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August 29, 2018

Chris Armas

Harrison, New Jersey

Red Bulls - 1, Dynamo - 0

Q. Obviously player development here gets a lot of attention or proud of the way you've gone about it, but when you have a situation like you have with this many games and you go into your batch and you get performances like you did, does that, I guess, make you exceptionally proud of the way some of these young guys have stepped up?
CHRIS ARMAS: For sure it makes me proud, but it makes our club proud. Denis Hamlett has to be happy. He's here? Yes. He has to be happy, because he puts a lot of effort into that cause, and he believes in young guys and he pushes. He pushes John Molniak (phon.), who should be feeling great, and then in the middle of the night somewhere, Jesse Marsh has to be proud of him, because this is the push. This is who we are. We think we're one of the leaders of this player development. We're at the forefront. We believe in young guys, we push, and it's about the philosophy, it's about the mentality, the leadership from young guys, and we're not afraid to give them chances. I think from the club and to some of the leadership, we're really, really happy with some of those performances, yeah.

Q. You lauded the effort last game off the bench from Alex Muyl, and you said throughout the year, as well, but on Brian White's goal, he goes the extra effort to save the ball in, slides in and just plays it across for Brian to get the tap-in. I guess that's what you've become accustomed to seeing from him, huh?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, I mean, Alex Muyl is a winner, and there's some things that don't honor the work that he does that show up in the stats sheet here. He's a Red Bull player. He's a philosophy player. He gives everything to the team. When you look at everything that he does, to the hydration testing results, his name is always at the top. He just really cares about the little things. He loves the team, and he's one of the guys that suffers for the team. We've seen that play in training hundreds of times from Alex. Great play by him, and yeah, it's a big one.

Q. Chris, one of the big question marks every week is if Bradley goes down or is unavailable or needs rest, who's going to step up. After what you saw from Brian White tonight, and is he the guy going forward who's going to back up Brad?
CHRIS ARMAS: Going forward, is he going to be the guy? I think that the proof will be in the pudding, like how -- it's about consistency, looking like us, scoring, and then when you look at Bradley, we've talked about it -- recently we talked about all the little things that Brad does. We talked about him running for the team, chasing, pressing. Brian is cramping at the end, and he's still running and fighting and giving everything. Does it do it justice to make a comparison between Brad and Brian? I think when you talk about their qualities and that they're givers to the team and they both know how to score goals, yes, Brian has got a lot to catch up to the Bulls tally, but the reason he's with us is because he does all those things that Brian is going to do. Look at the first half, especially early on, he's holding, jumping, keeping things alive, rest and attack, we say, then come back into the game, and he runs well in the box. That's what you can see. We're not predicting anything about his future, but he wasn't here tonight getting a start because we had no other options. None of us -- maybe I'm not sure, I know Denis Hamlett is not surprised. He probably predicted that he'll score a goal tonight. None of us are surprised, but we're thrilled for him.

Q. Brian, unless there's new information that I'm not aware of, Brian White has scored last year for their PDL club, and then you drafted him in the super draft this past January, he scored for the USL club and now tonight for this club. What does it mean when you see Brian doing all these things from the amateur to the lower levels now to the top league?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, look, he's got a knack. He just has a knack. Guys like him, guys like Fred Phillips, these guys know how to feel the movements, sniff the plays out around the goal. When you even talk about him, it's not the guy outside the box. He just knows how to show up at the right place, right time, and he works. He loves scoring. He's a proven goal scorer, and now it starts the tally sheet in the MLS. When you see these guys come through, you never ignore the PDL goals. We didn't. We didn't ignore it in college, with USL. There it is again, there it is again. He assured himself that he got in some good spots tonight. It's a great goal for him, and we're really proud of him.

Q. Secondly, on the back line, you had Tim Parker paired with Escobar. I know Aaron has done a great job with Tim. It looked like both were in sync at the center of the park to help Luis at the net with all those attempts. What made Fidel so -- I guess seamless transition to goal instead of Aaron for Tim to have Escobar in the goal?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, Fidel I think you could all see is a really intelligent soccer player. You can see it with his passing, you can see it with the way he reads plays, he drops off, he head rolls, he kind of put one back, and he's got some savviness to him. You don't forget that he's a relatively young guy, played in the World Cup against -- got a lot of good reps against some really good players. But that's his quality. His best days are game day. He's a competitor. He's really proud. He's a proud defender. Of course he's comfortable on the ball, but he doesn't want to get beat.

The pride -- he wants to give to the team, and we talked about it before the game. You don't always get these opportunities (indiscernible) center backs with the pairing that we've been going with. But man, we're so happy -- we're thrilled for the guy. Gets a chance, plays well, part of a win, and again, Alex himself gains trust from his teammates and of course us. You've got more guys, I think, going down the stretch you can rely on in big games. I'm happy for him.

Q. A lot of players that you could have played in a game like this, but I'll talk about Sean Davis because he just seemed to be that veteran in the middle of the field for you guys. He had some great deliveries onset pieces in the first half, but late in the game he started close to the corner, slows down the game. Can you just talk about what he brings to your team? You've seen him grow over the last three and a half seasons, how he's really evolved into a leadership role for you guys.
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, look at, it started years ago with Jesse to push Sean out of his comfort zone. He likes his little comfort zone, and we've pushed him, and Jess put a lot on him, and we were right there with him pushing Sean, demanding, asking more of him, looking around, organizing, not -- he'll do whatever you ask, but it's not -- forget about what we ask, just do what you think it takes, and you saw it tonight. So think about it for Sean Davis. Last game, we rotate a little bit and we go with a strong team and he's not in it. This guy has been reliable all year. I don't know, but knowing he's probably going to play this game, he steps up in a big role. Now you ask him to play at a position, and he's comfortable all year here, getting more reps, catching and playing, organizing, now he's in the 10. He doesn't complain, he just says, Coach, three points tonight, we're going to get this. You see the free kicks they're popping off his foot. You know he's got confidence. He's turning in the gaps playing forward. He's pointing, he's putting out little situations in the corner where he's wasting time, and again, showing leadership. I said it earlier to someone that -- yeah, Jess has to be proud watching from afar seeing so many ways his team go after it, and we keep pushing. We love Sean, and he's really pushing himself out of that comfort zone and becoming a real winner around here.

Q. Have you recovered from tonight's heat, weather?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, I'll be doing a region after the game here. Have I recovered? Like always, they're pushing the fluids, come in a little later tomorrow, lobby for days off. Back to work. Massage, hydration, properly -- the proper fluids going in, and back to work tomorrow. But it's a typical region and it's a quick turnaround, but we have fresh legs coming back. That's it.

Q. Cristian is 18 years old and gets his first start of the season, his appearance of the season. What did you think of his performance today?
CHRIS ARMAS: He looked like a young pro. One of his best qualities is that he's fearless. He's fearless, and he counterpresses, and he's a philosophy player. We knew it would be interesting, enjoyable to watch him next to Tyler, two guys that are fearless, they're going to go after it, and that performance -- of course you don't know what it's going to look like, but I think it's exactly what we hoped for and expected from Christian. He plays beyond his years. He's comfortable on the ball, plays against the ball, covers ground to the end of the game. If I said in the locker room, put your cleats back on, we've got another 30, he would do it. He's easy to love, this kid. It's infectious. He's the first guy at English class, he's learning, teacher says he's attentive all the time, and the development and the learning, it's rapid. He puts himself out there. Here he is. Remind yourself, he's a young guy, doesn't speak the language, comes along, new environment. You see him go after it, and he never puts his head down, and he's frustrated, of course. He's been waiting for this chance. You get that chance, you go after it. Yeah, then another credit to you, finding Cristian, bringing him to us.

Q. Going off of that, I spoke with Fidel last week, he said he had (indiscernible) lack of playing time over the season and he got to the point where he felt like he wanted to leave because of a lack of minutes. How have you kept him focused and feeling like he's involved?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, look, we expect him to be disappointed and upset that he's not playing. We expect that. So it's right here. We talked about it before, that it's just not easy. But that's just what it is. This is the job, the business we're in, and it's part of it. How have we kept him going? We just show him that we care about him. We push him. The demands are high. It's video. We push and know that he's going to get his opportunity, and we don't just say it, we give it to him. So now maybe we all take a step forward. He plays well, there's trust, and I think we all -- in our relationship with him, we take a big step forward. You can see it on his face. He's thrilled. But he's hungry. He's hungry. He wants to play. I understand the frustration. I wish it works out for him more, but this is the way it is. For me, it's about the relationships and people. I mean, Vincent Bezecourt, I'm checking in with him. I'm checking in with Kyle Duncan every single day; how's the knee? Looks great. We're talking. So I'm investing a lot of time and relationships in people, and he's no different. My Spanish is a getting a little better because of him. I'm trying, trying to connect in a good way. That's it. Really happy for him tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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