New York Red Bulls midfielder Florian Valot scored the team’s only goal in the 1-2 loss to Atlanta United on Friday.
“The goal, I think, it's good counter-pressing for us,” noted Valot. “I think we got the ball back on the left side of the field. There's a good run from Brian White, that opens up a good pass from Daniel [Royer], and I have time and space to take a first touch. Then I took a shot across the goal; I don’t think [Brad] Guzan dove on that. It was a good play.”
One of the aspects of the match that stood out was Head Coach Chris Armas setting two strikers up top. Valot admitted that it took him a while to settle on the field but felt good about it because it was one of the reasons why the team was able to score.
“It changed a lot I think; I'm used to the 4-2-3-1. I haven't played in a long time, so it's kind of like I need some marks on the field. I was kind of a little lost on some of the plays defending wise, but they asked the two 8’s to stay high to get the ball,” said Valot. “I think that's what I did. That's why I was able to have time and space to create a good opportunity to score. There's a lot of work to do with these new tactics. Looking forward to it, and we need to improve on some details. I think we're going to do that over the next few weeks.”
Armas considers that adding two strikers up top will give the team more “system of play flexibility.”
“Yeah, we want to have more system of play flexibility. We’re more than comfortable defending in a 4-4-2, we do that when we play a 4-2-3-1 with Kaku in there, we step him up as a second striker defensively, but when we have the ball often times it’s a 4-2-3-1 with a pure number 10,” Armas detailed. “With Mathias Jørgensen, with Tom Barlow, with Brian White, it’s interesting when you have two 9’s on the field, because every time you can win the ball, which we’re good at, you can have two guys that can put real pressure on the back line. So not only defending in the 4-4-2 but attacking in the same structure. It’s been good to try and evolve and develop, and have some more weapons for the season.”
Earlier this week Armas highlighted: “The best part of seeing Kaku right now is that he really wants to be out on the field. He’s getting antsy not playing and taking these last few days of his rehabilitation. He’s not a patient guy that way, which I like because he wants to be out there. He’s at his happiest when he’s playing. We’ll keep bringing him along the right way over the next weeks or so, but he’s going to start integrating into training as a regular player.”