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September 30, 2018

Chris Armas

Harrison, New Jersey

Red Bulls - 2, Atlanta - 0

Q. Considering how short handed you were without Brett and Tyler, what did you think of the overall effort and obviously getting the win and putting now pressure on them?
CHRIS ARMAS: What did I think? The effort, it couldn't have been more from the opening. No, I feel really good about it. We've always talked around here for years about just being fearless and going after it and that we were most proud of from the opening whistle in a big game, this team has always shown up. It's easy to talk about it and ask for it, but then to see the guys, sort of man up, step up was impressive.

Q. Do you think this victory is proof of all the stuff of what can happen when you're playing against a team with so much talent?
CHRIS ARMAS: I think, simply I think it's a result and byproduct of a philosophy that we think makes a lot of sense. And we see the roster that Dennis has built and built with young guys and some experience in there. But a clear way of playing style that when we're at our best, it can overwhelm teams and that makes you feel good. But I think that's more so what it is that we -- listen we spend money, right? So it's just, it's not just that. But it's a result and clear result of total commitment, total beyond what we do here, and I think we got to, we got tested today in a big way and we showed up in a big way.

Q. When you talk about that philosophy, that playing style without two of your biggest players, how easy is it to have a clear playing style and what you want to be that can you plug in other guys and be able to put that in there seamlessly so that no matter who is out there you're achieving the same result?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, well, I think you can see that it's about the club, not about the coach, it's not about anything other than the philosophy. I mean, when we're doing a good job and the academy, all the staff there, and Dennis, we're doing our job. We can take pieces out and plug this in and then it looks the same. Today we were hoping maybe it can galvanize our team and you get energy from it and say hey, we can all step up a little more. Which they did. So I think that says a lot about our club and it's just a big demand all the time to say, it's easy to talk, but the guys that show up and perform the way they did was most impressive.

Q. The team seems to really step up in every facet of the game without Ryan today. What did you see from them today? It seemed like Tim and Aaron played really sharp in the middle and then you had Amir pushing off and they were still able to get back into places. Talk about how you were able to hold them off today.
CHRIS ARMAS: It's a big demand. The physical output was always going to be a big demand against a team as good as they are, with attackers as good as they are. Both in transition and with challenging the back line, we were able to put pressure on their backs and up the field to minimize the amount of times we got caught the other way. But I look at it and we talked about the back line, and over the years to try to find guys that are built for games like this, built for teams like that. And then with Tim and Aaron, you can see why they're what we, why they were regulars on the national team. They can run, they fight, they have courage, they're good in the air, they can step in front, they can win foot races. And then with Amir, he shows a quality that he has on a day like today in one-on-one situations, that his urgency level keeps growing and understanding. And Kemar, he said it recently, as we locked him up for a few years, how much he prides himself into developing. Seeing the tackles he makes late in the games, sprinting back in the recovery run and then maybe more than the three points, first thing he says is, I got you, Chris. And then we got another shutout. So and then we see Luis Robles, the play he makes in the 88th or 89th, he comes up big. You can keep going about the sixes and everything else but the efforts just showed a lot today.

Q. Talk about Alex. It seems like he's improved a lot tactically, attacking the ball, how he sets up that second goal for Tim and he just seems to be a little more consistent in his attacking play. Has he tweaked his game at all? Have you spoken to him about it?
CHRIS ARMAS: No. I mean Alex makes plays. Look at the play he made in DC. It's over his shoulder, he takes a touch, he takes another touch, it's incredible. But I think that he's a talented player. And when have you a will to win, that's strong. So he makes a play a few weeks ago, sliding on the end line, pulling across. He just has a will to win. He's a philosophy player. He plays against the ball and runs and chases and tactically understands. He teaches, he does a lot of the intangibles. But to see him make that play, it's not that surprising to see him make it because we see it in training regularly. So nothing much I'm telling him, it's all him.

Q. You touched on the defense a little bit earlier, but what exactly was your thought process in the game plan going into this game playing against the likes of their team?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, teams that are built in transition, they score a ton of goals, they can score equal amount on crosses, they can get you one, they have 11 penalties on the year. You can't just address one of the weapons on their team, so you try to do it all at once and it takes a team effort. And most of it involves taking away time and space and spaces and back line and pressing. It's just so many little things. And there's individual plays. I mean, we let -- had we let one slip in the first half but Luis comes up big, we recover, but yeah, and then specifically, okay, how can we talk about how Martinez can hurt you. He's good on offsides, he's good and crosses, and you need to address that, how we're playing that in the game with him and win the game there. And then there's Almiron and what a weapon, you can see that almost every time he gets the ball, he makes it look almost too easy. So, yeah, there's a lot of little things there, I'm not sure if that answers your question but there's some individual tendencies that we have to recognize and then game plan for and then there's the team aspect where we just have to, it involves a lot of sprinting and the alertness.

Q. Tyler does a ton of work when he's in for you and without having other guys to pick up that slack what did you think of the way he played today and how do you make up for that and going back to the Almiron issue, they have a lot of weapons, but he's tough to deal with, but you guys really dealt with him. Why do you think you guys were able to do that today?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, without Tyler you're always better with Tyler. That's our team, the national team, we're better with him because his ability to run and sprint and come around and lead is at a high level. Brian the same. What he does, you see one chance for goal. That's what he does. And he does all the other things. There's always going to be a challenge for us there. On the day with Sean and Marc specifically, yeah, those guys, I mean, it's such a -- mentally they have to be fried right now. There's so many things they're thinking about. Thinking when we have the ball, when we lose the ball, are we moving, running option, when we lose the ball am I in a good spot, can I play forward, can I talk, organize, am I spacing right. There's so many things they're thinking about. And you can see both sides of it. They're incredible. They were incredible. So disruptive. I mean Sean Davis, I mean another, a will to win today that he's maybe out matched sometimes, but that is will, that is focus, that is seeing it and wanting it more. It's a big tactical challenge on the day for those guys, but they certainly carried their weight and then some. And of course Almiron, yeah, it's, I mean, when he gets the ball we all have to come alive and try to put out fires before he gets the ball at some point.

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