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Post-Match Quotes: March 23, 2013

Reaction from both sides after D.C. falls at home

D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH BEN OLSEN

On the overall performance:
“We just weren’t good enough on the ball, again. We’ll work on it. We’ve got two weeks to work on things. I’ll take the blame for that game, 100%. We’ve got two weeks now for me to whip this team into shape. I’ll make sure we get back to basics. The coaching staff and I have to teach again, get back to fundamentals because right now the team doesn’t have a lot of the good things that we had at the end of last year. And I’ve got to get that in them very quickly.”

On the back line without Dejan Jakovic:
“This wasn’t about Dejan, today. This wasn’t about missing Dejan. We could have won that game without Dejan.”

On the United goal that was called back:
“I thought it was the right call. But you don’t make the right call after you let the play go. You just don’t do it. He screws up the first one and then he screws up again to make up for it. He brings it back. He made mistakes. Live with it.”

On Nick DeLeon’s injury:
“It’s probably not great. But we will evaluate him in the next day or two.”

On how the attack looked today:
“In the formation that we put out there, we are always going to have more attack. Dwayne [De Rosario] in the midfield can help with ball possession. But it was just an easy day for them in the midfield. Nick [DeLeon] going out doesn’t help. Even saying that, we still had good looks towards the end to tie it up. Look, we’re asking a lot of Bill Hamid right now. He’s a monster. And I wish I didn’t have to see him make so many great saves.“

On if he blames Hamid for the goals:
“There’s only two goals. Which ones are you blaming him for? I have to look at the goals. I saw them once. Otherwise, the game could have been 8-0 and New York would have been a couple goals, too. I think his positives are far outweighing his negatives right now. He is the least of my concerns right now.”

On Rafael scoring his first MLS goal:
“He is getting there. This was a big step for him. Obviously, he gets the goal, which helps. I thought it was crowded up there. Dwayne [De Rosario] was a touch high. There weren’t a lot of spaces or alleys to get into our forwards. And when Dwayne pulled off a little in the second half, there were more chances for Rafael and Pajoy. It was the first time they played together. Marcelo [Saragosa] went down this week. So, we had to make some adjustments and there wasn’t a lot of time to work on it. Again, this is all on me. The next two weeks, the staff and I will get back to basics and see if we can get this team playing a little bit better.”

On whether or not the team is progressing:
“I don’t think there’s been good enough progression right now. But we’ve had some things to deal with. We’ve had some injuries and call-ups as an excuse, I suppose, and we’ve got some new guys fitting in—Rafael today and DeRo in a new position. I’m not overly alarmed. I don’t like what’s going on right now, the last two games in particular. But I do think that we have some new pieces and we are still finding out who we are, even though we have a lot of the same guys.“

On if he thinks United can find last season’s rhythm:
“That’s what were going to find out these next two weeks.”

On Columbus’ play:
“I mean, you play Columbus every year and it’s the same thing – set pieces, set pieces, set pieces. They scored on two set pieces, essentially. You go over them, you give assignments and in the end, they’re a tough team to defend on set pieces. They get their head on a lot of stuff. If you give them too many opportunities, eventually you’re going to give one up. It’s not different than Houston. So, the trick is to limit those opportunities with not a lot of silly fouls and make sure you’re playing in their end. We were scrambling too many times, and they picked up too many set pieces to deal with.”

On United’s attack as compared to against New York last week:
“I’ll have to watch the tape. I thought at times we moved the ball around really well. A lot of that was because they were just sitting back, bunkering, especially that second half. So, I guess there was some progress. I think we learned a little bit more about ourselves. But overall, I’m very disappointed in the performance.”

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER DWAYNE DE ROSARIO

On the team’s performance:
“It feels terrible, for one. And second of all, it was embarrassing. I mean, I don’t know how many offsides we had, so that’s obviously difficult when every ball you play over the top is offside. It kills the flow of the game, kills the momentum, it kills the attack that way. But, you know, it’s the fourth game in. On the bright side, we are noticing the problems now, before it’s too late. We know what we have to fix and it’s like a huge test of character thing.”

On how dangerous the Crew’s attack was:
“In some spurts, we were. Like I said, a lot of offsides hurt us a lot. It killed the momentum, killed the flow, then we have to restart the rhythm again. I think, in the first half, we started off poorly and got punished for it. Then, we started to get a rhythm a little bit and scored. Congrats to Rafa [Rafael]— first game, first goal in the league. That’s great for him, but you know, we obviously see there’s a lot of things we need to work on, and better that we see those things now and start to work and make improvements and adjustments.”

On if he thought the team has been relying on Bill Hamid too much:
“That’s his position. His position is to keep the ball out of the net. He has done a fantastic job. Some saves have been unbelievable; I mean they should have been goals. Hats off to their keeper because he pulled off a save on me, near post. And that’s their job—to keep the ball out of the net. We are very thankful that we have a player of his caliber back there because there could have been a lot of games where we’re looking at 2,3,4 to nothing. But thankfully, he’s helped us to stay in the game. But, we have to feed off that momentum. We have to feed off those big saves. We didn’t really play with enough poise or enough passion.”

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER CHRIS PONTIUS

On being taken down in the first half:
“I had position on the ball, and if there’s enough contact there, then it’s a penalty.”

On allowing the opponent too many opportunities:
“Yeah, we aren’t dealing with it well at all. I thought we had better possession than we’ve had in other games, but we still need more dangerous possession. We need to be threatening to their backs. It’s too easy to defend right now. When you look at us, it’s not dynamic enough.”

On the attack:
“I thought we were better on the ball. I thought we put ourselves in better positions. But once again, the final piece has to be better – the final ball. There’s a lot of errant passes, and I’m guilty of it as well. It’s just got to be cleaner all around, and like I said, we can’t be too predictable. We’re too predictable right now as an offense.”

On Bill Hamid’s performance:
“He’s been doing a hell of a job. He’s pulled a couple of balls out of the net that I just don’t know how he does it. He did it against New York, too. We have to take some pressure off of him. Once again, I don’t put that on the defense necessarily. I put that on the offense too, because we aren’t holding the ball enough. We need to give our defense more of a break to defend. And I think we do that with possession on the ball, we just haven’t done it.”

On why the attack is struggling with the same players as last season:
“I think most of it is rhythm. We do have a couple new pieces, but most of it’s getting into rhythm and getting that confidence to be able to play. You can’t underestimate how much confidence can weigh in a player’s mind. After last year, we need to be able to be more confident as players on the ball. We have to be a lot cleaner on the ball as well.”

On going down in the box and not getting the call:
“Well, I was just making a run through, De Ro plays me a ball, [Chad] Marshall cleared it off my leg and, you know, pops in my way. I thought I had position on Marshall, so it’s upsetting not to get the call. But, you have to move on from those things.”

D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER BILL HAMID

On the team allowing opportunities for the opposition:
“Looking at, you know, the stretch of games since the season’s started – we’ve been allowing a lot of chances. We seem like we’re staying tuned in defensively, but I don’t know. We have to continue watching film, continue building because it seems like we’re giving away too many chances. But you know, at the same time, it’s been four games and we’ve only let in four goals, so it’s been good on the defensive end. But in terms of chances, we gotta stop giving them so many.”

On if he felt stranded defensively:
“No, no – I don’t ever think like that. It was a good unit. The backline did extremely well, especially [since] it was makeshift. [Daniel] Woolard had to step in – he came off a head injury last year and had to step in to center back and he did extremely well. Brandon [McDonald] did extremely well, too. Just getting the ball forward is something we have to work on – getting the ball to the midfield, then getting the ball to the forward and then laying off to the midfield. We gotta get the ball forward more often.”

On if he feels like United has yet to find the form of last season:
“Well, we’ve seen it at stretches. We’ve seen the form at stretches. I’m not gonna lie – we’ve played some good football at times, but the dominating play is something we haven’t done that we did last year – getting the ball, possessing, moving side to side, opening teams up. But we’ll find it, we’ll find it. We’re all positive – it’s still early in the season. We know that we have what it takes to get there. It’s basically the same group as last year, so we’ll find it. We’ll be alright.”

On how he rates his individual performance today:
“Well, I’m not too happy with the two goals. Should have stayed on the first one and should have came and punched the second one, so for that I apologize to my teammates. But you know, I apologize to my teammates about the two goals. Could have done better, could have backed them up on that, but you know, at the same time, they still did well on the defensive end.”

On if he expected a deflection on the second goal:
“Yeah, yeah – on that certain type of play, you have to stay up. If you go too early, if you lean to one direction – that’s a common goal in soccer nowadays, free kicks and bounces into the back post. So I had to stay honest and got a hand to that first one, but maybe should have done better on that one. But they punished us. We should have dealt with the rebound on that one, but they punished us.”

On what made Columbus’ set pieces so dangerous tonight:
“Well, set pieces in this league are very important. Teams love set pieces. They love punishing teams on set pieces, you know? The Houstons, Columbuses, teams like that – they’re going to use their big boys in the back and try to punish teams, so we just gotta get better in set pieces.”

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER PERRY KITCHEN

On the team playing a 4-4-2 against Columbus:
“I mean, it’s a switch that we’ve done before, so there’s not too much to think about that. I thought it was decent – I just think, similar to the New York game, we just had too many careless giveaways. We gave them chances on set pieces and they punished us for it.”

On United goalkeeper Bill Hamid’s performance:
“I mean, he had a couple, again, point-blank saves, which is big time. He’s been bailing us out and it’s been good.”

On if he thinks the United backline is a confident unit at this point in the season:
“Yeah, I think we’re confident. I mean, coming into this game, two shutouts in three games – it’s pretty confident from that standpoint. You know, like I was saying earlier, we knew they were going to be good on set pieces and they punished us on them.”

On Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum’s performance:
“I mean, he too –he made some incredible saves, too. So, saying that, I think we had a few decent chances we could have punished them on. You know, that’s the way the game goes – you just gotta move on from it and learn from it.”

On losing for the first time at RFK in a little over a year:
“Well, I mean, we definitely pride ourselves on being a good team at home and, you know, the streak can’t go on forever, so we just have to try and start a new one.”

D.C. UNITED FORWARD RAFAEL (through a translator)

On scoring his first MLS goal in his first MLS start:
“[Scoring my first goal] feels good, but obviously not good with the defeat. We’ve got this week to work on all of our mistakes and fix what we did wrong and hopefully overcome this.”

On the goal itself:
“I saw the keeper out of his line and when I turned, I looked up and saw him. I’ve been training all this week on my finishing, especially from outside of the box. I built up confidence and had space to move, but I figured I try it from there – why not?”

On if he thought the shot would be on target or not:
“Once I shot – I’ve been working on it so much that I had pretty good confidence, but it depends on luck as well. That’s my role – those opportunities are for me. As a forward, it’s turn and shoot and I’ll continue to do that.”

On if he thought the team was more dangerous than it has been in past games:
“It was my first game with the team, so it’s obviously a little bit different. Everyone’s gotta kind of gel. With time, we’ll only get better. Everything’s only going to get better. I’ll adapt better, the team’s going to adapt better to me, but I see it going in the right direction.”

On having fellow Brazilians Raphael Augusto, Marcelo Saragosa and Assistant Athletic Trainer Gabriel Manoel help him adapt to the U.S. and MLS:
“It’s difficult anywhere you go, but having good people around you, surrounding you, will only help and I have the support of a few Brazilians here and I’m very grateful for that. It helps me out a lot.”

COLUMBUS CREW HEAD COACH ROBERT WARZYCHA

On getting only the seventh win in team history at RFK Stadium:
“To be honest with you, I already forgot about the previous six. I mean the last one is what’s important. I think, you know, the memories to come here and to play against the [Marco] Etcheverrys and the [Jeff] Agoos’ and the [Jaime] Morenos here, you know, that was a great team and then I think D.C. [United] just needs to build that kind of team again. And, you know, actually they’re doing very well. But, we played a good game. I think we, for most of the game, I think we knew what we were doing and we just created more chances than they did and we deserved to win.”

On Tyson Wahl’s assist and role in set pieces for the Crew:
“I think that’s what he was doing for the other teams he was playing for and we knew that he’s capable of crossing the ball. That was a great assist and it was a good ball.”

On Columbus Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum’s play:
“I can say the same about both goalies. [Gruenebaum] did very well, had a charge save, and following with Tyson Wahl. And I think the second half, the goalies did a very good job. They did what they were supposed to do. They made some saves and there [were] clear chances, but they stood on their heads and they were very, very good.”

On the disallowed goal for D.C. United, from his perspective:
“Well, it’s simple. [Lionard] Pajoy moved towards the ball and that’s offside. If he would have just stood still then it’s not offside, but he made an attempt to go for that ball and that indicates that he’s offside.”

On if he felt it was odd that the whistle never blew on the offside call:
“Yeah, but the flag was raised. I think that the referees did a good job, they talked about it, and then the linesman told him why he raised the flag and whether it was offside or not and then they changed the decision. And I think it was offside because [Lionard] Pajoy went for the ball.”

On Columbus Crew midfielder Ben Speas’ goal:
“I think he was awarded today for a good performance and in previous games too. I think he’s very opportunistic. I think he’s very dangerous around the box and obviously that finish was very clean.”

On having players step up in Jairo Arrieta’s absence:
“We’ve had seven goals this year and six different goal-scorers, so that’s pretty good for our team. It’s good to have a lot of guys contributing to win and it’s good to have a lot of guys scoring goals.”

On if there was motivation to win from the season-ending loss against United last year:
“It’s a new season, obviously. The game last year had a different meaning. Obviously we had to win that game. We pushed to the end for the goal. We even led twice and I think we paid a little bit for the, I would say, the naïve-ness. This year we have a much better team. I think, as you saw on the field, we brought some experience. I think the guys [are] playing better and they read the game better. So, I think we have a better team. A win is a win. I mean, we always go on the field and you try to play the game and win. And I think, especially at the beginning of today, we showed that we can be that winner of the game because we had a really, really good first 20 minutes before [D.C. United] scored a goal. And I think in the second half we left off where we did in the first and we were pushing [and] pushing and we scored a goal.”

COLUMBUS CREW GOALKEEPER ANDY GRUENEBAUM

On what happened during his double-save:
“It was a shot through traffic from the top, I didn’t see it until the end so I wasn’t able to hold it clean, but I just saw [Dwayne De Rosario] there wide open so I just got up and just tried to make myself big and I kind of got lucky there.”

On drawing motivation from the season-ending loss to D.C. United in 2012:
“Yeah, it was a little bit of that, but also it’s a rivalry game and this is a tough place to play. We, you know, it’s tough to find success at RFK [Stadium] and so those are all., all those things combined is something we, you know, [it] makes the win a lot sweeter.”

On snapping D.C. United’s 19-match home-unbeaten streak:
“This place, you know, the fans here, they’re going crazy for 90 minutes and they just feed off that and it’s just a tough, always tough environment here. It feels that much better [to win].”

On the competition among goalkeepers:
“I mean, [Bill Hamid] played out of his mind again. You know, he’s had a couple back-to-back games where he’s just, you know, feeling it. And right now he’s on fire. And I’m sure he’ll continue to do so. But yeah, anytime you see someone on the other end make a great save it, you hope – I mean, you obviously don’t want to have to be in that position. But when it happens you hope to, you know, be there and it was an interesting game. It was probably one of the weirdest games I’ve ever played in.”

On Columbus Crew midfielder Ben Speas’ goal and his role with the Crew:
“I mean, he’s just – he brings that attacking mentality where, you know, he can cut in, and you think he’s gonna cut in on his right and he’ll cut you left and he’s just not afraid to go at people. He just brings an added element to our team that, you know, we need and he’s a great asset to have, for sure. And congrats to him for his goal.”

COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER BEN SPEAS

On his first career goal for the Crew:
“Ah, it was a great feeling. Just, excited. Obviously anytime you score it’s exciting. I had a chance in the first half similar to it and went with the inside of my foot and I kind of wish I [hadn’t] and went with my laces. And I said if it came out again I was gonna use my laces. The second time I used my laces and it went in. So, it was nice. Nice to get the goal – exciting.”

On what it means to be the first Columbus Crew Homegrown player to score a goal:
“It’s just nice to score. I mean, it’s nice to get your first one. Hopefully a lot more to come, but it’s nice to get my first one. This was the place we found out about Kirk [Urso]. So it was pretty emotional. I thought about that yesterday and I knew that my first goal was gonna be for him and I wanted to get it today. So, it definitely goes to him. And yeah, it’s just special.”

On if he felt a goal was coming from recent play:
“Yeah. I was just trying to be effective, help the team out. I know the chances will come, in terms of in front of the goal and stuff. It’s just a matter of being ready when your chances come in front of the goal and I got a couple in the first half and I thought I could [have] done a little more better and in the second half. I just wanted to strike through it and it went in. The goalkeeper was shielded, I’m pretty sure, and he just couldn’t see it until the last second and it was by him.”

On the significance of the win:
“Yeah. It’s great to come in here and get three points. I mean that’s exactly what [Head Coach] Robert [Warzycha] was telling us that was what [the team] wanted to do. We’re going for the win we’re not going for anything else. So, I thought everyone fought all 90 minutes. It was a good performance from a lot of the guys. I think we had some mistakes in the past couple of games but I feel like we’re learning from them and we’re getting better as the season goes. So that’s a positive.”

On fellow Cleveland, OH native Josh Williams scoring as well:
“It’s nice. I didn’t even realize that. Someone’s got to try and keep up with LeBron [James] ‘cause this guy keeps going and doing it every single day. [Laughs] No, it’s nice to have two Cleveland boys get the goals. But, yeah it could come from anywhere, but it’s nice to have him score.”

On the matchup overall and breaking D.C. United’s home-unbeaten streak:
“Wow. No, they’re a great team. They were very dangerous. I mean Andy [Gruenebaum] made, I don’t even know how many saves, to keep us in the game. But yeah, they were very dangerous in the second half, first half too. But yeah, it was a tough team to play against in [D.C. United’s] stadium. They [have] a bunch of fans. It was a good atmosphere. It was fun to play in. But we found a way to win which is most important to get the three points. I think that’s the most important thing.”