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July 27, 2019

Caleb Porter

Harrison, New Jersey

NY Red Bulls - 2, Columbus Crew SC - 3

Q. First road win since March 9, that had to feel pretty good, right?
CALEB PORTER: It's important. We knew going into this game we had seven road games out of the 11 games that we had, so it's good to get that winning feeling again on the road, and we've played a very good team in a tough place to play.

For us to play as aggressive as we did, to really do some things, adapt our style of play a little bit, you know, to kind of take away what they want to do and actually because we went more direct we created a ton of chances and problems for New York, and we knew that in our scouting. Scored three goals. We got good performances across the board and we showed a lot of team spirit and unity, as well, today.

We have to keep building on it. We have massive a massive hole; we have to continue to hunt the teams ahead of us.

Q. You're 0-12-2 when your opponent scored first. How were you able to keep fighting? Was a lot of that momentum from the win at home last week?
CALEB PORTER: I think our mentality's just shifted. You know, last, really, four games, even though we didn't get the win at Orlando, I said it, we played excellent, we were aggressive, we took over the second half and in Chicago, you saw we battled back, last game, battled back.

Never felt like we were even going to be when we conceded out of the game and the guys just kept responding. They have a lot of belief right now in that locker room. Actually, as much as you think we would be sky-high, we're not. We're very even keeled. We're keeping our highs low. We're taking the emotion out and we're just focusing on improvement and taking it one game at a time.

Q. Some of the guys said that the confidence level has shifted. When did you see that? Do you pinpoint a time that you really are telling a difference right now?
CALEB PORTER: Yeah, I mean, again, you can talk about the all-12, this, that. But the fact of the matter is, we've lost nine or ten games by one goal. You can look at that one of two ways: We're either a really bad team, or we were close to being a very, very good team. And I look at it as the latter.

We were really, really close in every single game, and we played really well in a lot of those games. People forget that; I don't. I know every game we've played, I know exactly how they went, and it was just frustrating we weren't able to get that turning point and that breakthrough.

We came in on the road with no center backs; we have three center backs out still, and we end up getting a great performance out of the group, in a game really with, New York the way they play, Abouba and Alex were going to be under pressure. You have two young homegrown kids, and they were up for it. That was a good thing to see.

Q. Talking about good performances, what did you see out of Pedro and what he was able to do tonight?
CALEB PORTER: He's quietly putting together a career year. You look at his goal production, his eight goals, seven goals, I've lost count -- that's quite a few goals. Is it seven? Listen, that's a lot of goals. He's producing. He's confident. I thought he was really hungry today and stuff.

If you saw, I thought we won actually the loose ball duels today. You look at New York, they want to win the 1 vs. 1 duels and they want to out-fight you, and I thought we out-fought them today in all honesty and that's a big part of why we won the game. I thought we fought hard, won the individual duels, first and second balls.

And then I thought our football showed, as well. We were very clinical. We got in behind them. Some nice passages of play. We should have scored -- I said it at half time, a couple more goals in the first half, hit the post, missed two breakaways, so I thought we were very clinical. I thought we got really good performances out of the bench, again, so that's a massive help, as well, when you can sub guys in.

Wil had to come in with an injury and so we have to sub in Guzman, and then David Accam just looked tired, so Luis went in. He'll get better. He had a couple moments where he's got to be a little sharper but he was lively and he was always a threat, and if you're always a threat, good things happen. At the end, he played a great ball in for the goal.

Q. Seven points in three games, still a big hole, as you've said, to dig yourself out of. How do you go about elevating each and every game as you go out there?
CALEB PORTER: Just got to focus on each week and really our preparation. I thought the guys were spot on in their execution for the most part. We need to clean some things up on the goals obviously, but we scored three goals. We did a lot of things we wanted to do, and I thought it worked, you know, and so it starts with the training ground.

We had really four good days of training and we have three next week, and we're playing another team next week in San Jose. It's not going to get any easier. They are a team that man-to-man marks you all over the field, another team that wants to out-fight you, press you, turn you over. It's a little bit of, you know, a psychological game in terms of how they play and they disrupt you, and so the nice thing is we're in a rhythm now with this type of game because New York is the same way, so now we move on to the next week, clean some things up, and it won't get any easier.

We have to stay really hungry. We have to keep hunting the teams ahead of us, but we are starting to turn the season a little bit and we are starting to putt some pressure on the teams ahead of us.

Q. What was wrong with Wil?
CALEB PORTER: He had a little bit of a knee tweak. We hope it's not serious. I don't think it is, but he had to come out. Obviously we wouldn't have subbed in Wil at halftime -- I'm sure you guys figured that out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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