Real Salt Lake coach Mike Petke gave his first post-match press conference in his new role, and it was exactly as engaging as you’d have expected, given his other interviews.
Let’s go through some of his statements and put together a clear picture of the new man in charge.
On what went well
In the first half, just like I was saying before, I say some very positives based off the things we had initially talked about in one week. And I saw that it didn’t work at times, but the most important thing we saw tonight was that in one week the certain little tweaks that we want to make, they took it and they implemented it and they tried to implement it.
Great! You’ll always find little things during implementation that don’t just work as expected, and RSL’s no exception here. The key here will be continual integration of new ideas.
Second half was all about grit and heart and just desire. Soccer goes out the window, I mean I am yelling like a lunatic from the sideline telling them to possess the ball and my coaches are looking at me like I have three heads. There was no way to play in that second half. No way, but they got the goals in the second half and it’s amazing.
I love that. That’s all.
On RSL supporters
Obviously we wanted to play for our supporters. It is a huge part of what we do and the respect that we have for them coming out, especially tonight, is amazing. I have said it throughout the last 10-12 years coming here, the support that I have seen them show this team and to be a part of that now is amazing.
On Danilo Acosta
Aside from the first 10 minutes maybe, five to 10 minutes, I thought he was big time for us. Not that he wasn’t in the first five-ten minutes, he needed to get those nerves out. He needed to get that young energy, nervous energy out of his system because he was a bit overbearing on the fouls and then on the flip side he was a little late to step out.
The rest of the game, he saved us on a couple occasions and you see the number of times that he opened his body up to play and cut it back in. For a young kid like that, in a game like this, to not only do that but try those things it is impressive. But he has to battle still he has a long way to go, it doesn’t mean anything moving forward, he still has to prove himself week-in and week-out and he will get minutes then.
We’ll talk about this in more detail as the week soldiers on, but Acosta was fantastic.
On the snow
Like I said, soccer goes out the window at a certain point. Every pass is slowed up, it is like you are building a snowman when the snow is building on the ball and guys are slipping all over the place. You can’t really see through it so then it just comes down to who wants it more, I guess. In the first half as the snow was starting to fall and it wasn’t that bad there was some very good stuff from us and there is still many things we have to work on but overall I am very happy for the players.
Oh man. I’ll be thawing out all week. What a game.