PRESS CONFERENCE: Chris Armas | 07/21/18

New York Red Bulls Head Coach Chris Armas

Q. Another difficult first half, it was combative, obviously, as you expected it would be. What do you think changed there in the second? Was it literally getting that set piece and that opened things up a little bit for you after that?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, look, like you said the first half was a little bit in the balance, back and forth. It's two teams, probably the only team in the League that plays closest like us and us like them.

Yeah, the key was to be able to put together a play and not get too frustrated and that was a little bit the message at half time. So I think once again, our guys -- actually, I thought we started the game in a good way and then we started the second half in a good way.

Just to stay with it is a reminder and to not get frustrated and to keep being us and to keep doing the things that make us good.

Q. Did it look like they were trying to block the passing lanes? They frustrated you guys, like you said, it looked like all throughout the first half until you got everything settled in the second?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, I think it's frustrating when plays don't come off. But Kaku found a bunch of good little spots in that zone there, we call it the red zone.

But you know, the chances were there. You know, there's even some plays where he's overlapping. We just had to arrange ourselves in the right way and put together a play.

So again it's frustrating when two teams run at the ball. We're built on second balls, and yeah, so when you want to just play football, it's kind of -- it's kind of frustrating.

Q. Just talk about Royer's goal, broke through the damn and everything. What was it from Rzatkowski, that great cross, that found Daniel to be so wide open?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, you know, Danny does a good job operating on the back post. His timing is always excellent and he has a good knack for being around the goal. We've seen that many times now.

Marc, we know, serves a great ball. That's why we have him on a lot of set pieces. He's around the ball a lot and he whips in a good ball and Danny sniffs it out. It's not lucky, really. Danny has a knack and puts himself in a good spot and gets good timing and varies it. Great for him.

Q. This is your third match in charge and for the third straight match, the first half is kind of a slog. What's behind the slow starts? The team really, earlier in the season, was very quick to get off on the right foot at home. It seems a little bit slower now.
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, you know what, I think on the inside over here, we're much more comfortable with that first half the way it looked than many on the outside. In a lot of ways, we felt in control and okay with what it looked like. You know, it was just a matter of slowing down and making some plays.

Luis makes a big save, obviously and look, New England is a good team. They are a good team. That's why I -- look at the standings, it's not an opinion, right; they are good.

We knew it would be difficult and we train this way and in difficulty at times. So we didn't think we had a bad start. The first half for us wasn't terrible. So it was in many ways, pretty good, and then we picked up and raised it a notch in the second half.

Q. In a game like that, in the rain, the Revolution fouling a lot, obviously making it very difficult for you guys. What does it say about your team that they are able to kind of get that result, grind it out in the end?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, look, I think the team throughout this year has shown that we can win in many different ways, from behind, even, second half, we can hold on to leads. We found many ways. So we're fit; our subs come on and do a good job, and we have an ability and belief to push games and know that we can make plays.

So I think it's another night where we show what we're made of and that we're fearless and that we can go after games, and there's a lot of belief. And when you have Bradley Wright-Phillips in the game, he's always dangerous and he's always a threat. I thought he was great tonight, again.

Q. Amir seemed to be one of those players that was active in the second half and sort of sparked the team a little bit. Just speak about his performance and also for you and the team, how difficult it might be to balance his play with, you know, the transfer window and not quite knowing maybe his long-term future with the team?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, look, Amir [Murillo] was great tonight. The first half, not as much was up his side, but again, the game didn't go that way.

So as it settled in, you could see the quality that he has. You could see why he had great moments at the World Cup. You could see why he's been a starter for us. You know, he has an ability to get forward. He defended against one of the better 1-v-1 attackers in the League in Penilla. He has a lot of confidence and still a young guy that plays beyond his years.

In terms of transfer window, he's here and he's focused and he's been training in a great way. So you know, we're going to rely on him as we make this push.

Q. Marc Rzatkowski, he scored last week and now he has an assist this week. What do you have to say about that? And also the Aaron Long sub, was that tactical or injury-related what was that about?
CHRIS ARMAS: Marc shows, again, that he's a good player. He plays with a lot of confidence. He's a smart, intelligence player. He plays against the ball. He steps to plays. He was so comfortable on the ball and he can make final plays, as we saw, again, tonight. Yeah, I'm really happy to see his performance, just solid all night.

In terms of Aaron, he had something in his stomach going on. Wasn't feeling great coming into the night, but he pushed, as we saw in a good way and stepped up.

He's always tough to play against. He's incredible back there. Even after the game, you just say, Aaron, the way he stepped up and battled through when he wasn't feeling that great, and so often he's covering us and has our back, and tonight our guys stepped up and covered him and really were behind him to make sure that they can help him along.

And then Aurelien comes in and did a great job. He really did a great job. He looks like the pro that he is, steps right in, gave us leadership, clearances, exactly what the game needed.

Q. Tyler, we saw him pushed up a little bit last week when you made some tactical changes on the field and today we see him higher up on the field. What went into that decision and what did you ask of him today?
CHRIS ARMAS: Tyler is incredible; that he does whatever you ask; he does whatever the team needs. He's a guy that plays for the team and runs for the team and gives everything.

So when you start to think about how to get certain guys on the field and Marc wanted to ride his momentum and really get him going, how do you piece it together with him Sean and Ty.

So it was a way we could get him going and then still tilt him in a way where he's not a winger, he's tucked in a bit. So I thought he did great. I thought he did great, with and without the ball, up the field and then we moved him upside the field as a ten and he did great there. He's a gem. Tyler is incredible.

Q. Unrelated question. Fidel Escobar, we haven't seen much of him this year. How have you guys managed his situation, just in terms of every player wants to play, and he obviously has not had a lot of minutes. How have you managed that and what does he need to do to break in a little bit more and see a little bit more time?
CHRIS ARMAS: Look, there's a lot of soccer left to play and a lot of games coming up. Fidel has done great. He keeps growing and developing and he's speaking more English than ever. He's training well.

It's a tough spot, typically, with Aaron and Tim, you know, being so steady. But he keeps himself going in a good way, and he's ready. I mean, he had great moments at the World Cup. Even before that, this is the best that we've seen him, so I think we can -- always, you've got to manage the situation when you have a deep team and talented players. So you can expect that we'll rely on him down the stretch, as well.