Post-match quotes: D.C. United 0 - Sporting KC 1

Saturday, March 10, 2012 - RFK Stadium

D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH BEN OLSEN

On the disappointment of the loss:

I thought overall itwasn't the greatest night for us soccer-wise, but we kind of knew it wasn'tgoing to be. It was the first time we stepped on the field for a 90-minute gamebecause of last week. It's not an excuse it's just the reality, so we were alittle rusty I thought, physically and mentally – they certainly were thebetter team.  But we defended our box pretty well all night long, and Ithought Bill [Hamid] was very good.  We had a couple pretty good chances,as well. It's very disappointing to lose in the end like that after the guysput on a hell of an effort.

On how long it will take the team to build chemistrywith so many new players:

I'm not sure. I'd loveto give you an exact date. It'll be a work in progress but there was a lot ofgood stuff out there. We'll continue to figure each other out and get fitter, Ithought we looked a little tired late in the game.  Look, KC is a goodteam they are as good as it comes in this league right now. I thought they dida good job tonight and credit to them.

On Hamdi Salihi’s first match

We didn't help him outmuch.  It's our job to give him the right service to do his job. Andy{Najar] got in several times on his side and our final ball was a littlelacking. That will get better, but overall I thought he [Salihi] put in a goodshift.

On what was missing in the final third:

We needed the ball alittle more. Our final ball wasn't good enough. I thought we were prettyone-dimensional as a whole. We wanted to go big early but we needed to find theforward's feet early and then come back and switch the point of attack and thatpart was lacking.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDERBRANKO BOSKOVIC

Overall thoughts on thematch:

Idon’t know what to say, it’s really painful for everybody. Losing in the lastminute, after a 0-0 score that was good for us. [Sporting KC] is a good team,they play good soccer, but I think we deserved to take some points from thisgame. But football is like this; you need to play until the last minute. Wemust continue to work and prepare for the next game.

On where the team needs toimprove:

Wemust think about our mistakes, what we were doing [wrong] and try to make itbetter next game. We need to be more concentrated and work harder. This is thekey; to keep working hard and try to correct our mistakes.

On playing his first matchafter a season-ending injury last year:

It’snot easy to come back after an injury like that. Practice is one thing, but thegame is something else. I’m happy because I played sixty minutes and I don’tfeel any pain in my knee. I think next game I’ll be better physically andmentally.

D.C. UNITED FORWARD MAICONSANTOS

Overall thoughts on thematch:

Itwas a hard match, for both sides. We had some very good chances and theycreated some great chances too. But at the end of the day, we need to focusuntil the last minute. Besides that late goal, I think it was a good firstgame. It was bad not to get three points, but we need to keep our heads up, wehave a long way to go.

On the missed volley in thesecond half:

Thatplay was kind of difficult, because I was thinking to do one thing but then Ichanged it in the last minute. I will hold that play to myself for a while, butI have to keep going and work hard.

D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER BILLHAMID

On saving Kai Kamara’sheader:

Hatsoff to [Daniel] Woolard for jumping into that play, because if he didn’t thenKai [Kamara] probably would’ve gotten more power into the header and probablywould’ve buried it. So, hats off to Woolard for that.

SPORTING KANSASCITY DEFENDER MATT BESLER

On the gameplan:

We had objectives before the game. One of them —well two of them — was a goal off a set piece and a road win. We were able toaccomplish those. It just shows us that if we accomplish those goal objectives thenwe’ll reach all our goals.

SPORTING KANSASCITY FORWARD KEI KAMARA

 

On the game:

It was good – definitely it was a long preseason. All the games in preseason really got us prepared for this game. We came in, we knew the game was going to be really fast. D.C. was going to bring it to us, and we just have to pick up from where we left off. We don’t want to just start from scratch anymore. It was good performance overall, and it’s a really great way to take a win back to open in our stadium again.

On the goal:

I just saw the ball in the back of the net, honestly. That guy [Sapong], you know, rookie of the year last year. That’s the perfect way to start the new season, in front of friends and family. I just saw the ball in the back of the net, and what’s the best time to get a goal? I’m sure it was electric back in Kansas City.

SPORTING KANSASCITY HEAD COACH PETER VERMES

On the win:

It’s a great feeling [to win on the road]. I forgot how good this feels, just the winning aspect of it, but I think we definitely deserved it. It’s a great way to start the season.

On the team’s play:

There’s not a whole lot right now that I thought we did poorly. I think we came in with a game plan, we executed it really well and again, it’s just a great result.

On the gameplan:

Our idea was, we had five goals tonight. Thefirst was to get a shutout; the second was to get a goal through the run ofplay; the third was to get a goal off a set piece; the fourth was to get pointsout of the game; and the fifth was to get our first road win. We got four outof five, so not too shabby.

On the team’splay:

I thought we were in very good positions. Ourpossession was very good throughout the game, number one. I thought our play,our buildup, our transition to win the ball back and go back on the attack, wasvery good. We got some very good looks in front of the goal. I thought [Bill]Hamid made a great save on Patty’s header right before halftime. It’s just atremendous save, and then he made a couple other good saves. It was interestingbecause I said in the second half, the one time he bobbles the ball, we didn’tfollow up. We were following everything up and he held onto it, and the lasttime he bobbled it, we didn’t follow up. The great thing is the commitment tothe guys. We talked about the commitment to offense, to defense, to set playsand then to each other and the way we play. Don’t get discouraged, don’t getimpatient; just have consistency in what we do and something’s going to comeout right cause we’re going to find chances. Credit to the guys — goodattitude, the fitness was tremendous by the guys. Our pace, our recovery,everything was excellent.

On who stoodout:

I have to say, I don’t think there’s a guy Icould speak poorly about. I think all the guys were very good in their rolesand responsibilities within the game plan. Roger [Espinoza] was a monster forsure. His recovery to win the ball back, his anticipation, all that stuff wasvery good. I’ve got to tell you, from Jimmy [Nielsen] on out, it was excellenttonight.”

On the game:

I think our guys did a very good job of cuttingdown a lot of the channels, so a lot of balls they had to play were over thetop. I thought we did a good job of winning the aerial duels and most of thesecond balls. I think in the second half, they won a couple of second balls tobreak through the midfield, but we did a good job to keep our line and caughtthem offsides a couple times. It seemed as if they were pressing the game alittle bit higher up the field, and we started to get more and more space inbehind, especially on the wide channels. C.J. [Sapong] was doing a good job —Teal [Bunbury] wore them down, for sure, and C.J. was able to come in and giveus some energy to put them under pressure even more. I think it was tough forthem to follow those guys for 90 minutes. Credit on the set piece for C.J. toget his head on it cause everyone’s crowding and pulling you, and he did a verygood job to get there.