Atlanta United 0, Seattle 0: What was said

Seattle Sounders midfielder Henry Wingo, left, watches his pass under pressure from Atlanta United defender Tyrone Mears, right, in the second half of an MLS soccer match, Friday, March 31, 2017, in Seattle. The match ended in a 0-0 tie. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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Seattle Sounders midfielder Henry Wingo, left, watches his pass under pressure from Atlanta United defender Tyrone Mears, right, in the second half of an MLS soccer match, Friday, March 31, 2017, in Seattle. The match ended in a 0-0 tie. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

What was said following Atlanta United’s 0-0 draw with Seattle on Friday at CenturyLink Field. The quotes were provided by Atlanta United:

Atlanta head coach Tata Martino

“A draw on the road against the reigning champion is a result that we view as a positive.

“In respect to the game, I think we did very well in the first half, and in the second half Seattle dominated us more, and although we had two very good counter-attacks, they played better in the second half.”

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“When the games are more difficult and you have to fight, we’re also prepared. Not just to play in them but to fight as well. Another thing we learned, or confirmed, because we knew it from the game against the Red Bulls, is that you have to be very intense for 93 or 94 minutes with teams like Red Bulls, Seattle, Portland, Toronto. They’re the teams that are going to be fighting at the top, like Dallas, Houston, and we need to sustain our rhythm for 90 minutes.”

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On how Almiron was used

“For any of the three players that went with their national teams, we’re thinking the season is very long, they had a long trip, they barely arrived yesterday, and starting them was an unnecessary risk.”

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On Clint Dempsey

“I don’t have to discover a player that’s played so many years in the Premier League. He’s a talented player, and whether he plays 90 minutes or 25 minutes he always makes a difference.”

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On the atmosphere in Seattle

“Wonderful. We had come in the last Copa America, we played Bolivia here, I knew of the support of the people in Seattle, and we confirmed it. It’s nice because it enthuses the players, and the environment makes it a better show.”

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Tyrone Mears

"I spoke to the guys before. We know how important the fans are for Seattle. They are like the 12th man. We knew it was going to be difficult coming to the champions. We would have to dig in at some point. But we are happy with the performance and a clean sheet for the back four."

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On playing in Seattle on the visiting team:

“It was strange. It was a little bit different. I know I was getting a few claps from the fans and that was nice. Yeah, strange because I have been with those guys for two seasons. Lots of very good friends.”

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“Yeah Dempsey, he is on fire at the minute. He is playing really, really well and it is nice to see because you know he had his problems last season, you know with his health. So it is nice to see that he is healthy and back playing well. Yeah he is a great player. I think when he comes on it helps Nico [Lodeiro] to get the ball more as well because normally if Clint’s not playing then we have two guys on Nico surrounding him. With Dempsey [in], you know space opens up then. It was difficult. They had a lot of possession but you know we stuck in and I think we deserve the draw in the end.”

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“It says that we have a very good squad. A squad that can compete. You know, like you said, we were missing some fantastic players. Obviously Miguel [Almirón] and Carlos [Carmona] come in at the end but you know those guys are important for us. Joesf [Martinez], as well. He has been great scoring goals. He is a problem for the defenders. But the guys that have come in have done really well and we are going to need that. It is a long season and lots of travel.”

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“I think the quality that has been brought in by the club. You know a lot of young exciting players, players from all over the world. And obviously the coach. The coach is massive. His reputation is massive. What he is doing for this team, his players – I’m learning soccer again. That is how good it is. It is really, really intense every day, and I’m enjoying it. And like I said, if we can continue, keep the squad as healthy as we can, then we will have a good season.”

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On if he had any hard feelings leaving Seattle:

"No not really. Not at all. I parted from Seattle. We spoke about it. They didn't take my option. A contract was offered. It wasn't a good one for me and I left. We shook hands. After the game I was speaking to their GM, owner, everybody. We are all friends. I can wish this club nothing but success in the future."

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Greg Garza

On the intensity of this early season game:

“Yeah, yeah it was a tough atmosphere to play in. We are playing against the last season champions, so it was pretty exciting game for us to be an expansion team to come here. To get a point off of them, it feels good. We have three away games to think about now, but it is good to get that one over with and I think we will go home happy with a point.”

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On coping with the environment:

“Yeah, I think that coping with the atmosphere, we actually have that home as well, so you know 55,000 the first game, 45,000 the last home game and then you have probably about the same numbers here. So you know we deal with that at home as well to have the people push behind us, but here everything is the contrary but I think we fought through it as best as we could but like I said before I think we will be happy with a point.”

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“Yeah for sure. I think that every player on our team is used to that atmosphere at Bobby Dodd in Atlanta and that probably helps us get through tough games like this. Seattle is probably one of the most exciting places in the MLS to play. So I think for us to really battle though that 90 minutes plus was really fun for us and really exciting for us to go home with a point.”

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On what they may learnd about the team during the road stretch:

“I think consistency. I think we are still building the best team we can. It was a big upset for us – you lose your main guy, Joseph Martinez, but I think Tata (Martino) did a wonderful job and the guys that came in also did a wonderful job building off that position. I think these next three games you have to stay focused, keep building on our chemistry, keep working as a group to get as many points as we can off these away games.”

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