Atlanta United 1, Miami 1: What was said

Atlanta United and Inter Miami played to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale.

Credit: MLS

Credit: MLS

What was said after Atlanta United’s 1-1 draw at Inter Miami on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale:

Interim Head Coach Stephen Glass:

On importance of tonight’s result: “I think it was really important that we bounced back after conceding the way we did. Quality wise we were off our game tonight, lost the goal but then you saw a little spirit there. Saw some quality towards the end that was a little lacking before that, but we are delighted with the point. We will take that spirit of the group and look ahead now to Toronto on the weekend.”

On if the draw is a suitable result for the club tonight: “Anytime you lose a goal that late, you are happy to get a point. We didn’t come into tonight’s game hoping to just get a point. I think our performance on the night and with them scoring late and us having to come back late, we are sitting here delighted with a point tonight. It definitely carries us forward to the end of the season. The importance of us getting one point and them not getting three points is just as important. The spirit of the group saw us over the line at the end if you like.”

On Franco Escobar’s injury and his substitutions tonight: "First off with Franco, he is carrying something from the Red Bull game. We thought he was going to make it for tonight. But late in the buildup to the match he was struggling to the extent he couldn’t play. As good as Franco has played recently, he would have been in the starting 11 if he was fit. He was a big miss tonight obviously.

As for the second part with the substitutions, we needed to inject some energy in the second half. We considered doing it at halftime, but I felt like I wanted to see if we could get more of a foot hold in the second half. It didn’t look that way, so I had to change something. Get a little bit more pace in higher up, later on we went with Jon Gallagher higher up and we were able to get Cubo Torres on. He was limited in what he could give us tonight because he has barely trained coming off his injury, but I know his quality and the problems that he gives defenders. The fresh legs helped. Brooks Lennon got kicked so we had to make an adjustment there. It’s always good when the subs combine for a goal, and it’s great for them as well."

On Miles Robinson’s performance tonight: “He looks like a guy that can start putting full 90-minute matches together. Obviously, he missed last game through suspension which was unfortunate. But his performance level for the whole 90 minutes tonight was incredible. I think it’s big for Miles as well. He doesn’t have a hugely experienced center half beside him. In previous years he’s played alongside Parky (Michael Parkhurst) and Leo (Leandro Gonzalez Pirez) a good bit. Overall, Miles was fantastic tonight and we are delighted with his performance.”

On advice he gave Miles Robinson to deal with Gonzalo Higuain: “To be honest, nothing extra. I think there is sometimes a danger that players can show a little too much respect to the big name guys coming into the league. Maybe even a little fear there if you put too much into it. Higuain’s quality is undoubted. He’s a striker that can get his shot off with a half yard space, can link play, is good on his right and left, but Miles comes up against a lot of strikers like that. He knew what he was coming up against. Anton Walkes was also very good tonight dealing with Higuain. Our respect for our own players, we don’t make too big of a deal on the individual name they are playing against.”

On the first half performance: “The guys knew the game was massive tonight. To me, they looked like a group that was playing within themselves, sometimes even a little fear. Later on, when the game was truly on the line and we had to score a goal, you saw the true colors of the team. That’s important to me. First half, we know it wasn’t good enough. The message at halftime was that last week against Red Bulls we were sitting in the locker room at halftime delighted with our performance but we came away with nothing. We know we haven’t played they way we want to in first half, but we are sitting here at 0-0 just like we were against Red Bulls. I think putting that little extra belief in them, there was a response in second half. Inter Miami were still probably the better team until they scored, but from that point on you saw what we should be. We need to take that approach from the start of the games and not wait till we get scored on. Maybe it was a sharp reminder in such a big game that we are capable of producing performances like that.”

Atlanta United forward Jake Mulraney

On if he was nervous before taking the game-tying shot: “No, I wasn’t really. Jürgen (Damm) did all the work, to be fair, but I mean I trust myself enough to be able to score a goal like that.”

On what Stephen Glass' instructions were to him before entering the match: “He just told me to be aggressive; go one-v-one. He basically just told me to try and make something happen. As a forward player when you come on your role is always to try and make an impact. From the bench, it looked like we countered them, and I think we did it a couple of times really well. We could have even got a second goal towards the end. It is a point at the end of the day. It might not feel like it, but it is. We just have to concentrate on that, I suppose.”

On the importance of earning a point: “They were a point behind us, so we need to just keep putting points on the board really and get ourselves into that playoff spot. The next few games are absolutely huge; we all know that. We just need to keep trying to pick up points and secure that playoff spot.”

On players dealing with injuries with games coming back-to-back: “It is a lot to ask. I think it was four games in 15 days or something, if I am not mistaken. It’s hard on the body; it’s really hard. Especially for boys like Brooks (Lennon) who is playing every week. Brooks, Jon (Gallagher) played seven in a row; Anton (Walkes), Jeff (Larentowicz), there’s boys in there that don’t really get rotated out who are playing a lot of games. It is tough, but for me personally I’ve been more in and out, so I feel alright. I started three or four games in a row, then I missed a couple, then I was back in. So, I feel good to go.”

On why he has not started consistently: “To be honest, I didn’t think I was in great form. It wasn’t enough. I was doing some decent stuff, but it wasn’t enough. I was doing it for 45 minutes, then I would be out of the game for long periods of time. It is not enough. Me personally, I wasn’t too happy with it. I do some good stuff and then I would be quiet for a little while, then I do something decent, then I would be quiet again. I’m like, ‘That’s not enough. That’s not enough to keep me in the team.’ That’s my view of it, to be honest.”

Atlanta United midfielder Jurgen Damm:

His thoughts on a poor first half and a better performance in the second half “We had a complicated first half. Not like we’re used to playing, controlling possession of the ball and looking for the spaces. Miami pressured us very well and kept us in our own half defending the whole time. In the second half, we talked about it in the locker room, strong words, that we had to come out and match them, pressure them also, and look for a goal without the fear of conceding one. The team showed a different face in the second half. Happy because the team rescued a point. Obviously, we wanted to win because, as we said, it was almost a playoff game, because practically whoever won would be higher in the standings. It’s always important to get points on the road. I feel good personally. I continue to adapt to the group. I like to play in space. When Cubo came on, he knows me more and that I like balls into space so we connect well. And we’re working hard to try to revert this situation and get a playoff spot.”

On his assist on Jake Mulraney’s goal

“Yes, it was like that. Cubo knows me very well from Mexico and that I like to get the ball into space so he protected the ball well and played me into space. Then I see Jake running into the box. I wanted to make a pass to see what the defenders were going to do and when I saw him free I passed him the ball. Thank God we could score that goal and at the end we had another chance. I think that ball I have to shoot but I tried to cut.”

Atlanta United coming games

Sunday at Toronto (6-2-4) in Hartford, Conn., 7:30 p.m., FSSE

Oct. 24 vs. D.C. United (2-5-5), 4 p.m., FSSE

Oct. 28 at Orlando (6-2-4), 7:30 p.m., FS1

Nov. 1 vs. Cincinnati (3-6-3), 7 p.m., FSSE

Nov. 8 at Columbus (8-1-3), 3:30 p.m., FSSE

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