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Post-game quotesheet: D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew

MLS 2009 QUOTESHEET
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2009 – D.C. UNITED 1, COLUMBUS CREW 0

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

Today was just about grinding out a result. The team showed a real commitment to working hard and defending, which you need to do at this stage in the season. Obviously everybody knows the importance of the game in keeping our playoff hopes alive. The guys grinded one out and gave everything they had.

On the playoff race
It’s crazy this year, anything can happen. We can still finish second in the conference, that’s how crazy things are. Right now all we’re concerned with is that we kept our hopes alive and put ourselves in a spot where we keep fighting for another day. So credit the guys, they fought their rears off today.

On Steve Cronin
Steve [Cronin] did a great job. It’s always difficult coming into a new environment. Early in the week I recall him asking, ‘who’s he’ and ‘who’s he’. And you wouldn’t have guessed that today because he really solidified things, made great decisions. He looks like he’s been with us all year.

On whether the team plays better under pressure
I think right now every game is a must-win situation and I don’t think – as professional athletes you thrive on those types of situations where you’re up against the wall and you know what you have to accomplish. We had a little more time to prepare for what they were going to bring but ultimately it’s just about our mentality and how we’re going to defend the team and make sure we’re difficult to play against.

On Boyzzz Khumalo
He did a great job keeping that play [where Emilio scored] alive and played a great through ball and his counterpart Luci [Emilio] worked very hard. Boyzzz [Khumalo] was tired after 60 minutes. Obviously being out that long [with an injury] his fitness hurts. We will continue to push him along but he added energy and on a day like today when you know it’s not going to be a pretty day, you need that energy.

D.C. UNITED FORWARD JAIME MORENO
On changing their streak

We are just glad that finally we broke the ice. It was hard to break it, we still have a little hope. And definitely we depend on some other results too, but right now I think it’s got a lot to do with what we are going to do in Kansas [next weekend], and very simple we are going to go there and win.

On breaking the record for most games played with a single team
You know, it’s all numbers, but at the end of the day I just try to enjoy every time, every moment that I’m out there. The window is getting closer and closer but I am still enjoying it and we will see what happens.

On the game plan towards the end of the game
Yeah, I mean, they were a man down and we had to do a better job in keeping the ball. That was basically what Tommy [Soehn] told me, to try to keep the ball and try to keep the momentum. Still we were some places where we were still sloppy, the conditions weren’t the best but we managed to get the win.

On what he tells the younger players
Basically it’s been a long year and they know what we are being through and we had ups and downs, bad and good, and definitely it’s not a situation we ever thought we were going to be in this year, but at the end of the day that’s how it goes, and unfortunately right now we are in a situation that we have to battle next Saturday, but first we got to go to Mexico and then think of Kansas, but definitely it’s going to be the biggest game for us.

D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER STEVE CRONIN
On the game

Every game matters from here on now, and [Head Coach] Tom [Soehn] said earlier in the week that every game is our last game, so you know we won tonight and we got to continue to keep in the good habits.

On Soehn’s positive comments after the game
It’s nice of Tom [Soehn]. I felt at ease, I felt comfortable from the beginning and the guys’ tendencies are pretty easy to learn, and as long as everybody is talking it makes it so much easier.

On the second half
It is just scrappy in the end. We put Lawson [Vaughn] in there, because we knew we were going to have to battle. They put balls in the box and we won all the first balls and if I could clean up anything, I tried to play my role. The guys fought hard and it was a good win, good win for the team tonight.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER CLYDE SIMMS
On the game

Good team effort, defensively we were swarming, I feel like the whole game that was the biggest difference between this game and previous games that we kind of packed the performances and there were times where it was ugly, we couldn’t get the ball, we couldn’t get possession but we fought through it, sometimes especially in these conditions that is what it takes.

On the team
[Cronin] did very well. We started the half in a 3-5-2, and I think they adjusted because we played first half 3-5-2 also, and they adjusted and said ‘forget it’ and throw numbers on the wings and they were stretching us, so we adjusted into a 4-4-2 and I think that helped a lot late in the game with the crosses.

On keeping playoff hopes alive
It’s exciting; we are excited about the opportunity. But we know that we cannot control what else goes on in the League, other games, but if we get our win it’s our best chance.

COLUMBUS CREW HEAD COACH ROBERT WARZYCHA
On the game

I think we dominated 90 minutes. Good play by D.C. in the first half with the goal. I think it was good combination so I give them full credit for that.

On the lineup
We have another very important game against [Champions League’s team] Puerto Rico so we’re trying to rest some guys before the game against Puerto Rico [Islanders] and obviously give some minutes to the other guys. I think we have a very deep squad so no matter who’s out on the field I don’t think that the quality went down.

On missed chances
We lost the game against D.C. 1-0. I’m not going to worry about scoring the goals. We have 49 points [on the season] so actually we’ve scored a lot, if you look in the stats. Today wasn’t that bad, we created chances and the important thing for me is that we create the chances. We have chances to score goals and the goals are going to come.

COLUMBUS CREW FORWARD STEVEN LENHART
On the game

We try to get some points out of every game but I think tonight, the way the game went, we wanted to obviously not let them score and try to win the game but we didn’t really have much of the ball in the first part of the game. But obviously to keep the ball, it didn’t really go our way in the first part and then they scored and then we got control of the ball. I think our philosophy was to go in and try to get some points but it didn’t work out.

COLUMBUS CREW DEFENDER ERIC BRUNNER
On the game

We dominated in the second half, we played well and we kept the ball. I don’t think they had any chances in the second half, maybe one or two in the first. I think things just go that way sometimes.

On playing many games
We went through a period with like five games. How many games did we have in that short period of time in four weeks? Like seven games in four weeks? We’re used to the travel, we’re used to the games. You know, it comes with the territory.

COLUMBUS CREW DEFENDER FRANKIE HEJDUK
On the game

We came in heads high. To be honest we did everything we needed to do. I don’t think they got a shot on goal in the second half. I really think it was complete domination, especially in the second half. In the first half [possession] went back and forth a little bit but even then I feel that we had the better of the game for 70 minutes, so it was maybe 10-15 minutes when they finished their one chance and that was it.

On not finishing
We definitely have enough chances to put the ball away but that’s the way the ball bounces sometimes. The grass was wet so it was a little hard. I don’t know, it wasn’t going in tonight and that’s just how it was going to be. How many balls can you swing in the box and hit off someone, bounce off someone. Like I said, I felt like at times they couldn’t even get it out of their own half. I felt like I was almost like a winger at times. I was in their half for 35 minutes of the second half, maybe 40 minutes.

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