Below are post-game interviews with Sacramento Republic FC manager Simon Elliott and midfielder Keven Alemán following Saturday's thrilling 2-1 win over San Antonio FC in the 2018 home opener.
It’s only one game, but the club played an exciting brand of soccer. That said, Elliott and Alemán made it clear that there is plenty of work ahead.
Well Simon, I’d say that was a successful 90 minutes. How do you think the team played?
I think the end result was successful. I wouldn’t say it was a successful 90 minutes. I think it was more like 70 to 75 minutes that we were good and consistent. We need to be a 90 minute team. We’re not there yet, but there was some good beginnings.
Obviously, there was some nice goals. I thought we were tough at the end. I think we can smarten up a little bit, but we showed good grit and determination at the end.
The backline and midfield did really well in keeping San Antonio off their attack...especially Jeremy Hall. Can you talk about how the team performed particularly in the first half?
We started a little slow actually...the first 10 to 15 minutes. I thought right around the 20 minute mark, we started to get little more aggressive with our pressure and started to step up, and that enabled Jeremy Hall to do what he does. And then he became more of an influence in the game and that’s what we’re looking for.
So again, I think it’s little details. It’s about starting better, recognizing what we do well and taking advantage of what the opposition is giving us. And they were certainly giving us things tonight that we didn’t always recognize, so we just need to brush up and move on.
What does it mean for you to get your first win as manager of the Republic?
I mean, you don’t come into these things expecting to not win. It’s a results-oriented business at the end of the day, so we’ll take wins anyway we can get them.
The important thing for us is that we won. It’s not a win for me...it’s a win for the team and we want to have a lot more of them over the course of the season, but we have work to do if we want them.
You can see from tonight that we're going to be playing good teams like this and they know how to hit you, so we have to make sure we’re a little sharper in all areas over 90 minutes.
How nice is it to see Adam Moffat out there getting some run after being injured over the last year? I imagine he’s a key cog moving forward for you.
Yeah, he’s a good player with lots of experience. We’re delighted that we have him. So the fact that he can get some minutes in the first game of the season is great for him, his confidence and the team.
He’s had a rough run of it on the injury front...it’s been long, it’s been complicated, [but] his attitude has been great and he’s been working awfully hard away from all the cameras at trying to get it right, so we’re happy we were able to get him some time the first game of the season.
Like a lot of guys, hopefully he can build on that and we can build him up to 90 minutes relatively soon, but like everyone else, he’s got to earn it.
Congratulations on the goal. From our vantage point, it was executed about as well as possible. What did you see out there?
Well, we’ve been practicing to keep the ball and we did that. [On the] play, I think it was a through ball from Cam and I just tried to place it. It was good.
What’s it like getting the win in the home-opener in front of a sellout crowd?
The fans are great. It feels great getting the first goal and three points at home. [We’re] hoping to keep the moment and keep getting three points after three points. I think we have a great team.
Do you feel you have enough competition in the squad to keep up the work everyday?
I think there’s a lot of competition. We have a lot of great players. Todd did a great job bringing in new players...I think almost the whole team is new and everyone is just fighting for a spot. I think that’s best thing we got. When you have competition, you have to put in 110 percent every game and every practice.