Orlando City

💬 Orlando City coach Oscar Pareja on downing LA Galaxy at home: 'I'm very happy for the fans and for the players'

Hear from Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja, striker Ercan Kara and defender Robin Jansson following Saturday's 2-0 victory over LA Galaxy at Exploria Stadium:

Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja

Opening statement

“We're very grateful to the people that came here to push us and make us feel at home again despite all the difficulties at home with results. Today the boys showed that they have such character and tremendous spirit to overcome [those difficulties]. I'm very happy for the fans and for the players. Regarding the game, we played a very good first half. We played very well against a team who changed the model in the second half and occupied different spaces to find some difficulties to control the wing. At the end, our players had the energy to send the results and create a couple more chances today. The goal that Ercan [Kara scored] and Michael [Halliday’s] assist are such a highlight for us. It's very good for us."

On the importance on setting the tone in the first half

“There have been a couple of games where we play well but we don't often win the game on the scoring side because there's too much bounce back. You know the story. Tonight was different. We opened the game with Ecran [Kara’s] goal which gave them a lot of confidence to keep going and how it should be done at home. That's why we sat down, we knew something had to change in the dynamics of the game. Just being in the game was obviously much more comfortable for the players.”

On the team's ability to adjust to changes

"We want to make changes, you saw it. They pushed their wingbacks higher and we understood the game. What was difficult for us to control was the volume in the middle. We knew that they would add another player there, but we also knew that they were going to give the ball to us. We're going to hurt them on the counter and that's exactly what happened. We gave up some spaces up front that we used on the counter. We needed to defend probably 15 yards deeper. We didn’t want to, but they were putting in more numbers and we did well by scoring that second goal. We had a chance for another one, again, but we couldn't sustain that in the first half and we're aware of that.”

Orlando City forward Ercan Kara

On the team’s performance tonight and getting back on the scoresheet

“I think that's how we used to play normally. That’s what everybody wants, the fans and we do [as well] because that's how we like to play. Keep the ball and have chances and I think we did a great job today and we have to continue it.”

On dealing with pressure

“It’s important that you have pressure if you're the player and you have to show it and I know from these guys and from myself it's not always easy. But today I think we are all trying to show what we can do and how important it is. First of all, it's like a good feeling for coming back after a while and for the first goal of the [MLS] season. To score is always nice for me. I'm happy we heard the celebrations from the locker room.”

On the importance of winning at home in front of the fans

“Yeah, of course but not only that. I also think the way we play and how we dominated the game, it’s important for us guys. We know it, we come into halftime inside and everybody had the energy and feeling like that's how we played. That's how the fans want it and that's how we feel comfortable. Today we showed it on the pitch.”

Orlando City defender Robin Jansson

On keeping a clean sheet against Chicharito and Dejan Joveljic

“First of all, I am very happy that the team brought the performance to get the clean sheet. I think we looked solid all over the field. Everyone knows the experience Chicharito has [and Dejan] Joveljic is good too. Chicharito is a legend out there, so we had a great game back there to shut them down and contributing to the attacking play with the ball was also better today.”

On the connection with Mikey Halliday and Kyle Smith at the back

“I think it was great. Mikey is still going this year and I think he has been very good this year and taking steps. He is a Homegrown and there is a good future for Mikey and for Orlando. He continues to work hard, learn and bring his experience on. I think he is going to have a really bright future. Kyle comes in solid as usual, and you always know what you get from Kyle back there. I am happy to have them on my side.”

On being the captain tonight and what it takes to lead the team

“For me, I try to go out there and give my everything, every time out on the field. Today I got the armband and I am very proud of that. This is my fifth year here and I am still the same Robin. I am always trying to do my best out there and trying to help the team the best that I can. I think that is what you are going to get from me, even if I have the armband or not.”