the game

“We let them grow into the game with some mistakes in our defensive third. When we did that their confidence grew. We weren’t winning the first balls and we weren’t the second balls either when we played long. We talked about that at halftime to make sure we were better equipped in the second half to win long balls in the middle of the field. I thought we did that a little bit better in the second half.

“But Salt Lake is a good team. It’s tough to play on the road. We knew they would have a little bit of possession. I thought we did a pretty good job of not giving them too many goal-scoring opportunities.”

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On the second goal

“It’s huge. It really killed their momentum. They had a lot of momentum going into halftime. We were happy to get in there still 1-0. That really helped us out. It gave us breathing room and confidence to play.”

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On not giving up a late goal like in last week’s loss to Montreal

“We were trying to stay in it mentally. Salt Lake was keeping a lot of guys up top. We wanted to make sure that we were safe. We kept the ball in front of us. We didn’t allow any big chances at the end. That was great.”

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