On getting to play in front of his Mom and Dad and Grandparents on Saturday vs Colorado:
“I was basically just telling my grandma that I didn’t want them to think they were a bad luck charm when they came down to Austin. So, no, it was great. Grandma and grandpa came from Pennsylvania for the first time in Austin, the first time seeing Q2, and they got to see the Austin FC II game down here.
So, it’s really special. Having them down here. Mom and dad come down quite a few times throughout the year. So, just having them here, it’s always great that they can see things in person and always nice to be able to celebrate with family.”
On The Laundry Project being all set to serve at 4 locations two weeks from now:
“I have no words right now because all I can say is just thank you to everybody. We set a fundraising goal of $10,000. We raised almost $20,000. We’re just getting to a point where everyone has either seen something about the laundry project and they’re asking me [about] ways to get involved. We’re actually turning volunteers away, which is something I never thought I would ever say.
So just from the bottom of my heart — from the bottom of my wife Ashley’s heart — I just can’t say thank you enough to everybody that’s kind of jumped on board and made these projects so successful. [It] gives us the ability to do more; and looking forward we’ll have some more stuff.”
About how The Laundry Project has evolved since it started in Columbus in 2015:
“We started doing the Laundry Project in 2015 in Columbus, and then took it to the Bronx with us in New York. We got here to Austin and brought it down. For us personally, they’ve never been as successful as they have here in Austin, and I attribute that to the community. I’ve just found that this community rallies to the challenge.”
On where he’s at personally right now:
“Feeling pretty good. We had a Champions League in there with some more travel and a couple of extra games, but physically, our Sports Performance Department is great. Our physios are amazing. So, physically feeling good… emotionally, it’s good to get a little bit of a reset here this weekend. Recharge, reset, and kind of look forward to what we have coming up.”
On having faced 32 shots on goal thus far (and leading the league with 25 saves):
“I think you also look at the quality of shots that are coming in as well. And I think for the most part, I would credit my defense for making these shots either pretty predictable or at an angle that makes it a little bit easier. They’re not all coming from a range inside of six. They’re not one-on-ones, some of them are shots from outside the box that kind of curl in and stuff like that.
So, even with the amount of rotation that we’ve had on the back line, I think we’ve done a pretty good job defensively of making the opponent really work for their goals.”
On whether or not the instability along the backline has made more work for him:
“Luckily I’ve played with [Alex] Ring for a long time. This is year six with him. So, he and I have a really good relationship. Even in New York, when he played the six, he would drop down as a fifth center back. He would play center back when we were short-handed. The relationship with him is six years in the making. So it’s a little bit easier to get going with him.
But credit to guys like Nick [Lima] and Jon [Gallagher] for all these guys that are stepping up and playing positions that they’re not normally. I think it’s important for us to remember that it does take time to form chemistry and it does take time to learn each other’s movement and mannerisms: like knowing how Alex moves, learning how Nick moves, learning how Leo [Väisänen] moves. They all kind of show the ball in different ways, they all defend in different ways.
We’re early in the year, we’re kind of thrown into it right now. Just being a little thin in the back line. But I think it’s been really good and all the guys have been open to learning,. They’ve been open to working their butts off. And we’re all dedicated to what we’re doing here.”
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On the team’s feelings about the LAFC game coming up:
“We all remember what it felt like being in LAFC watching them lift the trophy and taking away everything that we worked so hard to get to last year. That type of feeling doesn’t go away very easily. So going back to LA into a place where we ended our season last year, it’s definitely good for us to remember how we felt and we know that we can go in there and get a result. We did it last year. So I think for all of us it’s kind of a redemption match.”
On how the guys are feeling at this point in the season:
“The guys have this feeling in the locker room where we’re frustrated, but it’s because we hold ourselves to such a high standard. We have to keep in mind that we’re not going to win every single game, but we have that expectation of ourselves going forward.
We need to keep that little bit of reality and keep our emotions measured because we know that going forward, we’re going to be a good team, and we’re right on pace to what we did last year. I think next month we only have one game per week. So, it’s going to be a really good chance for us to rack up some points.”
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