Orlando City

💬 Oscar Pareja: 'Everybody was just on duty' in dominant win over Toronto FC

Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja

Opening Statement 

"The boys are happy. They are very pleased with their performance. I think it was one of our most responsible performances. The respect for the game that they showed today was very good. I am very pleased with it. Even when the game turned into the game that it was headed, they played very inspired and that is why they scored the goals. It is a good sensation, and it is still our responsibility to perform in front of our fans. Congratulations to them and this is a special day for America. We are very proud to belong to the community, to the fans, and to this country that has provided us all the opportunity to work. Enjoy today and we are very happy today.” 

On how the gameplan was executed with the short turnaround 

"It was a shorter week. The boys were very responsible, with their two days trying to [regain] their energy. We imagined the game would be hard in the first 30 minutes because we saw a team that had energy and young players and we wanted to resolve that from the beginning. The first goal gave us a lot of confidence. After that, what I liked was that everyone was just on their duties. It was not overconfident or different. We were winning the game the way we should do it in front of our fans. It is a good feeling. Not too much time to enjoy it as we have to get ready for Salt Lake, but the boys are playing well." 

On what he told his team during the hydration break 

"We saw it a little in the last game against Chicago in which we had a moment that we were defending not in the space we wanted to, and Chicago was able to create a couple sequences there. Today, Toronto started doing it for that period. I have to say that it was quite hard to maintain the whole rhythm today. In that moment I noticed that we were getting cut a little bit in the energy, but we responded well. The boys came back to the game and scored and then we started the pace of the game. We wanted progress, speed and creating sequences while recognizing the boys were pacing. It was big today because it was so hot, and their recovery was so short. It was the same as Chicago in which we lost control, but we came back."

Orlando City Defender Rafael Santos

On what was working for the team over the match, especially on the left side of the pitch 

“The work today is a reflection of all the hard work that we have been doing, we’ve been working on all of this in training. It’s reflective of the work that Oscar is putting in, it’s not only us on the left side, myself, Facu [Torres] and Iván [Angulo], but everyone on the team. Things worked really well in the middle of the park as well. So, this is again, what we’ve been training, what we’ve been doing and just listening to what Oscar [Pareja] is saying and that’s why things are working.” 

On getting the results at home and what has changed 

“Nothing’s changed, we were playing really strong games here at home but unfortunately, we weren’t getting the results, we had a lot of points slip through our fingers even though we were performing well. What has changed is that we’ve just continued to work, continued to apply what we’re doing in training, and finally we are seeing the fruits of that labor. We still want to be performing a lot better, we still want to climb the table, there’s a lot of work yet to be done, and the best is yet to come.” 

On his adjustment coming from Brazil and how he has been able feel comfortable 

“My teammates. My teammates really helped me from the beginning. It was a tough transition, it just took me a little bit of time but thanks to them, thanks to the confidence Oscar [Pareja] has had in me I’ve been able to adapt. I think I have a lot of potential, there is a lot that I can do to help this team. Antonio [Carlos] just like my other teammates, has really helped me and I want to be able to help Orlando in the maximum way that I can.”

Orlando City Midfielder Dagur Dan Thórhallsson

On scoring his first MLS goal 

“It was an amazing feeling. It was a sequence that we do a lot in training. It was nice to get a goal from that. I pointed and the ball came. I saw the keeper leaving and thought if he hits me, he hits me, but I went past him and I scored, finally.”  

On bringing energy off the bench and scoring 

“It is an amazing feeling, of course. The only thing that usually matters in team sports is to win the games. For me, I know it’s cliché, but if I can help the team win the game and get them over the line then, that is amazing and a good feeling to score as well.”  

On how the seven-game home unbeaten streak has impacted the locker room 

“It is a great feeling. We talked when we were in a downswing and pointed at the things that needed to be fixed, which was to score goals at home. It’s actually clicking now which is good and amazing for the fans as well. It is good to get the wins. I thought we had been playing well but the goals were the thing that was missing. Now they’re coming [the goals] and that is why we are winning.”