Having eyes on the U.S. Open Cup fixture with Miami FC Wednesday, Atlanta United Football Club Head Coach Tata Martino started Anton Walkes at right back instead of Tyrone Mears. He said wanted Mears to get rest. Also, U.S. Open Cup rules state teams can start only five foreign-born players, those decisions will factor into the selection.
“I think (Anton) played well. He showed character tonight especially since he found that he was going to play in our technical talk before the game. So, considering that he did well. Brandon has come on a few times now in that right wing position and we have noticed that he is growing. It is evident to us that he is learning new things every game. So, he is growing into that position.”
— Tata Martino
Captain Michael Parkhurst talked about how important it was for Atlanta United to get a clean sheet.
“The clean sheet was a big step for us. It’s been awhile since we’ve had one. We feel like some games we’ve been good enough to get a clean sheet and it hasn’t happened for whatever reason and other games we have rightfully given goals and made some mistakes. To come out here in front of our home fans in a tough game where Colorado made it very difficult defensively, we knew that we had to be tight in the back. We knew it was probably going to be a one goal game. We said that at halftime. We gave up one big chance in the first half that Alec (Kann) had a huge save on and then, the scrum at the end. Other than that, I thought it was pretty clean. It’s a huge boost of confidence especially at this point in the season.”
Colorado Rapids – Pablo Mastroeni
“I think the performance was very spirited. I think we came out and executed a very good tactical plan. The result left us wanting more but I think the chances that we created early in the first half is what ended up costing us in the end. If you don’t finish those opportunities that are very clear, you let a team like Atlanta stay in the game. It’s going to cost you but, overall, I couldn’t be more proud of our group of guys. They came to a very difficult place to play against a very good team and conducted themselves so professionally and pushed the game to the last minutes. There’s a lot to be excited about looking forward. But again, at the end of the day, I think not finishing our opportunities early in the game was our undoing.”
Colorado Rapids Goalkeeper Tim Howard:
“It’s a very small pitch. Certainly, one of the smallest we are going to play on. They put you under a ton of pressure, $30 million up front in attacking power and they proved to be worth it tonight. We did everything we could. I thought we were resilient. They make it tough to get out. They press you well and they take care of the ball. A little bit lopsided on the possession but they do it to many teams. I’m proud of the performance and the effort and we nearly nicked one in the end.
When asked about the atmosphere at Bobby Dodd:
“It was good. Atlanta has done a great job in terms of promoting this team and getting behind this team. It’s a terrific organization and a credit to the league. This is a really cool atmosphere because it is really tight and they pack this place. I can imagine when they get into the new stadium, they’ll be excited.”