In an interview yesterday on ESPN 700, RSL coach Jeff Cassar made his feelings clear about RSL's two consecutive losses — and he didn't exactly pull his punches.
While he didn't name names (and he shouldn't — it smacks of unprofessionalism when coaches start doing that), he did make some pointed comments about not everyone on the team "pulling their weight."
LISTEN: Jeff Cassar on ESPN700
Cassar was clear in the interview, not blaming the heat and delayed match while still discussing the issues the conditions created. But when talking about what went wrong against Houston, he focused on the team as a whole.
"It wasn't our best day," he said. "I thought the work rate was there, for the most part, from most of the players, was there, but in that situation, in our very first game in the heat, you need everybody contributing and pulling their weight."
Clearly avoiding panicking over two consecutive losses, Cassar said his focus is more on improving overall defensive quality.
"You have to look at the big picture," he said. "We've lost two away games 1-0. It's extremely difficult. We haven't played our best soccer and still had an opportunity in both of those games to get a result. We need to get back to what is making us successful, whether it's on the road or at home, and that's playing good team defense."
Finally, Cassar pointed toward other teams as an example of successful team defense.
If you study any other team — and all the successful teams — the reason they can attack well is they have the ball, and they defend well to get the ball and then attack again. If you're waiting to get the ball back, that means you're not doing the right things to get the ball back. We have to get back to working hard and taking care of business, and that's really going to get our attack going. It's not just trying to get the ball to those guys and watching what they'll do.