United wins 3-1 and is on to the U.S. Open Cup final where they'll play.... well, we don't know that yet. The other semifinal between the Seattle Sounders and Charleston Battery is currently in overtime following a 1-1 finish after 90 minutes. Should Charleston win, United will host the Battery at RFK Stadium, while a Seattle victory would mean a trip to the Pacific Northwest for the Black-and-Red. Regardless of host, the final will take place on Wednesday, September 3, and United will look to add its 12th trophy in club history.
Three great goals tonight for United - Emilio in the 4th, Quaranta in the 48th and Emilio with his second in the 81st.
We'll be back in a bit with additional post-game photos (I've already added two here) and quotes.
UPDATE: Charleston wins 4-3 on penalties and will head to RFK Stadium on September 3 for the U.S. Open Cup final. It will be United's first appearance in the Open Cup final since 1997 and its first appearance in a championship final since MLS Cup in 2004. Tickets for the game will be on sale on Thursday at 10:30 a.m., so get ready to pack RFK as the team goes for another trophy!
UPDATE #2: Post-game quotes below and a couple more pictures on the Video & Pics page.
D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH TOM SOEHN
On his feelings about the game:
First half not good feelings and second half [it was] much better. [There is] still a lot of room to improve. We came out and we [had] talked about possessing the ball and the only possession we had was in the negative aspect, in the back where if you take too many chances back there you’re going to pay for some mistakes. On the goal we scored first, it was a play we talked about – the backs overlapping – and [Bryan] Namoff put a good ball in. But the first half was disappointing. We addressed a lot of things and I thought in the second half we started to do the things that we wanted to do right from the get go.
On whether the strategy was to get the first goal:
I’m sure it went through our guys’ minds. We tried to not have that be a factor. I think we talked more about rectifying how poor we played on Sunday. That was our motivation.
On looking forward to the final:
Today we’ve got a lot of guys getting back. We showed rust. We didn’t show the quality that we do when we’re in top shape of knocking the ball around, exposing space. We found that a little bit more as the game wore on.
On his first final as a head coach:
You take satisfaction when you win finals. We still have to play that game.
On New England’s goal:
I thought we could have closed it a lot quicker. It was a throw in and I thought we just thought it wasn’t going to be an issue when we took that play on and you can’t do that, no matter what game’s on there.
On Gonzalo Peralta:
I thought Peralta was pretty doggone good today for his first game back after hernia surgery. He was really vocal, physically he dominated back there. It was good to get him back.
On Ivan Guerrero:
He works endlessly. I think he got a little tired today but who wouldn’t with all the work he’s done the last two games.
D.C. UNITED FORWARD LUCIANO EMILIO
On the win:
I think for us it’s very motivational. If we win the final it’s great motivation for the rest of the season of MLS.
On whether he was surprised at New England’s lineup:
Yeah I am surprised. I knew before the game but we concentrated on the game because we didn’t want any surprises in this game. I think it’s ok. We played with a lot of concentration and then we won 3-1. I think that’s good for us.
D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER ZACH WELLS
On United’s play:
The patience on the ball was good. I thought we were patient and it opened up a lot of opportunities in their half of the field.
On players returning from injury:
It’s good to have [Gonzalo] Peralta back. He’s a physical presence. He bodied up [Adam] Cristman all night. I thought he did a good job getting around Shalrie [Joseph] early and getting some kicks in so then it’s just a matter of our attacking players really doing their jobs.
On frustration in the back line after New England’s goal:
It was a pretty weak cross on the ground coming across and it needs to get cleared first time. It wasn’t cleared cleanly and we gave them a second chance and the guy buried it.
On what he said to the back line:
I just said we have to change the plan of attack. We have to be a little more confident on the ball. I thought our shape was good in the first and second half so it’s just a matter of a little more composure with the ball.
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER SANTINO QUARANTA
On communication with Jaime Moreno:
I’ve been playing with Jaime for a little bit now and I understand the sky’s the limit when he has the ball so he always tells me he’ll think for me if I just run so that’s what I did.
On being able to finish and get a goal:
I was out for a couple of weeks and you have to catch up mentally, that’s the biggest thing, and making decisions at the right time. I rushed a couple in the first half and I thought in the second half I slowed the game down a little bit. I started thinking and relaxing a little bit. It seemed to work out. I just worked hard.
On advancing to the final:
This is a prestigious tournament. Any time you get a chance to win a trophy for D.C. United, we pride ourselves on that. We’re excited about the opportunity to win this tournament and it’s a big win for us.
On whether he was surprised at New England’s lineup:
A little bit. But like I said before the game it’s not a matter of who they have out there. We have to stay focused and that can cause a problem in your own team when you don’t see their first XI and for us we just have to look past that and say we have to do the job here. They were organized and they were smart in that aspect but we broke them down a little bit and it worked out.
D.C. UNITED DEFENDER GONZALO MARTINEZ [VIA TRANSLATION]
On the game:
It was a difficult game for us. It doesn’t matter who’s in front of you, you still have 11 against 11, so for us it was a good win, and a confident booster for our next MLS game.
On the chemistry with Iván Guerrero:
I think we played well together, he’s an experienced player, he’s a national team player, so we talked about it in the locker room before going out, so it wasn’t very difficult to know whether he went up and I stayed, or he stayed. It was pretty easy.
On the defense’s mistakes:
I think that there’s always going to be some times when you commit errors, you can blame that to different things, sometimes you get tired, new players in the line-up, injuries, but I thought we played well tonight, specially Peralta, who just came back from an injury. The back line played very good today. We just need to keep working hard to improve, but overall I think you’re always going to commit errors, you know, when you have a shutout is part of the game.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER JOE GERMANESE
On the team’s performance:
It doesn’t really matter who we have out there we’re going out there to win. So D.C. United here at D.C. United, there’s obviously a lot of history between the teams. It’s the Open Cup semifinals and we’re the defending Open Cup champs. We come here and we want to win. It was a tough game. Obviously a little bit of a hostile environment but it should have been better on our part, regardless of who we have out there.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION FORWARD ADAM CRISTMAN
On the team’s performance:
Their second goal, it didn’t necessarily knock us out but it makes it harder. We had already come back from one, it’s harder to come back from the second. Then the red card was just unfortunate, that second yellow shouldn’t have happened. [There was] a little inconsistency, in my opinion. Like I said before we got whacked exactly like that all game long, including a direct elbow to the face, and not even so much as a card. So to give a second yellow you have to think he’s got to be a little bit more in tune.