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Coach’s Quotes: Petke frustrated with RSL’s reluctant first half

Mike Petke isn’t happy with Real Salt Lake’s first-half reluctance and their poor off-ball movement.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

On RSL’s performance and giving up goals

All credit to Atlanta, but we gave them those goals. Which is frustrating, but at the end of the day, I want these guys to push the play. I want these guys to not just resign to kicking the ball long aimlessly, which at times we did, but the only way you are going to improve is by keep pushing the play, keep pushing the play, and keep trying to do something. But the off-ball movement wasn’t good tonight, and that could have also been for the first two goals that we got scored on, that could have been a reason.

And then there’s this from nearer the end of his press conference:

For the first 45 minutes, we were reluctant to play forward. Our off-ball movement was really not there. Our ability to make a play individually, being a little creative, being a little daring was not there at all. And then all of a sudden someone like Demar (Phillips) dribbles around four or five guys from our defensive half, and it’s like — well, OK, where was that? That is my little 2 cents on that. Having said that, yes (in the) second half, whether they sat back a little bit, we had momentum. We made some things happen, and perhaps you can add another one or two, goals but they also could have as well.

No commentary is really necessary here.

On Joao Plata

I mean physically, medically I will have to talk to the trainers to see where he is at, and see how he came through. I saw some that I liked and saw something that he looked a little tired at times. But his attitude was good and at the end he was one of the guys that was really pushing on. I think it was important for him to get a full 90 minutes tonight. I will just leave it at that, it was important for him to get 90 minutes.

Plata certainly wasn’t his sharpest, was he? Last year, maybe he buries those opportunities. But we’ve always seen Plata take some time to really get warmed up after returning from an absence, and maybe that’s what we’re seeing again.