Post-Match Quote Sheet
Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Louisville City FC | May 26, 2019 – Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.
Bethlehem Steel FC
Head Coach Brendan Burke
On his thoughts of the match . . .
I think fought was the right word. That’s what we talked about before the match. We have not been in a good run of form and we talked about the need to lay a foundation for what great work looks like, and energy, and commitment to winning individual duels. I thought we did that today, I thought we laid a foundation for the rest of the season at least in terms of those things. The soccer can get a lot cleaner, and it will, but I walk away really proud of everyone that played for us today. Knowing that we put out an average age of 19 years old today, I can’t walk away anything other than proud to play against the two time champs and represent ourselves well. I know the game got crazy and probably deserved better for both teams in a couple moments, but really proud of our group today.
On if this match gives his team motivation moving towards New York Red Bulls II . . .
It has to, we’re not so focused on [New York] Red Bulls [II] as we are the development of each individual player and I think we made it a little more tangible for them, how much work and how much energy goes into a matchday now. And how much energy yesterday has to go into training and preparing both men to lean physically for a game like this. You’re competing for something that a lot of people out there want, and it’s not easy to come by and it’s not easy to get up for week in and week out, and that’s part of what we’re teaching here outside of the tactics and the technical ability and the other things that go along with it.
On Chavany Willis’ performance in today’s match . . .
That was only a matter of time, Chavany should have had two or three goals at Loudoun, he’s in great spots, he could have had a goal against Atlanta early on in that game and he’s in a good spot. Things hadn’t broken for him, today they did. And he put a ton of energy into the game in terms of ground coverage, in terms of winning duels, being in good spots to win second balls. We’ve been telling Chavany that he was going to have a breakthrough, and I think the tactical adjustment that we made in this game also helped him. We pushed him a little higher, played more of a 4-1-3-2 from the beginning and confronted the game, and confronted Louisville [City FC] and I think that adjustment helped a few individuals and we ended up having to change the formation three times in the course of the game because it was such a crazy match. That’s also good for the players to have to change on the fly. At halftime we went to 4-3-2 and then from there we went to 4-4-1, and then obviously we had to see out the stoppage time. One of the crazier matches I’ve been involved with. We should have been up a man for the entire second half on the penalty that was given, but the yellow card that wasn’t, Paco [Craig]. And then I think we go and win the game, and that’s such a proud moment for a coach when you’re working with young aspiring professionals, and these guys understand that every time we step on the field it’s a chance for them as an individual to state their case to play at a higher level.
Midfielder Issa Rayyan
On his first game back from injury . . .
First game back and I felt good. It was good to tie a game, especially off of last week’s result, so we’re going to get a momentum.
On his team picking up momentum moving forward . . .
For sure, we’re down 2-0, that’s hard to come back from, the guys fought back and we got it 2-2. So we’re just going to use this and carry this on to [New York] Red Bulls [II].
On his thoughts on this match . . .
Off of last week’s result, in training it was just communication and intensity, so we brought that into the game and as you can see we brought that and we showed it. We’re just going to continue that and bring it on to the rest of the season.
Midfielder Chavany Willis
On what he saw from the game tonight . . .
First and foremost, we started off the game good, so that was good for us, but unfortunately make one mistake in the first half and it cost us. In the second half we came out and said we are going to fight for this one and we did it and I got two goals, so thanks for the two goals and for the team.
On what he saw before scoring his second goal . . .
It’s my target and that’s my strength, kicking the ball. So everything changes nowadays, taking the ball, kicking the ball, one day it’s going to be on and it was today. I am thankful for it and the two goals I scored.
On what he did to keep pushing for goals this season . . .
I think I could have about seven or eight goals that I know about. Unfortunately I didn’t hit the target on those, but today I hit the target, so I will continue to do my best in scoring opportunities.