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MLS Game #11: DCU 2 - NE 2

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As you’ll be able to tell by their quotes below, United players and staff aren’t satisfied with their 2-2 draw in New England tonight. The Black-and-Red sparkled early and dominated long stretches of play, but couldn’t hold off the Revolution all night. Here’s a complete recap of the night and here are some photos from the game.

The reserve team will be back in action tomorrow morning at the Revolution training facility. The first team, returns home early tomorrow and will turn their attention to extending their modest two-game unbeaten streak next Wednesday. The Houston Dynamo will be visiting the Nation’s Capital for the first time since winning last season’s MLS Cup. 
 
Here’s what the participants had to say after the game tonight:
 
D.C. United Head Coach Tom Soehn
On the game
We still created so many opportunities that we didn’t bury. We kept them around. If you finish those chances, now you’ve made that separation and it doesn’t get as hairy – especially on the road … We were up 2-0 and obviously we all wanted to win, so we’re all disappointed we didn’t get three points. We have to settle for one, but we’re still taking it one step at a time. Overall, I thought we deserved more, but we didn’t take our chances to put the game away.
 
On the Revolution comeback
Obviously, we’re protecting a two-goal lead and they’re pushing everything they can to get it back. It’s more of a situation where no matter what you get when you’re up two goals, you’re having a defensive mentality and they’re throwing everything they can to get a goal.
 
On United’s improved play
I think we got away from playing, knocking the ball around. That was so effective early. We spread them out, knocked them around. And then we then we kind of fell into a shell thinking we had to shore up the game and it was too early to do that.
 
I thought we out-played them (in the first half). We created so many quality opportunities. But like I said, you have to finish even more of those. We could have been up two, three at the half – you have to put those chances away. The good part is that we’re creating those quality chances right now and every game I’m seeing it get better and better.
 
On Luciano Emilio
He was a handful today. He’s causing a lot of havoc. He’s very opportunist on the goal he scored. It’s unfortunately he didn’t get more today.
 
D.C. United defender Bryan Namoff
On the game
You have to give credit to (Matt) Reis. He kept them in the game. Had we finished those early on, they probably would have been defeated. But they were able to stay in it, and I thought they used our game plan in the second half against us. They started to dump balls in and we had a tough time clearing, which caused them to win the balls in good areas, which made it difficult for us. A couple of fluke plays and they were able to get some scoring chances.
 
D.C. United midfielder Fred
On the game
With that lead of 2-0, we just have to know how to finish the game better. We’re in a situation where we need points and to come away with a 2-2 tie after being up two goals is very disappointing. So now we have to go back to work and keep at it.
 
On United’s improved play 
You can see our progress by the number of opportunities we’re creating, but we have to put them away or else what happened today is going to keep happening – where we go up and end up tied. We have to make sure we put away a lot of those opportunities.
 
New England Revolution Head Coach Steve Nicol
On the game
As a football match, we got out-played from start to finish. Sometimes the good ‘ol heart gets you something you didn’t deserve. The second half, anyway, I have no complains. The effort and the commitment – every single thing – they couldn’t have given anymore, which got us a point. (Matt Reis) made, what, five one-on-one saves to keep us in the game? So, it was a football game and we got out-played, but when it comes down to other elements of the game, we showed that, when we need it, we can bring it.
 
On moving Sainey Nyassi from forward to right wing at the end of the first half
 

To be fair, we couldn’t get the ball forward anyway (in the first half). The change helped us, that’s without a shadow of a doubt. First half, they were bringing the ball to us, and we couldn’t get out. So we decided to switch it around and get in behind them.

 
On Marcelo Gallardo's play in the second half
We took him out of the game as much as we could. The midfield was second. We were outplayed completely in the first half. Second half, like I said, we played with heart. That’s all we did – nothing complicated.
 
On the forwards scoring tonight
As long as they continue to score goals, but we need to get them more of the ball. When you have guys getting the ball in the net, you have to keep feeding them. We need to do a better job of that.
 
New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis
On D.C. United
They have a lot of players with a lot of experience and are calm under pressure. In the first 55, 60 minutes we didn’t put them under enough pressure and we gave them a lot of heads up and played little ball. They had a ton of chances.
 
On the game
Unfortunately, it took us two goals to get going and get on our game. But saying that we also did score two goals ourselves and came back from a 2-0 deficit and got some points out of this. So we definitely showed a lot of heart and showed a lot to our fans. We were committed to get something out of this game instead of collapsing and folding.”
 
We did a little bit better of getting closer to them. The time that they dominated, we couldn’t get close enough to them to cause any problems. The times we got a little hold of the game, we were on them. We were fortunate that there was someone back there to challenge them and allow them to control the game.
 
 
On the comeback
We have to stick to doing what we do best which is get the ball balls wide and get service into the box. Whether we have our first-choice forward in there or our second-choice forwards, we still have to do the same things. We did it a little ebit. We got some scrappy goals – we got that free kick, which is a great goal to equalize it. We just have to be better at home. We came out a little flat and we got thumped, but we showed a lot of heart coming back.
 
New England Revolution defender Chris Albright
On D.C. United
They have a few guys who can place-change. When you have guys who are talented and can keep the ball and change places, it makes it difficult to get a hold of them because you end up chasing them and opening up gaps in behind you. They’re difficult in that sense.
 
On the rivalry between the teams
I haven’t been a part of this rivalry for that long, but these teams have been going against each other for a lot of years. We knew all week they were going to come in here and it was going be the same D.C. United team that we’ve seen for the last few years. We didn’t think they were going to be any different. We just didn’t step up early for a game where we weren’t very good, to get a point in the end at home, it’s not very great, but we prevented them from getting three. There is some good to take away from it. We played better as the game went on. It’s a tough league to win five, six, seven games in a row. There’s a lot of parity all over. Everybody can play. They brought it better than we did.
 
On Matt Reis
Matt (Reis) kept us in it. It could have been a lot worse. Hats off to him. We’d all have our heads down and they’d have three points. It could be a lot uglier, but he kept us in it and that’s why he’s the best.