Below are transcriptions from Second City Soccer’s questions and corresponding answers from Head Coach Raphael Wicky and midfielder Álvaro Medrán from this week’s press conference:
SECOND CITY SOCCER: I wanted to get your opinion on the importance of Bobby Shuttleworth. He has made countless, countless big saves for your team this year, including one late in the match that kept the score line at 3-3, and he just seems to be a vocal leader and has quite the presence on the pitch. Can you speak to his importance to your squad?
RAPHAEL WICKY: Yes, I can agree with what you said. You said almost everything. I think Bobby has (had) a good year and is a good goalkeeper back there. I think teams need good goalkeepers. He does a good job. He does a good job, as well, communicating. He is vocal like you said.
He is a true professional coming in every day and wants to work hard. We have behind him, obviously, with Chris Brady and Gabriel Slonina, two very, very young goalkeepers who can also learn from him, from his professionalism. And I think they all push each other; I think the way he lives as a professional is an example for the young players, as well.
We are happy with the season Bobby plays. We are happy with the way he trains and is a leader in this group and obviously happy with the two young kids behind who progress and who also can learn from an older, veteran teammate.
SECOND CITY SOCCER: I thought there were some real bright spots for your team on Saturday. What are the top two or three things, positives, that you can take away from that match on Saturday that you can hopefully bring into this Saturday and moving forward and start getting more results like you did on Saturday?
RAPHAEL WICKY: Yeah, I think one very important point, I think, was the reaction of the team once they were 2-1 behind. I think in a situation this team is right now, obviously not having a lot of points, sometimes when you don’t have much points, the confidence level is not that high and then just giving up a second goal before halftime, which usually hurts you a lot, the reaction from the team was great in the second half.
Coming back from there, going up 3-2, and showing a real fight against one of the top teams in the league all the way until the end and having opportunities to win the game. I think that was very, very positive which we take from this team and a lot of that mentality is working together and working hard and putting the hard work in. I think that’s what the team has to take and has to do again on Saturday.
SECOND CITY SOCCER: Score prediction for Switzerland’s game Friday versus Spain?
RAPHAEL WICKY: I think everyone who watches the Euro, it’s pretty difficult to predict anything. No one predicted 5-3 and 3-3 in the quarter finals or in the Round of 16 in the last game. It’s going to be an interesting game.
Obviously crossing fingers for Switzerland. I think Switzerland has proven over the last three years against many, many big teams in Nations League and qualifying that they are at the level of many big teams. So everything is possible in these stages of a tournament. I am pretty confident that Switzerland will make a good game again and with the team spirit they have right now, I think they can go through.
SECOND CITY SOCCER: I wanted to speak to something Raphael Wicky spoke to just a couple minutes before, the fight and the heart that you guys had when you guys were 2-1 down. Can you just speak to the character of you and your teammates in that situation and how important that was for you guys to get back into the game?
ÁLVARO MEDRÁN: I think that’s a little bit of what has been going on all season. We are all talking about this when we are all together. We are all one. The players and the coaching staff, we all want the same thing, we all have the same vision for the Club.
The day before, we changed the formation, and as we were out there in training, we weren’t necessarily comfortable but we were not happy with how things were going. In the game it all came together and worked out well for us because we were all working together and working hard.
With the 2-1 before the break, we took the break to refresh, get a little bit of air, and go back out there with the desire to turn things around and I think that really worked out for us and maybe there at the end a little bit of the bad luck that’s been with us all season, we had that own goal at the end. But really we went out there and we fought hard and we were preparing ourselves. So I’m really proud of the team and we’re all together in this going forward.
- Wicky on his three center-back formation: “Yeah, it’s a switch which is not only for one game. I think we want to be a little flexible. We would like to be able to play different or multiple systems. We played last year a few games, as well, in the back three, and yeah we chose to go against Philly like that and I think the team did pretty well like that. So I think that this is always going to be an option going forward.“
- Wicky on Frankowski’s availability: “Yeah, he is available. He looked good when he came in. Obviously he was one month in Europe training. When he left, he was very good in the last game he played for us against Montréal. (He) left for the Euro, obviously was very excited going there (and) trained for a high level for a month. (He) had minutes at the Euro and he looked good when he came back. He obviously was a little bit tired from the jet-lag and the flight, but he looked good during the game, actually he played, and he looked good this week, so he will be available.”
- Medrán on changins his cleats at halftime right before registering two assists in the second half: “Yeah, I changed them there in the first part because it was a little bit hard to play on that field. There were some spots that were really wet and so my shoes got wet, my socks got wet and there was onetime, one kick especially, where I couldn’t quite move the ball because everything was full of water. My shoes were full of water and my socks were full of water. So I thought that I should put on some dry boots and keep going and see what else I could doduring the game. It was the same boots, really, just a different color. But they were much dryer and I was able to help.”