2022_0626_HoustonDynamo2vsTacomaDefiance2-118

Dynamo 2 head coach Kenny Bundy 

(on tonight’s game) “We did really well. We stuck to the plan, Dan (Roberts) put together a great scout. Obviously, everything that we thought was going to happen, happened. We lacked a little bit of urgency when we created some more chances early on in the first half. Even midway through the first half, I thought we had a good run of play. It was just a little bit of lack of growth, energy or that cutting edge to go and really score that goal. You know, the great thing about the team is, it's not a lack of effort. It's not a lack of belief. It's just sometimes when you're playing well, you don't necessarily get lulled into comfort. Scoring the goal right before halftime with the way that we pressed you know, that's a goal we talked about, Jathan (Juarez) scores a great goal. It starts from Kyle (Edwards) pressing the center back to a turnover. We talked about that all the time, these goals, they come from other things, that it's not just one person doing it. So, it was a great motivating factor to go into halftime and talk to the boys about what we saw. There were moments where I think fatigue set in a little bit. We had guys going down or not feeling well, with cramps. Heat, as you can tell right now. It might not be as hard as it has been. But the humidity really kicked in. We fought to get the second goal, but another big thing is the clean sheet. Michael Nelson has to do two or three really big actions in the game. That's his job. Other than that, we protected it. So, really happy.” 

(on players from the first team impacting the game plan) “The good thing is those guys have been in (with the team) and they understand the expectations. They understand the level, they understand the way that we want to play. They fit in really well. It's tough, because not only with those guys, but we have a roster full of players that are fighting to start and be in on the 20-man roster. Then you add those guys in and there are players like Jacob (Evans), who I think has been one of our best players over the last three or four games. He's someone who has to come off the bench, but you see Jacobs' performance, and you realize that his mentality going into it, he was ready. So, it's a hard position for some of these guys to be in. The first team guys, this is what it's for - right? They get sharp, they get the minutes they create the opportunities. For Ethan Bartlow specifically, it's another game where he has a clean sheet as a center back he created a number of chances where you could possibly score a goal. But the way he shifted his defending was excellent tonight. You know, again, that's what this team is for. It's for those guys to get minutes so that they can go and win games for the first team, which is priority number one for the club.”

(on set pieces) “Yeah, so Jason Grubb is in charge of our set pieces, our goalkeeper coach and he works with Dan (Roberts) on how we want to lay out the plan for each game. We've scored a number of goals on set pieces. I think now we scored seven goals this season on set pieces, which at the start of the season, our goal was eight. To be at that point in our goal this far into the season, I think that’s really excellent. There's a collective buy-in that we're not just making things up. We're doing things based on what other teams are doing. They have to adapt, we scout them, we see how they set up. Then we try to find ways to create chances. I said this at halftime, unbelievable execution in the first half. We missed that final piece. One was cleared off the line, but unbelievable execution from the players. It's not easy because on the training ground. You're playing against guys that are on the team that know what they're trying to do. So, they kind of play half and have to execute the way we did on the set pieces. To be honest, I'm disappointed we didn't get a goal from it because I believed we would. It's a great thing. All credit goes to the players for seeing which play would have worked and then executing.” 

Dynamo 2 DF Ethan Bartlow 

(on what it feels like to be out there on the pitch) “It's great, those guys are great. They've been working hard all season. I think Michael (Nelson) and I were kind of just trying to come in and not mess it up.”  

(on what he thinks about the team's success in the backline tonight) “The backline, the whole team is well coached. Kenny (Bundy) is a good coach. They've been working hard since February, March and it's paid off well.”  

(on how his time with the first team impacted his performance tonight) “I just tried to bring a sense of calmness on the ball, off the ball, a couple of passes I miss tonight and that didn't lead to calmness but you try to sturdy the ship.” 

Dynamo 2 defender Jathan Juarez 

(on first goal and how that play went down) “A big goal, it was a good read for me. It all started with our forward pressing the keeper, which then gave us the idea of what they're trying to do. So, the defender wasn't going to step. So, I got in front of him to bring it back on my right foot. It goes in, that was priceless, because it was my first professional goal.” 

(on family being in the audience) “I saw their faces. Once I scored it, my mom was jumping up and down, it just made me so happy because I was waiting for this day to come.”  

(on being undefeated at AVEVA stadium) “When we play home, the mentality is that we get all three points. This place, with our fans, really helps us. They push us by screaming out there. I felt like we shouldn't drop a point here. We'd love to win, and especially at home in front of our people. It just makes it so much better.”