Orlando City

They said it: González, Salim react to Orlando City debuts against FC Cincinnati


Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja

Opening statement  

“Under the circumstances and obviously with the good rival we had in front of us, the guys put in the performance and competed, and we are proud. We are proud and we are happy to get the result. At home we need to win, but this team needs to be balanced with things. When we cannot win it, we just need to get the result and work out with the point. We just have to take it. There were a lot of positive things that we recognized tonight, especially the players that are new with the team and making us better. We are proud. We will get ready now for our travel [to Monterrey for Concacaf Champions League] tomorrow and represent our city and our Club in an international competition on Tuesday.”
On the offensive attack and if any adjustments need to be made  

"That is obviously something we don't ignored. We know especially with a team that has a lot of volume this past three years and there's a number that we're aiming to improve. Today is probably similar to the New York game was with not much volume and getting passes in the box. It is something we need to get better at. I think it is the collective thinking stages, calling the new ones, I think we need to collectively just get better in the last third."

On being happy with just the one point tonight 

"There are many ways to take it. You may see our ambition all the time. You have that compromise with your fans and your people. If you see it from that angle, that we just let two points go, its fine. We feel the boys were outstanding in the situation, but they want to win. We were playing against a good team too. Cincinnati, last year, created trouble for us. We couldn't beat them, but we know what we are. We know where we are as well. I don't want to bring this analysis and pair them up with the Tigres. I just want to analyze this game. We need to create more volume. Now, there is a lot of positive things, and it comes with just keeping their goals at zero, the boys are defending much better. Players like Salim and Michael, who has taken the position, Luca is new on the team and the back four and then the other ones that are coming, Gaston, Ojeda... So we are going to be fine. We're going to be fine today. Today, I take the point, not proudly but I think it was a challenge because the rival is very hard and they play well."

On what he is expecting ahead of the match against Tigres UANL 

"It has been challenging because the last two days, I have been telling the boys, ‘I don’t want to talk about this.’ We have to focus on Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Cincinnati, but you have it in the back of your mind that you have to take care of the players, you have to rotate players and bring Facundo [Torres] out. He was mad then I said, ‘Don’t get mad at me, you knew you were going to come out.’ Now we finished and now we have Tigres in front of us. They are one of the best teams in the territory, one of the best teams in the competition, they are the super Tigres and all those things, but we are Orlando City and we are going to go there with faith, with character and we know we can do this. We are going to represent what we earn. Now we are in Tigres mode and we are going to travel tomorrow, we turn around. Now Cincinnati is gone, and we go to Monterrey with positives, with energy and pride as we take Orlando City into its first international competition. We are proud."

Orlando City midfielder Gastón González

On getting his first minutes with the Club and the play in the offensive third 

[I’m] happy to get my first minutes for Orlando City. I think in terms of the attack, I think we had a little bit of trouble with some of the things that they were doing, but I think for the most part we did well. We're just in a moment where we need to continue improving, continue trying to get that connectivity and that chemistry with each other and just keep improving the way that we're able to finish."

On making his return from injury 

“The injury was a long and difficult period of time. For me, it was something where I couldn't be with my teammates pretty much all of last year. It was a lot of work and a lot of hard work without being able to see results. Coming into this year I just wanted to be out there with my teammates. They continue to push me, they continue to support me and give me all the confidence of the world every day. Today out there I felt great. In terms of the game, I want to continue improving, hopefully continue to work and gain confidence out there on the field. But in terms of the game, we just want to continue improving as just one part of the group and try and get all three points next time” 

On adapting to the league 

“It’s a league where there's a lot of running, there's a lot of transitions, every team likes to play with a style that involves a lot of running in one way or another. I think in comparison with the Argentinian league, they are both leagues of high intensity but in distinct ways and I still have a bit of adapting to do. It was my first official game here today. There are still some things I need to continue adapting to and to continue improving on, but I felt good.”

Orlando City defender Abdi Salim

On his first professional start and going the whole 90 minutes 

“First and foremost, I just want to thank the coaching staff regarding this opportunity. I wouldn't say perfect, but it went well. Clean sheet, good performance by me and as a team, so I can't complain.” 

On when he knew he was getting the start and how he prepared mentally 

“[Oscar] told us [at the] beginning of the week that we needed everyone this week because we have three games in the span of 10 days. He just told us we need everyone for this game and at the start of the week, he told me that ‘You're starting’ so I was like, I’ve got to get my mind right. I couldn't even sleep yesterday, I just kind of thought about it, it's just another game."

On what he learned going against Cincinnati’s front three 

“It's different. The style is more demanding. It's not like college. [I’m] not trying to knock on college, but it's way different. It's a faster game. You’ve got to be more focused when you're playing, so just the focus part I feel like I’ve got to do better on that, but one game at a time.”

Concacaf Champions League

Concacaf Champions League

Secure your seats to see Orlando City battle Tigres UANL in the Concacaf Champions League at Exploria Stadium on Wednesday, March 15th.