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May 8, 2019

Chris Armas

Harrison, New Jersey

New York Red Bulls - 1, Montreal Impact - 2

CHRIS ARMAS: That's all we know right now. There will be steps that will be taken to see exactly what's going on there. I think what you see is what we get there. He's grabbing his hamstring, so it's something in that area.

Q. After a very good 45 minutes, what did Montréal do differently in the second half to you guys?
CHRIS ARMAS: You know, it's interesting, because I thought for stretches of the first half, we got stretched a few different moments and that the second half, we took care of that, what we thought was an issue, certain areas of the field, they were overloading off Sean's shoulder with Lovitz and that side, and -- so yeah, we felt we took care of that, and it was a tactical thing we addressed at half time.

So in the second half, we thought we were making a good push. So in the end, their goals come in the second half, and you know, we've talked about trying to eliminate the things that lose you games and get better at the things that win you games. And we know what these things are in our minds. I thought it was a case of that, a little bit.

We talked about against a team built for transition, how important, yeah, some giveaways underneath could hurt us, which led to the penalty, and yeah, the entire play better -- little things, and then a set piece goal, so it's -- of course there's some -- Sean is late, but we feel badly about that. We thought this game we could control things a bit more. Lost it by giving up a few goals.

Q. You guys signed Tom Barlow yesterday or today officially. What do you take from that?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, we've been watching Tom for a long time. He's had a great start to his career at USL and not only scoring goals, but understanding how we play and his presence on the field. What went into that was that, you know, we know that Bradley Wright-Phillips is coming back from an injury. Brian White had a little soft tissue thing and we didn't want to extend him at all, push him. Then left with a few good options there. So thinking it could be a game that he could use a little presence up top to maybe unlock a lock, and Tom can battle on their back line.

So he got the nod for a few reasons, but great for him to get a first start on this night, and too bad we couldn't reward that with -- his three points, but I thought he gave an honest effort on the night.

Q. You seem a little more concerned with the defensive side on the second half, but the offensive side didn't generate nearly as much and didn't have as much control. Is that just a consequence of the fact that they were better in the second half offensively?
CHRIS ARMAS: I don't think so. I think we had plenty of moments in transition, in our attacking transition, and we can execute a little bit better and take care of the ball a bit more in certain moments.

Again, so it goes both ways, against a team built for transition that has a lot of numbers behind the ball if you -- you have to now make better decisions, and there's a lot that goes into that. If you can make more plays, then you're creating chances and if you lose them, it's going the other way.

I don't think that it was our back line, there's no concern with the back line. You know, we gave up a set piece goal, right, and as a giveaway that we -- penalty. I don't think on the night there's many issues from our back line.

Q. No, but from the offensive side, it didn't seem like you had -- they were giving more pressure --
CHRIS ARMAS: I think it came more after the goal. I think we felt like we were in good shape in that second half even up into the goals. I think with our right, it's a set piece and it's a penalty -- we didn't see it that way.

Q. Was he just not match fit?
CHRIS ARMAS: You know, he was match fit. He's been training well and he's been with us all year. We came out of the last game feeling pretty good. We felt like the same structure made sense and the players got started in the match and earned to be out there. We continued momentum from the last game and even tactically in our minds it made sense to go out that way, in the same 1-5-3-1, you look back, we got the lead in that, and again, it's a little bit strange because it's a penalty on a quarter kick. But sometimes, those guys, the substitutes, they get on the field and things come quickly and things change quickly.

So listen, nothing with Kaku has changed with him and what he means to the team. You can even see tonight how he can calm things down and he can change the game.

Q. Thinking back about your -- the dynamic of creating plays in the half -- given the way that the game played out, would you have preferred a more creative --
CHRIS ARMAS: With Franco, a lot goes into our decisions to pick the lineup. So if after the game -- you can ask questions like that, that you know -- it's easy to say that -- but I'm saying, we won the two games in a row. We beat one of the best teams in the League last week, a few days ago. No one had beaten them in seven games, right. We beat them, came from behind. I mean, no one scored three goals on that team. No one came from behind to beat that team.

We felt good about putting the team out there that we started with, and in many ways, we said we had a good first half. We get that lead in that same structure and there's a lot of good reasons why we went that way.

Again, Kaku is a big piece here. He's an important piece. But at the same time, when you have a team, and guys are getting wins after not getting wins, you almost have to, it has to make sense why you just change things all of a sudden. Just because we didn't get the result -- we did have two set piece goals. We're not going to say we didn't get the lineup right. We thought we did.

Q. Third game in seven or eight days. How do you take this and move on?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, we're excited for that challenge because we have some fresh legs and some guys that have been training well, and some guys that are hungry to get back out on the field and we're going to see that.

With this one, we knew we had the extra day, Saturday to Wednesday. It's unfortunate that Aaron gets a little bit of an injury, but certainly now you have to think about the three games in a week, and yeah, that we have some key players and guys that we count on and we will count on on Saturday.

It will be fun to put a team out that's going to go and go after Dallas for sure.

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