Post-Match Quotes: March 16, 2013

The team reacts to a 0-0 draw at New York

D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH BEN OLSEN

On today’s match:
I think all teams would come here and feel fortunate with a point. This isn't an easy place to play. They are a real team, with some real players. It got into a back and forth game, that’s not the game you really want to deal with. I really credit our defense, led of course by Bill (Hamid) who made some big time saves but (Brandon McDonald) and Dejan (Jakovic) anchored in front of and that led to a pretty good defense tonight. It’s a gutsy point I think.

On Bill Hamid:
He was great; he has been very good since the moment he got back from (U.S.) National Team Camp. He is a new man. We talk about consistency with him, making sure he is as even-keeled as possible – on and off the field – he is staying big and making big saves, he is making saves he needs to make, but he is also pulling one or two out of his hat that are saveless.

On being concerned about maintaining possession:
We pissed the ball away so many times when we didn’t need to. We are missing that in our game right now. We know that, I know that, the players know. We’ll continue to work on it; we’ll continue to be better with the ball. It’s about options, it’s about wanting the ball, it’s about quality of passing, our forwards have to do a better job of holding the ball up for us. There is a lot to work on with this group, but what we don’t need to work on right now it’s being a gutsy group.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER DWAYNE DE ROSARIO

On today’s match:
I think it’s a good result for us. They obviously had a lot of pressure but our defense did a great job, I think Bill (Hamid) did a fantastic job for us, keeping the ball off the net and we’ll definitely take it.

On how the match progressed:
I think they started to push the game a lot more. The first five or ten minutes we kind of caught them off guard and they started to get a little rhythm and started to rotate the ball around, but that’s going to happen, especially when you play in this type of environment when you play away from home and they have guys obviously that are great on the ball.

On attempting to get some stability:
I mean it’s almost there, definitely. It’s tough to… This game is obviously difficult to assess that because you have to give credit where it’s due and I think New York did a great job of moving up the field, they utilized the width and got up and down the field and really put us under pressure. I think the way we defended shows a lot of character from our part and it’s a huge tie for us.

D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER BILL HAMID

On today’s match:
It was a well-earned point, coming into the game we wanted to stay sound defensively and do what we can when we got the chance. Like I said it was a great road point, good defending by the whole team, it was just… we are happy with what we are walking away with.

On New York’s game plan:
It was their home opener, every single team that has had a home opener, except for a few, has tried to pounce on teams and we expected it. We knew that (Thierry) Henry, (Fabian) Espindola, Tim Cahill, coming out the midfield they were going to be hungry and try to get the ball to Henry and have Henry bring it down and they create play from there. Credit to Dejan (Jakovic) and (Brandon McDonald) they did an outstanding job dealing with the runs and dealing with Henry.

On the save made during stoppage time:
It did not go over... It was close, it was close. It bobbled around, it ping ponged but I got there before it went over the line.

NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH MIKE PETKE

On the game:
I think we were very unfortunate in certain situations with not coming up with a goal. Other situations, I give D.C. a lot of credit for coming in here and putting in a strong defensive effort. They also had opportunities going forward, but I feel that we sniffed out pretty well. It’s a good team we played against today, I’m proud of the boys effort. Obviously I’m not happy with the result, but it’s one of those moments that this coaching staff came back in and said ‘Alright, forget about the result for one second and tell me if you liked what you saw’ and we liked what we saw.

On the fact the Red Bulls didn’t take 3 points:
Whichever way you want to look at it: we left two points out there, or we didn’t get three, or we only got one. Of course we wanted to win. I think we deserved to win, no disrespect to D.C. I think they fought hard for that point. Like I said, if we were playing a game of statistics we got three points today. Unfortunately it’s not a game of statistics and the ball didn’t fall into the net for us.

On switching to the 4-3-3 with Juninho:
They pretty much switched it to a 4-3-3 on their own. In a perfect world, I would like a very attacking style. Whatever you want to call it: 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 whatever you want to call it. I enjoy a more attacking type of soccer. I think they sniffed it out that we had them on the ropes and they started stepping up individually and organizing things. Juninho came on with his ability, with his vision, and he passed the ball. I think guys started feeling very comfortable stepping on and he would find them.

On changing lineups:
Listen, I’ve said it many times: in a perfect world I’d want consistency. The same guys playing every week. But I’m not going to sacrifice for something like consistency early in the season if I don’t like what I see. I’m willing to make changes. Roy Miller had an unfortunate game in San Jose. He’s part of the team and no one’s pointing fingers at him. It’s a situation that I spoke with him. He was very upset about a lot of things, but he’s a team player at the end of the day. I know he was leaving tomorrow for Costa Rica and I just thought it would be unfair for me to put him out, even in the 18, with the reaction that has happened from all the supporters, from the media, from the way things have been written. So he agreed and wanted to go home, spend some time with his family for an extra day, clear his mind and figure things out.

On potential adjustments to help find the back of the net:
I mean we scored four goals in the first two games on the road. I don’t care how you look at it, how they happened. We got four goals in two games on the road. Today we outshot them. I looked at the stats at halftime and I think it was 13 to 1 or 12 to 1 or something like that. Does anyone have the final stats? 23 to 4. I look at our last preseason game against New England and I think the final was 17 to 2 and they beat us 2-0. You have those days. It sucks. Let me tell you it sucks to sit back and watch it unfold and say ‘What the hell do you have to do to get the ball into the net?’ I think we created a lot. I think maybe in the first half there were moments where we could’ve pulled the trigger a little earlier especially with the slick surface and maybe test [Bill] Hamid a little more. In the second half I felt like we got forward very well and created opportunities. There were a couple at the end and with Henry right there, how did the ball not go in?

NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER DAX MCCARTY

On the match:
What more is there to say other than what we showed on the field. It’s a great performance from top to bottom. I think probably one of the most dominating performances I’ve been a part of since I’ve been on the Red Bulls. I’m not one to really give the whole complain about luck card but that’s just unlucky. I don’t know how many balls were inside the six, cleared off the line, rolling across, and Bill Hamid, give him some credit, some unbelievable saves. It’s disappointing but at the same time you can see the confidence that we played with today and Mike [Petke] instilled that in us before the game. We were ready and I think they had absolutely nothing. That was a complete performance and we haven’t had many since I’ve been here. That was a complete 90 minute performance from top to bottom. Defensively, we were very strong and attacking wise, what can you say, a little more luck and we come out of here with three points.

On the defensive improvement:
It’s a very, very strong performance from us defensively. I think it’s just that we gave ourselves a little bit more confidence the week leading up to it. We knew we were at home, we recognized where they were dangerous. I think the main key was that we pressured them immediately as soon as we lost the ball, guys were fighting like hell to win the ball back. When you don’t give good players like Pontius and De Rosario time on the ball, that’s the key to being very successful defensively. And we didn’t do that. It was almost kind of reminiscent of how Barcelona tries to win the ball back. It was immediate pressure as soon as we turn the ball over. It’s a commitment to defend that we haven’t seen much in the past. I think this game is not only the benchmark for us defensively, but also going forward, attacking wise. The movement was brilliant, there’s really no other way to put it. So it’s just unlucky we didn’t come away with three points.

On Fabian Espindola’s play:
He’s an absolute pest. He’s so tough for opposing defenses because he’s a fast player but he’s also very strong. You see his hold-up play was fantastic today. He really held the ball up well, along with Thierry. He allowed our midfielders to push our line up and get forward. I’m not sure what the stats are or what the possession was but Mike was kind of harping on us being able to keep the ball a little bit better, and it was very good today. The passing was crisp, the movement was great and Fabian is a big, big part of that. He’s incredibly unlucky on two or three chances today and you just have to feel for him, because him and Thierry probably could have had two or three goals each tonight. Like I said, it’s the bounces and going forward hopefully we’ll get some of those bounces to go our way.

NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER MARKUS HOLGERSSON

On the inability of D.C. to break down the Red Bulls’ back line:
We played really tight, we set our high press on them, and they only had really two chances. We did a really good job defensively.

On the communication with Jamison Olave in the back:
Communication was perfect. We help each other. We know he is really strong…and I try to pick up the pieces and then if I go, he helps me, so it was good. And it’s good to play with Heath and Brandon also. They are smart players who read the game. It was a good effort back there.

On the frustration of dominating the game but not getting three points:
Of course it’s frustrating, we had really great chances. It was 90 minutes and you see were going and going…Next time, maybe we get five goals, so hope for that.

NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER TIM CAHILL

On the match:
We threw everything at it. I thought we played really well. The underlying fact is I didn’t put the ball in the back of the net, would’ve won us this game. I definitively take responsibility for that, but other than that, I thought we played really well. We said we wanted to be a football team that plays football, can mix it up, play long, win our challenges. They’re a good team but I really think we’re growing. Defense has tightened up, midfield playing well, we’re adapting at different positions. I’m just bemused at the keeper, getting a save off me. Things were falling, making late runs, rhythm starting to get better. Really happy for the management and the players.

On the physical nature of the game:
I didn’t think it was that physical. I honestly don’t think it was that physical. Some tackles were dubious, whether it was mine or one of [Perry] Kitchen’s or one of [Marcelo] Saragosa’s or Juninho’s or whatever, but so long as you can shake hands after, the ref accepts that the physicalness is there and the players have got the respect between the ref and the players, he can control the game well. I thought the players controlled their emotions really well.

On whether things are starting to come together:
It takes time for us to grow, and work together, find our positions, to get this rhythm, and the rhythm does feel good. We have to be positive about everything we do in training, what Mike’s trying to drill, Robin [Fraser], our set plays, our defending, playing the balls long, playing short, making them guess what we’re going to do. Sometimes we’ve been really predictable and I think today the predictableness was gone and we’ve got options.