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Dash interim head coach Juan Carlos Amorós

(on the short turnaround between games) “A quick turnaround, that's probably what you want after a game where I think we should have won. The preparations have been good, players are competing for positions, we are trying to keep building this new Houston Dash. I'm very excited to be at home again on Wednesday night against Gotham in front of our fans. Hopefully this time we can give them those goals and three points that we deserved last Friday.”

(on not getting ahead of oneself) “For us, we take it game-by-game, we take every game as a final. We can't be looking any further. At the moment, we have to be focused on this game against Gotham and that's the only way we can be successful, is if we take it game-by-game and we build from there.”

(on his first four games with the Dash) “We've done four games, we've been away a couple of times, at home a couple of times. So, I got a feeling of all aspects and extremely pleased and proud to be the head coach of this fantastic group of players and staff. We can't forget about the staff because you know, the coaches and the support staff are working fantastically as well behind the scenes together with the players to build on our new project. On top of that, when we play at home, it's an unbelievable experience playing at the PNC Stadium – our fans are great. You know it exceeded my expectations in all aspects. Hopefully we can continue that. One thing we won't change is we will keep working extremely hard to produce those results. Hopefully the results come, and people can be happy. I'm proud of the Houston Dash.”

(on his smooth transition with the team) “Sarah (Lowdon) and the coaching team together with the club and staff they had everything prepared for me to learn. The work they were doing was already outstanding. It was about tweaking and changing a few things. but try to direct that side and also the players willingness to adopt to learn and everyone pushing in the same direction. This group is convinced and demanding of each other to make sure we can be the best every single one of us can be. I always say that it doesn't matter how good you are, if everyone is pushing in the same direction you can beat anyone, and you can overcome any challenges. We've done that in different games - against Chicago we had 11 players out, we can never forget that we beat them after they were coming in with great form. Then two very difficult way games in Gotham and in Seattle where we came out on top after losing in the first few minutes of the game. Statistically, I think only 15 percent of the time that the team (concedes first) in the NWSL ends up winning. We did it twice in a row, so that shows character. Then the other day, against Louisville, a performance I was very happy defensively. We were very good like we can tailor those offensive details in that moment, the team is doing really well because we are the second team in the league with the most goals behind Portland. The sky is the limit for us, but if we think of that too early, then we will end up losing games, so we have to focus on the work day-by-day and our focus is completely on this Gotham game.”

(on defensive changes) “Both center backs are capable of playing both sides. Looking at a lot of different aspects of the game and how we could combine them also with fullbacks, how are they playing out from the back. I decided in the end that Katie Naughton was going to go on the right, Ally Prisock a little bit more on the left, it will change because they are both capable of doing both sides. The partnership has proven to be very strong. Hopefully one that we can maintain, so not only the defending that you see when they are exposed, but all the stuff that we're doing in the training ground to avoid opportunities. The positioning from Jane Campbell, there's so much better now like the fullbacks whoever is playing in those positions are really contributing to the game. I'm very pleased with them and the whole defensive unit. We can't relax because the moment you relax is where you can get punished."

(on not peaking too early) “It's a bit of a mix of everything. It’s starting strong in the games, being focused after you concede the goal or your score. It's about decision making and attention to detail in the moment, whatever the moment it is. Sometimes, it's a moment that can be quick, sometimes a moment to try to find the other side of the attack, move the opposition and try to penetrate that way. Sometimes it’s a situation for a one-v-one or sometimes a situation for a cross. That's what we work on to make decisions, we work on everyone recognizing what that moment is and making sure we are all on the same page. Then those goals will come, because we have those attributes for it. The moment I don't see that there is any pressure, when scoring a lot of goals. It's just sometimes part of the game some days maybe in Seattle, we were like very clinical and the other day against Louisville we weren't, but what we tried to do is always create more chances of clear-cut chances than the opposition and concede less and we're doing that on a regular basis now. If you do that and then you have more chances to win. That example is of the other day, we limited (Louisville) to no shots on target and just three shots off target – there was an expected goal of 0.1, we've had almost two expected goals. Football is not always that statistical but one that is a such a clear difference, it shows how the game went.”

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Dash forward Ryan Gareis 

(on the tight turn around) “Having so many games so close together, we have to have the mindset that once you play a game you need to learn from that and move on to the next one. Not really regret anything from the last one or think too much other than the positives and what you can take away from it. Recovery right now is super important. This is a cool opportunity for people who maybe don't get as many minutes to kind of show themselves and people to kind of push their limits and see, how conditioned we are from the season, and look forward. To look at all of these games separately with the differences that the opponents bring, but in the sense that we want to win all of them. So, stay focused on the individual aspects that we need to and hopefully get three points.” 

(on starting at left back) “That was such a cool experience to play left back. Throughout my college career, I was always a winger. So, having the belief from Juan (Carlos Amoros) and the team that I could be put in that position and perform for the team was a really big honor. It's really exciting too, because being a versatile players is a huge strength. The fact that they're willing to invest in me in not only the winger position, but in the outside back position is something I'm really grateful for.”  

(on takeaways from Louisville game) “The last game was actually huge for us to learn things that we haven't faced in our past few games. The main one is what can we do to find the back of the net. We've been pretty successful in the past games before this previous match in scoring a good amount of goals. So, especially with them having a man down, like how can we face those situations, maybe a little bit differently than other games, because of that different situation. Ultimately, what can we do on the attacking side, especially when we're going against 10 men to find the back of the net.” 

(on FW Maria Sanchez) “That connection has grown over the course of the season, there was a game earlier in the season that I came in, later in the game behind Maria (Sanchez), so we were kind of in that same spot. Because of how we have such different styles, it's so cool to pair them together. Being able to connect well in the field, because we understand each other's styles. It was also a very exciting thing for me, because Maria is one of my biggest idols and inspirations. It's cool to learn from her, but also, how can I use the assets that I have to complement her play, and vice versa. We've had that opportunity a few times in training and anytime we play small sided games – we are on the same team for certain drills, I definitely see that connection continue to develop.” 

(on potentially facing Midge Purce) “We know that she's an extremely talented player, and she has a lot of pace. It's really good for us to identify those things before going into a game because it can change the way that we play in order to use our strengths and then take away theirs. If I end up going against her, I will definitely try to use my pace against her and try to use my attacking mindset and the idea that I can go high up on the pitch and then also run back. She's definitely a player you don't necessarily want to get in a foot race with. The more I can have her face her own net and just be strong and confident in that defensive position, the better that it will go.”  

(on Juan Carlos Amoros) “I will speak super highly of Juan (Carlos Amoros) anytime. He has come in and been such a difference for our program, it was really cool because the team, we had to go through a lot with all the changes that we went through throughout the season. With him coming in, just giving that stability and bringing that hunger out in everyone. The passion that he has for the game, I think is inspiring to every single player. He invests in us so much and we can see that. When you know that a coach wants you to be the best player you can be, that puts a lot of self-belief in us. He's so awesome. He's definitely helped me develop things that I hadn't worked on before. He identified my strengths, which shows that he definitely did a lot of research and watched us before he came here. All of that, came together and he was able to come in and make an immediate difference. The hunger that he has for winning is contagious, and that has been instilled in all of us now. That's definitely shown in our past few games that we get out there, we go out there with so much confidence and so much passion and drive, and we just want to win every single game. It's not only for us now but it's with him and our staff and the club in general. Like we want to make history for the club and he's definitely a motivating factor for that.” 

(on describing Juan Carlos Amoros) “Passionate, for instance, we just had a training session, a few days ago where it was storming so bad. There was no way we could practice outside, but instead of taking the day off, he had his train inside and find all these different ways, so that we could train and he would give like anything to win games. Even in training when it's small-sided competitions, he's super competitive. It instills that in us and just the love that he has for the game is inspiring and his passion, which is why I think passionate is a word that describes him. Also as motivating, like I said, you see it in everything. You see it, how he conducts meetings and practices and games and halftime talks and everything. That pushes us to a level that we haven't reached before, so that's really exciting. I think he's someone who is there for his players, because he's passionate about us, he's passionate about soccer. All of that, in combination is just super helpful for our development and ultimately are our success.”  

(on team’s confidence with key wins) “It's huge. Everyone wants to win. Spirits are really high when you win. There's still something you can learn from those past games, even though we won, like how can we keep improving. I think the girls, Juan and the whole entire staff really understand that, we've had success, but it doesn't stop there. This is only the beginning for us. We want to make history for the club. We look at what went well, then what didn't go well, and we try to keep that unbeaten streak going as long as possible. It's definitely great for team chemistry and self-belief and all of that when you win, everything that you're working for is starting to pay off in games.”