Post-game quotesheet: D.C. United 2 - Rochester Rhinos 1

U.S. OPEN CUP 2009 QUOTESHEET
TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2009 – D.C. UNITED 2, ROCHESTER RHINOS 1

D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH TOM SOEHN
On Boyzzz Khumalo’s injury

For me, the game’s overshadowed by a couple injuries. One to them and one to us, and it’s disappointing. Everybody worked hard and you just never want to see any injuries, period. The ball hit him in the wrist. We’ll find out later what it is, but it wasn’t good.

On the team’s play
In the first half I don’t think we did a good job of moving the ball around. We didn’t change the point of attack. You saw what their tactics were. They played very defensive and clogged the middle and we kept playing into the middle. In the second half we opened them up a little bit and chances come when you start doing that, getting service in the box. These games are never easy when teams start packing it in, and it’s been three in a row that we’ve had to do that, and eventually we’ll get good at it.

On whether any performances stuck out
No, like I said everything is overshadowed for me. Boyzzz [Khumalo] put a lot of work in, and with an injury like that it’s really disappointing. They had one too, and it kind of overshadows everything. We’ll have to get on with it and get ready for the next one.

On Rochester’s injury
It was a fair challenge. John [DiRaimondo] went in hard and I think the challenge was fair. Unfortunately, the result wasn’t good. There was no egregiousness on John’s part; he was out to win the ball.

On Rochester
We were going and trying to attack and with that you commit numbers in there, and when they won it they just lumped it up. Tai [Atieno] is a big guy, he’s going to look to flick a couple balls on and we expected them to do that.

On Khumalo’s role tonight
Well he came up with a big play. He followed up Chris [Pontius]’s shot and a lot of guys wouldn’t do that, so you credit him for scoring a big goal for us.

On looking forward to the Open Cup final
Right now we’ll focus our next game on our next opponent, from MLS, and we’ll worry about that once September comes around.

On the team’s play
It’s still a challenge to break teams down that pack it in. You don’t get as many chances as you’d like, and we played into that a little too much. When teams do that you want to get the ball to the opposite side and swing in balls and get on the end of them. I was disappointed first half, second half we did a little bit better job.

D.C. UNITED FORWARD JAIME MORENO
On breaking down Rochester’s defense

We forced it too much toward the middle. They were pretty compact in the middle and I don’t think we played enough through the channels like the coach wanted. We tried to break them down through the middle, and we knew it was going to be tough, but for some reason we forced it too much. But at the end of the day, we won and that’s all that matters.

On returning to RFK for the Open Cup final
It’s always good to be back at RFK playing a final. We know that it’s going to be a tough game. It’s going to be Seattle or Houston. So a final is a final, but it’s always special to play at home, so we got to prepare for that one.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER BOYZZZ KHUMALO
On his goal

I’m so excited because last week I missed a goal. It was an open chance so this was to make up for it.

On his injury
The keeper was clearing the ball and my wrist was out of position, I guess. The ball kind of hit my wrist and when I came up, I just looked at my wrist and got on the ground.

On his goal celebration
I was playing basketball earlier, so I was working on my shot.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER JOHN DIRAIMONDO
On Rochester’s injury

I just went in for the tackle and I got the ball. It was a hard tackle and we both going in hard, and unfortunately I think he landed wrong on his foot. I just kind of looked up to find the ball and kept playing. I didn’t realize anything had happened.

On trying to break Rochester’s defensive shell
It took us a while to get the ball moving and get them out of their shell. Once we did that, we were able to at least have a little more joy. They played hard and they’re a good team.

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