Post-match quotes: New England Revolution 1 - D.C. United 2
D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen
I don’t know the last time we won here. It’s always been a tough place to come. I think they increased the field size a little bit today which I think helped us out. It wasn’t a great day from either team, probably not a great game to watch. But the turf always makes it difficult and for us to come back from an early goal on their part was a credit to our guys. I think they hung in there on a day where it wasn’t a great day, just wasn’t sharp in any aspect in the game, but we hung in there and found a way to win and that’s what we’re looking for. Last year we probably find a way to lose that game and I’m seeing some signs of this team figuring out ways to be winners.
I thought Robbie (Russell) did a great job coming in there, (Chris) Korb in particular I thought brought a lot to the game. (Josh) Wolff, as well, I thought came in and gave us a little bit and obviously Chris (Pontius), made a huge play that we’re looking for out of our subs. We believe in our subs. No matter who we start we think we have a group off the bench that can really change the game.
(Chris Pontius) certainly made my life more difficult today. And that’s what I’m asking him to do, you know, guys when they come in to make me have sleepless nights about who’s going to be out there … I just thought we weren’t that mobile and (Josh] Wolff’s) such a savvy player, and he was coming underneath and doing a good job in possession and then I just thought we needed someone that could run, someone with some real pace and as they got tired, their backs got a little leggy and Chris took advantage of it.
I think the guys, it’s been a very emotional day, two days, most importantly for Marcelo (Saragosa). The guys rallied a little bit behind that and wanted to get Marcelo a win. But really, you know all of our thoughts right now are with Marcelo and his family. He came back, his father was doing better and then took a turn for the worse. He’s distraught and again our thoughts go with him and his family.
D.C. United forward Chris Pontius
Inside the 18 you have to be selfish. Push it, push it and just try to get half of your space and get my shot off basically. That’s my move. I mean, I got to switch it up sometimes but it was open on that play.
It’s been tough for me coming off the bench. Ideally, I want to start. I think every player wants to start every game. You have to realize where you’re at sometimes with your body. I mean, I was rusty the first couple of games. I’m still finding the touch and everything and getting fitness. Being a sub has forced me to work harder – to get back into it. So, I think that goal was just a result of the hard work.
(Ben Olsen) didn’t say much (when I came in). My job as a forward is to score. Thank God I was able to get (the ball). I think I only touched the ball three times but I got that one where I got free, so just trying to put it on frame.
D.C. United midfielder Perry Kitchen
At center back everything’s in front of you, but when you’re at defensive mid, you have to know what’s around you 360 degrees. Guys can sneak up from behind you and poke the ball away, and I think that’s the main difference and you get forward a little bit more. I’ve played both most of my life so just getting used to it cause I haven’t played it in a while. It’s not too much different … I’d say the speed of play (in MLS is the difference), there’s always guys flying around too, you always have to know what you’re going to do with the ball before you get it. I think I’m adjusting to it but it still needs to get better, it can always get faster and quicker.
I thought the first half was pretty good … the second half was a little chaotic. Part of that was them pressing and us pressing, too, and it got kind of stretched. You know the team did well today and were excited to get the three points.
Yeah were good friends. (Kelyn Rowe’s) a great player he’s doing well. We’ll see him two more times this year. But now our focus shifts now to Wednesday in Montreal so we have a quick turnaround. So (we’ll) enjoy it for the night but well shift our focus tomorrow.”
(The Under-23 team result in Olympic qualifying) is what it is. You can’t change it. I’m sure all of us will get a bad feeling in our mouths once the Olympics do start, but it is what it is. We’ll all move on. There’s a bunch of great players there. The full team is the ultimate goal now for us.
The ultimate goal is playoffs and an Eastern Conference Championship. But we have smaller goals we want like what goal differential do we want, shutouts, individual things like that. We’re not doing bad but we’ve got to keep it going because last year we struggled with road wins and home wins too so we just have to stay sharp and move onto the next one.
New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps
It was a bright start, but that was about it until the second half. We just, the first half I was pretty disappointed in the way we performed. We just couldn’t get a rhythm, couldn’t get our game. It’[s unfortunate we have a home opportunity like this and we’ve been on the road so much this season, we just felt like we were going to come out and fly. D.C., you’ve got to give them credit, they came in to win, and that’s what they did.
The game never got settled. When I watch the game watching it there, it did, it never felt like we could settle it down. Lee (Nguyen), poor Lee, had a 100-something temperature and (was) taking an IVs before the game and he went out there and gutted out a performance. Unfortunately, making the sub, we don’t like to take Lee off the field if we don’t have to. We never could get him the ball settled. As bad as we played, as poorly as we played in the first half, we still had a couple chances. In the second half, it was a little brighter from our side, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough steam.
Chris Pontius, we know he is going to go in as a forward or a midfielder. He’s played a lot of midfield, but he’s a solid player. We knew he was going to go in and be an attacker, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough support for the play and we just need guys at that point – that was the really clear-cut one-on-one situation they had in the game and we just didn’t do well enough on it … I knew that Pontius had the ability to go in. Sometimes you’ve got to be a little bit better as a unit defending so it’s not that one-on-one situation. We’re at home so we’re going for the game, so that’s why it stuck where it was a one-on-one and he slipped through. Sometimes you have to tip your hat – it was a heck of a finish, that’s for sure.
It’s (Jose Moreno and Saer Sène’s) first time getting reps together in a real game. They looked good at times, and maybe a little … I think Moreno’s still getting used to what we’re going to be able to do off of him. He’s trying to hold the ball and there’s players running off. But yeah, I liked some of the stuff they did and the other stuff was just a little bit, just not having played together. The more reps we can get together with them the better they’ll be.
I thought Benny (Feilhaber) did well when he came in. He was a spark. We asked him to go in there and fight and that’s what he did … He’s been working hard. We were going to get him at least 30 (minutes) today – that was the intention. Unfortunately, we wanted Lee (Nguyen) to go – we didn’t want to have to make the sub from that standpoint. I grabbed Lee and hugged him. I’ve never seen a player take an IV like he did and want to play. Lee almost scored a goal in the first half. In the second half, I would’ve liked to see Lee go 70 minutes, or 65 and then bring Benny on, but sometimes the game dictates what you need to do … (Nguyen) was a little bit under the weather yesterday and we thought it was allergies. And today he woke up and he was clearly sick. We found out from the (athletic) trainers he had a fever and chills and shivers and all the stuff you don’t want … (Nguyen) wanted to play and he was going to play. He felt good. When you get into the game and it’s moving, he did alright at times. But I could see it in his eyes in the second half – he was closer to me – I just wanted to make sure we got him out and rested.
I think (not having Shalrie Joseph) hurt us. Shalrie is our leader and in situations like today when we were a little bit wayward at times, it would’ve been nice to have that guy in there. Bring the troops together, bring the players in line. I mean it shows you what he brings out there.
New England Revolution midfielder Clyde Simms
(Playing against D.C.) was what I expected. I’m still following their games and I pretty much know what they are about. They played the way I expected them to play. They have a few special players and they rely on them to make special plays and as they did on both goals really. I thought it was always going to be a battle. We were a little unfortunate today.
(I felt a bit of pressure) a little bit with the leadership but I think (with Shalrie Joseph being out). From a soccer standpoint, I have the same role that I’ve had in the previous games for sure so that wasn’t a problem at all. But the leadership, for sure, and I think there’s times where we tried to go forward, forward, forward and a lot of times when Shalrie (Joseph’s) in the game, he’s the one that connects from one side to the other and we missed that a little bit tonight. I think that’s what would have tired them out a little bit and killed them. But we’ll learn from it and move on.
(The game not settling) had a lot to do with the way they played. And I think we have to know as a team that teams are going to come in here and really try to play soccer, especially on the turf, and it’s going to be a different game. And we have to realize that, we have to recognize it and come into the game with that mindset that it’s going to be a battle, for sure.
Soccer, it only takes a few seconds to score a goal, one play to break down for the other team to score and it takes total concentration for 90 minutes. As the game goes gone guys’ get a little leggy, a little tired, but it can’t be an excuse for us. Something we have to get better with.
We definitely all know (Chris) Pontius and he’s played a lot in the midfield but he’s an attacker for sure, and they put him in to make something happen. And they put him in on top, which I think is his better position and he got in a good position and made a good play. That’s what Chris is all about.
To be honest with you I like it the other way around. I hate having a long break after you lose a game because you have time to think about it. So I would rather have a quick turnaround. But it’ll be good we were missing some pieces, some guys are banged up a little bit, so from that aspect I think it’s good that we have this little break.
New England Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe
We just couldn’t finish the pass. Maybe it’s a finished pass, maybe it’s a finished shot. I thought we got a lot of chances and I thought we could have put some away, but it just didn’t happen today.
We had some good chances and definitely had some chances to score. We played well during moments in the game, you definitely saw that. But like I said, they did put pressure on us very well and when we broke that pressure you saw we found opportunities. It’s just that final ball. We’ll get that.
Lee (Nguyen) came in with a fever today, and props to him for going out and playing his all. He looked about dead and he gave us all he had. He showed well like the player he is, he created chances for us with the width, he had a couple of shots, as well, when the keeper had to make a save. Playing with a fever, and playing as well as he did, what a player … Lee was tough today and he worked back as much as he worked forward. We respected that for him, and when he couldn’t track back and Clyde (Simms) and I would shift left to give him a little more time to track back. Luckily for us, he was able to run back as much as he could.
(Shalrie Joseph’s) our captain, he’s our leader and he’s the guy in the middle of the park that we always look for to play the ball through, to find options and to really hold the ball for us. Playing without our captain and our guy to keep it was definitely difficult, but we needed players to step up and I think we did. But like I said, the final pass just wasn’t there for us today, and you saw moments where the team looked really good, and you saw moments where we didn’t look so good. So it’s a building experience for us.