You've read the game recap and my own thoughts on what we learned from the Republic's 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids. Now see what the coach and players had to say about Saturday's match.
Head Coach Paul Buckle
On his feelings about the game:
"First off, we started slowly. I think both teams did, really. I don't think that Evan [Newton] had a shot to save, as a rule. We did get in some good positions in wide areas. We failed with the delivery, which we need to work on. But only 9 days in on a 8 week preseason, it's early days."
On the performance and chemistry of the defense:
"They didn't cause us a problem when they had the ball generally, building from the back. We caused ourselves problems when we had the ball because they didn't have that sharpness. They've been off now for months and have been back for a few days. We wanted too many touches on the football and they were onto that, they could smell that. They took it off us a couple of times around our last third — the defensive third — and could have punished us, but they didn't."
"I can't remember Evan [Newton] having to make a really good save. You'd normally expect your keeper to be busy against this level of competition, but he wasn't, and that's a credit to the boys in front. Our organization was good, with the limited number of days we've had to work. Our organization will always be good. If teams are going to get through us they're going to have to do something special."
On Colorado's game winner:
"The boys will be disappointed with the set play. We just touched on set plays today. I'm disappointed because I thought it was a soft free kick that [the referee] gave, but we've got to do better on the set plays. Overall I thought a draw would have been a fair result."
On Harry Williams's first 45 minutes with the Republic:
"It was quite hard for Harry and [Tommy Stewart] because [the Rapids] had a lot of the ball. We allowed them to have the ball in their defensive third and they didn't really hurt us... There was openings for us, we didn't quite take them in terms of speed of play, but that will come. We're just into this now. The very fact that we looked very solid is encouraging because I know we've got goals in the team. I thought when Pridham came on, he looks dangerous... he's going to cause problems."
Midfielder Ivan Mirkovic
On whether he is or is not the Republic captain:
"Oh, I don't know. I was tonight but that doesn't mean I'm going to be on Wednesday or next Saturday. But whenever I get the [captain's armband], I'm going to get out on the field and try my best like always, try to lead the guys. That's it. I'm proud to be captain, at least for this game."
On the team's performance:
"Defensively I think we were pretty organized, we looked very good. Offensively we didn't score, but we had a couple of chances. I think it will take a couple games to get the rhythm and just try to figure out different movements and who moves where. But I'm think I'm positive and pretty excited for the new season. I think we'll be pretty good. We will be pretty good... I think we should be proud in our first game after 4 months."
On whether the team can beat San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday:
"I think we can. We were pretty close to tying [Colorado] and I think if we correct those small mistakes — we have a whole week to work on that — if we correct those small mistakes I think we'll be fine against Earthquakes. I'm looking forward to them. They've owned us for the last four games... it should be fun."
On multiple training sessions and the team's level of fitness:
"We are getting fit. We are not 100% right now after only 2 weeks and having a break for 4 months. We're not 100% right now, but I think we are slowly getting there. They don't want to overtrain us, that's how inures happen. So we're slowly building and my hope is in a couple weeks we will be fine. Give us 2 or 3 weeks and we will know what's going on and what this team will do."
Defender Chris Christian
On playing both center back and left back on Saturday:
"Well I usually play in the center, but I try to be versatile. I can play on the left or in the middle of the field. I just do what the coach asks and whatever the team needs."
On having a more friendly crowd at Bonney Field this time around:
"It was great. I can say that when I came here with the Switchbacks it was my first time with the team, I hadn't even trained with them. To step out here was an amazing atmosphere. And to be back here a year later with all the support from the fans and the staff has been amazing. It's been a great welcome to Sacramento for me."