Post-Match Quote Sheet
Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Atlanta United 2 | May 12, 2019 – Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.
Bethlehem Steel FC
Head Coach Brendan Burke
On takeaways from this match moving towards Ottawa Fury FC . . .
It’s difficult because we were really poor for almost the entire first half and a good portion in the second half. We are the youngest team in country and we looked like it tonight. We didn’t have a lot of solutions for the game in first half and credit to Atlanta [United 2], they were very good, they moved the ball well, they were quick on it, they combined well and they kept the field wide open. It was difficult for us, a couple people missed assignments and pressing queues and once that happens it can snowball a little bit.
On his team’s midfield lacking energy in the first half . . .
I think your accurate, 100 percent accurate. That’s where a lot of James [Chambers] frustration came from, we’re dealing with a few injuries right now but that’s not an excuse I mean were in a position where we’re developing players and that means every guy on the roster. My hope would be that we prepared people to step into that environment, that challenge, that game and be in the right place at the right time. Also, be confident enough to play forward when they win the ball and too understand the moments to put their foot on it and play negative. I don’t think we got any of that done in the first half. The statistics show it, anyone who is unfortunate enough like me to have to go back and watch the film on that game is going to see it; I think you hit the nail on the head.
Defender Matt Real
On most difficult part of tonight’s match . . .
I think especially in the opening minutes of the game, we were a little disorganized in our press, our lines were distorted a little bit and we weren’t on the same page from the defense, to the midfield, to the forwards. A lot of the times when we were trying to press, the reason they would get out is because someone would be late, or we would miss queue things like that. So, once we got that cleaned up in the second half, it made things a little easier, we were lucky to get the goal. I think there were definitely a lot more chances on the board there that we could have capitalized on, but overall, we just need to clean up the first half faults when it comes to pressing because the first 10-15 minutes of the game is the most important. That’s when teams catch you lacking so you’re vulnerable to get exposed if you’re not tuned in. I’m happy that we were able to pull back but were still disappointed as a group that we couldn’t get the three points.
On his assist tonight . . .
I’ve been working on that ball a lot since the beginning of the season, I’ve been whooping in balls in from the outside, practicing my set pieces, so definitely it’s a sign for me that it’s paying off, I’m going to continue it. I didn’t see much, I just look for an area and I try to put it there and the most dangerous spot is sometimes in between the six and the penalty spot. I’m happy the ball was able to make that route and get [Jamoi] Topey on the end of it with a great finish.
On if this match helped him to be ready for the FIFA U-20 World Cup . . .
A good solid performance to lead off and a good note to end on. And now I’m all focused on the [FIFA U-20] World Cup. My work here for this half of the season, at least for the next month is done and my focus needs to be now with the [U]-20’s. As people talk about all the time, its one of the biggest tournaments in the world, so I was really blessed and honored that I was given the opportunity to play in it. I’m just going to show the staff here and there that I’m there for a reason, and they made the right choice by selecting me to go.
Goalkeeper Tomás Romero
On coordinating his defense . . .
I’ve been training with the guys for a long time, since preseason I guess. I’ve known Ben [Ofeimu] since the academy, I’ve known Matt [Real] since the academy and [Olivier] Mbaizo has been here the year before. I guess I have a good connection with them. I just yell a lot and move pieces and stuff like that. For the most part I think they did good job with listening to me. There was sometimes where I had to yell and I had to keep yelling the same thing, so I wish I wouldn’t have to keep repeating myself, but for the most part they did a good job with listening to me.
On changes made after Atlanta United 2’s goal . . .
It’s a goal that I want to take back, but the game is long, it’s a 90-minute game and you just have to keep doing it for your team and for yourself. If I have a good individual performance it helps the team and [Head Coach] Brendan Burke preaches on that. I have a long game. I just need to do my job so I tried my best.
On building off the draw . . .
We need to start getting more wins; we need to get a winning streak. I think the next game against Ottawa [Fury FC] is a good game we can win and we can just keep going from there.
Atlanta United 2
Head Coach Stephen Glass
On the match tonight . . .
I thought it was a really good performance, especially in the first half. We really controlled the game. We had a lot of good opportunities through the play of the lads. Second half we maybe didn’t start quite as well, we missed a penalty kick that could have put the game out of sight, and we paid the price for it letting them back into the game. Although we finished the stronger of the two teams, it was end to end but we had the most clear-cut chances.
On the difference between each half in tonight’s match . . .
Maybe the control on the game was lacking in the second half when it got a bit frantic, which suited them more than it did us with the way we were playing in the first half. That is always going to be the case when you are so good the first half. They are going to have a reaction in the second half, it is up to us to continue to do the things that we did well. Early in the second half we didn’t do that, allowed them to dictate what was going on in the game and as a result, along with the missed penalty, that probably cost us an opportunity to come back with the three points.
On Laurence Wyke’s first professional goal . . .
It was a great delivery in from Jack Metcalf and obviously the timing of Laurence’s run was fantastic. If he times his run right and the delivery is good, which we’ve got good great guys that can deliver the ball, then it is going to be difficult to defend against. Really pleased for Laurence and he was fantastic at the back as well. The way he was passing and defending was really good. It is just disappointing that we lose a goal when we did and how we did. I think we have kind of been on the receiving end of some decisions that have potentially cost us. The free kick was 15 yards in off the line when the foul happened on the line. The officials don’t see the importance of that at times, but then when it lands in your box and they stick it in your net it is pretty visible how important it is. But we are pleased with our importance.
On his takeaways heading into the next match . . .
We are going to Swope [Park Rangers] looking for a similar performance. I think if we continue to perform like that home and away for the rest of the year, we are going to win plenty of matches. Obviously, the aim is to help individuals and Mikey Ambrose today got some minutes which is great for his comeback from injury and he was fantastic. He’s done really well, and he’ll be really pleased with himself to get back on the field and playing. Now we start building for next week. I think we will be young again as we go to Swope, but they are in the same boat as us in that they don’t know what they are getting, and they have a young group. I think we are doing the right thing and our group looks like it is moving in the right direction and we have seen some really good performances.