Press Conference: Jesse Marsch on #NYvDC

New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch  

Q. Another match where you started 4-2-2-2, switched to the 4-2-3-1. Why are you sticking with 4-2-2-2 at the beginning of matches if you seem to be switching throughout?

JESSE MARSCH: We started with a 4-2-3-1 tonight and the last game, so... Yeah, we played 4-2-3-1 tonight.

Q. Earlier this week you had some comments wanting Sacha to play a little bit more physically after the Orlando match. He looked a little bit like the vintage Sacha we saw who was an MVP finalist last year.

JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, I thought -- listen, we know when we play D.C. that physically we have to be up for the challenge, and that is often the starting point for what these games are. I thought that Sacha covered a lot of ground. He sprinted. He counterpressed a lot. He pressed a lot. And that, I thought, helped set the tone for the team. You know, I mean, even in the first half we weren't able to really develop as much in the attacking part of the field with the ball, but sometimes when you play against D.C. and in these big games, that's how you have to meet the standard of that for maybe 45 minutes, maybe 60 minutes, maybe 90 minutes until the same settles down.

So yeah, I thought that Sacha did a great job on that tonight, and the other guy who put such a great performance in tonight was Alex Muyl. He won like every duel, every aerial ball, every footrace, every tackle, and it set the tone for the whole team.

You know, and I think in general, most of the guys on the field won their battles tonight. They won their 1v1 matchups, and it helped us gain control of the game as the game matured.

Q. Two questions: One, how much did you need a win like this because you certainly looked like the Red Bulls of old, as you played in 2016, particularly in the second half? Part two, how scary was that collision in the first half between Alex and Bradley Wright-Phillips, and how concerned were you?

JESSE MARSCH: I'll start with that part. Yeah, I couldn't tell. It looked like they kind of ran into each other, but when I saw that they kind of both popped up, then it was okay. I didn't get a look on the TV yet, so maybe it looked worse on TV than what it looked live, so I couldn't really get a good sense of that.

Listen, I watched -- there's been so much talk about our team on the outside, like we're no good and we don't look like the team of old, and I said after the game last week that it looked like our team again, and it looked like now the personality and the belief and the commitment to play the way we want to play, that that looked like us, and so it's taken a little bit of time to come around that way, but I've been watching this team train, and the training sessions the last three weeks have been great. We've gotten fitter, we've gotten sharper, we've gotten better, we've gotten a lot of young guys opportunities, so I knew what I was looking at, and I knew we were going to have a really good performance tonight.

Now, that being said, it's early in the year. There's a lot of work to be done, and I'll say this: Look around the league; home teams win. Home teams win. So we've been on the road. We've had to fight through a lot of moments. We've had to deal with travel. Those aren't excuses, but for whatever reason in our league, and I can't figure it out, but it's so tilted, this year maybe more than in the past, that it's hard to win on the road. So we've got to win on the road right now, so we've gotten three points out of four games. It's not as much as we'd like, but it's still not terrible, and now when we've come back here, we haven't given up a goal in the league at home, so now it's our job to take care of business at home and make sure that we pick up points.

Q. This is, I guess, two sides of the same coin, but obviously you addressed what the players heard people saying and writing about them. Are you motivated by it, offended by it, irritated by it?

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