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Post-game quotesheet: United vs. Seattle

U.S. OPEN CUP FINAL 2009 QUOTESHEET
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2009 – D.C. UNITED 1, SEATTLE SOUNDERS 2

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

First I want to congratulate Seattle. I thought they came in here and tried to play it, took the game to us as much as we tried to take it to them so I commend them for that. On our side I was disappointed with how we started the game. I thought we had a pretty offensive lineup and we didn’t take care of the ball well, we kept turning it over and causing major counterattacks. To his credit, Josh [Wicks] kept us in there and then makes a mistake that cost us in the end.

On the red card
I didn’t see it, I’ll have to wait and see it on the replay but some of the guys said that they saw it. Whatever, the players don’t come before the team, he has got to be smarter than that. Anytime you’re shorthanded you’re not setting yourself up to be successful.

On Fred
Fred’s put in a lot of minutes and I think it affected him today. He wasn’t very good with the ball, he had a lot of turnovers and when you have fresh bodies like Santino [Quaranta] on the bench we felt it was important to energize the game. And I think Santino did that when he came in and actually when we got that goal I thought we were getting the momentum our way. So it’s discouraging to get the goal and I still feel like if we would have had eleven men on the field we could have impacted that game better.

On whether the team can now move on after all the hype
We have to. That’s the reality this, we have a game in a few days so it hurts right now and our locker room is a somber place. It’s going to hurt tomorrow as well.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER CHRIS PONTIUS
On D.C.’s goal

I knew we were going to get one, I knew we were going to get one. It was unfortunate that they got their second goal, but that happens when you’re pressuring that high up. I even thought we were going to get a second [goal], you know? We were in their box, we were putting them on their heels and we didn’t do that enough in the first half, or until after they got their first goal. Then we started doing it.

On the game
Let’s just say we gave up a lot of opportunities. Wicks came up with some big saves in the first half, kept us in it, and in the second half we kept giving up those opportunities, and they put them away. Eventually going a man down, I even thought we played better a man down, just with more urgency. That’s how we needed to be all game. It’s a blow to the guy, I really wanted to get my first hardware for D.C. United, my first Cup. But there’s nothing we can do about this game.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER BEN OLSEN
On the red card

We have to stay focused and be composed after goals happen. But that wasn’t the story of the game I don’t think. I think we were under the gun a lot and I give them a lot of credit, they’ve got some pretty talented guys, pretty dynamic players up top and it’s a long night if you’re going to try to play even number. Against a team like that we have got to be pretty prefect in that type of situation. Give them a little credit, congratulations Seattle. But on the day we had some good stuff too. If some balls bounce our way, maybe we sneak a goal and things change. I don’t think it was a terrible performance from us, I thought there was some good stuff. It just wasn’t our night.

On whether it’s hard to bounce back from this loss
I think it would be if the situation was different. We don’t have much of a choice. We can cry in our beers, as they say, tonight and tomorrow morning get refocused and get moving again and go to Dallas [on Saturday] because we don’t have a choice, we have to move on and maybe we can use this disappointment to try to get to another final in the League.

D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER JOSH WICKS
On his red card

It was a mistake on my part and I’ve got to learn my lesson. The fourth official made a call and the ref made the final decision. That was it. I’ve got no excuses for it. Tremendously, very, very disappointing.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On the game

I thought it was good. I thought the guys followed the game plan. We wanted to keep Montero high on their centerback, they play three in the back. I think Montero did a good job of that. I thought in the first half we created some good chances, but we were a little unfortunate not to be on top at halftime. Second half early on I think they took the game to us a little bit but we got the goals we needed in the end.

On winning a trophy
We’re just doing it for our club and our team. It’s tremendous for our fans to be able to get this win and be able to take this back to Seattle. We’re close to qualifying ourselves for the CONCACAF Champions League next year, it’s a tremendous thing for our organization. Teams need to win big games to start believing they can win big games and this is the first step on our process.

On pulling out the win
Obviously we have struggled a little bit in our League games and we’ve really struggled for the same things we struggled with in the first half tonight: we created chances and not scored. So you know, we finally found the back of the net and we came through some adversity as well. We’re missing a lot of key guys and we were still able to perform well so that’s a good thing for the club.

On the hype leading up to the game
We just try to prepare in a normal manner before the game. I think it great that the front offices got into it a little bit because I think it generated a little bit more interest in the game. So from that standpoint I think it’s great. The Open Cup, I think, needs to generate a little more interest so between U.S. Soccer doing a little bit more, maybe that got a few more thousand fans out here that wouldn’t have come out here as a result of that not happening. So I think from that standpoint it’s a good thing.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC GOALKEEPER KASEY KELLER
On whether this means as much as his other titles

Anytime you’re in a Cup final, whether it’s in Europe or it’s in the States or it’s with the National Team or whatever, winning a Cup is winning a Cup. We were obviously excited. We really felt this game should have been played in Seattle so we really wanted to make a point, coming here and winning it for our fans and for our organization. That truly made this a first-class experience for everybody so far and a model for MLS. Our ownership group got pounded with champagne because that’s the people who are with us, we know they’re part of it. For a first-year organization or for a hundred-year organization, we’re doing it the right way. You win things and it’s great and hopefully, long may it continue.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER FREDDIE LJUNGBERG
On the game

I think the game was quite a scrappy game. I think they played quite tight, played man-on-man on me and tried to get me out of the game. But they gave us space and I think we played well. We created a lot of chances, sometimes D.C. had a lot of possession but we created a lot of chances.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC FORWARD FREDY MONTERO
On D.C.

We knew we were facing the most successful team in Major League Soccer and their desire to win was obvious. But we came to win, no matter the opponent we had in front of us, I think our dream was to be champions. We got the goal, we went ahead by two goals and until the very last minute D.C. fought but in the end we’re the champions.

On how the game was played
It was tough, a lot of running. I took advantage of the chance I had in the second half. We created a lot of scoring opportunities but the goalkeeper was on top of his game. After we went up and got the second goal, it was more trying to keep that score.

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