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 St. Louis City SC

St. Louis CITY SC Unbeaten Streak Ends with Defeat to Minnesota United FC

April 2, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
St. Louis City SC News Release


ST. LOUIS - St. Louis CITY SC taste defeat for first time this season, after falling 1-0 to Minnesota United at home. With chances coming at a premium, Minnesota capitalized on a penalty kick that was scored by Luis Amarilla in the 78th minute. Despite the loss, CITY SC remains atop of the Supporters' Shield table with 15 points.

First Defeat of the Season

After a perfect 5-0-0 start to the season, St. Louis CITY SC were upended for the first time this season. The match also marked the first time this season that CITY SC went the entire game without scoring a goal. Prior to this game, CITY SC scored multiple goals in each match.

Additional Notes

- After recording two clean sheets in the last two matches, Roman Bürki scoreless streak came to an end, lasting 345 minutes.

- Tonight's lineup was the sixth different starting lineup fielded by St. Louis CITY SC.

- After recording a goal or assist in each of the last 5 matches, Klauss' streak of having a goal contribution comes to end after 571 minutes of play.

- Despite conceding tonight, CITY SC still boast the best goal differential (+10) in MLS.

- Defender Kyle Hiebert has played every minute of every match he's been available for this season.

- Following his acquisition in the summer from Minnesota United, midfielder Aziel Jackson featured against his former team for the first time this season.

Goal-Scoring Plays

MIN - Luis Amarilla, 78 minute: Luis Amarilla converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the center of the goal.

Next Game

St. Louis CITY SC are back on the road next Saturday against Seattle Sounders at Lumen Field.

St. Louis CITY SC (5-1-0, 15 pts) vs. Minnesota United FC (3-0-2, 11 pts)

April 1, 2023 - CITYPARK (St. Louis, Missouri)

Goals by Half 1 2 F

St. Louis CITY SC 0 0 0

Minnesota United FC 0 1 1

Scoring Summary:

MIN: Luis Amarilla (penalty), 78

Misconduct Summary:

MIN: Franco Fragapane (caution), 19

STL: Jared Stroud (caution), 28

STL: Tim Parker (caution), 61

STL: Kyle Hiebert (caution), 77

MIN: Kervin Arriaga (caution), 83

Lineups:

STL:GK Roman Bürki ©; D Jake Nerwinski (Akil Watts 77'), D John Nelson, D Kyle Hiebert, D Tim Parker; M Tomáš Ostrák (Aziel Jackson 77'), M Jared Stroud (Njabulo Blom 60'), M Eduard Löwen; M Indiana Vassilev (Isak Jensen 86'); F João Klauss, F Nicholas Gioacchini (Samuel Adeniran 60')

Substitutes Not Used:D Selmir Pidro, D Lucas Bartlett, M Miguel Perez, GK Ben Lundt

TOTAL SHOTS: 16; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 15; OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 0

SJ:GK Dayne St. Clair; D Miguel Tapias, D Michael Boxall, D Kemar Lawrence; M Franco Fragapane (Joseph Rosales 84'), M Wil Trapp ©, M DJ Taylor, M Kervin Arriaga; F Luis Amarilla (Brent Kallman 84'), F Bongokuhle Hlongwane, F Mender Garcia (Hassani Dotson 67')

Substitutes Not Used:GK Clint Irwin D Zarek Valentin, D Mikael Marques, GK Eric Dick, F Cameron Dunbar, F Emmanuel Iwe

TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 1; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3

Referee: Jon Freeman

Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Meghan Mullen

Fourth Official: Andrew Bigelow

VAR: Luis Guardia

AVAR: Fabio Tovar

Venue: CITYPARK

Weather: Clear, 54 degrees

ST. LOUIS CITY POST MATCH QUOTES

BRADLEY CARNELL: Good evening, yeah, we're not superhuman after all. Credit to the boys, though. Credit to Minnesota United. Come here away from home and set up a really tight defensive structure, and something that we knew they were going into the game with and something that we tried to plan and prepare for. But yeah, really credit to Minnesota, Adrian has done a magnificent job and good start.

Yeah, just really proud of my boys. The way they have handle the last five, six weeks, plus the six weeks of preseason, the willingness to grow and adapt and just to achieve great things as a group and to come out of the blocks flying. And we wanted to be competitive from day one; I think we have proven that fact, and yeah, we've got work to do, obviously. So we are excited about what the future brings, and yeah, we can't wait to get back to work on Monday.

The second half, it looked like things weren't lining up right, they were coming at you more offensively and you couldn't click on the chances at the other end.

BRADLEY CARNELL: Yeah, look, there's few reasons for that, right, playing with the double striker system that they put out. Some of our second balls, we lose some of these second balls in these transition moments, and then it just creates a bit of a defensive transition and a lot of running for us in the wrong direction. So we like to defends forwards and on the front foot, and too many times tonight we were backtracking. Really off the pace, stepping back off the opponent. Not decisive enough in certainly moments. Yeah, listen, they challenged us, right, which was a good challenge and we move on and we learn from these moments.

The penalty kick that they got, what did you see?

BRADLEY CARNELL: Yeah, I have look back into it. I saw -- sliding into Jake Nerwinski. I think he cleans out Jake Nerwinski, I'm not sure, maybe the striker was an innocent bystander. I'm not sure what happened there. I'd just have to look at that. Those guys said they cleaned each other out. I'm not sure how that resulted into a penalty, but if it is, then it is, and it's a strange one.

This first loss was going to come at some point, so next week, will you change anything in the way you approach the week, or will it be something similar to the first five games where you guys kind of forget about everything and prepare for the game?

BRADLEY CARNELL: No, we have never just forgot about everything. We have always tried to plan and prepare and get one step better than we were yesterday.

So, while the week might look the same from the preparation and what we do, nothing changes our desire to get better as a team every single day. So yes, we lose a game but yeah, that's what it is. We lost a game.

So next week, we go, the score line is back at zero. We go to Seattle with energy, renewed energy, and now we're in the League, right. Everyone knows a little bit of something about us and now it's up to us to respond.

You guys started the game with that 4-4-2 and made a substitution and it looked like the shape changed. What was the reason for that?

BRADLEY CARNELL: Yeah, exactly what Tom asked us, right, it's a little bit of pressure on our back line we just thought we needed the security of one extra six, and that's why Njabulo came in the game. We just try to create some good moments in the transition. We try to still keep numbers in the box, and we try to still squeeze the game without losing the game.

We didn't want to expose ourselves, and we thought the structure that we went to would help us in these certain moments. And then we knew as the game went on, obviously as the picture-perfect storybook would go, you bring in Aziel Jackson. It's his previous club, and so unfortunately the storyboard did not pan out that way, but those were definitely the intentions.

So, you switched your midfielders and Blom was the center, basically?

BRADLEY CARNELL: Yeah, Blom is the holding midfielder -- but two eights and one ten, one striker so 4-1-3-2. You could call it diamond midfield, yeah.

I'm not a rules expert but usually a guy getting kicked in the face on the way to a goal, were you expecting a penalty there when Klauss got kicked?

BRADLEY CARNELL: Maybe should you ask those questions to the other officials. I'm not sure. I don't want to get involved in that.

What can you learn after a loss? You seem to respond well to wins. What can you learn after that first defeat?

BRADLEY CARNELL: Yeah, I thought we were a goal down, and then we started to bring a bit of energy, right. I thought that was lacking a little bit of energy. There was a little bit of something, and we got a goal down and all of a sudden Klauss gets kicked in the face and then we had a power play for a couple of minutes.

Yeah, we just are trying to keep the fire, the burning fire was a little bit missing early in the game and yeah, maybe it starts to weigh in on the boys.

That's the thing, that's the beauty or the nature of beast, right. You're successful. The boys know at some point this thing has to change, right. It's just human nature and these boys are not robots and yeah, we are just human beings after all.

Wanted to ask you about Tim Parker, can you describe the intensity you saw out of him tonight?

BRADLEY CARNELL: Wonderful, yeah, Tim Parker, the whole back line, I thought Johnny Nelson was excellent. Johnny Nelson 1v1 defending was really, really good. Tim Parker on the back line; Kyle Hiebert come up big in the first half with a bit sliding tackle.

So, the back line was yet again very impressive. Like I said in the opening statement, we give away one shot on target, which is the penalty, and then you lose the game. So that's just the way it is sometimes, and we'll get better from this. We'll learn from this, and yeah, again, we're excited about the future.

We are enjoying this journey, and yeah, nothing more to say about that.

I was going to ask you about Tim Parker. What did you see in him tonight? To me he seemed like the guy that was keyed in and was making big play after big play?

BRADLEY CARNELL: Yeah, I mean, Tim, I would say our style rewords Tim's profile, right. He's fearless; he's brave; he can take a tackle; he can make a tackle. He sets a certain tone and energy for us to feed and thrive off of.

Yeah, Tim has been a model, a roam since day one since coming into this group. It's great to see him back to the Tim Parker I know from 2018. So yeah, it's on us and on him to keep this thing going. And now there's a lot of leadership required, right, just to make sure that the heads don't drop and we walk out of this building with our head held up high and our chest out.

That was the message to the boys out there. I said we've arrived in the League and people know about us in the League. We've been competitive, we are competitive, and we are not done yet.

AZ Jackson, you said not a fairy tale ending, but how did he handle himself out there?

BRADLEY CARNELL: Good. AZ brings a live wire mentality. He tries to make a play. Sometimes good or bad but he tries to make a lot of action happen. So that was the intention, whether we played him out on the right, whether we played him central in the ten. You could see in tight spaces, and this was again to -- our priority to tight spaces, and you could see certain qualities; when he's on his game, he's almost unstoppable. We have seen it many, many times in training.

Yeah, we are rooting for AZ and we hope he has a good progress with us and just to stay the course and trust the process.

Sam Adeniran came really close, but just hasn't been able to get on frame in the right place.

BRADLEY CARNELL: Yeah, he has some good experiences at the USL level, and we have been urging Sam to obviously get himself into good spots, to work hard, to make those runs. And you saw tonight in certain moments, can be a real threat in behind, so especially when Klauss occupies the back line, Boxall did a great job on Klauss, as well, today and credit again to them.

But then I thought we needed an extra body out there, right, so with Gio a little bit more underneath as the ten at times; and as I thought the game progressed we would have been a little bit more threatening with the double-striker system with two strikers and getting a cross and getting in the momentum, getting in the final thirds and creating your own luck, almost; it nearly paid off for us.

Yeah, I'm bummed for Sam because he deserves a goal.

The kick in the first half, corner sick, got a lot of shots but other than Löwen's --

BRADLEY CARNELL: Yeah, on the crossbar, hits a cross bar and those are game changers, right. Obviously they plan all week to drop off and we create a few moments in that first half where we could have taken the lead. We don't take the lead and they grow in confidence. We start over -- not saying overthinking it, but if we start now just to decide, hmmm, do we need to do this, do we need to do that.

So that's why we try to mix things up a little bit in that second half just to like almost reboot the system with a couple of new ideas. But yeah, credit to Minnesota again.

It seems like you guys average a lot of shots inside the box but in this one you looked pretty limited. Is that a testament to Minnesota's low block? You guys had a lot of possessions, but just couldn't get through to get the shots in the box.

BRADLEY CARNELL: I think we had maybe five to eight percent less than what we've averaged on the year. So I don't think we've had too much possession. Today we had 55 percent which is not a ton of possessions. It's not like we had 75 percent and we just passed a goal from left to right on the midfield line.

Yes, we like to have shots and we like to force our luck and we like to get corner kicks and we like to force the issue. Today we just, you know, I worked with Kemar Lawrence a lot previously; athletic back line, really aggressive.

They were up for it for sure. You could see from a physicality standpoint and athletic standpoint, yeah, they matched us and posed certain challenges. That's another area for us to look at and grow from there.

50/50 balls, they seemed to be getting most of the 50/50 balls. Did it strike you that way?

BRADLEY CARNELL: Yeah, that's what I said in my opening statement, the second ball, right. When I referred to the second ball, I spoke about the 50/50 balls.

Eduard Löwen

So, what's the feeling, like, first time you guys have gone through this?

Yeah, I mean everybody expected that the moment would come in the season, but it's still bad. You don't want this moment to come. Everybody wanted to win this game, like the last games also. I think it was a very, very unlucky game, especially the first half. I think we dominated them. They didn't have any chances. Then they get this penalty. I didn't see the action. I didn't see the video after -- I don't know if it's a penalty. Klauss said that 'He's hitting him right in the face.' And so, I don't know why we don't get a penalty. But, I don't know -- maybe I'm wrong. I've got to see the videos. But still, you know, we've got to be more clinical in front of the goal. It was a tough game. Minnesota was just waiting, sitting back and yeah, got a penalty, score and they don't care in the end of the day.

The team and you had lots of chances in the first half, and you just couldn't get one to go and had trouble getting them on frame, really. Was that just trying to put too fine a point on things or what?

Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, I think that was the first game like this, where the opponent is sitting very, you know, very low and deep back and just waiting for us having the ball. I think if we scored that first goal, I think it's a totally different game because they have to open up. They have to do something for the game. In the end, they get a lucky penalty and score this one and we don't.

Did you feel good on that chance you had in the first half?

I mean, I had to hit it a little bit lower. I want to hit it against the running direction of the goalkeeper. It worked out, but, yeah, unfortunately I hit it a little bit too powerful.

Because they were sitting so much, do you think you guys were settling for shots outside the box?

Yeah, I mean, we had some shots outside of the box, but also we had some dangerous crosses, some dangerous moments on some headers, you know. I think it was very unlucky today. In the last games, where we just scored -- we were more clinical. Today, it didn't work out, and in the end of the day, it's unlucky.

You feel like this is the best defensive team you guys have played against so far?

I wouldn't say that, honestly, because they still gave us a lot of chances. They were just, you know, sitting very low, you know, just waiting for us. But I won't say that they defended so well because, I mean, in the end, we still created a lot of chances.

Can you describe, in a good way, Tim Parker's intensity and how he helps the team?

Yeah, honestly, it's good that you asked because I went to him after the last game, already, against Salt Lake because, you know -- in soccer, it's many times that we are focused on guys on the ball, offensive players, guys who are scoring the goals, who are giving assists. But I mean Tim Parker, last game and today as well, he made an incredible job. I told them against Salt Lake -- I mean, besides Klauss, Klauss was amazing. Roman did a great job. But Tim Parker was, last week, incredible and today as well. I think he's winning every tackle. He's just a machine.

He runs pretty well for someone his age as it were. He caught up with some guys.

I think he's pretty young still.

So, big picture wise. We talked a lot about expectations of this team, and they weren't very high up other than outside of your guys' group. Here in game six, the first loss, one-oh. To see the other team celebrate like it did, knowing it had accomplished something big - does hat show how good you guys have been so far?

Yeah, I mean, for sure. But you know, at the end of the day, nobody expected anything from us. Everybody expected us to be last, and then we won the next game and the next game, and then there are still people talking about these passes we get. We scored 15 goals and people are talking about three goals we get, you know, like we're the luckiest team in the league. We've got to win five games in a row, you know. And as I mentioned before, you know, today it was an unlucky game. We still played great, and we dominated them. It was just unlucky. And I think for sure there will be people who are very happy about that, about our loss. But you know, we are going to be mad about it two days, talk about it and then on Tuesday we are focused on Seattle.

They can't call you lucky anymore, so what are they going to call you now. Just good?

Yeah, I don't know. I mean, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter for us. We want to win games. We want to focus on ourselves. Well, what people are saying, you know, it doesn't matter.

Edu, is it one of those nights -- does that really happen in soccer -- where there's one of those nights or days that just things just don't click right?

Yeah, that's tough to say. Maybe you can put it that way. Maybe you can also just blame us that we weren't clinical enough, you know, in the first half and the second half as well. Samuel did very well when he came in -- two unlucky moments where he almost scored. So, I don't know. I think at the end of the day, we got to hold ourselves accountable and yeah, you know, seeing what we can do better.

The last five weeks after every win, you guys came to the new game with some of the same intensity, the same fire. You think it's going to be amped up now that you guys have lost?

No, I don't think so. I mean, nobody expected us to, and we didn't expect to, win every game the whole season. You know, to win, 34 games or something. So, we knew this moment is going to come, and now as I mentioned, you know, we got to talk about that. What the problems were, what we can do better and how we can achieve the next win again. And in the end of the day, everybody has to be professional enough to be focused enough on the next game again.

How was that lap around the field after the game? You've done it after the wins, where you salute the fans. And that was after wins. Was it a little different today?

Yeah, of course it's different. It's always different when you lose a game. I mean, you're not happy, you know? I mean, how can you be? It doesn't matter how good we played, or your own performance. It doesn't matter at the end of the day. You lost, so you're not happy about it. We make it.

What do you make of this atmosphere, though, in this place? I mean, you guys are still a very new team, but to have this support -- another sellout tonight. What do you make of the environment that you guys are playing in front of in your home games?

Yeah, I think we are very thankful for that. You know, we are very grateful, you know, to the fans - to the way to support us and the way they're standing behind us and pushing us forward. And I think they will keep doing that. Doesn't matter how, yeah -- doesn't matter, the loss today, and I think that's great to know and very important for us.

Tim Parker

So, this was bound to happen sooner or later.

Yeah, it would have been something if we went 34-0 yeah, you know, I mean, it's not the end of the world, you know, there's going to be stuff that we can look at now. Dive deep into the video and see how we can get by that for sure.

Is there in some ways more to learn from losses than from wins?

Yeah, yeah, there always is. And there's a lot to learn about the guys in the locker room too when you lose game so it's going to be good to see everyone's reactions. I'm sure training is going to be a little bit... A little bit more intensive this week for sure.

You're talking the other day about halftime with the Austin game and how they were being tied one to one in that game. Did you see after the game today, a level of disappointment like that wanting to go out there and change them?

Yeah, yeah, I mean, after the game for sure. A lot of guys have their heads down but there's no need for it. You know, I mean, we don't want to lose at home. We don't want to lose the way we did. But like I said, it's going to happen. It's going to happen and there's going to be gains and bounces that don't go your way.

The second half looked like they were able to find gaps in the defense and attack and offensively you guys just couldn't get the balls on frame. Were the chances there and things weren't quite clicking tonight?

Yeah, you know, I think in the second half, they did a pretty good job of kind of being a little bit more direct and spreading us out a little bit and picking up better second balls. And for us that's kind of something that we want to thrive on and do well at so. Yeah, I think they kind of did a good job with that in the second half, and we were able to be dangerous and get opportunities, but unfortunately, they just weren't the best opportunities for us to get the chance to finish.

Jake Nerwinski looked pretty upset once he came off as a sub. What is he saying to you guys after the game and what are you guys saying to him?

You know, I mean, obviously, you never want to come out of the game. I'm sure Jake's you know, Jake's been there before and I haven't gotten a chance to look at the penalty or anything like that, but it's never anyone's fault. You know, I think those kind of calls happen. Those kind of plays happen. I'm not sure exactly what happened. Yeah, I mean, we just pick them up and we'll go into next week.

Can you just describe the way you play? Is it like an intensity and a mentality of like, "I'm going to give it literally everything I physically can for 90 minutes"?

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, especially the way we play. I think that's what it kind of calls for. I think that could be a reason why tonight maybe we didn't get the "W". I think we were maybe 90% for whatever reason it could be but you know, it might have to do with a little bit of that 5-0 mentality but you know, like I said, this loss comes at a good time where we can regroup.

How do you think this team will respond to this type of adversity?

I'm hoping very well. We go to a tough place next week to play again, against a good team so that's going to require the best responses.

You looked a bit upset on that one foul call.

Yeah, I was a little bit.

You made some nice runs. You kept getting back defensively, you showed no problem with the groin injury or anything in the past. You looked in fine shape out there?

Yeah, no, I feel good. Yeah, physically, I feel fine. So, it's kind of just one of those things that obviously, the team calls on me for, so I got to do it.

Roman Bürki

How's it you guys have put this off for a long time? What's the feeling after finally losing the game?

Yeah, obviously we are disappointed because it was a game. For me it looked like 0-0. Maybe one big chance. We didn't have really big chances. So, yeah disappointed, especially at home in front of our fans. We would love to give them a reason to celebrate, but it had to come. So, it was unlucky, but like I said, disappointed. But we keep going.

Did you have any strategies for the penalty kick?

Not really when I look at videos before how he takes them so they took them to the last he scored was my right, so I just trusted it looked like he's going to fire a rocket on the side and he hit it so bad that it was good. Yeah, it was unfortunate, but I mean, we had no -- really the energy like we used to have. I would say everyone was missing a little bit, including me and including everyone. It was not enough.

Is it inevitable over the course of the season that there's going to be ups and downs?

Yeah, to be honest, when you are 5-0, it's hard to keep, you know, to just keep going and have the same energy level on the field every day. We tried our best to keep it that way, but at the end of the day today was not enough. Yeah, we have to bounce back. We have to keep going tomorrow, regeneration in one day of preparation for Seattle. It won't get easier.

Are losses a good way to focus attention to get back up to that 100% level?

Yeah, definitely. I mean, now, everyone is on the floor again, if we weren't before but yeah, just the whole energy level. We need to bring the same energy we need to be aware of that. It only works if we give 100% Not only quality wise or mentally wise, also energy wise.

Tim Parker seemed to be very intense in a good way today. From your vantage point of being behind him, what do you see out of him? Can you describe his style of play?

Yeah, obviously he's a leader on the field. He's a guy who was trying to say the real talk. You know, it's always important that I'm not the only one. He helps me a lot. So I wish we have a little bit more guidance. Like him, you know, we could use that because sometimes with a lot of young guys, it's not easy, but we have everything under control. I think we're still still proud to be 5-1 and now we can just keep going.

Well, think about six game increments. 5-1 is a pretty good start to the season.

Yeah, of course of course and we knew it had to come. So we knew that we are not going to the season without a loss. And now it's here, maybe for somebody's a little bit of a release because it's a lot of pressure because we want to keep going. We won five times in a row and we haven't lost yet. We just want this thing to keep going and now it's broken. So the record is 5-1 and we can regroup and go for the next game.

Do you think Minnesota's defensive low block was just that good today? Do you think it just wasn't clicking on offense for you guys today?

I think they did a good job, they played a good game tactical wise, let's say they had a lot of they knew exactly what they were doing so and we were struggling a little bit with our offensive power. Of course, it's difficult against tall guys standing -- like almost the whole team was standing behind and trying to defend because they knew about our qualities, of course. And yeah, it's just both I would say a little bit unlucky and they did a good job, too.

Think things really break your way when the guy gets around you and puts the ball off the post? They're like maybe things are going to.

Yeah, that they had one chance and I really tried to keep him as far outside as possible to stay big so that he could shoot and then he had to go outside and the guys came back. That was really important. So, he's not just three in front of the goal. So that was an important situation. But otherwise had no really big chances and neither did we so we had no good, really good big chances to score. Maybe unless at the last minute with Klauss header.

Kind of let the guys around. You laugh around the field. Somebody said that after a while and why was it important for you to do it after that?

Because we should be thankful for every time the people show up to celebrate and push us, you know, don't take it for granted. We love our fans. They are the reason why we are 5-1 -- why we have such a successful starting season. And yeah, just be thankful. Stay humble and appreciate the people who came to support us.

What are the biggest things you guys learned after a loss like this?

It's true. I don't have enough time now to really think about it. But I'm sure that we will figure out the reason why we lost and getting stronger and maybe don't make these mistakes again. Thanks. Thank you. Good night.

Lutz Pfannenstiel

On Minnesota's performance...

I think that they did tactically very, very well. They limited us to our game, they played a very, very good second half. Overall, if you look at it, you know, I think they played well enough to walk away with something. Again, we had a big opportunity to maybe just grab that draw which would have been a good result today, but congratulations to Minnesota. Very impressive. They didn't give us that many chances like we normally are able to play out for ourselves. And they caught us a few times on turnovers, which is normally our game. So they had a good match plan and then at the end of the day, they had these opportunities, especially that one opportunity which we gave them and they scored on.

On Tim Parker's intensity...

I mean, he's the vice captain, and Roman is more the quiet captain, which is very selective when he talks on the field. So when he talks then it's very directed, very pointed. So everybody knows what the rhythm is. Tim is more the guy who keeps the intensity high, who talks a lot to the players and lifts the players up but when things are not going well, who tells them a piece of his mind. So you know, Tim is the player which we've learned because he has that MLS experience. He knows probably every player in the league, you know, he played against nearly every coach in the league. So he has all that knowledge, which helps us week in and week out.

On the team identity...

You saw our identity today. You know, we played our game and we tried as much as we could. We were a little bit beaten by our own kind of game because they were very well adjusted to that but they know that once teams know us more and more and once they see us play more and more, it's obviously easier to figure us out as well. And overall we definitely can be satisfied with the start and it's just now about as I said bounce back, look forward. Don't put the head down and believe in what we're doing.

On the penalty given to Minnesota and the potential penalty against Minnesota

That's two very tight decisions. I mean, the one where we concede the penalty, Nerwinski plays the ball first and Kyle slides in and hits the guy afterwards. So that's up to the referee to decide. I wouldn't have given it, but obviously I'm wearing a pink shirt. So that's something else. And our penalty, it's a tough one, to be honest. Klauss of course puts the head a bit down because he goes for the ball, but the defender who did hit him, didn't see him. So that was something which could have also gone the other way. But I don't think we need to worry about the referee's decisions. That was not decided for us or against us. There were enough moments where we could have scored the goal or maybe not have conceded that goal. So it was not up to the referee, it was up to us.

Did you teach Berkley that move that he put on the attacker when he picked them out?

My right foot was not that good. Only my left foot. I would have struggled with that move. But yeah, you know, Roman played again. It's now six games and I think he has played six times without any mistake whatsoever, so he gives us that stability in the backend. Today, we got beaten by a penalty which also speaks for the goalkeeper.

Is it telling you something all that has to go in for another team to beat you? It took a lot for a team to beat you for the first time.

Yeah, and you know, I mean, every series ends one day. It's just I will call it a bit of a shame that it happened at home. We maybe would have been very happy to carry that over to Seattle next week, but yeah, I mean, you know, we started with a perfect year. We will lose a few more games than that. We are aware of that. I think it's all about how we bounce back. It's all about the reaction, and we spoke about how maybe in the second half Minnesota, for like 15 to 20 minutes, just wanted it a little bit more today and not everything anymore went our way like it did in other games, so that is when you get beaten once in a while. But we had a good first half and in the second we got beaten on a penalty. We just have to move forward. And I think we talk a lot about blocks of six games. So there were the first six. Winning five and losing one, I think you still can be pretty proud about that and wake up with our heads high. I think that's what we should take away from the game today and not that we feel like losers, because at the end of the day, after six games, we are still top of the table.

You talked about those fifteen to twenty minutes where Minnesota just came out and dominated the second half after your strong first half. They made adjustments. Do you think you guys responded to those adjustments accordingly?

I think tactically, you know, they didn't really change that much. They just came out pretty, I would say, on fire. They were winning lots of second balls. In the first half, we won much more second balls and won many more duels. So that fifteen to twenty minutes somehow changed the rhythm of the game. But again, you know they did well. It was not that we did bad, it just was that they did well. Sometimes you have to also acknowledge that the opponent played a good game and looking at their start, there was another team where many people thought they would struggle, where they would be lower in the table. I mean they have three wins and two draws, and you know, winning the third time on the road. So that's pretty impressive.


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Major League Soccer Stories from April 2, 2023


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