D.C. United Post-Match Quotes: April 13, 2013

Reaction after the 2-0 loss

 

D.C UNITED HEAD COACH BEN OLSEN
 
On what is hurting the team right now:
“I would say what ails most teams that go through this type of period, is not being able to score, an attack that’s pretty poor, and also lapses of concentration. We had more of the ball tonight. We looked good at times in the midfield and we moved the ball around, but that’s because it was 2-0.  We have to get back to having teams earn goals. And that’s not a knock on the Red Bulls. They were good tonight. I thought Thierry [Henry] and [Tim] Cahill in particular out-classed us, especially in the first half, and we couldn’t deal with them. They’re very good players. When they come to play, it’s a tough match up as well. So, I’m not faulting necessarily some of our guys. New York did a good job tonight.”
 
On why the team has been struggling:
“We’re easy to play against. We’re easy to play against from a defensive side and an offensive side. We’re not dynamic enough. We’re pretty predictable in the way we go about things. That’s who we are right now. We have to stay together and dig our way out of it. That’s what we need to be focused on right now.”
 
On his starting XI:
“It was a pretty offensive-minded lineup. We had two forwards, and Pontius and Sanchez were out there. Look, there’s a lot of things we can try. But again, you get into that balance of whether you work with what you have or you start making crazy substitutions, and then you start working on it form there. At this point, we have to fix something. I don’t know if we have to look within the League; I don’t know if we have to make a trade. That’s just stuff we have figure out. It’s a little early, 10 minutes after the game, for me to put my finger on it.” 
 
On whether Chris Pontius hasn’t found his game yet, or now teams know to mark him:
“I think it’s both. I don’t know if it’s what to expect from Chris [Pontius]. I think if it’s getting numbers around him— so what, you know? We throw doubles on guys all the time. You don’t think we were focused on Thierry Henry tonight? He found ways to get it done, so did Cahill. Their names are circled on the board. We have to stop, it’s time to stop looking for excuses and start getting the job done. If we can’t, I’ll make some moves, because we have get better. We can’t continue down this path.” 
 
On whether the first goal was a good shot or Bill Hamid’s mistake:
“I expect Bill to make that save. Bill’s bailed us out a lot this year, but I think Bill will be the first to raise his hand and say ‘I should have dealt with that one.’”
 
On needing to finish offensive chances better:
“We’re not getting a lot of opportunities. The ones we’re getting we have to do better with just because we’re not getting 6-7 good opportunities— we’re getting two. We have to do better with those to get us some points while we get out of this tough stretch.”
 
On the fact that D.C United had better final game statistics than the Red Bulls:
“It’s a circumstance of the game. It’s 2-0—that’s why this possession looks great. The crosses are 31-10. Great— we’re down 2-0. So, if you’re down 2-0, it’s easy to get 31 crosses and better possession. It’s pretty simple. I will say this, and I’m not in the mood for excuses at all. We haven’t had the easiest schedule. We’ve played New York twice, we’ve played [Sporting] Kansas City, we’ve played [Real] Salt Lake and Houston. So, we’ve played some playoff teams. All of these teams that we’re playing are playoff-caliber teams, and they have a lot of guys returning. I’m hoping that’s a part of this, and as we play some teams that are finding out who they are a little bit and don’t have the playoff experience, we’ll fare better. But, I’m not sugar coating the group right now, and the staff, and the way our team has been playing up to this point.”
 
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER DWAYNE DE ROSARIO
 
On United’s overall play at this point in the season:
“Still concerned. Two goals in the first half, but I said if we played the way we did in the second half – it’s just right now, a little consistency is lacking in a lot of areas. But it’s tough. Going into the second half two goals down – it’s a steep mountain to climb against a team like that. They obviously do a good job. They’re very good in the air, they do a good job of locking it down, peeks at the goal and capitalizing on their chances. It’s disappointing, definitely, especially another home game, another in-conference team, another loss. So, it’s definitely disappointing.”
 
On what might be missing from the team’s attack:
“It’s a lot of things. Sometimes it’s a little luck, sometimes it’s just a little bit more [hunger], sometimes it’s just believing in each other a little more, in terms of distribution, in terms of how we play each other the balls, in terms of passes, in terms of going forward with confidence. Obviously, we’ve had a few games like this with no goals. It questions your confidence, but we have to continue, keep our heads up and play with confidence. It’s my job as a captain, as a leader, to continue to instill that in these guys and continue to say, ‘Listen, we have goalscorers. We just have to keep believing in ourselves and believing in what we’re doing and stay together because like I said, it’s still a long season.’ Sooner or later, [we’ll] probably get sick of saying that, so we have to start getting those results, especially at home.”
 
On if he thinks the team will start making personnel changes soon:
“I can’t comment on that. [Ben Olsen is] the coach and that’s his personal decision. I’m still gonna believe in these guys that are around me. That’s my team right now and I’m gonna continue to push the confidence and continue to stand side-by-side with them.”
 
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER CHRIS PONTIUS
 
On the team’s form
“I actually thought tonight we played better against them than we did up there. We just didn’t finish our opportunities and we can’t give a guy like Henry chances and [were] a bit unfortunate on the second goal. But I thought in possession we were a lot better. I thought we were more connected offensively, but we still need to be more dangerous – balls whipped into the box, we need better runs. We have a long way to go and I saw improvement tonight, as crazy as that sounds. That doesn’t feel like a 2-0 scoreline to me.”
 
On if United should be making changes to the team
“That’s part of the business, isn’t it? It’s frustrating. None of us like losing. I think you’re looking for the wrong kind of athletes if you’re looking for players that like losing here. But somehow we gotta figure something out. We gotta be able to put up some goals. We can’t keep playing this game of trying to keep shutouts all the time. We are going to give up goals throughout the season and we need to be able to put some away, to put some pressure off our defense.”
 
On if he’s worried about the team’s confidence and mentality:
“Nothing that I’ve seen – like I said, I thought we were a lot better on the ball tonight. We moved a lot better for each other. But you add those things and those things will kick in. As a professional athlete, you need to be able to tune those things out and know that your job is come in every week ready to play. It’s a big game against Philadelphia this next weekend.”
 
D.C. UNITED DEFENDER DEJAN JAKOVIC
 
On United’s performance tonight:
“To be honest with you, I feel like we played a great game. We went down 2-0 and it’s definitely not what the game really showed. I felt like we did really well with possession, moving it side to side, serving some good balls in, but went down 2-0 – pretty soft goals, obviously. One popped up on Bill [Hamid], the second one just happened to be in the right place. In the second half, I felt like we had at least 75% of the possession. We had the ball, moving [it from] side to side and serving balls in. I mean, the ball just won’t go in the goal for us. Obviously, we struggled with that and we gotta keep our heads up and stay together as a team and things will get better.”
 
On what’s missing in United’s offense:
“Finishing and creating the chances [is what’s missing in the attack]. We can keep the ball all we want, but we gotta get in dangerous spots and have shots on goal. We gotta test the goalkeeper and we’re struggling with that a little bit. But I don’t feel too bad. I know that it’s a very talented group. We have some great players on this team. DeRo’s [Dwayne De Rosario’s] coming back and we’re gonna turn it around. It’s still early in the season. A lot of teams are struggling – I’m not too worried about it and I trust my teammates.”
 
D.C. UNITED DEFENDER DANIEL WOOLARD
 
On why the team is struggling:
“We need some goals. The ball will bounce our way sooner or later—it’s just not happening for us right now.”
 
On whether or not he is concerned about the lack of offense:
“I mean, worrying about it is not going to do anything. I think we have to go out there and play hard. That’s when we get results – when we lay it on the line, and play hard together as a team, and we did that tonight. We played hard, we won the majority of our battles, I believe, [we] had a lot of the ball. If you look at our crosses, we probably had 25 crosses I would imagine. We’re doing a lot of things right, we’re just not getting goals. So, it’s just one of those things in soccer—they come and they go. You get lucky bounces, you get mistakes from opposing teams, but right now, they’re just not coming for us.”
 
NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH MIKE PETKE
 
On the win:
“It’s been a lot better than our previous results and it’s nice to come on the road and get three points in a place like RFK and D.C. United. It’s the [Eastern] Conference. It’s a conference game. It’s a rival. And it feels good. These guys got what I think they earned.” 
 
On what was the difference-maker tonight:
“Coming from Chicago last week, we didn’t have the lead, but we were tied 1-1 going into the second half and we didn’t do a very good job at all shutting down the game. And we concentrated on that and talked about that almost the entire week. And we worked on it. So I’m glad these guys took a bit of what we went over and took it to heart and that we gave Chicago the game last weekend and we didn’t want to come in here and do that. We got the win tonight because we earned it. And I think that we did a good job.”
 
On Jamison Olave’s performance the past two weeks:
“If you look at someone like Olave, and you understand what he brings, he is invaluable. If you expect things that he doesn’t bring or expect too much of him and you make him, you expect him to be the main guy in the back building – controlling out of the back, holding the ball – its not his forte. He’s a ‘cleaner-upper,’ to be honest with you. He’s a hard tackler. He’s a bruiser in a way. And he reads the game well. And for that, he does everything – he’s phenomenal. And he’s a center back, leading scorer? He’s a man after my own heart. I love it.” 
 
On Roy Miller’s starting role:
“He started off a little timid, in a way, and I think it’s because he hasn’t seen game action in a while. But listen, that was a reward for Roy [Miller], for handling the whole situation after his comments especially in the paper and the performances. He’s the first one, stand up. He’s a professional. And he’s worked hard over the last several weeks and he had a good performance in the reserve game in Chicago. If I’m not going to reward my players for doing the right things and earning things, then why have a reserve league, why have a bench up? I think he’s earned the start tonight and I think he’s done well.”
 
On what the team is doing to prepare for the next match against Sporting Kansas City:
“Rest up. Get our foot on the ball a bit. Possibly Monday, tomorrow we’ll be off. Monday, very light. Tuesday, very light – maybe go over some walk-through stuff for Kansas City – and then Wednesday get after it. It’s a quick turnaround.”
 
On Thierry Henry’s play:
“His goal was great. And he could’ve probably had a couple more. A couple unlucky bounces, a couple unlucky situations. But, listen; Thierry’s the best player in the League whenever he wants to be. Tonight, he showed how valuable he is. So, it’s great to have him.”
 
NEW YORK RED BULLS FORWARD THIERRY HENRY
 
On getting the win:
“The most important thing for us is to get the three points and also not to concede a goal. We haven’t done that away from home in a while and that was important today.” 
 
On what was different about tonight’s match than previous matches this season:
“We did score on the road. So that’s usually enough for teams to win. And somehow we’re doing it. Today we scored two, but one of the main things was that we didn’t concede, and we can build on that and make sure we can have a good game at home and try and go on a run.” 
 
On his goal:
“[The] offense moved pretty quickly and I took my decision pretty quickly. And I just, like, hit it, and the ball went in. Sometimes the ball will hit the post. Sometimes the goalkeeper saves it. [Bill] Hamid was outstanding, [as] usual, against us and was again today, but the ball went in.”
 
On Red Bulls defender Jamison Olave’s performance:
“He’s been playing well, doing well for us. He’s our top goal scorer at the moment. So, he’s been an asset for us since he has arrived, like [Fabian] Espindola, too. I mean, as I said early on, we had some good games early on that we didn’t finish well. So hopefully this one can be like a breath of fresh air for us, to see if we can build on it and do better, and as I said early on, try and go on a run.”
 
On Red Bulls defender Roy Miller’s performance:
“Like everybody, I think nobody was particularly playing amazingly well [in the last few games]. So I thought it was more a team thing than a Roy Miller thing. Today was tremendous. Like the team was, at the time like I said to you the other day, at the training ground, that we needed to manage the game better. We did that today, because when we were on top of them, we scored. And when they were on top of us in the second half, we managed to not concede a goal. So that’s the way we got to go about it. So, to talk about Roy Miller, I don’t want to make it like an individual thing. But, he played well like the team. Like I said to you, when the team is doing well, it’s always easier for individuals to perform better.”
 
NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER JAMISON OLAVE
 
On the Red Bulls’ performance:
“The team played really well. The team has made some mistakes in the past, but this game, they played the whole 90 minutes really well and had a great game.”
 
On what was different this week vs. last weekend’s 3-1 loss to the Chicago Fire:
“We just worked all week on the different mistakes, just talking about it and discussing it and focusing on the 90 minutes today.”
 
On being the New York Red Bulls’ leading goal scorer:
“I’m very happy. I’ve never scored two goals in two consecutive games, but more important than the goal is the victories.”
 
On if he thinks he’ll score more goals this year:
“As many as possible. I’m going to keep going up on every set play to get as many as I can.”
 
NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER DAX MCCARTY
 
On the game:
“I just think tactically, we were a lot smarter. We knew we were coming on the road, we respect D.C. on the road, especially at RFK. We know they’re dangerous. It was just a good change of mentality. I felt the first half, it was pretty even. I felt we created some pretty clear-cut chances and you know, we scored two good goals. Defensively, we kept our shape really well. Our main focus this week was when we lost the ball, to get all ten guys behind the ball and make sure we have good shape and not get counter attacked because ultimately, that’s what lost us the game in Chicago. So, it was just a real professional performance from us. I don’t think we’ll win any style points, but I don’t think we care at this point. It was all about getting it done on the road against our biggest rival, D.C. It feels great.”
 
On Roy Miller:
“Look we don’t, I mean, whatever goes on outside of this locker room is for the fans and the media. Everything that happens in this locker room is for the team and between all of the guys on this team. We have complete faith in Roy. We know he made a mistake, he knows he made a mistake back against San Jose. He was punished for it. He learned from it, and he’s been training fantastically. He’s the longest tenured guy on this team for a reason. He showed what he brings to the team tonight. He worked hard, and he defended brilliantly. He helped us get forward into the attack and I think he proved a lot of people wrong. So, it’s a good performance from Roy and we’re all happy for him.”
 
On the team’s approach over the next few games:
“Take care of your body. Relax and rest. Make sure we feed off this confidence. We know we’re going back to Red Bull Arena. It’s been a tough go in this early stage. I mean, I think Thierry [Henry] said it earlier— five of the last seven games on the road is not easy, and I think we’ve taken some criticism for how we’ve lost results. But lets give the other teams credit. When we play away and other teams play at home, they’re on the front foot, they’re dangerous. So, I think for us, we’re going back to where we know we’re very good, we’re dangerous. We’re playing a very good team in Kansas City, and we’ll be prepared, but for us it’s about getting ready for the next game, taking care of our bodies, and definitely enjoying this win tonight and then moving on.”
 
On the sense of urgency coming into this game:
“Look, you play a rival and you haven’t started the season off too well, there’s always a sense of urgency. That’s what you get as a professional. You never want to lose that sense of urgency because then I think you get complacent. And when you get complacent, that’s when you go through a string of bad results. I think we’ve been just a little bit inconsistent. I don’t think we’ve been bad, I don’t think we’ve been great. I think we’ve played very well sometimes. Unfortunately, we haven’t put together a full 90-minute performance. And tonight, I think while we could’ve been a little better with the ball, we could have kept it a little more in the second half. I think it was a complete performance from us defensively. I haven’t seen stats, but I think Luis [Robles] really had to make maybe one or two saves, and it was a set piece that was the main chance they had. I could be wrong, but I don’t think they created much from the run of play. From my standpoint, I never felt like they were a threat to score on us tonight. You know, D.C. has been very dangerous in the past, but for whatever reason, I think they’re obviously going through an offensive identity problem themselves. So for us, we wanted to feed off that, we wanted to make sure we kept a good shape and make them break us down. We’re up two goals on the road, no reason for us to chase the game and go crazy. And we still created chances in the second half, Thierry [Henry] hit the post, Tim [Cahill] somehow in the first half, I don’t know how that one didn’t go in. It’s a good performance from us. We’re happy about it. We’re going to go home, take it and get ready for Kansas City.”
 
On Juninho’s form: 
“Every game it gets a little bit better. I think against Chicago, I think for whatever reason, we were just a little out of sync—the whole midfield, not just me and him. Tonight was much better. Even from me and Juninho, to Johnny Steele and Eric Alexander, I think we connected a lot better defensively. We really tightened up gaps that we were letting happen against Chicago so, for us it was a positive performance. I always say when you play with good players, its going be easier to play with them and I think throughout the season its going get better and better. He’s fantastic with the ball at his feet, so it makes my job easier and hopefully I make his easier.”