FC Dallas Postgame QuotesHead Coach Nico Estévez
Initial thoughts on the match…
“It’s a derby right? This is what derbies bring. They bring emotion, good moments for both teams. Both teams have good players and at the end of the day, I think fans get super excited about it especially when you score at the end. I’m really, really happy for the guys, they earned it in the second half. I’m happy for the fans, to see the fan base and all the people super excited at the end of the game, it’s great, it’s what you want to see as coaches and staff.”
On the second-half substitutions…
“When we were getting close to halftime, we were discussing some of the tactics that we could improve throughout the game. But we were clear that we had to take a risk, we had to go to a 3-4-1-2 because of how Houston was playing. We weren’t able to build pressure on them and if you want to score a goal, you have to have pressure so you can get the ball and attack. But we didn’t want to take that risk at the beginning of the second half, we knew there was going to be a moment to do it and the opponent was going to try to preserve the result and we could build momentum. What we did in the second half, was to adjust and be more aggressive with the forwards and step up with one of the central mids and it helped us. At the end, we wanted the three subs to have energy and play with different profiles and we knew that could hurt them.”
On Alan Velasco’s transition to Major League Soccer…
“He was more on the ball today, he had two great shots, he had an assist, he also had a lot of interior chances. We’re creating a context around him where players know what is going to happen and he can always have support to do little connections, combinations which can give opponents problems and allow him to take more shots. He had a lot of touches today and we’re glad that he’s doing that. I talked with him last week after the game against Red Bulls, this is a physical league and he’s adapting. The best thing about him is how he wants to learn, how he’s willing to get better, how humble he is and how much he wants to win. This is huge for him to be a better player every week.”
On the subs’ goal in the 84th minute…
“Well, the goal was to come in and turn the game around, to try to tie it. I tried to organize the midfield. We changed into a line of three and we became more offensive. We risked it and credit to the team for trying to find the win until the final minute. Wished for it and we were able to get the win for all the fans. It was an important derby match, so I’m very happy for the team.”
On scoring the game-winner in stoppage time…
“Yes, I wanted to score. You look for it obviously. One always looks for the goal or the chance to score. In the play, I think I see it was Matt head it in but I see the ball coming towards me and I don’t know if I missed the mark, but the ball appeared in the far post and I barely tapped it in. Very happy with the goal. I dedicated it to my wife in the stands because it had been a really long time since I last scored. I’m very happy.”
How did it feel to score your first career MLS goal?
“To be honest, I can’t describe the feeling. The fans kept pushing us from the start to the finish. One way to describe it, to be honest, is excited (and) happy. I think all the hard work, all the belief that the coaches had in me is starting to show now and I really appreciate the opportunity. I’m happy to make Texas proud to be the winning team in Texas.”
What were the instructions from Nico and the coaching staff before you were subbed into the match?
“Usually, they tell me to go out there and enjoy and express myself. That’s what I do, game in, game out. I knew we needed to come back so I was trying my best to make sure that we do it for the Supporters because it means a lot to them.”
How do you see your role evolving?
“To be honest, I’m still figuring it out with the help from the coaches and teammates. Obviously, in college I played as a winger and then coming in, I had to adjust. It’s a big change for me but I’m up for the challenge. So far, I’m learning a lot. It’s a lot of unlearning stuff and learning new stuff and I’m just taking it day by day.”