Post-match Quotes: D.C. United vs New England Revolution
D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH CURT ONALFO
On the game:
It was a game where we had a lot of the ball. We knew that they were going to come in and drop off and play low pressure. I thought we moved the ball, I thought we created chances. Unfortunately you have to finish those chances. We gave up a real unfortunate goal towards the end of the game and I think that shell-shocked us a little bit because I thought we were playing well. I thought we were too casual on the ball but as far as I’m concerned there are a lot of good things to build on and that’s what I’m going to focus on. There was some good soccer for good portions of the game, we had the better of the game and we walked away not winning. Sometimes the game is very cruel and tonight was a perfect example of that. I’m just going to make sure our group stays positive and that we learn from these issues we had today. Also at the end of the day we’re going to have some work and over the course of the season all that stuff will even out and we will continue to get better. The performance tonight was much better than last weekend and that’s what I’m going to focus on.
On Christian Castillo:
I thought he looked fine. There’s always an adaptation period when you come into our League but I thought he created a lot of havoc on the field, I thought he played well and we had to take him out because he got a pretty good whack on his knee.
On the forwards:
We had chances we just have to finish them. Chris [Pontius] is a young player, he’s been a pro for a year and three months and he only played I don’t know how many games last year as a forward. He’s had one and a half so far with our team so he’s going to continue to get better. I thought his presence up there was good. I thought there was times when Jaime [Moreno] was good as well and we just have to continue to progress and put together 90 solid minutes. And we will.
On Juan Peña:
I think Peña brings tremendous class to our team. You can see the quality of his passing from the back, especially in a low-pressure game, where you have to keep the ball.
On the crowd:
I thought the crowd was unbelievable tonight. For me, my home opener, I thought the spectators were amazing. I really would have loved to have given them a win, but again sometimes in life, some things don’t come easy and it’s certainly not coming easy for us right now. I believe in this group and we’re going to continue to get better. We have a lot of young players that have got to continue to improve and we have to make sure that we continue our path forward and we will.
On the next game with Philadelphia:
Well we’re going to be away and I would think it’s going to be their opening [home] game so they are going to play with tremendous passion. It’s a great game anytime it’s a first game in a franchise’s history. There’s going to be lots of emotions and that’s going to be a tough challenge. We’re going to lick out wounds, stay positive, and just focus on the things we did well and move forward.
D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER TROY PERKINS
On the first goal:
It [the ball] hit off both guys, it actually deflected off of both of them. The guy [Mansally] was right there, it fell right to his foot - thank you very much, you know. What are you going to do?
On the second goal:
I think he [Mansally] had too much time to pick his shot. He set it up, and it was a great goal. It was perfectly placed, and I’ll be the first guy to hold my hand up if I thought it was my fault, but I don’t know what I could have done on the second one.
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER SANTINO QUARANTA
On the loss:
That’s not the New England team we are used to, to be honest - they had a lot of guys missing, but it seems like that’s the way its going for us right now. We’re trying to keep it together here because it’s still early on, but tonight was disappointing. Two plays really did it to us - it’s embarrassing in front of all our fans, and we need to turn this thing around.
On the tactics of the game:
You have to [take chances] in order to break a team like that down - a team that sits back and looks to counter and play some long balls. We had the ball for most of the time it seemed like, and it didn’t feel like they [New England] were ever going to score to be honest. But in the end it’s a ninety minute game and that’s all that matters.
D.C. UNITED FORWARD CHRIS PONTIUS
On United’s inability to finish scoring opportunities:
It would have been a lot different [if United had converted early chances]. I had the one [scoring opportunity] that could have made the difference in the game, and I need to work on putting those chances away.
On the run of play:
I thought we had the most possession, and I thought we had the better chances. But sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way, and that first goal put us on our heels and they [New England] had a great second goal, and that’s just how the game goes sometimes. It’s just hard because it was at home and I really thought we deserved to win this game but that’s just how it goes.
D.C. UNITED DEFENDER DEJAN JAKOVIC
On United’s performance:
I thought we were pretty comfortable for the whole game, we kept the ball really well during the first half and I thought we created some chances, and in the second half we started pushing forward a lot, and the last 15 or 20 minutes we weren’t really holding our shape as we were pushing forward. Unfortunately they [New England] caused us some problems as we were flying forward and scored two goals, and it’s really frustrating.
On his partnership with Juan Manuel Peña:
Peña is obviously a great player with a lot of experience coming from his background in Spain. So far I feel very comfortable next to him, we hold our shape well, we were tight for most of the game, it was just an unfortunate finish for us - again, it was disappointing.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION GOALKEEPER PRESTON BURPO
On the game:
You can be under a lot of pressure. They’ve got guys who can play soccer, you know? They like to keep [the ball]. The mentality was to just try and keep it tight at the back, which I thought we did a pretty good job of all night. I don’t really think they got too many clear-cut chances - a couple of free kicks - so give credit to the guys in front of me.
On New England being a young team:
No, but there is a good feeling about this group. Guys are confident and you can tell they want to play for each other.
On whether he thought a goal looked likely:
When you come in here you’re hoping to get a chance or two, you know? If you do get those chances or two, you hope you finish it. Look at last week, we had two chances, real good ones, didn’t finish it. This week we had two chances and [Kenny Mansally] comes off the bench and obviously he made them.
On playing without Shalrie Joseph:
Obviously Joseph is a huge part of our team. I mean, there’s no question about that. The guys stepped into the middle, Nyassi and Desire stepped into the middle, with or without Shalrie that’s going to happen throughout the year. Obviously we want him back and he’s going to be a massive part of our team, but you know injuries and suspensions are the way it is and we did well without him for sure the last two weeks.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION FORWARD KENNY MANSALLY
On coming into the game:
I was sitting on the bench all along, waiting to come in. So when I came in, I just get it. I see that they hadn’t tested the goalkeeper and seeing we could get more shots. When I come in I realized that and I tried to shoot from far away and the next chance I get a goal out of it.
On his first goal:
That kind of goal, I’ve been scoring that kind of goal in practice you know so I get that when I was in that position I just tried to speed over there. When I get that kind of ball I just finish. I saw the goalie was standing far post and I just put it there. I think it was a great ball from Chris [Tierney], then it deflected from Kheli [Dube] and then I was behind him and I just judged it first time and finished.
On second goal:
When I took the main guy out I take him one-on-one, I moved, stepped up front, he moved back and then I tried to push it. I was trying to get to my left side so what I did I just pushed the man back and then I hit it. The player was stopping me from going to my right side then I just finished with my left.
On scoring two goals in one game:
In practice I’ve been scoring like 3-4 goals so when I just came in I get these goals. I wanted to get a hat trick, but I couldn’t so maybe next time, the next home game. I don’t know when I’m going to start, so any time I get just a chance, any opportunity I get, I have to take it.
NEW ENGLAND HEAD COACH STEVE NICOL
On the two goals:
Fantastic cross for the first one and the second one was a thing of beauty.
On whether he thought chances would come for New England despite so much United possession:
Well, I mean, we come in at halftime, we weren’t good in the first half. We were always going to make a chance, we always make a chance at some stage. We made them last week and didn’t take it and we made them this week and we’ve taken them.
On New England’s defending:
Defensively, I thought we defended well, you know we just couldn’t keep the ball. You keep turning the ball over and it’s no surprise that they are going to be dominating, but defensively I thought we were… you know, I don’t remember a chance they had where you’re thinking they should have scored. It was all challenges and bits and bobs, so from that point of view - great defensively and obviously the two goals were great goals.
On goalscorer Kenny Mansally’s contribution:
The two guys we had up front, Kheli [Dube] and Zack [Schilawski] - you know the referee wasn’t protecting them and they were just getting manhandled. I put Kenny [Mansally] up there hoping to get a little more strength and try and hold the ball up and I thought he did that. Obviously the goals were just the icing on the cake.
On the first goal:
The finish is great [on the first goal]. He’s stayed calm and just got a good connection on it and let the pace of the ball take it into the net.
On the second goal:
He’s turned inside and just picked his spot. That’s exactly where he wanted to put it and that’s where it went.
On the result:
It’s huge. I mean the one thing we lack is experience. Winning games when they’re putting everything out there helps confidence and it just keeps you in it and keeps you going. Hopefully we keep learning and keep getting better and better. I think we can get a little better that’s for sure, but if we can keep winning while we’re learning then that’s even better. We’re getting points on the board. We’d love to do it the Barcelona way, but we’ll take them however we can.