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Post-match quotes: D.C. United 3 - Columbus Crew 1

MLS 2011 QUOTESHEET

SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2011 – D.C. UNITED 3, COLUMBUS CREW 1

D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH BEN OLSEN

On beginning the 2011 season with a victory over Columbus:
I’m pretty pessimistic, so I don’t envision things like this, but it was a good night. I really enjoyed it and I’m happy for those guys, it’s kind of like a monkey off the back early and now we can move forward. It takes a complete team effort and we have another [game], so we will enjoy it tonight and get back to work and try and get that next [win].”

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On Charlie Davies:
It could get scary, yeah [Davies] was great tonight. You know, speed is real, it changes the game. I’m really proud of him. Putting Charlie [Davies] aside for a second, because it is a great story, he deserves every ounce of credit, coming back and scoring two goals, but it was a team effort. Every guy in the [locker room] is exhausted. They worked their tales off. They helped each other out, if one guy missed a guy, the next one was there. Our team defending was pretty good. You know, we had some early season moments. We could have gotten punished but overall, I thought we were the better team today and the atmosphere was great. Overall, a pretty good start.

On the penalty kick:
It wasn’t my call. And if I could be absolutely honest with you, I probably wouldn’t have picked Charlie. Just because he had just gotten into the game and I saw [Josh] Wolff grab it and I thought he was going to take it, Dax McCarty grabbed the ball, walked it over and gave it to Charlie, and said, ‘you take it.’ Charlie stepped up and made the PK. So I would have to credit Dax on that one.

On seeing Davies back on the playing field:
I don’t take any credit for what [Davies] is doing, I mean he took a chance and came on his own to tryout for this team and he has done a lot of work to get back here and it is emotional for myself and anyone who is close to him right now to see him come back and come back in this way, it’s pretty impressive.

On United captain Dax McCarty:
He’s a two-way midfielder. He’s a box-to-box guy for us. We need him to continue what he did tonight. He’s scrappy. He’s a guy that’s going to do it all for us in there.

On the performance on United rookie Perry Kitchen:
He’s a stud. He certainly didn’t look like an 18-year -old, how old is he now? I’ve got so many damn teenagers on this team, I can’t keep track of how old they are. But, he was great and we are going to miss him for the 20’s [call-up for U.S. U-20 National Team duty] so we are going to need a couple guys even next week and we are going to be digging into guys like [Rodrigo] Brasesco, even young guys like [Chris] Korb. Jed [Zayner] has got a little bit of a hamstring problem. We’ve built this team deep, so hopefully we can use them.

On Josh Wolff’s enthusiasm after scoring United’s first goal:
He looks good for a man his age, he’s entitled [to celebrate]. It doesn’t matter how old you are, when you get a new start you want to prove yourself and I know last year at Kansas City, he was in and out and played a little bit out of position and at the end of the day I think he wants to show that he’s still got it.

On Pat Onstad’s performance in goal:
He [Onstad] was great. He’s a calming influence for us back there. He directs traffic and it’s like having a coach on the field. Actually it is, right? He’s been great. He’s played a couple games now so he’s pretty composed out there.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER AND CAPTAIN DAX MCCARTY

On the emotions surrounding his first match with D.C. United:
Words can’t really describe how amazing the fans were tonight – I’m just not used to this. That constant screaming and yelling, everyone from Barra Brava and Screaming Eagles, they made the atmosphere fantastic and it was a true home field advantage. I thought our team was fantastic. From the opening whistle, we knew that we had the desire to win, we finished superbly, and I think our defending was something to be proud of. Everyone defended well - from the forwards back to the defenders and goalkeeper.

On earning three points on First Kick weekend:
I think with our team we had a quiet confidence. I think some people are giving us a little bit of credit, thinking that maybe we would be a bit better than we were last year, but I think we really believed. There is definitely a quiet confidence. Maybe we didn’t expect to explode like we did in the first half, but we knew we were capable [of winning] and we have a good team.

On Charlie Davies’ two-goal performance:
I could not be happier for Charlie [Davies] – he’s a guy that deserves it. He was shunned out of his club team in France, and we believed in him. Everyone in this locker room knew what he was capable of, and I still think we have only seen 75 percent of Charlie – he has a lot more to give. It’s scary to think about how much better he can be based on what you saw tonight.

On moving forward against New England next week:
This is the perfect way to start the season off. You always want to defend your home turf and getting three points is a must. We’re going to enjoy it tonight and go into New England looking to continue this thing by going the right direction and getting three more points.

D.C. UNITED FORWARD CHARLIE DAVIES

On the emotions of returning to soccer after his car accident in late 2009:
I don’t even know what just happened tonight. Literally, it was just like a whirlwind. The support from the fans was overwhelming tonight, and I feel so overcome with emotion.

On the emphatic nature of his first game for D.C. United:
This has been like a storybook tonight. I don’t think you could write this stuff. You can’t make this up, and once the whistle blew I was so relieved that we had won. I looked at the fans and that’s when the emotion hit me. I thought to myself, look at the support, look at how much people wanted me to succeed. To score two goals on my debut after a year and a half out, it’s honestly amazing. I knew I was ready, and I knew that I wanted the opportunity, but it feels great to seize the moment. To survive the [car] accident and still be able to play soccer, it seems like there is a reason why it happened and this goes to show that with faith and belief that you can achieve the impossible. Tonight it feels like I achieved the impossible.

On taking the penalty kick for his first goal:
Dax [McCarty], our captain, handed me the ball. I told [Josh] Wolff and Dax that I was taking [the penalty], and they didn’t even hesitate. Dax came over and said that he trusted and believed in me, and when he gave me that ball the confidence was flowing out of me. This team put all their trust and faith in me and I knew that I had to come through, and once I scored I thought, okay I’m back. There is a long way to go but it felt like the right start tonight.

D.C. UNITED FORWARD JOSH WOLFF

On his debut with the Black-and-Red:
Basically getting the result is always the most important thing, but we have put in a lot of work and effort so far. It was good to get that first goal, those are critical in any game and you want to get the fans on your side. Once we did that, you could see the guys elevate and we kept pushing the game. Charlie [Davies] got a couple of goals which was fantastic. Overall it was a great group effort and we were glad to win.

On scoring the first D.C. United goal of 2011:
It’s our first game, our home opener, and we had a good crowd. At that point it was going to be a play or two on either side that was going to determine the game, so it was good to get that first goal.

On his goal celebration with Barra Brava:
Anytime you score it’s euphoric. I’m always up for enjoying it with the fans and I felt like celebrating that goal with them was the right thing to do [laughs].

COLUMBUS CREW HEAD COACH ROBERT WARZYCHA

On the club’s loss to D.C. United:
We couldn’t string passes together. I thought that whatever we said before the game wasn’t working. There were moments that there was only one team on the field and that was D.C., especially in the second half when they got a couple of goals and we couldn’t respond.

On D.C. United’s ability to generate scoring opportunities in the 2nd half:
I think [the opportunities] came mostly from our mistakes and they led to goals, but obviously you have to run and want the ball to stop the chances. I think a couple goals came from our mistakes and you have to just eliminate that.

On what his team can work on moving forward:
Basically a game like today shows that you have to do a little bit of everything. We have to become a better and a stronger team. We were a couple steps slower than D.C. today and we reacted instead of anticipating, so it’s tough to play that way. You have to be more creative and you have to hold the ball a little bit more.

COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER ROBBIE ROGERS

On his team’s play:
I thought we were really sloppy. I thought the effort was there – maybe it was nerves, I’m not quite sure – but tough way to start the season. The good thing is that we have about 33 more games and we have time to turn things around. Our home game next weekend is very important and hopefully we can figure it out.

On his team’s chances in the second half:
I thought we did better in the second half for sure. We scored a goal and we created more chances, but I think when we watch this game and see all the poor things we did, all the movement we didn’t make, and all the passes we didn’t complete, we’ll learn from it. The most important thing is that we learn from this game and take something away from it.

On what to work on moving forward:
[We need to work on] moving off the ball. Defensively I thought the shape was pretty bad. The work rate was there, so that’s not a problem, but we need to work on everything offensively and defensively.

COLUMBUS CREW DEFENDER JULIUS JAMES

On his team’s efforts:
I think we all worked hard, but this is one game. It’s the first game of the season and there are many more. We all will go back to the drawing board and learn from our mistakes and come out for the next game which is the most important game.

On what went wrong during the game:
We lost the game. That is all I have to say. We’ll take it as a learning lesson and we’ll move on from there and go and win the next game. I think Coach [Warzycha] saw the game from the sideline and he is going to watch the tape and stuff like that and when we go back to the drawing board we will work on stuff. I can’t really point out anything right now, but when we see the game on tape we will find out exactly what we need to do. After some review and after some training, we will have a good idea of what we need to work on.