Chris Armas

Chris Armas: 'Mentality Was Right' for Leg 1

The New York Red Bulls beat Club Atlético Pantoja 2-0 in Leg 1 of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16. A lot of credit for the away victory is the team coming in with the right mindset, according to Head Coach Chris Armas.

"We feel good about coming on the road in this competition," Armas said. "The mentality was right. Sticking to the game plan of how we wanted this thing to look tonight, and we stuck to that in many ways."

The Red Bulls got on the board in the first half via an own goal, as Bradley Wright-Phillips finished out a play with a shot that ricocheted off two players before trickling into the mouth of the goal. New York later added one with an emphatic strike by Daniel Royer after two perfectly placed passes from Marc Rzatkowski and Kaku.

"I think that was a really professional and really mature performance from everyone," Royer said of his team.

Armas credited the coaches and staff for doing all of the research, bringing that knowledge to training and imparting it on the players. He praised the players for taking all of that onto the pitch.

"They were up for it. They were up for it in every way," Armas said. "Understood from the beginning what type of game they'd be in."

Bringing back 10 of 11 starters from the final match of 2018, as well as deep runs in Champions League and the 2017 U.S. Open Cup help players define big moments like these.

"Experience, it matters in tournaments," Armas said. "We've amassed some good experiences along the way in MLS and in Champions League."

The Red Bulls come home to Red Bull Arena for Leg 2, hosting Atlético Pantoja on Wednesday, February 27 at 8 p.m. ET.

"Things will be decided in our building," Armas said. "We feel good about getting home and kicking off the season, in our building, with something on the line, is special."