Orlando City

  💬 Head Coach Oscar Pareja proud of his team's character in massive road win over Atlanta United

Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja

Overall thoughts on the win 

"I saw today a lot of character on the field, with a team that had a tough experience over the past weekend and today, coming to Atlanta, we needed this one game. It was important for our confidence, it was important for the standings. We needed a team that had character the whole time, and the players had that today. We had very good health, in terms of movement, controlling the game, controlling the ball. And in the second half, obviously in the last 15 minutes we defended more than we wanted, but we had a team that was throwing bodies [in the way]. We’ve had this experience at home where we deserved to win and to beat them [the opponent], and we ended up just conceding a goal in the last minute. It was all those things that have to be changing. But it can be changed when you win and when your confidence is raising. But all the credit for the players, they held their own tonight and I'm very proud of them.” 

On Mauricio Pereyra’s play and providing two assists 

“Mauricio leads by what he does outside the field, off the field, and he translated in the pitch with his experience and his leadership and not just that, but we are seeing a version of Mauricio where he is not just connecting, but he's been in front a good influence on the goals. I know he's going to score some and his understanding is getting in the box much more so as to have a clearer option in the first half. But two assists means a lot for us and Mauricio is making a big effort on understanding that in that position he needs to have that influence on the score.” 

On what the game plan was coming into the match 

“It was hard to keep it [the level] the whole time. But we really wanted to set the tone of the game at the beginning and try to look for the goal. We thought that we could open them up, look for th spaces. Unfortunately we lost control over the last 20 minutes on that first half and then the game came back and forth, but it was normal. We knew Atlanta was going to react on our pressing. But the boys kept the plan, that plan was trying to use their spaces. Second half was a different story for both teams. But we had our moments and at the end but they put us too low [down the field], for us. But it happens in these games.”

Orlando City SC Defender Antonio Carlos 

On scoring his goal tonight 

“I am really happy to have scored that goal, it's a goal that I've been after all season for quite some time. I've come really close, some other goalkeepers have made some really incredible saves to deny that goal. But, finally, it went in. I'm very happy to not only have scored but to help the team defensively as well and just thrilled that we were able to pick up all three points.”  

On what it says that the team was able to hold on defending the last 15 minutes 

“We knew that this was going to be a tough game. We knew that after the [first] goal that Atlanta were going to go up for the game, they were going to attack, they were going to go all in on the game. Oscar made the right call bringing Rodrigo [Schlegel] in at that point, they were attacking with almost a line of five. So we really needed that support. Rodrigo entered the game very, very well. Robin [Jansson] also had the yellow card so all of that played a role. We fought, we ran, and we were just all on the same page throughout the entire game. And that's the way that we want to play. That's the type of team that we want to be. That's how we're able to get these positive results. And finally, it all just worked out.” 

On the play of Wilder Cartagena and César Araújo to keep Thiago Almada quiet 

“I actually talked to them after the first game that we played against Atlanta and I told both of them that they had done a really great job in that game. That they had done an excellent job in shutting down Atlanta and I said ‘if you guys continue doing that, this is the way forward.’ I think Oscar has been doing an excellent job of putting a lot of emphasis and pressure on the two of them because they can handle it. I think that they've been key to why we have been so strong defensively. We know, the defensive line, that we have those two guys in front of us and that just gives us an extra strength when we play so they've been doing a great job and I'm thrilled for them.”