Sacramento Republic FC played Real Monarchs SLC to a 0-0 draw Saturday night, in what was a disappointment given all the chances they had — particularly in the second half, where Republic FC were on the front foot and clearly the better side.
We spoke to Manager Simon Elliott and Emrah Klimenta following the match to get their thoughts. If you missed the post-match, they both had some interesting things to say:
Simon Elliott's overall thoughts on the match...
Yes, points dropped. That’s my very short and dirty version of my thoughts. I can expand if you want.
The second half you were clearly out on the front foot....as we discussed the other day, is that the consistency you’re looking for from your club?
Yeah. Performance wise it was good. I thought we were more aggressive, we were out on the front foot, we were getting in behind, but we have to commit to runs in the box and we need to score goals.
If you look at it in terms of points, we should have had four points from these two games against this team, and they have four and we have one. When it comes down to it, you have to take care of business. [There’s] a lot to be encouraged by, but the brutal reality is that we didn’t care of [things], so we dropped points.
Emrah Klimenta on how he felt in his first match back...
It felt good. I didn’t know how much I would get, but it felt good to get back on the field in front of the fans. It was good. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the victory, but we had our chances. We came away with one point, which is better than a loss. So, a step in the right direction I suppose.
So you didn’t know if you were going to play or not? We sort of thought you’d come in late in the game if the team had a lead to ensure you kept the lead, but you came in anyway.
Well [coach and I] talked about it. He said you might play 30 minutes, you might play 20, you might play 10...it all depends on what the game is like. Whatever time I got I would have been happy with, especially not having played in a game in a while.
But I came on and helped get that shutout. I wish I can get that free kick back unfortunately...but, it was good to get 10, 12, 13 minutes...whatever it was. It felt good.
Simon mentioned that he felt that you dropped points tonight. Do you guys take away the same thing?
Yeah, of course. I mean, certain games you’ll be happy with a tie, certain games you feel like it’s a loss. It was evident that we created more chances, we had the better run of play...the penalty, it’s just unfortunate that he [Cameron Iwasa] missed it...it happens, but it does feel like a loss.
I obviously only played 10 or 12 minutes, but watching from the bench, it looked like we deserved a lot more.
What is the next progression for you? Have you and Simon sat down to discuss your goals and the plan for you moving forward?
No, [but] we always talk. I’ve talked with the physio, our strength and conditioning coach. They don’t want to throw me in to play 90 minutes not having trained with the team for about 15 days. So this past week of training has been intense.
We have a long road trip coming up...everyone is going to be needed. Two games in a span of five games. I am sure I’ll play some minutes. How many minutes...not sure, but I’m always ready. If need be, I’ll start. If need be, I’ll come on at half, but we haven’t gotten that far.
How does it feel to back at Papa Murphy’s Park?
It feels great. There’s no place I’d rather go than [coming back] here. I [was] a little disappointed...the crowd was was a little quiet throughout that game. I was sitting at the end of the bench and said...I know we’re wearing all black, but it’s not a funeral. It was silent. That’s probably the most silent I’ve ever heard Papa Murphy’s Park.
I got welcomed with a great reception, which felt good. Like I said, I wish I could get that free kick back, because it would have been a perfect story, but things happen. We’ll learn from this move on and hopefully continue to pick up points.