June 6, 2017 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Houston Dash
Houston Dash Interim Head Coach Omar Morales
(on being named the interim head coach) "It has been an interesting 10 days or so. I'm extremely excited about the opportunity and just ready to get working and try to get this ship turned around with the team - push the girls to get better every day."
(on if transitioning from a college program to the professional game has sunk in) "When I first got here, that transition - I took most of that in during the last eight weeks. It's been a rollercoaster for sure. I wasn't obviously expecting to be where I am now, but I'm grateful for the opportunity and I'm ready to get to work. Yeah, I think the taking it all in process has been an eight week process."
(on his plan to improve the team over the last 16 games) "I think it is approaching it as I'm going to do whatever I need to do to get us going, but the way that I coach - I like to motivate players, and get everything out of every single player, so just push them as much as I can to get better on a daily basis, as an individual and as a team. I think there's a difference in the college game and pro game, but it's soccer player's playing soccer. I keep saying that and its repetitive, but it truly is. I was nervous the first couple of times when I ran a session here with the Dash. Then it just became normal to me that it is just soccer players wanting to learn. Every single one of our players wants to get coached and wants to get better and that's our approach. Making it as simple as possible for the rest of the season and just letting them know that there are still games to be played and we could still make a push for this. Like (Jen Cooper) mentioned there are 16 games left, we are seven points from a playoff spot and 12 points from the top of the table. So, there's plenty of games to be able to turn this around."
(on modifying the backline for the rest of the season) "I think we have to sit down and look at all of the options. The other factor into all this is (Houston Dash D) Bruna. Bruna has been out these last couple of weeks. Once she is back in and fit you could throw her back into the back four and that gives you the option to push (Houston Dash MF) Amber (Brooks) up into the six role and potentially push (Houston Dash MF) Morgan (Brian) higher where she is also a good player in that spot. In regards to (Houston Dash MF) Carli (Lloyd), yeah where we need her the most, if I had to put a team to start this afternoon, then yeah she would play in that nine spot, in that false nine spot."
(on if he views this opportunity as an audition for the full-time job moving forward) "I'm looking at this as an opportunity to push myself as a coach and push the players as a unit to get better every day, every session, every minute of every session. In regards to the job long-term. I think if you ask anyone in my position they would say 'yes.' I want to coach in this league for as long as I can. So my approach, more importantly, is to get the team turned around and ready to go for Orlando in two weeks and fix some things that we need to fix. I think it's extremely important to stop conceding goals, we will work with our back four and part of that is having a consistent back four and we are hoping that once Bruna gets back we can plug in some pieces there that are going to help with that. If you watched the last two games, we can't buy a goal right now so working as well in the attacking third and putting the ball in the back of the net consistently is something that we will be working on. We do have the pieces. We have a good team, we have a group of players that want to win so we have to make sure that as a staff and as a coach I push them and challenge them to get better and to show that in the results."
(on if he has reached out to Houston Dash MF Carli Lloyd) "We've connected via email. We're going to get on the phone in the next couple of days and just hash through all that and get her input on anything that she might potentially need or that we might need to get done and I will talk to her about what I'm looking for and what we need for this team to move forward."