FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez
General thoughts on the match…”We knew the game was going to start with them pushing forward right away. That was our observation from their last few home games. So we anticipated that but we still conceded quite early with the shot by (Carlos) Vela. So that was a disappointing start when we talked and prepared very thoroughly to prevent them from getting on the score sheet within the first 10 minutes. Moving past that, I thought we actually did grow into the game and found the game in terms of the system and getting on the ball. LAFC transitioned well so when we were recovering the ball, I think we could’ve been a little bit more vertical and found the second line or third line to get out of the transition. We had maybe too many short passes which led to them recreating chances. I thought we had some good spells in possession and starting to get balls in the box but we’re lacking that punch in the box to put away chances and hurt the keeper.
Second half, they committed numbers and changed their system to match our system. They had the extra man in the midfield because our #10 was committing so we went into a 4-3-3 and started to absorb and Jimmy (Maurer) made some fantastic saves that kept us in the game so we needed to change something. We wanted to match the numbers in the middle as a solution but then they scored the second goal in a moment when we turned off. I need to see it again to be clear if it was offside but it’s disappointing that we worked so hard to put ourselves in a position to compete in the game at 1-0. Then we gave up that second goal which allowed them to separate.” On what the message was to the players after the match...”It’s about honesty. It’s about looking in the mirror, all of us. Staff, players, and it’s not about talent. I think every team has talent. It’s about collective effort for 90 minutes, to win and do it for the jersey and for our fans, for each other and for our families. So, it’s not good enough.”
FC Dallas defender Justin Che
Overall emotions of playing in first MLS game….”Coming in today, I had a role. I had some high expectations I felt coming from Europe. There is always that expectation that you must perform and I thought I held up my own grudge today. I did my part defensively but also helped offensively by sending balls in. I mean the atmosphere was great, there were many people here today, but I wasn’t really focused on the people there. I kind of blocked the noise out and just helped the team as much as I could today.”
FC Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer
On keeping things positive during difficult times...”That’s the big thing. These young guys have come in and done really well. They have put in some great effort and have done a great job for us coming in these moments and that’s what it’s about. The biggest thing is that we can’t get our heads down. We have to keep pushing and moving forward and just solve these problems. We’re in the game for large stretches and then there’s mental breakdowns and not making the right moves as a team. It’s not just in the backline. Our whole team is not on the same page sometimes and then it breaks down and it opens us up, so we all have to be on the same page from the back and put the work in and not switch off in these moments that hurt us.”