Brendan Burke April 25

STEEL FC: Preview Quote Sheet - 4/25

[April 25, 2018]

Bethlehem Steel FC Head Coach Brendan Burke
Opening statement
“We had a bye week so we have had plenty of time to prepare for Louisville and we’ll need all of that time. They don’t give away much defensively and it’s a difficult environment to play in on top of that. We have a big challenge ahead of us this weekend but luckily we were able to give the guys what I think was a good mixture of rest and push them really hard a couple times throughout that period. Always nice to have a bye week so you can refresh mentally and catch your breath but we knew it was important that we push hard through that period. I think we’re in a good place to give them a test this weekend.”

More detail on the team’s schedule during the bye week
"We built up last week to Friday and on Friday we brought in some of the first team players that weren’t in Dallas and we opened up and played three, roughly 20 minute segments in a replication of a game scenario but condensed the working periods to ramp up the intensity and we were pleased by what we got back. We gave them Saturday and Sunday off and then came back and pushed them hard on Monday and Tuesday but today we dialed back the volume a little bit to allow them to start to recover so that we go into the weekend fresh. We will ramp it up a little bit on Friday but in a short session just to replicate some of the timing and spacing that they might see in the game on Saturday.”

On if it’s beneficial to get an extra week to prepare for the defending USL Cup Champions
"Yeah but it would help us if we were able to prepare the group that actually going to play against them but we won’t have a chance to train that group together at any point before that game, possibly on Friday, we could train that group together. From a tactical standpoint, not too much other than the coaches get a little extra time to prepare. We might be able to be a little more nuanced but we have to be careful with how much information we give the players in that 24-hour window right before the game.”

On the signing of Michee Ngalina…
"He has very good foot speed but more importantly is smooth on the ball. He’s a good passer and pretty good decision maker. Obviously, there is going to be a learning curve but he brings a lot to the position. I think we have a very good and talented young core of wingers but nobody has really separated from the pack so we want to continue to challenge that group and challenge the group in the first team with quality. I think we got some high-end quality in Michee, just a matter of how long it’s going to take for that to show in games but we’ll throw him into the mix pretty quick.”

On the injury of Omar Holness…
"Omar was slated to play this weekend and had worked his way back and been really tremendous on the group in terms of his approach, mentality and energy level. I think we were all excited for him and excited to have him back in the mix but he had a setback not with his ACL but with another part of his knee last week in training. Just a freak, non-contact injury incident but it shouldn’t be as long-term as the previous injury.”

On James Chambers…
"Chambers is still tracking toward this weekend. It’s been a little longer than we expected and he’s had a minor setback of the last few days so he’ll be questionable for this weekend again.”

Bethlehem Steel FC midfielder Santi Moar
On what he focused on during the bye week…
"The game is going to be decided in the box. We have to make sure that we are clinical in their box and score some goals. We’ve been working on that.”

On challenges that the atmosphere presents…
"I think it’s a great atmosphere for a soccer player to go and play. Obviously, their fans and supporting base is big and is going to try and make our life harder as soon as we step on the field. But I think that will motivate us and make our game stronger.”

On the mindset heading into the match against Charleston…
"It’s a must win. We’re 1-2 at this point and Charleston is a team that I think we can beat. We have to come out and start the game right. James [Chambers] always talks about starting matches right and I think that if we do that then we have a good chance to win this game.”

Bethlehem Steel FC defender Brandon Aubrey
On the challenges an atmosphere like Louisville presents…
"It’s a big task. They are top of the table and they always have a good crowd which brings a lot of energy so we just hope to match that energy and give them a good game and hopefully come out with the three points.”

On playing a team that is unbeaten…
"For me personally, I don’t look at team’s records but the individual players. They have a lot of good individual talent. It will be tough but I don’t think it’s out of our reach. I think with the guys we have, we are more than capable of going in there and bringing home some points.”


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