Notable Quotables | Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union

Notable Quotables | Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union

Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor 

Opening statement

“We started the game really brightly and got a goal and then after the goal it felt like we needed to do a better job of maintaining possession. We allowed them [Philadelphia] to come back into the game a little bit. They scored a goal but then I think, obviously, the sending off has a major impact. I haven’t seen it back yet, but I think that completely changes the game. Then Sacha [Kljestan] makes a poor decision, goes to ground. True, tiredness to be fair to Sacha, and then we’re down another man. I think, obviously, the game was completely impacted by the sendings [sic] off.”

On preparing the team to face the same club on Saturday

“I think for us were just the first 10 minutes of the second half, I think we needed to be sharper. Granted we’ve gone to 10 men, but I think that’s something that we feel as if we needed to start the second half better than we did, but you can’t fault the lads who were out there. The effort that they were giving, they were running themselves into the ground. I think the issue Saturday now is we’ve got a load of guys that have played a lot of minutes and have had covered a lot of ground. We have another game, then on the Wednesday game against New York, we’re going to have to really try to manage the situation because I think when you cover that amount of ground with the players that we have, we just need to be really careful about how we manage the next couple of games.”

On replacing Nani with Kamal Miller in the match

“I think for us it was just a case of trying to again manage. I think when you look at the volume of minutes that Nani’s had, I think that becomes the biggest thing is trying to protect somebody. Again it wasn’t just Nani, I think there was a couple of others that played a decent amount of minutes. When you have so many games in such a short period of time, that’s the last thing that you want, is to have to play for long periods with 10 men and then nine men. It’s far from ideal because we still have a lot of games coming up so we’re going to have to be really intelligent in how we manage the next couple of games.”

Orlando City Forward Tesho Akindele

On the shift in the match from the first goal to the red card

“I think you summed it perfectly. I think we started out really well. They’re a good team, we knew it. We knew we’d have to kind of impose ourselves on the game and we did. Chris [Mueller] scored an amazing goal and I thought we had control of it. They kind of started taking momentum back, obviously the red card was unlucky for us but it happens sometimes. We need to learn from it, we need to go and review what we did wrong and make sure we’re ready to do better in that situation next time.”

On the takeaways from this match heading into Saturday

“I think just discipline, sticking to the game plan because I thought we went into the second half tied 1-1 and then I think we lost our discipline as a team. You need to at that point bunker and not allow a goal in the first couple of minutes and that’s on everyone. That’s on me from the top and our defenders. Everybody needs to be better and I think we just need to be a little bit more disciplined in those situations.”

On how he feels entering into this long stretch of games

“I’m feeling good. They’ve done a really good job, our training staff, of keeping us healthy and giving us everything we need to recover, but like James [O’Connor] said we’re going to rotate the team and we have a lot of depth in a lot of positions. We’ve had so many players play already this season so I think anybody who gets put in is going to be ready to do a good job.” 

Orlando City Forward Chris Mueller 

On his goal in the first half

“Yeah, I just flicked it around the corner because I saw Tesho kind of in an open space. It bounced around and I picked it up and just started driving kind of towards the goal and the defender just kept backing off, backing off, backing off, until I felt I was close enough to get a good look and just kept it low and took my shot.”

On two goals in the past two games and if he feels he is entering a groove

“Yeah I feel good, I feel confident. Just want to keep helping the team any way I can, I want to get results first and foremost, so the goals are nice but first want to win.”

On playing the Union again on Saturday after two red cards this game

“Yeah, it’s definitely something that we keep in our minds that at least looking forward we have an opportunity to go there and do the same, get three points on the road. We kind of have a short turnaround to react and just get together and figure out a way that we can do that, but yeah with the two red cards it’s obviously tough. If you’re down two men, it just opens up so much space, leaves you vulnerable but you still kind of got to go for the game so, yeah, it’s awkward like you said so just got to try and manage it better for sure.”