Adam Najem Steel FC vs. Red Bulls II

Steel FC vs. RBNY II Post-Match Quote Sheet

POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET
Bethlehem Steel FC vs. New York Red Bulls II [May 16, 2018, Bethlehem, PA]

Bethlehem Steel FC Head Coach Brendan Burke
On getting the shutout…
“It means a lot to us and it’s our first shutout of the year and it came at a really good time against a rival. We knew we were going to get their best effort, they made the game difficult and ugly. They did a fantastic job in pressing and chopping up the game and neither team could connect a pass. It was one of those games where you have to win your duels, show some real grit and play forward fast off the weak side and I thought we did a great job of that. Fabian [Herbers] goal was case and point.”

On the play of Michee Ngalina since he joined Steel FC…
"He hasn’t even had that much time with us and he’s only been with us about a month and a half. I’m just really impressed with his composure to play in a game that fast at just 18-years-old. I was just told that he is the youngest goalscorer in Steel FC’s history which is a big accomplishment, I’m sure some others will push him coming out of the [Philadelphia Union] Academy but he not only looked like a goal that contributed a goal tonight but was goal-dangerous the whole time he was on the field.”

On breaking New York’s seven-game unbeaten streak…
"It’s all about us and them when we play against them, I don’t know if they feel the same way but I would imagine they get that from a lot of teams but for us, it’s about them. We’re trying to emulate what they have done with their USL program, John [Wolyniec] does a great job and they get players through at an unbelievable right. We’re chasing them so to be on level terms with them on any playing field is important for me and my guys.”

On how the familiarity of New York’s style of play helped…
“It’s club-wide, the [Union] Academy played them last week, the first team plays them all the time between regular season and [Lamar Hunt U.S.] Open Cup. I’ve been around our club for a long time so I’m very familiar with their style of play at this point. They will be less concerned with our style of play than we are with theirs because they are so clearly defined in the way they play. I think our guys did a good job of exploiting the few holes that are there to be exploited.”

On how New York responded to the first-minute chance by Steel FC…
“They got on top of us for a good spell after that. I turned to [assistant coach] Stephen [Hogan] and said that we just can’t buy an early goal because we have done this in so many games now where we create the first good goalscoring chance of the game but it doesn’t fall for us and then there are some shaky moments. Their mentality is the best thing that helped them because they just press and go and fight, unlike any team we play against. I thought they were putting their imprint on the first half until late in the first half when we finally switched play the way we talked about. ”

On why Cory Burke is on such a strong run lately…
“It’s because he is hungry and plays with an edge and we said that to the whole team before the game. Cory took a red card at Montreal,  who cares because he plays with an edge and that is what makes him, him. He showed it again today with two assists and he was just a handful for them, especially on their back four when teams are trying to get on top of us. You have to account for him in space or you will pay for it.”

Bethlehem Steel FC defender Brandon Aubrey
On getting the first shutout of the year…
“It’s really important, that is something we talked about and set the goal for ourselves to get as many clean sheets as we can this year. Obviously, when you get a clean sheet, you are going home with some points and points leads to playoffs and that is the main goal for us. As a defender, that is the best thing that can happen for us.”

On breaking New York’s seven-game unbeaten streak…
"It feels great and it’s always good to win a rivalry game. We are excited to come out with a win and hopefully, we can get our own winning streak going.”

On playing in the rivalry for the first time…
“There was some good energy, obviously both teams wanted to win and we’re both very competitive. The styles of play are contrasting because they like to press us while we like to build out so it takes away from our play style but again we stuck to the game plan and got the result we wanted.”

Bethlehem Steel FC midfielder Adam Najem
On the play that set up Michee Ngalina’s goal…
“It was the theme of the first half and even the whole game, if we switched the point of attack quickly then the other side of the field was wide open. Cory [Burke] and Fabian [Herbers] did some good work on the right side to find me and then I slipped Michee in for the great finish and the great celebration.”

On the play of Michee who is new to the team…
"He is a quiet kid but is young, fast, athletic and some great feet. He has the confidence to go 1v1 against anybody so that is a key for the team finding him. That will be crucial to his development, to continue to be confident and it’s great for him to get his first goal.”

On another strong personal performance against New York…
“I’ve had a run of games now where I’ve had six shots and a few shots in the other game and I feel like it was building up to this. It feels nice to finally get on the scoresheet and help in any way that I can. It just happens to be Red Bull three times but I’ll take whatever I can and help the team in anyway.”

New York Red Bulls II Head Coach John Wolyniec
On the 3-0 loss to Bethlehem Steel FC…
“Definitely a frustrating game for us. In the opening minutes, we gave up chances and never really got a hold of the game. In a lot of ways, probably one of our poorer performances during the year so certainly frustrating  in that sense.”

On trying to combat the pace on the left side of the field…
“We tried to play forward. We kept giving balls away every time we tried to move up the field and it would just come right back in our face. We knew the problems that Bethlehem can present and we didn’t do a good job taking care of the details in trying to counteract what they were trying to do and that it harder on us.”

Biggest takeaway on having the seven-match unbeaten streak come to an end…
"Sometimes a team comes out and plays out of character and we did that and it leaves me confused. Sometimes you just have to trust in what they are doing and keep moving forward, sometimes there are outliers and you just have to keep going. We have a little break, hopefully, that helps and hope this didn’t ruin their break but hopefully, they can think about it a little bit and come back with a good mentality to keep moving this thing forward because this is about getting better.”

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