Leo Väisänen Quotes:
How important was it to get some rest?
Yeah, I got a few days and the feeling was nice. It’s a long way from home. So it’s nice to go home and get some days and see the family and friends there and [my] girlfriend. [I’m] definitely more recovered at this moment. And I heard the guys had a good training week last week, and this week has been really good. So, I think every one of us is ready for the game.
Does this weather remind you of home? Does it feel like Finland?
Yeah. It’s fantastic!
You had the 3-0 loss versus Denmark and then the win over Northern Ireland. What was the difference between those two games?
Yeah… Denmark, like every player they have plays in the top five leagues in the world. So they have a good team, and we knew that [playing] away is always tough. They had 40,000, I believe, spectators. So it was a fight. Too bad we lost that.
Northern Ireland was a fight as well, but they don’t have the same quality as Denmark. So it was a bit different game, but I don’t think it was the best performance from us. It was a good enough performance to get three points.
How do you know how you feel? Physically?Mentally? With all the travel?
Oh, I’m ready! If you mean like the jet lag and that? It’s easy this way. It’s nice. I can go to sleep early and wake up early. The other way it’s a bit different and you feel it for a few days after.
How good is it seeing Julio (Cascante) back out on the field?
Yeah! It’s nice. What’s it been? 5 weeks? We are definitely gonna need him in the, in the future and in midseason, so it’ll be good to get him back soon.
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Owen Wolff Quotes:
When you’re playing the best, right? And the team took you guys out in the conference final … a little extra juice, a little extra motivation?
Yeah of course. Especially with them being the team that knocked us out last year. It has a little more edge to it – a little more important. We’re still going to go out there, put out our best performances and hopefully we can get the three points on the road.
How was your international duty?
I enjoyed the experience. We played three really good European teams. The results were not what we wanted, but I did enjoy going out being with the the team again.
How did it feel to score a goal that your father had never scored before? That sick back heel?
It was cool, you know, a little lucky but got in a position where I can score a goal with what I felt best with – it was a little back heel. So I’m happy to get my first goal.
You’re playing up a level with your older brother. Does that help you? (Because you’re one of the youngest guys in the U-20s)
Yeah, this past camp, he wasn’t there unfortunately. But usually we’re out there having fun together. So it’s always nice to see him around because we used to play together in Atlanta when I played with their academy and we always have a good time.
You’ve grown so much, your game has grown, you physically grown since the time you’ve been here. How’s your confidence level as you continue to navigate this path?
Yeah, it’s continuously gone up. I feel like my confidence level last year, maybe not so confident playing in a few games. But, um, definitely this year, I feel like it’s gone up a little bit more.
It’s always cool when your head coach is also your pop. What are some of the things he’s told you to keep you on the right track?
Just keep learning. One of the main things of continuing to know my role in the team – just to keep doing that and putting together good performances.
You’re going to be dealing with Carlos Vela and Ilie Sanchez in the midfield. Carlos was dropping some big diagonal crosses last night (In the CCL). What do you find challenging about dealing with those two guys defensively?
They’re both really good players; [they’re] experienced players that have been playing for a long time. So for me, one of the most important things is to try and take time away from them to make their decisions. They’re really good players on the ball. Vela can find, can find really good passes along with Sanchez, so just trying to minimize his time as well.