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July 19, 2017

Jesse Marsch

Harrison, New Jersey

New York Red Bulls - 5, San Jose Earthquakes - 1

Q. Right after the victory, I noticed you went to the three-man back line when Connor went out. What went into that decision? Why didn't you put Hassan in there or any other defenders?
JESSE MARSCH: We were playing three-man in the back the whole time. When we took Connor out, we used Alex that way against New England, so we decided to use it that way again. We're hopeful that Connor's injury isn't a big one, and hopefully that he'll still be available for Saturday. We'll see. We're trying to evaluate in it's cram ping or a little bit of a pull. So we'll see.

Q. Twofold, was this as comprehensive as you've had in a while? Secondly, I don't want to disrespect any opponents, but looking at the three-game slate you have here against these three teams in the week ahead, is this a good opportunity for you to solid identify getting back in the playoff picture?
JESSE MARSCH: Well, I think in general, yeah. In terms of a comprehensive performance, yeah. It was good. I feel like the game was in grasp. The now there are dangerous encounters a couple times so it could have been tied at some point.

But, you know, I think it was very good, and we're moving in the right direction. But I still believe there is plenty of room for improvement.

You know, we've been in a good way. We've had some results now pile up for us. We've rotated the formation a little bit, and we think it gets the best out of a lot of guys. But, you know, you always have to be careful that you always continue to make sure that we have our minds in the right place and that we don't get too far ahead of ourselves. That would lead to the other part, which is it's one game at a time, it's one day at a time.

So, Minnesota's still not been easy to beat at home in the last couple months, and you know, we'll have to go on turf. It will be a hot day. It will challenge us in a lot of different ways. But I think we have three results on the road in a row now, so we have more confidence when we go on the road. We have to go there and come up with a game plan and a team that's new, and we don't know them that well, and make sure that we're organized and ready to go after that.

Q. I know Sacha would probably say it wasn't one of his best performances. But given the fact that he scored in the open cup against Philadelphia and a goal and assist tonight. Did you get to see some flashes of the guy who was an MVP finalist last year?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, when I say we get the best out of a lot of guys, it gets the best out of Sacha. It gives him a little bit more room to roam. As we're making passes through the midfield, it's not so easy for 1-6 to keep track of him, like teams have often done with us. So if they don't rotate and they stay on Sacha, that means room for Sean and Danny to find little gaps.

And if they do rotate, then Sacha can find little holes. Obviously our team is very good when we get him facing goal with guys running in front of him.

Yeah, so I think that the overall balance of the midfield has been quite good. Now, I think we can use Sacha a little bit more to the right, little bit more to the left, still deeper sometimes. We haven't used him as a ghost nine, but I think we can do that sometimes.

So there's still, when I say flexibility, there is flexibility. We're putting guys in positions to plug in their strengths and I think we can do that by rotating a lot of different things.

It's now a challenge to get on the field because we don't even have all our guys here yet, and once we get all the guys back and we make a few additions, then all of a sudden we feel like there will be a lot of options to choose from.

Q. You mentioned the rest of the team is stepping up and making better performances. What's changed over the last month that's started to click?
JESSE MARSCH: We've stuck to it. We've had to grind through moments. We've had to feel the sense of failure for a large portion of the seep, but we've all stuck together and make sure that we know that this is what this is about. We knew we'd come out on the other end, but you have to stay after it every day. You have to stay committed every day and find ways to get better.

So, you know, that along with the formation change I think has ignited our group. So every guy deserves credit. My staff has worked really hard. The players, all of them have put a lot into this. They haven't backed down. They haven't put their heads down. They haven't complained or pointed fingers. They've all stayed on the task, and that's been -- that's been the case as long as I've been here.

We have a great group of young men, so it's just about trying to help them understand how to grow every day.

Q. How good does it feel to finally get back over .500? Also, Davis seems to have had a very good game. Is his confidence growing with the rest of the team?
JESSE MARSCH: Well, yes. You know, when we were playing them deeper as a six, it puts more responsibility on him to defend in deeper moments and kind of read the game in certain times. Now we're using him it's more like he can run at plays, that he can recover. He can now play to his strengths a little bit more.

So I think that's been good for him. It's given him confidence. I think we're only going to see Sean get better. It's also been interesting now with Tyler a little bit more and seeing him do a really good job of finding ways to win his battles against his matchup, and I still think Tyler will be a great option when he plays in the middle.

Look, Sean could play center back and Sean could play the right or left as well. So there are still lots of options there, which is, again, as a coach you start to feel like we can really start to put guys out there to succeed.

Q. How does it feel to get over .500?
JESSE MARSCH: The .500 part, I try not to look at the table too much. I know we're over the red line now. I didn't see the other results, but we try to stay focused on what we're doing knowing that if we take care of things, that the table takes care of itself.

I haven't sweat the fact that we've been out of the playoffs. Like there's plenty of season left, right? So, what's been more important is the daily work.

Q. Coach, it seems every time you insert Gonzalo, it seems to be a positive move. Any chance you're going to give him more minutes?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, I think he's a potential option as a starter in this game. The key with Gonzalo is always getting him fit and healthy. When he does, you can see that he can bring certain things. You know, you could see that it was a game that Gonzalo was going to be successful. I was trying to get the balance right of how long did to bring Brad in, and when to make the change.

Now, you know, maybe we can find a way to play Gonzalo in one of the spots underneath and still use Brad up high and find ways to use both of them together. You know, obviously then that makes us very potent.

So, yeah, Gonzalo has done well. Gonzalo has done well, and it's good to see him in good form.

Q. Is having Kemar (Indiscernible) back. And when Murillo comes back, would you be more inclined to go back to four in the back, or do you see those guys as prototypical wing backs?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, those guys, Kemar, I think, can play left center back. He can play left midfield, left back. He can play in the four or the five. We have confidence in this right now, and we've played teams lately that have enjoyed crosses. That's one of the main ways that they create chances.

So when we play with three, that means we're able to push those outside backs out to the line more. It also means that we can rotate things with the midfield.

But, yeah, Meara, I think, can do the same. He can play right center back or play the right back position. Yeah, it's going to be interesting. If we continue to play this way, there will be options. We'll be able to look at matchups. We'll be able to think about how to put guys out there to succeed.

Q. Can you give us an update on Tyler Adams? It looked like he pulled something. Was he cramping?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, he was cramping. The goal, I take responsibility for because I knew he was cram ping. He told me he was fine, but I could see he wasn't. I should have switched him in there earlier and put him in a one-v-one situation where he couldn't really explode, and it cost us a goal. So I was really upset with myself on that. But he'll be fine. He'll be fine.

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