MLS is Back Tournament - Knockout Stage - generic

Soundbytes and Quote Sheet - MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage presented by Audi

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NYCFC
Head Coach Ronny Delia:
“A lot of credit to MLS about the tournament, because I think we've been very safe. I think the logistics have been good, no waiting anywhere. The food is there, ready … good food. So in my opinion, it has been a positive thing. And now we're coming into the final stages and then it’s going to be really fun.”
 
Gary Mackay-Steven (forward):
“We’re still in the tournament, it’s a big opportunity for us. It’s knockout games now.  There’s no room for error. It’s a big game against Toronto. We’ll have to go in all guns blazing and make the most of it.”
 
“Especially now you have to treat every game like a final.  There’s no margin for error, there’s no runner up spot, if you lose you’re out.”
 
“We need to win. Basically everything means more. Every player is going to be called upon and you have to do your job and do it well and take every opportunity that we get.  It's exciting. Everyone's looking forward to it, and Sunday will be a great occasion.”
 
VANCOUVER
Head coach Marc Dos Santos (on the club’s last match):
“We used the delay to the best of our ability to make sure that the guys recovered well relaxed, and then used it to try to adjust some things tactically that could help us push. We knew that after the 60 minutes we were still alive in the tournament, and we would keep fighting until the end, until we had a chance of going all the way and qualifying. We knew that that first goal would be important. When we got it, the belief was even bigger and we were able to push and to get our ourselves in the knockout stage.”
 
Cristian Dajome (midfielder):
“We have great players who have played in big matches in their careers. At the end of the day, what matters is what we want, and ultimately it doesn’t matter who is here, or who is not. The important thing is on game day, we all have the same mindset and we’re ready to go.”
 
KANSAS CITY
Head Coach Peter Vermes:
“Knockout stages always tend to be exactly what they are. They're finals, and you have to prepare for them as such.  You don't have another game, so you go in playing it like a final.”
 
“The positive is that from game to game we’ve gotten stronger and stronger in all those areas that we perceive that we have to be better in.”
 
“There's no MLS game that is easy, and we don't expect this to be anything but a very tough contest. They'll fight for everything, and we have to be on our toes for this game as well.”
 
Alan Pulido (forward) (quotes translated from Spanish):
“We don’t feel like favorites of the tournament. We feel confident but not overconfident. We’re confident in the work we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished in these trainings before the tournament and as a team.”
 
“I feel the teams that advance are the teams that makes fewest errors and take advantage of the opportunities. We have to be concentrated and come out like it’s the last game we’re playing in our lives.”
 
“Yes, the fact that I’m here is to grow professionally. It’s a very competitive league.”
 
“My dream is to be able to go to another World Cup and not just go, but to play. That’s the mentality I have. It’s on me to be able to do it. The coach of the national team, Tata, is a coach we all know. He was here [in MLS] and knows MLS is complicated and the adapting that I do here with my teammates could grab their attention and show that I can do things well in the national team.  I hope to continue on this streak to keep scoring important goals and take my Sporting team as high as possible.”
 
TORONTO
Head Coach Greg Vanney:
“At night, the intensity level is going to be higher. I think that's also ramped up by the fact that it's a knockout situation. Just like in the playoffs, the intensity level goes higher. And I think for us, we have to raise our level in terms of the intensity and the speed at which we're doing things and staying more connected.”
 
Michael Bradley (midfielder):
“[Concacaf} Champions League is always a priority at our club. It's a big tournament, a special tournament. It's a tournament that we have some history with. And so the opportunity to get ourselves back in that game already, at this point in the year, is important and exciting. You know, there's no two ways about that. More than just Champions League though, is the idea that this is a tournament. There's a trophy, and we want to win. We want to be the team that's standing at the end. We've been a team and a club over the last handful of years that has been consistent in how we have gone after every single every game and every trophy, and this this is certainly no different.”
 
“I think there’s been a lot of things that we feel good about, but we understand that as you move into the knockout stage of a tournament like this, the intensity will get cranked up a little bit and we have to be ready for that.”
 
“From our standpoint, there’s a trophy on the line and we want to take it one game at a time. Regardless of who you're playing, when it's one game, anything can happen. So it's important to always have complete respect for every opponent regardless of how they’ve shown in the tournament up until this point.”
 
Omar Gonzalez (defender):
“We go after everything, every competition that we are part of, we give it our everything and we look to lift another trophy. That's another reason why a year ago I chose to come here, because they have those ambitions of trying to win everything. And so this is just another example of that. And so we got through the group stages, we were able to win the group stage, and now we move on.”
 
“Around the hotel, it's been great seeing old teammates, seeing old coaches, being able to stop for a few minutes just to check in and see how they're doing and catch up, see how everyone's family is doing those types of things.”
 
“I think it's been good that each game you keep on improving a little bit, while still reaching your team goals and winning the group and things like that. And then tactically I think as a group, it's one of the reasons why we are where we are. We have a good group of experienced players, we work well together with and without the ball. And if you aren't organized and if you don't work together, if you aren't tactically sound, then it's going to be pretty hard to advance in this tournament under these conditions, so I think we've been pretty good thus far, but there's still room for improvement and we're still looking to keep on improving.”
 
PHILADELPHIA
 
Alejandro Bedoya:
“We’re looking forward to winning the tournament. I mean, there's a Concacaf Champions League spot on the line and as you get more wins, you build more confidence and momentum within your group and you know, you create that kind of camaraderie and that feeling.”
 
“Soccer playing, it's our passion is what we get paid to do, it's what we love to do. So I can tell you every time we step out on the field- on the training field on the soccer field, you know, we take it seriously and we try to have fun and enjoy the show. Like I've said, now that we're here, it's just about remaining optimistic and positive.  I think within our group, whether it's playing Call of Duty online together, or FIFA, with the guys, you know, guys have come together and we built kind of an even more stronger bond with each other. Getting to know one another even more, the new guys can kind of get acclimated to the group. So, it is what it is, whatever comes we’ll take it when it comes.”  
 
Brendan Aaronson:
“I think that when the confidence keeps growing in the group like it has, it’ll only get better and better. And I think that every performance here has gotten better and better. So I think that when we keep building it up, we’ll have that great performance.”
 
Jim Curtin:
“It makes for a great matchup. It'll be an exciting game, two teams that attack really well, two teams that defend really well. So really look forward to the challenge that New England brings. Bruce is an incredible coach in our league. And then with our National Team, and obviously has built a really strong New England team in a very short amount of time. Needs to be said too, obviously they're missing Caicedo and strong defensive midfielder, and Gil who's whose status for the game probably remains up in the air, but an incredible player. So really strong team, we’ll have to be at 100% to move on in this competition.”
 
“Obviously you can see that things are working because there's been no positive tests. Knock on wood now, for quite some time. So there's challenges but again, we're trying to keep things fresh. Again the little things, like surprising them with Kevin Durant jumping on a Zoom call and seeing their eyes, and picking his brain about different things in his career that made him become a champion. Those things are cool for the players.”
 
“The hotel has been quieter, teams start to leave now as they get eliminated so we want to be here as long as possible. We are making the most of the situation just like every other team and the League has done a good job of keeping things fresh and active for the players, but it’s unique for sure”.
 
“Even down to the game against Miami where we know we have our destiny in our own hands.  Yes, there's no fans here, so it's a little quieter, but the intensity of that game knowing that if we hang on and win, we're through already, just that feeling, guys stepping up and Andre making a big save or Mark making a clearance, or Brenden making an incredible play on a transition. All those things are so valuable on their growth and development. So to answer your question, there's no replacement for the intensity of elimination games. So the more of those they get, the better. Now we have an opportunity for one on Saturday night at 10:30pm... I can tell you it's going to be a very entertaining game- again two really good teams with a lot on the line, and we want to survive in advance in this competition.”
 
NEW ENGLAND
Bruce Arena:
“We have some depth in a lot of positions. Some of our young players, when they get an opportunity to play have shown well so that's a real positive. I think we've used 18 or 19 players to date, which is pretty unique in the tournament so hopefully that's a positive. Hopefully we're a little fresher for the next game on Saturday and that'll help us not only in this tournament, but as we close out the regular season as well.”
 
ORLANDO
Chris Mueller:
“Ultimately it's kind of a hat off to the team for the performances that we've been putting in, the character that we've been showing on the field, especially coming back from a tough quarantine period and what's been a tough period for everyone around the world. I really am just really proud of this group and happy with what we're showing out on the pitch.”
 
“Obviously, there's going to be a little bit more pressure because you lose and you go home and we obviously want to take it all the way to the Final and win the Tournament. But ultimately, what we have to do is focus one game at a time and just focus on the process and trust playing our best football and hopefully the result will come from that. We don't want to look too far ahead and get ourselves caught up. We have a good opponent in Montreal that's coming up on Saturday, and we're going to be as prepared as possible and go in and play our best game we know that we will for sure give our best effort and hopefully the result will come our way.”
 
“I think that the guys have done a really nice job in bonding together, and spending the time that we do have together in a good fashion. We're just getting to know each other and that chemistry off the pitch is kind of showing itself now on the field.  In my opinion, I think that we're a much stronger group. We're very together in the sense that this has been a tough time, and we've stood by each other, we've had each other's backs. I think that when you look at it from that standpoint, it's been great in here. I think Oscar has been continuously reminding us of the message just continue to be grateful for the little things.”
 
MONTREAL
Thierry Henry:
“We have to make pressure on ourselves because we want to go very far in this Tournament. We are not here just to play.”
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