Dynamo Head Coach Tab Ramos
(on the preparation for Saturday’s game against Kansas City) “It has been good, we have been playing a bunch of games in a row. So, it was good to have a normal work week. The team is pretty well recovered and ready to go.”
(on what he expects from Kansas City) “Yeah, I think for the first time they are coming to play us, really needing a win. Because they are coming off a couple of losses and obviously, they had a big lead at the top and now they are third, but they are only two points from the last playoff spot. It will be a tough game, both teams need points.”
(on playing Kansas City multiple times in a short window) “In this case, we just have to worry about our situation. Right now, we are two points out of the playoffs. With a win on Saturday it could put us in a good spot. We have three of the next four games at home and if we are able to take care of the teams at home, we are going to be in a good spot for a playoff position. So, we know their team well, we know how good they are, we know they can beat any team in the league any time, home or away. At this time, we have to worry about us and the fact that we need the points for ourselves.”
(on what will separate teams in this playoff push) “That’s a good question because so many games (in October). Number one, I think the depth of the roster and the consistency that you can keep from game to game. I think everyone of the team, the teams fighting for the playoffs are really just divided by four points, or five points. So, I think over the next few weeks what is going to be important is that you don’t fall too low after a loss, and you don’t think yourself too high after a win. You have to stay the course, you have to do what you know how to do, you have to do the best you can do according to the team you are. I think the team that can be most consistent will end up with all of those playoff spots.”
(on Memo Rodriguez signing a contract extension) “I’m very excited about this. Memo and I had a conversation at the beginning of the year to talk about some of the expectations we had for that position, where I wanted him to play. He had been playing wide before, I told him that the position he is in now requires a lot of sacrifice on both ends. He has made tremendous strides on the defensive side. We know what he can do on the attacking side. He has made some great improvements on the defensive side of the ball. He has shown that he is going to be one of the elite players in the league. I really expect from Memo, over the next year, year and a half to become an international player. I think he has that type of quality.”
(on Sporting Kansas City FW Alan Pulido) “My thoughts on him, well, look, Alan Pulido is obviously a very good player. He has had a few issues over the last month and a half to get fit enough to play with some injuries. He is a goal scorer, he comes into midfield to receive a lot, actually, and can distribute balls well. He hasn’t been able to find enough balls in the box. I think he is a very good player. Actually, when you prepare for Kansas City, that is one of the movements that he makes, coming into midfield to add a number and create a numbers advantage in the midfield, and that’s something we are preparing for.”
Director técnico del Houston Dynamo Tab Ramos
(sobre como está el equipo físicamente) “En este momento, con (Wilfried) Zahibo estamos seguramente a otros siete días todavía de el poder contribuir a un partido. recién empiezo un par de días de entrenar con el equipo. Y lo veo alrededor de un 60-70 por ciento. Pero, como te digo, pienso que unos siete o diez días más él va a estar listo. Aparte que lo necesitamos porque en este momento hay tantos partidos, necesitamos a todos. El resto de los jugadores, bastante bien, y bueno esperando mañana. Memo hoy tuvo unas molestias en el entrenamiento, pero, creo que bien. No, en general creo que el equipo está listo para afrontar lo que nos viene”.
(sobre la preparación para jugar ocho partidos en octubre) “Primero que todo, tenemos que reconocer la fuerza física que tiene algunos jugadores, y algunos no. Tenemos jugadores que son más jóvenes, tenemos jugadores que pueden aguantar tres partidos por semana. Ese es el caso de jugadores como Memo (Rodriguez), Matías (Vera), es el mismo el caso de Darwin Ceren que aun ser un jugador en la categoría de veteranos con 30 años, es un jugador que físicamente está muy, muy bien y preparado para descansar entre partidos y está listo para jugar. Creo que tenemos cinco o seis jugadores que están preparados, y el resto los tenemos que rotar. Creo que en el último mes lo que si hicimos fue rotar suficiente para darle partidos a todos. Sam Junqua ha jugado, Jose Bizama se ha empezado a incorporar, obviamente Christian Ramirez está listo para jugar. Niko Hansen está listo para jugar, ahora dependemos de ir rotando de a poquito. No hay que ser grandes cambios de partido a partido”.
(sobre los partidos internacionales en octubre) “Si, es una situación difícil. Pero una situación en donde hemos conversado con los jugadores convocados de nuestro equipo. Creo que lo importante es siempre nosotros tener nuestras conversaciones, no que solo, obviamente la liga decide y es lo más importante, pero nosotros queremos también sentirnos que los jugadores nos apoyan en el sentido de las decisiones que queremos tomar. Nosotros hemos hablado con Ariel Lassiter, que fue convocado con Costa Rica. Hemos hablado con Kiki Struna que fue convocado con Eslovenia y los dos estaban de acuerdo de que en este momento no es un momento para irse. Teniendo en cuenta que, a la vuelta, van a tener una cuarentena entre siete y 14 días. prácticamente los eliminaría el resto de la temporada”.
(sobre lo que quiere ver de los jugadores este sábado) “Quiero ver la misma hambre que tuvimos contra Nashville. Quiero seguir viendo un equipo que sigue mejorando, porque ahora creemos en nosotros mismo. Porque ahora nos podemos enfrentar con un equipo como Kansas City y pensar en realidad en la victoria, que creo al primer de la temporada nos creíamos seguramente muy inferiores a un equipo como Kansas. Creo que hoy le podemos jugar el tu-a-tú y los partidos se pueden ganar o perder, pero vamos a ver un Houston Dynamo que obviamente va a salir a ganar y que va a tener la confianza que puede ganar el partido”.
(sobre la renovación de Memo Rodriguez) “Muy importante en muchísimos sentidos. No solo porque se lo merece, y porque está haciendo un gran trabajo con el equipo, y porque es un gran jugador en su posición, pero porque es un gran ejemplo para los jugadores jóvenes de la academia de Houston. Porque es un jugador de aquí de Houston, un jugador local, un jugador que es la personal en la cual es un buen ejemplo en todo sentido. En cuanto a la persona que es, para los niños que están creciendo en esta zona y para que crezcan que los sueños de jugar profesional y jugar en el estadio del Houston Dynamo se pueden hacer posibles”.
Dynamo DF Sam Junqua
(on entering the match in Nashville after an injury) “I was not even warming up, so it was more surprising. I just got onto the side of the field, ran a few times, put my jersey on and went in. So, there wasn’t much time to think about it. It was just that scenario, we were down 1-0 and we had to attack. So, I enjoy doing that, so I went in and tried to push forward, help the team that way.”
(on being prepared to enter under those circumstances) “Everyone is just waiting for their chances. There are a lot of guys who are prepared to play, it’s next man up if someone is hurt or if we need someone to step in. A lot of guys are ready and are doing well, we have been preparing during training, doing a little bit extra to maintain (ourselves) during that time. So, a lot of guys are ready and it just happen to be my turn against Nashville.”
(on the depth of the team) “Even on the bench, there are guys that could be starting. So, when we make those subs, we don’t expect there to be much of a difference. We just have to know our role going into the game because that dynamic can change a little bit with set pieces and so on. Otherwise, people can fill in well so that is not a problem for us.”
(on the challenges he expects from Sporting Kansas City) “I think they are a high-intensity, very strong and direct team. So, we just have to be careful and make sure that we are able to stop their attacks and then in transition get after them. When they commit guys forward, we can go out to the other end and put some goals in.
Dynamo FW Mauro Manotas (translated from Spanish)
(on what he expects on Saturday from Kansas City) “I expect a tough game, very complicated, like every game against Kansas City. With Dallas, they are our primary rival when you look at our battles with them over the years in MLS. It is a very important rivalry and over the last few games we have earned good victories against them. Hopefully, that trend continues and we can avoid mishaps to earn another victory at home.”
(on the eight-game stretch in October beginning at home) “That’s important and it starts against a very complicated team. We know who they are and what they bring to the table. Overall, they are just a very complicated team. We also have our weapons and we get to play this game at home with our fans and family. So, we plan to go out there and win like we do for every game.”
(on reaching on 100 matches as a starter in MLS) “I’m happy and this motivates me. This is the club I love, this is a club I care a lot about and I owe them everything. So, I hope to keep contributing and doing my part to help the team reach its goal at the end of the year, which is to win it all. That’s what we really want.”
(on entering the final month of the regular season) “We’re calm and prepared. We will keep working like we have throughout the season. I believe in this group and we have an obligation to qualify to the postseason. This team deserves that, the fans deserve that. Hopefully, God is in our corner and through our hard work we can reach that goal.”
Delantero del Houston Dynamo Mauro Manotas
(sobre lo que espera este sábado contra Kansas City) “Bien, partido difícil, complicado. Como son todos los partidos con Kansas City. Con Dallas, es nuestro mayor rival ¿no? En toda la historia de MLS y bueno, se ha creado una rivalidad muy importante. Hemos ganado estos últimos partidos contra ellos y esperemos que esta no sea la vencida y podemos ganar nuevamente en casa”.
(sobre la racha de ocho juegos en octubre e iniciar en casa) “Si, importante. Un rival complicado que bueno ya uno sabe lo que trae, que es lo que tiene, un rival bastante complicado. Pero nosotros también tenemos nuestras armas y estamos en nuestra cancha con nuestra hinchada, nuestra familia. Vamos a salir a ganar como siempre”.
(sobre llegar a 100 partidos como titular en MLS) “Bien, feliz y contento, motivado. Es el club al cual amo. Es el club que quiero y el que le debo todo. Y bueno, espero seguir cosechando triunfos individuales con el equipo y esperemos que al fin del año podemos conseguir el título grupal, que es realmente lo que todos queremos”.
(sobre esta última fase de la temporada) “Bien, tranquilos. Vamos a seguir trabajando como lo venimos haciendo. Tengo la fe y la convicción que vamos a clasificar. Este equipo se lo merece, se lo merece la hinchada y el club. Y bueno, esperemos de que Dios este con nosotros y con nuestro trabajo podemos conseguir ese objetivo”.
Dynamo MF Memo Rodriguez
(on what it means to him for the club to invest in him for the long term) “I think the club believing in me means a lot. Obviously, as a kid you want to play for your hometown team. It’s a dream come true to be able to do it for three more years. I’m trying to give it my all, I’m more motivated now than ever. I have to keep working, the hard work pays off and I just want to be an inspiration for the kids in the Academy. I want them to know that hard work and patience pays off.”
(on his message to Dynamo Academy players) “Yeah, there are going to be obstacles that come your way. It is just a matter of how you are going to overcome them. Obviously, everyone knows a little bit more about my story, going to Charleston, coming back, getting waived, going to RGV (FC) and making my way back up to the First Team. It has been a long process, like I said, more motivated now than ever and just ready to keep proving my worth. I want to do everything I can for this team to bring that happiness that everybody wants again.”
(on the reaction from family and friends that he will remain in Houston) “Good, obviously I am expecting a little one in December. So, being able to be here for an extra three years is going to allow family to see him grow up. So, they are happy about that. More happy about that than they are about the contract, but it’s good. I’m glad that I’m here for three more years and they are able to see the little one grow up.”
Mediocampista del Houston Dynamo Memo Rodriguez
(sobre la fe del equipo en querer tenerlo aquí para el futuro) “Bien, yo creo que es muy importante que me han dado la confianza de estar tres años más aquí. Yo creo que estoy más motivado ahora que nunca. Es de seguir trabajando duro. Obviamente todos saben de mi historia, con la Academia, con el primer equipo, ir a Charleston, regresar y me dejan ir y luego ir a (RGV FC) Toros, de allí regrese con el primer equipo. Todo ese trabajo, el esfuerzo, la paciencia también para seguir con el primer equipo es muy importante. Creo que es importante que me den la confianza la organización”.
Dynamo DF Zarek Valentin
(on having a full week to prepare for Kansas City) “It’s very nice. We have had a very packed schedule. A lot of traveling which is odd, because so much of the world is still pretty much in a standstill, well at least the United States. So, it has been great to kind of relax and get back into a normal five, six-day lead in, which we are all used to. Generally, that’s what we prefer. Obviously, that doesn’t take away from a very difficult opponent. Who yes, we have played them three times, but it you ask around the league about a team you really don’t want to play four times in a season, Kansas City would probably be at the top of the list. They are always very well prepared. Peter (Vermes) always has his team ready to run through a wall, but in saying that it has been good to re-energize with the boys a little bit, get some family time and hopefully attack this very packed schedule as fresh as possible.”
(on the eight-game stretch in October) “I think it is extremely important that we go out there and try to put our best foot forward. With so many games, so consistently, winning and losing can be a habit in those. As most people would probably admit, if you get on a string of wins then the team is feeling good and the games, bop, bop, bop, they come really quick. That feeling, that positivity can lead into the next results. On the other side, that can happen when it comes to negative results as well. It’s important to start well at home, because with eight (games) in October and one in November, home games are crucial for us. Going on the road is never easy, with or without fans, with the travel and everything like that, the restrictions. So, we need to get as many points as possible at home. We love playing at home, in front of our fans, with our normal gameday routine. I get to spend some time with Cam (Valentin), as you guys can see. Being at home is the best, but we have to reward ourselves with points.”
(on the events in the San Diego and Phoenix match in the USL Championship) “Yeah, I watched a lot of video and the sideline cameras. My initial thought is that my heart goes out to the San Diego squad for having to deal with such difficult issues two weeks in a row. We never want to see that happen at all. Nonetheless, for things to happen like that two weeks in a row is very difficult, but I applaud Landon (Donovan) and the organization for taking the stand that they did. Because, if you hear the postgame interview he talks about how difficult it is to make those decisions. Everyone wants to play, you never want to sacrifice points, especially in a playoff race like that. There are things that are bigger than the sport and for Landon to show his leadership, being one of the most decorated American soccer players ever. To lead by example is fantastic to see, because if you are on that team that is the kind of manager and leadership you want to have. So, kudos to him and the organization for making that stand. I feel for Collin (Martin) and (Elijah Martin) who was abused, because that is very difficult to deal with, obviously. That should never have to happen, but in general, I applaud the club for what they have done. I think they have set a precedent. This should of happened a while ago. In Italy, and a few of these leagues around the world where some of the guys are so hurt, they don’t want to play. Their teammates want to keep playing, but no, there are bigger things in this game and for them to make that stand, hopefully it will resonate in the country and hopefully it never happens again. Sadly, I feel like these things might happen around the world and I hope that other clubs and other countries take notice of how they handled the situation.”
Dash head coach James Clarkson
(on facing North Carolina Courage for the last home match of the year) “I’m really excited. I enjoyed last week – unfortunately it’ll only be the second time playing at the stadium, but the players are excited. We felt we really should’ve done better against North Carolina last time, so this gives us a great opportunity to play them and finish the season off on a high.”
(on what the team build-up is heading into the upcoming match) “I think the players were disappointed in the number of chances that were created. We really should have scored more than two goals in the first half, and we could’ve finished the game off before half-time. In the second half, to concede and then have Chappy (Allysha Chapman) sent off in the space of a minute was quite frustrating and disappointing. They showed resilience to come back and take the lead three to two. Again, disappointed in how we controlled and managed the game in the last 10 minutes to concede two goals and lose four to three. To go on the road and score three goals against North Carolina and not come away with a win is disappointing.”
(on how the 2020 Verizon Community Shield works) “It’s points in terms of wins and draws, and then the first head-to-head I believe, after goal difference, is goals scored. We didn’t score three goals in a game once last season, and we’ve done it three times this year. We’re happy to actually win a game and score three goals. That’s a really big step forward for us. If we can create chances, hopefully we can continue that, we can give the fans something to cheer about on Sunday night.”
(on how he faces the Courage’s three-back formation) “I think it caused a little bit of off guard in the first game when they were playing three in the back, but I thought players adapted really well and adjusted to the situation. Their roster is clearly different than what it probably is in the regular season, but they still have a number of World Cup winners on the field as well as the best player in the league. They still have a really strong core to their lineup. If they can get the other six or seven to be really competitive, which they are because they play for North Carolina, they’re going to be a tough time to play against. We saw that in the first game – all of the goals came from the World Cup winners and the best player in the league. They’ve got some real threats, and I think its important n we deal with those and manage the game, and try to play like we did in the first half, trying to play like that for the first 45 minutes.”
(on how the team adapts to situations on the field) “I think that’s where we’ve made progress this year. The players are much more adaptable and better at solving problems. When situations arise on the field, it’s not panic or worries, we just adjust and change our shape a little bit. I think it shows the maturity of the team.”
(on Orlando Pride GK Ashlyn Harris criticizing several Dash players for posting photos of themselves at a local restaurant together) “I think she’s entitled to her opinion. I think it was deflecting from the game. Unfortunately, we’ve had a positive COVID-19 test, but the two things were not related in what she was talking about at all. Our players have behaved and done everything very well over this testing period from March all the way through now. Our players are fully committed to making sure everybody is safe and everything is done correctly. They’ve been fantastic the whole process.”
(on what the lineup could look like this weekend) “Chappy (Allysha Chapman) is available, and Megan Oyster is making a lot of good progress, so we may see her. Everybody else is fit and healthy, we don’t have any injury concerns. I actually thought, when we would go through this process, that it would be pretty easy to pick the team every week, but credit to the players. They’ve been at training every single day with their intensity, their work rate and competitive spirit has been outstanding. It has made picking eleven players very difficult. We have one more day of training before we make a final decision, but we didn’t have any players opt or drop out for this. It shows they want to play, which adds to that competitive edge every day. We’ve got to be consistent to the players. It’s based on performance and what’s going on Monday to Friday. They’re making the job harder and harder every single week, and that’s credit to the players and their effort. Everybody is available, which makes it more complicated, but hopefully we can play a really strong lineup and finish this part of the season at home on high.
Dash DF Ally Prisock
(on playing at home for the first time in over a year in last weekend’s victory against Orlando Pride) “It was a lot of fun playing at home because we hadn’t played at home all season. It’s nice and comfortable because this is our place, and being in front of fans that supported us throughout the Challenge Cup was fun. It was great to play in front of them and win for them. It was a good time.”
(on how meaningful the upcoming game against North Carolina at home is) “We lost the last game, so this game is really important to us. We want to come out with a win, especially being at home in front of fans again for the last time. It is the final stretch for us – we’ve gotten through this crazy year, but now we get to be at home, play in front of our fans and hopefully come out with a win. As a team, we want to be better and win our last two games.”
Dash MF Bri Visalli
(on her debut at BBVA Stadium last weekend) “It’s been a pleasure to be with the Dash during this period, especially getting my debut at BBVA. Having the fans there was also incredible, especially due to the circumstances this year. It’s been amazing, and I’m glad we got to win on top of everything. Altogether, it was a very nice homecoming.”
(on facing North Carolina at home on Sunday) “The last time we played North Carolina it was an unfortunate result. I’m so happy and excited to have them at home, take them on and hopefully finish the series at home with a win.”
(on her role with the team) “As of this year, I think my role with this team is to help and be at service to my teammates – to mesh and gel well with what we currently have. Moving forward, my personal goals are to be a little bit more impactful in the final third and having those opportunities to convert a lot more chances and create opportunities for my teammates. Other than that, I can’t say enough about the staff and the group of girls that I get to work with.”