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Post-Match Quotes: Buckle, Kiffe, and Trickett-Smith after Republic vs Liverpool U-21s

MLS: Preseason-San Jose Earthquakes vs Sacramento Republic Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Buckle

His overall thoughts on the game

Well first of all I'd like to thank Liverpool -- Michael and Alex for arranging this... because I thought it was an incredible game of football. I thought it was wonderful yesterday to see Liverpool training here.

Our players needed this -- I think we all needed this game -- after some good wins in the league. I thought it was a thoroughly entertaining game. There were chances in the game. We deserved to go in the lead. We had to contain them. We knew we would have to be solid, but I think we've been solid all season so we sort of stuck to our game plan. To go one ahead we were sort of in good control of the game.

Once Michael started to make some changes I was sort of shouting out to him 'no more, Michael, please. That's enough" because they really did then turn up the gas on us and they worked a very good goal.

In between it all we had chances still, we still looked dangerous. We played Rivas at right back and I think we only had two defenders on the field so it made for a great spectacle. And what a way to finish it off with Kiffe's finish. We'd found some space down our left where Cameron [Iwasa] had drove in and James Kiffe -- he'll remember that goal. It was a wonderful goal and to get it against a very good team. I'm very proud of the performance.

It was a good win for us. It wasn't about the result, but it was a good win for us. It'll give our players confidence.

I don't think we had a weak link on the field at all. they players that started, they players that came on, Trickett-Smith, very very good.

On subbing out Rodriguez for Joaquin Rivas right before the first half ended

Well when you've played center half -- as he has -- and then you're asked to bomb down the wing, it's a totally different fitness. His hamstring started to stiffen up so it was a precaution to take him off.

And Rivas, we've played Rivas there in a few reserve friendlies. To start with he wasn't pleased too pleased playing there because he's an attacker. But the way we play with out fullbacks and having Emrah [Klimenta] away, we had to do it. And I'm pleased I did it because he showed me that he can play there.

And certainly the last 20 minutes when they started to move the ball around and they were trying to open us up and move it from side to side looking for space, it was a real test for not only Rivas but for the whole team. I thought it was a great game.

On how new signing Trickett-Smith did in his first appearance with the team.

Very well. Very very well. Credit to our team for making him feel so welcome in a short space of time. He's traveled as well so he only got here yesterday. And I wanted to play him, I wanted to get him on the field. We've probably lacked a little bit of creativity at times and you try and search for players and hopefully Dan will be the answer.

He nearly found the back of the net a couple of times. The save the keeper made on him was a great save. You can see his football intelligence, you can see the way he thinks. He actually made our players come alive. I think you saw a different Thommy Stewart second half. Some of our passing movement was really good to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the game.

On James Kiffe's goal

I said to James "you might as well retire now, James" because I've been waiting for Kif to do that because I see it in training. Graham [Smith] tells me he's seen it loads of times at the Fusion. We want Kiffe to do that. So many times James will travel maybe 40, 50 yards with the ball and he comes to a dead end and he'll either poke it or -- and he could've gone through there and smashed it, you know. Put it away. Buried it. And that's what we've been wanting. It was a wonderful goal and we're going to want more of that now, that's the key.

Our standards tonight were very high. Of course there's no points at stake but we're playing against a top football team. So if we can do it against that caliber of player and create the chances that we did, we have to carry that on for the rest of the season.

On Octavio Guzman's contributions

Tavo, again, has been out for a number of months and it takes a player a good number of games to get back to his best. I think tonight you saw Tavo -- it was the best I've seen Tavo play since I've been at the club. He was excellent. His drive with the ball, his defensive responsibility was great, he kept the ball very well. That was something we spoke about this week -- keeping the ball. Especially against the better teams like Liverpool. If you give the ball away, it's going to be a long night. I thought Tavo's performance was excellent.

On Agustin Cazarez's contributions

I think bringing Auggie back into the team was big. Auggie's not featured in the last few games, he's been very unlucky. He gives us a stability to go and play our football. He'll go and take it off the back and get us passing.

On what the win will do for the team going forward

Well last year it did us well and in years previous it's done us well when we've had these exhibition games so I hope it'll be the same. The players must take great faith in their own ability. You're talking about top players -- ok Liverpool have traveled and there's some jet-lag there and they've had a long season. But we're a USL team and our players should be very proud of themselves. I'm pleased that they got the victory because it'll be game on in Reno because I'm sure 'Liverpool will want to get even. Knowing Michael, I feel they'll want to get even.

James Kiffe

On his goal

I don't remember who gave me the first ball but I cut in and gave the ball to Fonzo and he game me a perfect layoff. The defenders were frozen and I was moving at speed so when I took my touch I was kinda by them.

On the fact that his goal was scored against Liverpool

Yeah. I'm just happy to win.

On if we might hopefully be seeing more goals from him in the future

Yeah, hopefully. From the beginning of the season he told Emrah and I that he wanted us to be scoring and getting assists. I think both of our numbers are a bit lower than they should be but it's still early in the season. The big thing is just winning. If we're winning then I'd rather just sit back and be safe. I think the goals will come more from me if we're losing or tied.

On the chemistry that's coming together over the last few games

Yeah, it's starting to click. We've done well defensively and obviously we've had our woes in the attack. But we've got a lot of new guys, especially in the attack, and it just takes time. So everyday we train together things get better. I've had so many players in front of me that it's hard to get any chemistry with anyone. Luckily I've had Cam or Tavo in front of me lately so we kinda mesh together, All over the field guys are starting to get used to each other so it should only get better.

On what is next for the guys between now and the next match

Hopefully some rest, a day off. I think like Paul said, we lost three games in a row but it doesn't really change anything. It's continuing what we've been working on all season, just kind of fine-tuning things. To Paul's credit he lost three games and continued to do the same thing. Obviously he made minor tweaks, but a good coach needs to kind of stick with the same thing if he believes in it and it's starting to pay off.

Daniel Trickett-Smith

On how it felt to be playing

It was a great experience for me tonight to be playing over here in Sacramento. I really enjoyed myself. It was nice to get on for 45 minutes and obviously it was a great victory for the boys.

On if he was jet lagged after only coming into town Friday

I'm a bit jet lagged but I think it's just the adrenaline because the crowd here are unbelievable and I just really enjoyed myself.

On playing his former team, Liverpool U-21s

Oh yeah it was crazy. I was training with them two weeks ago and they're all good friends of mine and I've been together with them for four or five years... Obviously seeing them on the opposite team is a bit weird, but I really enjoyed it and it was great to get the win over them.

On meeting his new team

I met them all this morning and straight away they're a great group of lads and I got on with them really well and they made me feel really welcome. I'm really enjoying myself.

On where he sees himself playing for the Republic

I like playing in the number 10 role just behind the striker, but then again on the left or the right side. I don't really mind as long as I'm playing, but behind the striker is probably my favorite position.

On what he's seen so far with the Republic offense

I played with Thommy today and I've only met him today and I feel like I've got a good connection with him. I was speaking to him in the first half and we talking about the game and as soon as I get it he kept making runs in behind and that's perfect for me. As soon as I raise my head up I just want to see guys running in behind and I'll do my best to try and find them.

On why he came to play with Sacramento Republic

Paul came over to watch training a couple of times and a few of the lads had already played with him on the Liverpool side -- such as Lloyd Jones and Kevin Stewart, who played today -- and they rate him really highly. Paul rang me and we had a long chat on the phone and he told me all about Sacramento and where he thinks Sacramento is going. I just thought it was a great opportunity for me personally.

On whether this was his first time in the US

I've been to New York a couple of years ago but that was with Liverpool for a tournament. It's my first time being in California.