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Post-game quotes: United-Red Bulls

U.S. OPEN CUP QUOTESHEET
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2009 - D.C. UNITED 5, NEW YORK RED BULLS 3

D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH TOM SOEHN
On the game

I thought in the first half we had a pretty good mentality, going into the game and how we wanted to play. We talked about not getting complacent and we really got complacent. We could have let in as many goals as we scored. They held a high line and I think we exposed them pretty well with second line runners. We probably could have had more out of the first 20 minutes or so. But then we started to stretch a little bit and we felt like we had to attack with numbers and the way their line was we didn’t have to attack with too many, we should have kept our shape a little bit better. We had some tough moments too and I just felt it was important to get [minutes for] some guys who haven’t gotten a lot of minutes; they had to dig themselves out of those holes and learn a little bit about themselves.

On the play of young guys
It’s still a 90 minute game and I think they had stretches that were positive. There are a lot of things we need to look at and we need to fix. The first half was probably a lot better on the positive side but on the second we made a lot of errors, shape-wise, and that’s the stuff we’re going to need to break down. It’s important that we go through those steps for some of our young guys to learn.

On the difference in the second half
I though when [Marc] Burch came in he brought a lot of calmness to the game and we took care of the right side. But, you know, we stopped playing soccer. The thing we did so well in the first half was we moved the ball around and they would chase it. [In the] second half we forgot to do that.

On Wicks’ play
I’ve got to look at the goals again. I’m not sure if he could have had any of them. Obviously the penalty is a penalty. But, you know, he still has to manage the game better. It’s little details we have to talk to players about - we’re trying to finish off a game and we kick the ball right to their keeper. Little intricacies that all of us have to be sharp and understand the situation and what the game means. [Wicks] only probably came up for one he could have punched away and he tried to catch it but all that stuff is part of the learning process.

On giving up chances
Today obviously we played a lot of different people and even move them on in different spots so we could learn about our guys so it’s kind of for me to learn about some of our players. I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect, I knew we were going to give up some chances - not as many as we did, I didn’t want that part.

On Pontius’ play
We tried him sitting in a little bit deeper and see if he understands that position and making sure he’s one guy who looks to push up when we need to keep a little shape. We talked a lot about it beforehand and he had some positive moments and some things that now we can take and say ‘Chris this is what you need to do here’. It was again we moved him around and he continues to adapt to wherever he needs to play.

D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER JOSH WICKS
On his play tonight

We worked on a lot of communication during practice. That’s never been one of my problems, talking to people. I felt pretty comfortable back there, not too nervous at all.

On conceding a couple goals in the second half
Maybe a little bit of a lapse in mind, thinking the game is probably over. We had a nice lead, and some of the guys probably took their foot off the gas a little bit, trying to conserve.

D.C. UNITED FORWARD BOYZZZ KHUMALO
On not having a lot of playing time

It’s very tough; we’ve got a good team. I’ve got to accept my role and come off the bench. We’ve got a big team, a lot of good players, and whenever I get my chance I try to do well.

On playing on such a talented team
I think it’s kept me staying focused. Every day at practice I work hard, stay after practice and do extra work just to show my teammates I’m in for the support.

D.C. UNITED DEFENDER BRYAN NAMOFF
On conceding two second-half goals

It was a frustrating couple of goals. Defensively we were pretty solid, pretty sound in the first half. [In the] second half we lost our momentum up top and started to sit in a little bit. They started to counter on us and we didn’t string enough in possession in the second half. They started to play in our end. Anytime you’re going to have a team play in our defensive end they’re going to create opportunities.

On the second half drop off
We kind of let down our pressure, let down our guard a little bit. They came out 3-5-2 and Rojas did a good job of getting the ball, putting the ball in dangerous areas. He came on and created a good spark for them.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER CHRIS PONTIUS
On D.C.’s fast start

Things were definitely clicking. We could have been up 6-0. We got four [in the first half] but I know that we had two other chances that I decided to pass but I should have been looking to shoot first.

On the second half dip
It’s hard to keep that pace going for a full 45. Especially since a lot of the guys haven’t been getting the full 90 so they’re not exactly game fit. It was partly that and New York was starting to figure us out a little bit, making some changes.

On playing in a defensive midfield role
I like it. I need to get more comfortable on the ball - balls into my feet and whatnot. It’s a little bit different than outside [midfielder] and forward. I like it, I like being able to get the ball on the defensive end and pick up balls in the middle and go from there.

On his first goal
Christian [Gomez] tends to whip balls that are dipping right over that first guy. I made my run right to that spot, it was a great ball and all I had to do was put my head on it. There was a guy on me, but I got a flick onto it to the back post.

NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH JUAN CARLOS OSORIO
On the game tonight

It was a big test for some of the guys and some of them failed the test today. First half we were horrible. It was probably the worst game I ever played, ever coached with the Red Bulls. I want to apologize to the fans, especially the fans that came here. I apologize because we lacked character, passion.

On the second half
The second half was completely different. I thought that we could have tied the game, as bad as it was. We had enough chances to probably tie the game. I think we controlled the game.

On the struggles at the beginning
We didn’t have any heart, any passion and we just got what we deserved in the first 25 minutes.

On his halftime adjustments
I was quite clear how I felt about it and didn’t hesitate in making all the subs. As always, I like to look at the positives. I think in the second half, Nick [Zimmerman], his first game against an MLS team, looked good. I learned a lot today from my players.

NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER JORGE ROJAS
On the team’s play tonight

The team definitely didn’t come out playing at the level we did in the last game. It was the same formation so it should have been a similar level of play. It’s unfortunate that we let them get so many goals so quickly in the first half.

On coming on in the second half
Being on the bench, it creates even more pressure because you come in and they expect you to do everything that everyone [else] was not doing: show more effort, have more ball control, control the game, and give everything that you can.

NEW YORK RED BULLS FORWARD JOHN WOLYNIEC
On the team’s play

I’m not sure I’ve ever been a part of something like that, professionally. Obviously, it’s tough. We came out sleeping - plain and simple. We gave up chances almost immediately, and you can’t do against a team like D.C. at home. You’ve got to give them credit - they flew around, moved the ball quick. At least for the first 25 minutes, they wanted it more than us.

On the game
I think we were a little embarrassed by what we did. Sometimes you come out and it just seems like you can’t do anything right. It’s hard to change that type of feeling on the field. I’m glad we did, but obviously it’s way to late. We got screamed at at halftime, and deservedly so. Obviously the lesson is, never do that again.

Broadcasting and P.A. Request: When speaking of the organization, please refer to the team as either “D.C. United” or “United,” but not “the D.C. United” or “the United.” We appreciate your cooperation.

Doug Hicks, dhicks@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5448,
Boris Flores, bflores@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5452,
Kyle Sheldon, ksheldon@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5450 or
Cristina Cruz, ccruz@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5440