POSTGAME REACTION: Jesse Marsch | 6/23/18

New York Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch

Q. On a day today where it was a little bit of a strange one, of course, with Royer being sent off -- well, originally booked and then changed by VAR to be sent off. Do you feel in a certain way after the red card, was this a bit of a statement game, you went from pressing 11 to pressing 10 and took the whole thing.

JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, what it was was a show of our character. So you know, we talk a lot around here about our style of play and our tactics and all the different things that we try to be about from a soccer, technical perspective. But this was more to do about the character of the group and their commitment and their mentality and their will on the day to play for each other and do whatever it was going to take.

And I told them, I think this may be, of all the great wins we've had at home, this may be our best one ever. You call it a showcase; yeah, I would say, you know, it's just -- it's a nice moment when you can see a team that is so together and so committed and is going to do whatever it takes. That's always going to make a coach proud.

And I think to the man, I think they all dug in, had their backs against the wall at different moments, made plays, defended, fought for each other. So yeah, really, really good performance and one think that I will continue to galvanize our group and make us better.

Q. Just facing FC Dallas, really a team parallel to you guys in development and the way you play, talk a little about taking the risk with continuing to play what American Soccer Analytics called the highest line and hardest press in the League?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, I mean, well, first, let's start with Dallas. I have a lot of respect for their club and a lot of respect for their coach. He's had a lot of really good seasons there. You know, won Supporters’ Shield, won Open Cups. Retooled the team this year to be as good as ever and they only have one loss on the year before tonight, right.

So we knew we were in for a big challenge, and if you would have told me we were going to go down a man in the 26th minute, I would have said it was going to be a long night for us, and once again, we showed what we're about.

You called it a risk. We don't think the way we play is risky. We think the way we play is proactive and aggressive and we think that our way is about imposing ourselves on the opponent and making the game the type of game that we want.

And so, I can see why you can say it's risk, but even in some of the American soccer analyst articles, they talk about how few chances we give up, how few, you know, final third passes, final third chances, those kind of things, and so in some ways, you consider it a risk and in other ways, you could say it's actually really intelligent the way we play.

I know one of the best things about our team right now is that there's a total belief that this is the way the game is supposed to be played. Even when we watch the World Cup, there's comments in the locker room about like, look, why is that team sitting back, they should go and press them and go after them. I know it's Germany but let's go get 'em.

That's just now part of who our group is. It's in the DNA, right, and part of it is who they are as individuals and part of it is the reward they have had for being here and playing like this.

So you know, this is who we are. We like who we are. You know, but there's more to go but tonight's a good night for sure.

Q. I was hoping you would comment on the goals from Aaron Long and Kemar Lawrence more so than Bradley Wright-Phillips, because we know that he can do that when he wants -- having your defenders being able to push forward and get in there and get the set piece for the running play.
JESSE MARSCH: Aaron is always a threat. He's so good in the air. He's very athletic and so he's always good on set pieces. We run a lot of things to try to free him up and try to get him opportunities, so great for him to get a goal.

And what a big goal at the time, right. And I guess they were -- went to VAR on that because they were thinking there might be a line of sight with the off-side, so I don't know, I haven't seen it. I thought there was a lot of people, so it was hard to decipher who was in the way and who wasn't.

I told Kemar Lawrence after the game that I don't even know who he is when he's scoring goals and drawing red cards and all this kind of stuff. But Kemar -- you know what, Kemar, he's a guy that has a great mentality, who works for the team always, is an incredible defender, takes so much pride in defending and not giving up goals and not losing duels and not losing one-on-ones.

So you know, it's nice for a guy like him to get rewarded for some other things so that people can appreciate more of the things that he's really good at. And I was laughing with him, too, because now he's doing interviews after the game and I'm sure you guys are going to go talk to him now. You know, he's like a superstar tonight, so it's good for him.

Q. I wanted to ask you about Kemar because he just seems like he's been more of a vocal leader this season. I saw in the seventh minute, when Kaku goes down, you talk about being proactive, he ran over to you and seemed like you were going over some things. How much has he evolved from 2015 to now on the field being a leader?
JESSE MARSCH: You know, I mean, if you go through Kemar's history here, when he first arrived, you could right away tell he wasn't just a kid from Jamaica, a kid from the island. He had more. He had more ideas. He had more questions. He had more thoughts, and he had more pride than a lot of the guys that I've seen from his area.

And you know, at certain times, he would kind of say, "Well, listen, man, I'm from Jamaica, this isn't always easy for me. You ask me to be intense all the time. That's now how we do things."

I said to him, "You're different. That's why you're here. You're not like everyone else from Jamaica," and that's not a bad thing. I love Jamaica, too. I've been there on vacation. The people are amazing. But Kemar has something for different and unique about him and he had to invest in that and really believe in it and help him drive him to be bigger and better, and I think he's done that.

And so this year, for me specifically, he's been more on too much the details, had more concentration, become more of a leader, become more vocal and become more of a complete player and a complete person. His family is here now. In every way, I'm really proud of how far Kemar has come and what he means to our club. So, yeah, I mean -- yeah.

Q. In many ways, is that first goal, really kind of set the tone for this game because not just the finish, obviously, but leading up to it, Kaku is battling for a ball, it's a 50/50 for Danny, Tyler rushes in, all the guys involved in that had to put in a little extra?
JESSE MARSCH: We can't expect -- we expect them to sit back a little bit. We didn't expect them to sit as deep as they did.

So I was trying to get the word out early on to really have a rhythm and a speed to which we played so that their sitting back and clogging things up wasn't going to be rewarded. And a lot of the times, our way of breaking teams down isn't by beautiful passes in football but by sometimes losing the ball, counter pressing it, getting it right back, and sometimes a defense is most vulnerable when they actually win the ball and then lose it right away again.

So that play was a perfect example of that. We lost the ball but Tyler was aggressive to jump on the next ball. Led to him getting in behind and led to an easy goal. In our mind, that's our way of playing and breaking down teams, is easier than putting 15 passes together in a compact team that's organized. That way, we can break teams down.

I thought that was a good tactical goal, good alertness, and then yeah, the ability to slow down and make the play at the end was important.

What we got going on here? Where you guys from?

Q. Coach I'm from Fort Lee High School in North Bergen County.
JESSE MARSCH: Awesome, man. Welcome. Good to have you guys here.

Q. My question is about the veteran leadership and how you thought players were able to help the team, along with your coaching staff, being a man down early in the game and continuing to score throughout.
JESSE MARSCH: It's a good question. Good stuff, my man.

Yeah, you're right, it was a difficult moment, and Danny is an important guy on the team, too. So when you lose him, then you need guys to step up and make sure that they all take a little bit bigger role and a little bit more leadership, and then, you know, when you're a man down, we always harp on the details and the concentration, but when you're a man down, that often becomes the most important part of managing the game, and so there were a few moment the -- and that was my reminder to them at half-time because there were moments where one guy would tune out and all of a sudden there was a gap in our team and they were able to find a half-chance or hit the cross-bar or whatever.

But I felt like in the second half, they had a lot of like total alertness and commitment from everyone and it really helped us manage the game.

Q. You and Tyler were having a conversation after that red card. What were the main tactical instructions that you gave your team after that happened?
JESSE MARSCH: Well, right after the red card, we talked about the formation, but we weren't really -- our pressing was off a little bit and some of our tactical movement. We made that adjustment at half time. What I said to Tyler at that moment was I wanted him to communicate and always be looking around and making sure things are organized.

Tyler has grown so much over the past two years, three years, but you know, that sort of piece of making sure that he is aware and putting everyone where he needs them, because his tendency is if he sees something, to just do the job himself, and he can do that. He's that gifted.

But what will be important for him in his overall development is to make sure that he's always controlling what the team is doing and aware of what's happening around him.