FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja
General thoughts on tonight’s match…First of all, thanks for waiting and hanging in there after another long night and also extend it to the fans who stayed here after the rain because it was a late game. I was happy everyone was still there. Regarding the game, I thought we played a very correct second half. The first half we had challenges, I thought Orlando played well and created some options and put us in some problems, but we found a way to correct them. Second half, we had the initiative to pressure in higher and had more determination to create some duels, especially with the defenders and had the responsibility to get the ball back in the zones, Matt [Hedges], Reto [Ziegler] and Reggie [Cannon], so that provided more freedom for the midfielders to get the pressure higher and as a result we got the ball more often and it was useful to see the players get in the good spots and put some sequences together and we looked way better in the second half. Obviously, creating the options and scoring goals just made us deserve the points. I thought it was a good night for the boys, well-deserved. On a night that magnified what they did in Vancouver and Portland and to get those three points, it just gives us the place as first in the West and we still have some games to play but are very pleased with them.
Thoughts on playing the final 10 minutes following rain delay…That was my first time to play another 10-minute game. We just reset ourselves and planned the game for 10 minutes as normal as we plan a regular game. Sometimes waiting those 30 minutes is the hardest part, but they were very professional taking care of the mental part of the game. Planning those 10 minutes was like a new game for us in trying to close the game well and make a couple movements, thinking ahead of what Orlando could do with the two subs they had. They sent plays that were very meticulous under those 10 minutes. As I said, it was a first experience because you know many things can happen in 10 minutes and after 90 minutes and the job the boys did, it was very rewarding to keep that preparation.
Thoughts on Orlando’s offense...And I was very surprised just to see a team that is not a regular rival for us, so when I saw those four games I saw a very good team. You may say it’s a team that’s last in the east, but they have very good players. In the first half they were sharp with the ball, Cristian [Higuita] was getting the ball in pockets behind Victor [Ulloa] and Carlos [Gruezo], Dominic [Dwyer] was getting some balls there as well. We tried to anticipate but they were doing well. The sequences they were creating on their left was good. Mueller being sharp in there and the guy who has pace cutting inside and [Mohamed] El-Munir coming ahead from the fullback position so that created a lot of courage for us and that’s how they created two or three options on that side. On the other side we had control but on the right side we had to battle in the first half.
Thoughts on bringing Abel [Aguilar] as the last sub…We wanted to control the middle with Abel [Aguilar], and he gave us the experience to decide the game more. We knew about the two subs from Orlando, with [Josúe] Colman and [Richie] Laryea so we visualized the last ten minutes where they were going to be very aggressive and we wanted to control the middle.
FC Dallas midfielder Santiago Mosquera
Thoughts on scoring after being subbed in…I was motivated. I’ve been doing good things. Sadly, we had that break in the second half, but I think the coach made a good decision keeping me in the back and the other players in there as well. They did a good job when we entered the game and we were able to win the game.
Thoughts on his goal celebration…He’s a teammate that I appreciate a lot. He’s from the team and this team is very close and whathappened to him, all of us feel for him. I think that it’s an important low for us, but we need to keep rising and keep fighting, so he can be calm and proud of us.
FC Dallas midfielder Victor Ulloa
Thoughts on tonight’s match...The first half was a struggle to find space and find the ball and find rhythm and they created some chances. The second half, we played the ball much better, everyone was much better with the ball. We got two goals. I was lucky to have scored tonight. Happy to have scored tonight and I’m happy with the result overall because it keeps us onto of the Western conference.
Thoughts on scoring first goal of the season...It feels great. I haven’t scored in about two years and happy to help the team on a special night for me to reach a milestone that I did in front of my family.
Thoughts on winning at home...We knew we were at home and we needed the three points if we want to finish atop of the Western Conference and we needed the three points tonight. We deserved it, we played better than our opponent and now we have to flip the page quickly because we have a big match D.C.
Thoughts on his goal celebration...I dedicated it to my baby and my wife. We’re expecting our first baby boy and I’m just happy to dedicate it to them.
Thoughts on reaching 10,000 minutes...I feel special to reach a milestone like that, it wasn’t easy. I’ve worked my butt off and nobody’s given me anything. I’ve done everything by sacrifice, hard work and with the support of my family and my coaches. Very happy and special night for me to be a part of this club and this moment.
Favorite memory with the team...I would have to say 2016 when we raised the U.S. Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield. We clinched playoffs this year and that was one of our objectives and hopefully we create better memories and become champions of the MLS Cup.
FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon
General thoughts on the game… I think things clicked offensively in the second half. We’ve really been working on set pieces to get more dangerous because those goals really count. 1-0 is a different game in the last 10 minutes and 2-0 really helped the defense take a load off. Our offense played really well, we have a lot of players contributing goals right now. This team is looking very sharp and it’s going to be a good thing heading to D.C. It’s good to start finding a balance, Oscar told me to keep going, keep going and its tough at this time of the year to go forward. People think it’s a lot easier than it looks, it takes a lot of energy and you have to worry about the defensive aspect as a fullback and that’s the tough part. But I think I’m becoming more dangerous offensively and finding that balance. I think it gives us a lot of breathing room going into DC, I have no doubt that whoever steps into that Starting XI will do a great job. Oscar has prepared the team very well for this stage of the season—with a lot of depth. I have no doubt that the team will get those three points and we’ll be solid on top, a lot of space between us and Sporting Kansas City.
On getting his national team call-up…It’s a great feeling. I can’t lie and say I’m not nervous. I am, playing with greats like Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie—who’s on fire right now I might add—and you got all these players coming from all over the world. It’s an honor to be nominated for playing in the national team and being one of the top players in America. I haven’t accomplished anything yet and I’m getting a lot of congratulations, but just let me play and do my thing and if goes well then congratulate me. I’m looking forward to heading into this camp, solid and confident. I think Kellyn [Acosta] is really going to help me with that—he’s my roommate and one of my best friends so he’s going to help me a lot getting me integrated into the system. It’s going to be a good trip. I was on the 40-man roster for the Brazil and Mexico games for the national team camp—unfortunately I wasn’t selected and I was bummed but I know God has his timing and I just have to be patient and wait my turn and now that I’m getting a look I’ve got to grasp it and not let it go and hopefully that’ll happen.
On the national team call-up affecting his performance…Honestly it was tough—first half I felt a lot of pressure. I felt things were coming down on me. I thought a lot more people now are watching. People think it’s been a great week for me but it’s the most stressful weeks of my life with all this going on. It’s been interviews and the 22-under-22 and the national team call-up, I just want to relax and play Fortnite. I just got to learn to deal with it and looking at it in hindsight it’s been a great week. Coming into this game I could feel this pressure and now with this national team call-up people are looking at you different. People are expecting you to play always be at that level, at that bar you set, you have to go above it. Second half, before we came out, I took a deep breath. I said “it doesn’t matter what people think, it only matters what I think, it only matters what my teammates think. It’s just us, it’s no else.” I took it in and I started to play a lot better in the second half and that’s just something I’ve got to work on. It’s been a pretty good week so far.
On the rain delay…I don’t think the rain delay had anything to do with it, other than everyone leaving the stadium. I think the rain delay was fine. We learned how to play with those conditions. Orlando was ready to come at us in those last 10 minutes, but I think our defense played really well and we got the shutout.