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Jaap Stam: The Break will be no Vacation.

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

On what kind workload he will expect at training to during the break.

"As much as we can to be honest, because I have feeling that we still need to do quite a bit. That doesn't mean that the things we've done before are not good enough, but we still see that we need to improve in certain areas. We need to create better partnerships on the pitch as well. So we still are working quite a lot, this week, next week and also the week after for the Colorado game."

"Everyone is still very switched on, after the game especially the New England game when you lose and towards the end of the game when you can still equalize. There's some disappointment after that game. Then it's always curious going into that week knowing that you don't have a game for several weeks. But the players are very much switched on. We could see the disappointment the day after of course, we trained the two days after. Then going into the sessions again, you can see the players want to do well. They want to perform. Yeah, sometimes there's disappointment, but that's normal in sports. But everyone is working very hard of course to improve and that's what we need. That's the only thing that we can do, we can do to control that to become better as individuals and as a team."

On if training sessions have been different than what they would be doing during a match week.

"Hopefully, eventually, we'll come out stronger."

"Well, we've got a little bit more time to do different things now. We can work harder and longer as well, because normally during the week preparing for a game you need to be aware of the game and control things a little bit more in terms of doing a bit less. Otherwise before the game maybe they get tired. So we can do things a little bit different now, in how we approach training and what we want to do in the sessions. That's a positive thing. There's now two and a half weeks that we can work very hard and we can see it as a small preseason as well to not change things much, but to hopefully improve things."

"Hopefully, eventually we'll come out stronger, so we can make things more difficult for our opponents."

On if there are any particular players that he's looking to make significant progress during the break.

"Well we need to make progress in a lot of things, and again that's not saying things aren't going well. There's a lot of things, as I look at it as a coach and we as a coaching staff, like what we're trying to build and what we're trying to do in game are going well. But we need to hopefully do better in certain things as well, and in certain areas we need to get a different understanding.“

"For instance, in the first half of the last game we lost the ball a lot. So we need to have more composure, keeping the ball and being more decisive in our passing instead of losing the ball too quick. Then every time you get into transition it makes it difficult to get into your own rhythm. These are things that we address for players to realize how to manage a game better."

An Update on Ronald Matarrita

"He felt a little something in his calf during the game and he kept on playing on it. You can imagine, if you feel pain in your calf in the first half and you keep on playing with that problem, the next day or for a couple of days it can be very stiff and can be sore. They assessed it and it's a matter of looking at the muscle tissue, you know, is it nothing? Is it maybe over stretched or is it a bad one? We're looking into that. We're trying to get Ronald ready as quick as possible to join into the group training. He's already feeling a lot better."

"He's working individually now and hopefully within a short period of time he can join the group sessions."

After playing well even in a loss to the New England, the top team in the East, coach Stam was asked how he assessed his team's performance.

"Apart from how we were on the ball for a period in the first half, I wasn't unhappy about it to be honest. Even in the first half, we had a couple of very good opportunities to score in the first half. We didn't score, but we had several good chances. Their (New England) opportunities came from our mistakes and our carelessness on the ball at times.”

“But overall, especially in the second half, we started to dominate even more. We went forward, we had more opportunities to equalize towards the end of the game, so it's all very positive. Yeah, small things, but sometimes it's the small things that can get you that point and give more confidence at times."

"That's what we've seen in the home game against Miami as well, we came back in that game to equalize, then we conceded after losing the ball very quickly and we still lose. These are things that we need to get out of our system, but also sometimes we need to reward ourselves in what we're doing when things become a bit more easy."

After mentioning that it looked like Yuya Kubo was more comfortable in the midfield, a reporter asked if Stam thought he looked better in his new role.

"To be honest, I think this was one of the games where Yuya lost the ball most." He chuckled. No, but we need to be critical about everybody and what we're doing. But in that position, you know sometimes that can happen, and that's not a problem because every player makes mistakes. We take that into consideration."

"Yuya is a player who is very comfortable in that position, who is very lively and very active. He's also very aggressive in pressing and winning the ball. On the ball he's very comfortable. He created that opportunity for Brenner, he played a good ball. Yuya has a lot of ability to do very well, so we're very happy with him."

On if Frankie Amaya's departure was the reason why Kubo was moved to midfield.

"Nobody else came in at that position."

"It's got to do with Frankie. He was a starter here. Frankie was already starting, I wanted use him this season as a starter. He left. Nobody else came in at that position, so you need to be inventive and think about what we can do. You know, what player can we put there who has the ability and the legs to go up and down the pitch? Yuya is one of these players. He's very comfortable on the ball and what he can bring. He can be that link between the midfield and the forwards."

"Kamo (Mokojto) and Haris (Medunjanin) can do that as well, but they're different types of players. So you have to think, how can we create a certain type of chemistry in the midfield? Putting Yuya there, I think it's been a good solution. You can see that he's developing, he feels comfortable there and he's growing. A lot of players still need to grow into what we're trying to do."

Speaking of Mokojto, the defensive midfielder hasn't seen the pitch in a few weeks. Coach Stam was asked if his role has changed or if he isn't where he needs to be to earn more playing time.

(All images from FC Cincinnati)

"Kamo is a great player. He came in last year, and showed what he can do when he's fully fit. On the ball he's very composed and comfortable. He's been used to play as the No. 6, to be that link between the defenders and the midfielders.“

“The thing is, he started in Nashville and played very well. The second game, a bit less well. The game after that, I think he didn't play his best. He agreed that it was not his best in what he can do. He also had a couple of things with his legs. So we need to get him very fit again so he can step into that role."

Coach Stam also hinted that Kamo's replacement (Caleb Stanko) has been playing well, so he may find it difficult to win his starting spot back.

"As a coach, you're also looking at what player to use in the midfield at the moment with what we're asking from that player and what he needs to bring to the team. During the season, you're going to be using all the players within the roster, and sometimes when other players step in and and they're doing well, you need to make that decision as a coach on who do go with."

By: Rob Burkhardt

Twitter: @burkhardt_rob

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