Orlando City

💬 Oscar Pareja: Fans 'deserve so much more' after dropped points vs Atlanta 


Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja

On his thoughts on tonight’s match

“I have to say that we played well today and I want to congratulate that group of players that pushed that match and that energy. That’s the team that we want to see. The other part is the frustration of giving up another goal at the end and not walking away with the three points. At that part, the equation gets through things, soccer, fútbol, concentration, many things. But we want to see that team more often and we want to see that energy more often. We want to see that Orlando City. And to our fans, that support deserves much, much more. We wanted to walk off not with frustration but with joy, but I’m proud of this group today. Seriously, I think they played well.”

On Mauricio Pereyra’s performance in his first start since coming back from injury

“Mauricio was planned to last half or 60-plus minutes. Mauricio is coming from a long recovery, but we talk in the middle despite playing well. I wanted to just keep going with him as long as we can, but there was a point where we started to lose a bit of energy. But what you say is true, Mauricio gives us a lot of balance and connectivity. We sacrificed that just to put another offensive player and Martín [Ojeda] just brings energy as well and the possibility to score and put the game away. Instead of just thinking of defending and putting another defender, the game is sometimes like that and again sometimes is less simple like that."

On his plan for Kyle Smith in tonight’s game

“I think Kyle played an excellent game. Kyle is a very smart soccer player and the movements we tried today was trying to overload him in the middle with someone who isn’t hesitating to ask for a goal and Kyle was that. With that we could open up Facu [Torres] too and Facu gave us a different version there [out] wide, but not dropping too much in the middle and in the last third. The only one who could help us do that movement was Kyle. Not coming in the same line with him, but just coming into the middle and overloading there and then we get the width that we wanted to with Facu being aggressive in that side. I think the fans enjoyed Facu today. Again my answers are always going to have tonight’s frustration because we’re not going to get away from it, but my job is just to analyze all of those things deeply and see if it works. But that’s a good question and I think the movements from Kyle today were different and he absorbed it well during the week and he executed.”

Orlando City Defender Kyle Smith

On his role change for tonight’s match

“It’s just kind of filling in the space, pushing other people forward when I get into that space, not being predictable so that [Atlanta] has to be aware of where we are and hopefully, we can take advantage of them not being aware and get into the attack better.”

On Atlanta United’s late goal

“We cleared the ball and then their player got a touch and a shot off. Pedro [Gallese] made the save and it went right to their player. He shot it and it deflected off of me and into the goal.”

On the team’s performance for the first 80 minutes and what needs to change to close out games

“I think we played very well tonight. That is what we want to be on the front foot in the games, especially at home, to get the crowd behind us and dictate the game. I think it’s just staying focused and maybe as a team everyone rallying around and reminding everybody “five more minutes” just so everyone is aware that we need to come together in those moments to make sure we kill the game off.”

On his goal tonight

“Iván did really well to shed his defender on the left side and then he went down the line. I believe I got a cross. The ball was kind of bouncing around and Facundo [Torres] played Ercan [Kara] and it bounced out perfectly to me and I just tried to keep the ball low and it went between his legs I believe.”

How to build on tonight's performance

“I think we need to take the positives away; we played well tonight. We need to just keep being consistent on performances so we can get results home and away from home.”

Orlando City Midfielder Wilder Cartagena

On team’s first 80 minutes of play

“I think we played a great game, we were obviously able to find the goal early on. We created some very clear chances for ourselves, but it’s difficult in the end to have another team tie up [the game] late. We move on, we had a great game and we look ahead to the next one. I think the team has some great feelings from how we played.”

On frustration after this draw

“I think we're hurt. After all the all the work, after all the great players that we had, and we come away with one point and not three, but I repeat, that's football. It happens if you're not able to create those goals that put yourself that much further ahead, those things can happen. We only had one [opportunity] in the final third today, even though we created a bunch of chances. We only put the one [goal] up on the board and so they were able to snag a valuable point for themselves and we came away feeling like we lost hope.”

On what the team has learned in the past four matches undefeated

“I think there's always things that you can take away, there's always things that you can learn from and have to improve. Against Miami, we won the game, but we still had things that we have to improve on. Tonight it's a draw, but it hurts a little bit more. We've got to work a little bit harder because it's a draw at home. There's always those little things that we can do. But I think we have to keep ourselves calm because we know that we're a hard-working group that's going to continue to work for that [the win]. The things that we're doing are improving and we're going to get there. We've been on the other side of these draws that just happened to us tonight [against Atlanta].”