Orlando City

💬 Oscar Pareja: 'We played a very complete match' after beating Nashville SC to advance in the MLS Cup Playoffs

Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja

Opening statement 

“First, I would like to start by congratulating the players and a squad that has been very responsible and very professional in representing our community and our fans. I think we are all very proud about what they did on the field. Relating to the game, I thought we played a very complete match, especially because we were solid in the attacking areas and could have probably scored a couple more goals, but against Nashville that is not an easy task. We defended all those crosses and when they were throwing bodies in front, we still controlled the game and we are happy because we looked more mature today. We continue with our journey thinking that we can do it. We are very proud and, again, I want to congratulate the players on the tremendous effort that they have done.” 

On scoring the early goal and how important that was 

“It was a good opening to the game, obviously something we desire especially when you go away. We were waiting for a reaction from Nashville and surely, they were going to give us the spaces in the back, which we could have probably been more lethal there, but opening the game with a goal that early was very important for us.” 

On the changes at halftime and the defensive marking on Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar 

“We divided the responsibilities with him. I think in the first half we were too worried about marking him in the perimeter defense. The second half, we wanted to free up our players as well and make him work and divide that duty on marking him when we were attacking, but not with just one player but any of the guys there so we didn’t limit our movements. It was basically what we did and in the second half we looked more free, we looked more connected and the cohesiveness amongst the players was much better. The feeling in the first half was good, but the second half was much, much better.”

Orlando City SC Forward Iván Angulo

Opening statement  

“I think it was a very tough game. We knew that it was going to be like that going into it. It was going to be a disputed game against a great team, but we did well. I thought our team was really good, we were able to drive almost every moment of the match and I think we did really well and we are ready to move on.” 

On the goal that he scored in the sixth minute 

“We came out with the intention to run and to really press them high and try to pin them back so I just kind of pressed into that area between the center backs and the holding midfielders that I really like to get in-between and force them to make a bad pass. Thankfully I was able to take the ball off their foot and find myself in a nice spot in their box and just figured I would have a hit and see where it goes and thankfully it went into the back of the net.” 

On winning the best-of-three series and if the intensity from Nashville SC was high in the match compared to the last 

“Yeah, I think from the very beginning before we even started the playoffs, we knew we wanted to try and win this series and advance to the next phase within the first couple of games and obviously we knew that had to start with playing a strong game and winning at home first and winning that first game and setting ourselves up for that second game that we knew that we could win if we were able to get that first one. Thankfully, we have been playing really well and we were able to secure that advancement to the next round and we are ready to move one. Like you said, we did feel the intensity more from Nashville in the second game, obviously they are at home with their fans and their supporters and they came out with the intention of trying to put themselves on top early so we really felt that intensity, but the team played well together and really stuck together to get this win.”