Notable Quotables | Orlando City vs. Montreal Impact

Notable Quotables | Orlando City vs. Montreal Impact

Orlando City SC Head Coach Oscar Pareja 

Opening statement

“We’re very proud of the effort of the players in tonight’s match against a very difficult opponent, different than the ones that we have faced in the first stage of the tournament. We dominated the first half. The boys had the personality to put conditions and set the tempo of the game early on. We should have scored a couple goals, but those are things we need to improve slowly, but the chemistry within the group was very good, especially in the first half. The second half we had a much harder opposition because Montreal came out sharper. They changed their model and I think we were faithful in our concepts and the way we played and that’s one of the highlights of the game and the other one is just to congratulate the young players that came onto the field tonight. Daryl Dike and Joey DeZart debuted tonight and it was great, we are very happy for them.”


On adjusting to Montreal shifting to a back three

“We were expecting when we came off from the first half in our 15 minutes [at halftime], we spoke about that. We were very sure that they would readjust and then we spoke about that formation of five in the back and trying to get the wingbacks higher and trying to condense the middle. We didn’t want to move our formation or try to do something different, we just wanted to give continuity to what we had and it took us probably five or seven minutes to adjust to it. I think we did and our players continued with consistency to do what they were planning to do. Even though I think the reaction of the model [gave] to Montreal we noticed and then we had some issues there, but we adjusted well. Then the goal came and we had control of the game and that’s something that we are very happy about.”


On the performances of Daryl Dike and Joey DeZart in their MLS debuts

“It’s going to make them grow a lot, the circumstances of the tournament not just debuting in any game, they’re debuting in a game that needed personality, that needs their presence in the game to seal it, to get into spaces and obviously to get the win. It’s a responsibility that they absorbed well and we are very proud. The boys are prepared, we’re going to give the opportunity to all, but they are earning that opportunity. It’s not given to them, they are earning it so tonight was a good demonstration of they were the ones who needed to do that job and they came out very sharp and did a great job.”


On the team’s finishing

“It’s about patience. Right now they’re doing a terrific job on training those action sequences and making a lot of repetition. We would like to have overnight things done and that would be great, but for now we need patience. We need to keep going the way we’re going and in the direction that we’re going. The forwards and midfielders especially, they know that we have to be more precise in that last piece of the field, but we will keep working. It’s a process and the good thing is that we’re winning games and that gives us more time just to keep getting better in those aspects. It’s an ongoing project.”


Orlando City SC Midfielder Sebastián Méndez

On what he attributes to the team’s chemistry on the pitch 

“I believe that today was a great game, in the first half we controlled the game. The chemistry that we have on the field is due to our training sessions. I believe that the coaching staff has done a great job during preseason and now after the pandemic. We feel very confident on the pitch, we know where each player is on the field, which has been very helpful and visible on the playing field.” 


On his positioning role 

“I believe that it’s important to understand the way that Oscar wants us to play. In this case he has asked me to be more of a player who goes from box to box for the team when we attack and defend as well. When I play this role, Mauricio [Pereyra] is extremely important because he would open up spaces and visibility for me, Tesho [Akindele] and Chris Mueller. This is very important because his movements on the field give me the freedom to attack and come back to help my teammate Uri [Rosell] in defending. We are focused, this game is over and we are already thinking about the next one so we can get prepared.” 


Orlando City SC Forward Tesho Akindele

On what it meant to hold the lead and close out the game

“That was really important for us and I think that over the past few games we’ve shown that we have done a good job of doing that. We’ve had the lead and we’ve held onto the lead a few times in a row. It just shows a strong mentality, it shows good organization from the team and it just shows dedication to the cause from the front to the back. It starts with the forwards, to the midfielders, to the defenders, the goalie, everybody is bought in and focused in those last few minutes, which is something we might have been missing last year and we have it right now.”


On the quick turnaround in the team’s play from last year to this year

“People have asked me about this a lot and I keep saying the same thing, it’s intensity. Oscar [Pareja] brings just a different level of intensity than most coaches. The level of the practices is higher, the standards that are expected of us in the game are higher and even off the field these guys are watching video 24/7. They have everything prepared, they have a Plan B prepared, so I think just that intense mindset is infectious and is helping us get results.”

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September 11, 2020: Major League Soccer has announced the 2020 regular season schedule through the end of September. From September 18-27, each MLS club will compete in three regular season matches. Additional 2020 MLS regular season matches will be announced pending further developments regarding travel protocols. Attendance at matches will be determined in accordance with applicable state and local guidelines.