Post-game quotes: United 3 - Rapids 1

MLS 2009 QUOTESHEET
SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2009 – D.C. UNITED 3, COLORADO RAPIDS 1

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

We came out all right in the first 10 minutes and it went south from there and you could probably see we were a little rusty. We adjusted a little bit at halftime and I thought tactically we started to play a little bit better. Obviously Jaime [Moreno] helped that. But yeah we had a rough stretch in the first half, we made it pretty hard on ourselves when we had that chance early and didn’t put it away.

On whether the first half play worried him
It doesn’t worry me. There are times when you’re off for a stretch of time and it takes you a little bit to get going. We had a good week of training and the sharpness comes along with it. The important things are that you finish off games and you get your points when you need them. It’s still a step in the right direction. The second half was the better half. If we start playing bad in the second half then you start worrying a little bit.

On the veterans
This team has come from a lot of different people, a lot of different people have scored and getting involved in goals. And that’s what makes us dangerous and it’s great to see guys finish off plays and really gut things out. First Jaime [Moreno] holds the ball up for us then Christian [Gomez] makes a run off him and then Fred. And it was great to get Luci [Emilio] on the board again. We need to start getting him some goals to make him hot.

On Bryan Namoff’s goal
We run him near post a lot, and he wanted that one bad because he felt responsible for the first one going in. It was a great goal, he really laid himself out for it, it was a great ball from Christian [Gomez] and it was a great goal.

On the own goal
Own goals happen. As a coach you’d rather score on yourself than them, not too many times though. But we scored more goals than them.

On Christian Gomez
[Christian Gomez] had a great game, especially when Jaime [Moreno] came in with the chemistry those two have as far as holding up the ball and opening up space. Obviously you could see the effect right away. It was like any win, but I’m sure there was a little bit more at stake for him today. He’s professional; he takes every game like it’s the most important.

D.C. UNITED DEFENDER BRYAN NAMOFF
On his goals

Well, this is the first time I scored two goals in my career. An unfortunate mistake that I’m glad I had the opportunity to redeem myself.

On redeeming himself after the own goal
I needed to do something to turn things around. Luckily Christian [Gomez] hit a great ball so I just needed to get any type of contact I could on the ball.

On what goes through his mind after scoring
Which one? [laughs] Yeah the second one as I got contact I knew I hit it well. I didn’t get to see it go in, I just heard the roar of the crowd. So I was glad to look up and see it in the back of the net. I was happy to get the go-ahead goal and we really picked up the tempo from there.

On the own goal
Yeah, anytime you make a mistake of that magnitude, it’s not something that leaves your mind pretty quickly. It’s something I’m not going to dwell on and I’m going to look past it and try to look at our overall great performance. We really came out in the second half and picked up the tempo and looked like the team of old. I thought we were really energized in the second half and that’s something to take onto the next game.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER CHRISTIAN GOMEZ
On Jaime Moreno

I played with Jaime [Moreno] the last five years, so we know each other really well. We come to practice together and on the road we are roommates together. When he looks one way I know what he is doing and he knows that I interpret it the same way. We play really well together. It is very easy for us when we are on the field at the same time to be able to have success for our team.

On his assist
I was lucky to go in with all the strength and power that I have and I was lucky to beat him on the outside and I was able to make contact with the ball to Fred. Fred made a great play and passed it back to Luciano [Emilio] for a great goal.

On playing against his former team
I looked at it as just another game me. It didn’t mean any vengeance against them for me. It was just another game for me and I try to do my best to help my teammates out.

D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER JOSH WICKS
On the own goal

It was bouncing, and there was a slight miscommunication in the back, and it ended up in the back of the net.

On the defense
Other than that mistake I felt our defense was pretty sound today as a whole. They were covering well, they were dealing with [Conor] Casey well, dealing with [Omar] Cummings well. In the midfield they were dealing with [Pablo] Mastroeni and [Mehdi] Ballouchy and all around, all 11 guys today had a solid game.

On the second half
It was great. We were down 1-0. We’re the home team and when you come in at halftime, and we’re not even really having a bad first half, but the score is 1-0 and we’re down. We’re already into the game we just need to continue what we’re doing. Just needed to get after them and keep pushing to get some goals.

On whether it was frustrating to be down 1-0
No, it wasn’t that frustrating. You can’t really be too frustrated or be too down because next thing you know you start the second half and you may let two or three more in. Being down 1-0, 45 minutes in isn’t what we want but it’s not the worst thing in the world. The first half is done; you wash it away, and come out and have a better second half.

On the game
We had chances and we finished chances in the second half. If we would have finished our chances in the first half I’m sure it would’ve been a lot more different on the board. The way we finished the game today shows where we’re going and what we’re capable of doing.

COLORADO RAPIDS HEAD COACH GARY SMITH
On conceding three goals

Well we conceded three against Seattle, so it’s not the first time, but it is extremely disappointing. I thought in the first half, we deservedly went in one-nil up. With the opportunity and pressure we showed we deserved that lead. We lost the game in 15 minutes in the second period. Quite simply, away from home, to give up three goals in such a short period of time is not going to give us the sort of success we want to obtain.

On what went wrong for his side
I would like to see the penalty call again. It was difficult that far away. It gives them a good start one minute into the second period. They were on level terms and it gave them a massive incentive. And they are an extremely talented side. The interaction between the front players and midfield players is excellent.

On the team’s struggles of late
We were missing three influential players today, one of them with the U.S., and two players out with us – one for injury and one for suspension. At the moment, we’re working hard on making sure we get a group that's good enough to maintain a challenge for the play-offs. What we’ve got is a group that can always show determination, energy
and athleticism, and I think we did that. There was a real honest edge to our game. At the moment, when you’re conceding goals, I don’t think we quite have the depth and the variation to win games by big numbers.

COLORADO RAPIDS FORWARD CONOR CASEY
On the lack of scoring opportunities in the second half

After we went down, we had to chase a bit and they just kept the ball, and did a good job of it. It’s hard away chasing, especially against a team that is as good with the ball as D.C. is.

COLORADO RAPIDS MIDFIELDER MEHDI BALLOUCHY
On losing the lead early in the second half

We knew that in the second half, the first 15 minutes was going to either win us or lose us the game. Unfortunately today, we lost the game.

On not creating enough scoring opportunities
It’s really not about generating chances. I think we have to be brave to be able to open up, every single one of us, and want the ball. You have to want the ball. If we all do that, it will be easier for us to keep the ball and create chances.

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