Saturday, October 1, 2016

FC Dallas clinch playoffs for the first time since 2011

October 13, 2014 by  
Filed under MLS

FC Dallas 2-1 LA Galaxy

FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja

Overall thoughts on the game…

The tactical intelligence and the tactical commitment during the game was outstanding, and I want to remark on that because it requires a lot of faith and compromise to get what we want from them and they did it. The first half we found some challenges with LA; they have a very good counterattack. I didn’t want to put our line of confrontation too high in the first half knowing that they can exploit those spaces very effectively. They found a way to do this and they put themselves up 1-0.

In the second half, I thought we kept it calm even though we could have easily scored in the first half and tied it up. The boys kept their composure, which shows a lot of maturity and character. In the second half it was all heart with what I mentioned about the tactical intelligence that they had to block LA’s attack. We had a great second half – it was well deserved. I thought we deserved the points; I thought we deserved the playoffs, and it’s great to bring the playoffs back to Frisco. It’s well deserved for the whole community.

Dreaming to coach a team like this…

It feels great. This is home. It is one of the commitments that I have with the community and with all the people who were working here before. My community is still here and this year we’ve brought the playoffs back and we’re here. I feel great but the job is not done yet. I still have a lot of things to work on to keep moving. I really think that we can qualify third, fight for that spot and have a long run in the playoffs.

Feeling upon returning to Colorado next week…

I can’t hide it so much, because I was there two years and the club there treated me very well. I have a lot of friends and especially the players who shared those two years with me. Coming back to Colorado and sharing that game that is very important to us will be great and knowing that we’re in the playoffs already makes it even better.

Unfinished business…

I do really think that we can qualify third and the boys deserve it. I’m happy, obviously, and relieved with the fact that we’ve made it in the playoffs and that we can play the next two games without that much pressure knowing that we can get out. We’re learning great things, including learning how to beat some of the best teams in the league. Seattle, LA, Salt Lake – that just gives us a different joy. Tonight we’re going to enjoy the fact that we’re back, but tomorrow I will come out eager to fight for the third spot because that’s my responsibility.

On Fabian Castillo’s goal…

It’s a reward for him. He’s had a tremendous season so far and we have to make everyone understand that it’s not just his speed, but his commitment to work for the team. Fabian is gaining respect from his teammates in that regard. He’s a team player now, more than before, and the game is rewarding him. I’m happy for him, but he knows that every day I raise the bar.

What lesson did you learn from your last trip to the playoffs…

Playoffs can be short if you don’t put everything in. If you have seen this group, they have been in playoff mode for the last three or four games. Playing against Vancouver, playing against Seattle here, playing today with the possibility to jeopardize our qualification – all of that is in playoff mode.

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena

On tonight’s game…

We didn’t lose control of the game, we lost the game. We had a lot of control in the second half at times. It’s the sloppy play at the end of the game that makes the difference. We didn’t execute over a simple throw-in play. We had some chances. Didn’t get it done.

LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan

On tonight’s game…

We didn’t play great, but we weren’t terrible. That game sort of had a winner written all over it after their goal. We just had a series of mistakes, and that one play lead to a goal so it’s frustrating, but I think we all knew it would come down to these last two games so that’s the way it goes. It’s better to have a wake-up call now than to lose in the playoffs.

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