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August 12, 2017

Jesse Marsch

Harrison, New Jersey

New York Red Bulls - 3, Orlando City FC - 1

Q. Can you talk about Bradley-Wright Phillips's performance, the last couple months, the last eight matches, he's had eight goals. You're 6-2 in matches where he scored.
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, I mean, you know, Brad, the thing that I'm most pleased with is that he's just now become so much more of a cutthroat goal scorer. He's always been a great goal scorer, but lately, it's like he's focused now, when he gets the chance to make sure that he buries it; and if it doesn't come right away, to stick with the game and concentrate and make sure that he's putting himself in front of goals to make plays, has been great.

That's what that goal was. The last thing I said to him before the half was final plays. He made a big one. Got us in front, and then obviously the Sean Davis goal was fantastic. Yeah, Brad's in a good way. A lot of guys are in a good way.

Q. Obviously Sean Davis was named Man of the Match but let's be realistic, I thought it was Michael Murillo. He made three brilliant run-back tackles, especially the last one, that was amazing. Just talk about him.
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, I mean, you know, we all think very highly of Amir here, and he has flexibility to playing in that center-back spot. He can play out wide right. He's a bright guy. He's a talented guy. He's athletic. He's a competitor.

You know, and it's just been trying to get him to ramp up a bit so that he understands how we play. And now once he's grasped on to that, I think he's been very good for us. He's a guy that we are going to count on, no doubt. Great job with Denis Hamlett scouting him, and now identifying him as a player that would be good to fit here, and a lot of credit goes to Amir, because he's had a big, strong development curve, learning curve in the last six months that has gotten him to a place where we all count on him and think he's really good.

There he is. There's Hammer out there.

Q. You referred to the confidence on this team, and the goal you let up, especially came -- for 30 seconds, after Rivas almost had another one. Is it the run you're on, just giving you the confidence that you could overcome even screw-ups like that back-to-back?
JESSE MARSCH: Well, listen, every time we play at home, I think there's a high level of confidence and belief. Right now on this team, there's been major momentum. I've been saying that for a while. I think nobody was fazed too much. I think it was disappointment because it was a play that got away from us.

Yeah, there's definitely I think an understanding on the field of how to play for each other, how to stick to the game, how to not worry too much, how to not panic. And then when things are going well, when we get lead, to not take anything for granted and stay on top of the details. The more that we do that, I think the better team we're going to be.

So with a lot of young guys and a lot of new guys in the system and then playing a different formation, there's been a lot to pick up on, a lot to learn, but guys are doing a great job of understanding their roles and then competing once we blow the whistle.

Q. Rivas and Larin got behind the defense quite a number of times. Is that just a consequence of you playing that high press that you like to play?

Q. Or was there more of that than you would like to see?
JESSE MARSCH: There was more than I would like to see. But listen, if you're looking at how to play through us or how to play against us, certainly now, knowing that we like to compress the field and push high up the field, that means there's going to be space behind often.

Now most of those plays came from when we had the ball. So we would have a ball, we would lose one in the middle of the field and on a slick night where it wasn't necessarily always easy to control the ball, they would then -- their tactic was to keep things compact in the middle of the field, win balls and play long. And it took us awhile to get the understanding of what the other team was trying to achieve, and I think that's important for us.

I think, you know, it's important for us to stay locked in on what we are trying to do, but that's even what I said to the team afterwards. We've had better second halves than first halves lately. I would like our team to develop a level of intelligence to understand what's happening within the game and make adjustments on their own.

I'm trying to get certain messages out there in the first half but it's key for us to understand how to not hurt ourselves in some of these situations.

Q. You obviously went to the bench early. Is that with an eye to Tuesday?

Q. And do you expect to be able to play fairly full strength?
JESSE MARSCH: Yes. First thing I did before -- when the team went out, was look at the Cincinnati lineup. They played a lot of their regulars. They sat a couple of guys. You know, they rotate a lot on their team. It will be a little bit of a guessing game what their lineup would be.

I knew in general, we wanted to play a good team, because this was an important game, but that we needed to find ways to get a lead, and then see if we could make adjustments to get through the same, and also, make sure that we were going to have our legs on Tuesday.

You know, everyone around here is really excited for Tuesday. Really excited for a big game against a club and a team we don't really know, and it's going to be in a stadium that there's going to be more energy in that stadium than maybe we felt all year, and a team that's playing in the most important game in many of their lives.

So, and to be fair, it's an important game in many of our guys's lives, so it sets up to be a great match and a fun match and one that we're going to take very seriously and we know is very important.

Q. Sean Davis, can you talk about what he's been doing in the press and in the passing in particular?
JESSE MARSCH: Outstanding. Outstanding. Outstanding. Sean has covered ground, pressed well, counter-pressed well, battled in the midfield, slowed down for us, made great attacking plays, been dangerous around the goal. Complete performances. Complete performances.

So you know, we all have seen over the last three years what a good player Sean is and it's just been trying to unlock him a little bit and then tactically try to think about how to use him appropriately.

I think of all the -- I mean, the two people that this formation I think has rewarded the most are Danny Royer and Sean Davis and they have obviously been incredibly important players for us in the last couple months here. Really happy for Sean. He's showing all the great qualities we know he has, and I think he's establishing himself at a really high level now.

Q. What do you want to see from the team regarding development the rest of the season?
JESSE MARSCH: Well, I think in general, I want to now see us be able to call on many different players, and I think that we've built a great roster full of a lot of talented young players that compliment our established veterans.

So for me, this is the best roster that we've assembled since I've been here. And I want to see now when we call on any player that he's ready to perform at the highest level, and then I want to see how good we can be at being us. I want to see how much we can press, counter-press, make the game fast, be tuned into tactical details, be sharpened into everything we do, and that's our challenge.

I think have we've taken things along but we have more to go. I said it maybe a couple weeks back; that as good as things have been lately, I know we can be so much better. So I'm just trying to stay on top of those details to continue to feed them positive reinforcement, but to challenge them that we've got more to go.

Q. The match ended on VAR tonight and I was wondering what's your opinion about the situation?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, it's hard to say. I didn't see what happened. I thought -- I don't know if I -- can I talk about -- am I allowed to talk about refs, Dan?

You know, it's hard to comment on the VAR. That's one of the weird things. You guys I think will probably get footage of what's happening. Us on the bench, we just kind of have to sit there, and, you know, hope for the best, and hopefully they are getting to the source of what actually happened in these plays. I don't know, I would have to assume that those were the right calls and cards that were given.

I just thought that the play could have -- I thought Pereira's (ph) tackle on Sacha was dirty. And I thought that if we're talking about protecting our attacking players; Sacha is one of the premiere attacking players in this league, and I feel like if that were Villa or Giovinco, they would probably see red, right and I think that Sacha should be protected the same. So I think that could be a red card. And if you give a red card in that instance, then I think it stops all of the inciting of players.

You know, that's my opinion; what it's worth.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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