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Post-game quotes: United vs. Salt Lake

MLS 2009 QUOTESHEET
SATURDAY, MAY 23, 2009 – D.C. UNITED 0, REAL SALT LAKE 0

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

We talked about them bunkering and they did just that, they bunkered very deep. The way you open that up is you score. We had a good chance to score but couldn’t do it and kind of lulled ourselves to sleep and quit moving. You know, it’s not the first team to come here and bunker against us and the way we addressed it, we didn’t move off each other at all, we kind of just stood there and waited for the next guy to do it. In the second half we adjusted a little bit, got better, but still we obviously couldn’t back them down tonight.

On Josh Wicks
Josh [Wicks] did well. As we tried to get the goal you obviously leave yourself open to a counter and I thought the defenders did well. I think Burch came up with a lot of big plays. Josh came out of the box a real well, made a couple of big saves when we needed it. But we’re disappointed in the other side of it – not creating enough opportunities.

On the team being tired
You know, we’ve had a stretch of games. I thought we were flat. The one thing we’ve done against other teams that have bunkered that we’ve been able to open up is because our movement off each other has been so good. We addressed that at halftime and we started to move off each other. And at the end of the game we started playing kickball instead of playing our game, which is something that we haven’t done in a while. We’ll take time to watch it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

On Jaime Moreno
He wasn’t feeling well today. He wanted to go and we just felt like he wasn’t getting enough of the game and didn’t have the energy. We have a deep bench and you want to make sure you’re putting in someone that’s able to make you better.

On resting Pontius and Wallace
Chris [Pontius] put a lot of minutes in Wednesday. Rodney [Wallace] has never sat. We’re trying to keep everybody healthy and fresh. When we play a lot of games, you always worry about guys hurting themselves, and muscle strains. We’re going to be cautious to make sure everyone stays healthy.

On Fred’s missed opportunities
I’m sure he’s disappointment like we all are. We talked about them bunkering and making sure that we get that first goal to open them up. We had our chance to do it and unfortunately it didn’t go our way.

D.C. UNITED DEFENDER BRYAN NAMOFF
On the busy week

It’s three games in one week. It’s the end of a third game and we looked a little tired coming off the second half. But I think more importantly was we weren’t used to seeing a team packing it in the back with a 4-5-1. So I think we were a little impatient in our ability to try to find the possession style we’re normally accustomed to. There were a lot of forced balls, a lot of balls we tried to play in behind that got cut out. So you have to give credit to them. They did a good job of just isolating the forwards and not allowing us to play.

On the tight standings
At this point in time, you have to look at each team as having the possibility of beating you. There’s not one team that’s dominating this league. The first place teams in the east and west are up top. However, the last place team could beat them any night.

D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER JOSH WICKS
On the first half save he made on Robbie Findley

The ball bounced around a little bit and he slipped through. I tried to close the space as much as possible and as soon as he opened up, the shot just went up and down and I was just able to get an arm on it.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER SANTINO QUARANTA
On RSL’s defense

We didn’t have any answers. I don’t think we’ve played a team that defensive and we didn’t know how to break them down. Our ideas weren’t that great. It showed, so I hope we figure it out.

On getting a draw
We were lethargic and we just didn’t do it tonight. We weren’t taking charge. It’s just one of those games. Those draws are disappointing, especially at home. We’ll take them on the road. It’s seems to be a theme for coming in and trying to get draws on the road. It wasn’t a fun game for the fans to watch, for sure.

On the standings
At any point you can go from first to fifth. It’s just the way it is if you’re not winning games. We have to stay on top of the table and definitely take care of the games at home.

REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
On getting a point on the road

We’ve played four road games and lost every match. It’s important that we get something tonight. It’s a step in the right direction. To put that kind of defensive commitment into a match when we’re playing against D.C. United, who’ve got all kinds of creative and gifted attacking players, we have to be proud of ourselves tonight.

On setting out to defend
As a coaching staff we’ve got to put our focus on one thing. And tonight, we talked about it all week – we’ve got to get back to how we built this team, and that was defending extremely well, defending with heart, defending with one hundred percent commitment. We did those things tonight, so job well done, we’ll build from this.

REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER WILL JOHNSON
On the result

We got a shutout, and when you do those things and you’re organized as a team, they got frustrated and started pushing up. We had chances to hit them on the counter. We created a few chances and hit a few shots, but we didn’t get one tonight. We’re happy with a point – it’s a building block. We’ve got to go from here and get more shutouts and start scoring some goals.

On using this as a jump-start to the season
You got to start somewhere. We’re a third of the way through the season and we’ve struggled on the road a little bit. By the end of last year we were winning on the road and getting it sorted out. It’s a long season and we’ve got the guys that can win games on the road and we’ve got to prove that over the next two-thirds of the season.

On carrying the momentum from this game
We’ve got to keep doing exactly what we did. We’ve got to play as a team, be organized, disciplined and got to work hard. We’ve got to be very hard to play against.

On their road struggles
We’ve just lost focus a little bit in these first few games. We were basking in the glory of last year – getting into the playoffs for the first time. We sort of lost our identity a little bit. We are a hard-working team with no superstars. If we try and play like we are superstars, we end up losing games.

REAL SALT LAKE MIDFIELDER NED GRABAVOY
On recent road performances

The last two games we played on the road we’ve done well defensively. Especially today, we’ve created many more chances than they did. We didn’t finish our chances but we kept them to a zero, and those points are going to be valuable at the end of the season.

On missing out on the win
I felt like we had some pretty good chances, but like I said, you could have 20 shots to 8 and give up a goal at the other end and come out with no points. It’s a stepping stone, if you want to put it that way.

On their defensive performance
We were aware that they have five pretty dangerous guys going forward. We wanted to keep an eye on those guys. I thought the effort and the fight was there tonight. It showed: we won a lot of first and second balls in the midfield. I thought our [defensive] backs did well to deal with Luciano [Emilio] and Jaime [Moreno].

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