What Atlanta United said after a 2-0 loss to Sporting KC Wednesday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Manager Gerardo Martino
On 4-2-3-1 formation: “We decided to play in this formation because of the style that Kansas City plays.They are a team that likes to build out the back. We knew that if we played in our 4-2-3-1 system that we had to pressure those guys one-on-one all the way up the field, and if we had stuck with our five at the back system we would have let them play out of the back without any pressure and that would have opened up all of their passing lanes that they like to create. I thought before the game, and I still think, that this formation was the best way to play against teams like Kansas City that like to build out of the back.”
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On the takeaways from today’s match: “Peter (Vermes) is very strong in this league. Kansas City and Columbus have a style of play that make them among the best teams. When we were playing 11 vs. 11, I thought we were playing better than Kansas City.”
Goalkeeper Paul Christensen
On how his experience was and how he got ready on such short notice: “I think it’s just going into the game preparing like I’m going to play, kind of watching Brad (Guzan) what he does. (Goalkeeper Coach) Aron (Hyde) said right before I went in that it’s just like training. I’ve seen some of the best guys in the league every day, so it’s nothing different, so just being confident in my game and confident in what I can bring to the table. (I’ll) try my best to help the team win the best I can.”
Defender Michael Parkhurst
On how he thinks goalkeeper Paul Christensen performed in his debut: “Great. It’s a tough spot for him, you know, just being called up for a few games (and) not thinking he’s going to play. To step in, down a man, I thought he did really well. He communicated well. He made that big save for us early in the second half. So, kudos to him for being ready and stepping up in a tough spot.”
Defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez
On the game: “I think we played well. Up until the red card, I think we were deserving of winning the match then the red card changed things. I'm not going to argue that it’s a foul, but for me, I didn't think it was worthy of a red card because the ball was going out of bounds and I ran back to cover the goal. Then, obviously, in the second half, we’re playing a man down and we were able to create a lot of chances and we had some counter attacks. We were able to get forward, but I’m really proud of the way the team fought and the effort the team put in tonight.”
Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz
On how the team approaches staying aggressive and creating chances when down a man: “We spoke about it at half time. We wanted to be solid defensively but also when we had our opportunities to break we wanted to do that. Luckily, we’ve got three of the better players in the league at counter attacking and creating chance with very little. I thought they did that pretty well. They bring Kevin (Kratz) on and he has two opportunities that are right in his wheel house and (Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim) Melia makes some good saves. He saves another one from Miguel (Almiron) later on (and) shows why he was goalkeeper of the year last year. They’re a good team front to back, so it was expected, but overall, I think it was a good performance.”
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan
On what he told goalkeeper Paul Christensen before he went in: “I told him to enjoy the moment. We’ve all been there. We’ve all made our debuts at some point in our careers. For him, it was a proud moment to make his professional debut with the first team. I told him to enjoy the moment and take it all in.”
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