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Post-Match Quotes: June 26, 2013

Ben Olsen: “I’m excited about the last couple of weeks."

D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen

On the win tonight:
“I’m excited about the last couple of weeks, and we’ve seen [the team] moving in the right direction. These guys deserve a little bit of joy right now. It’s been a tough time, and we seem to have [regained] our health. Some young guys are also stepping in and doing the job. Conor Shanosky gets another win, [Taylor] Kemp comes in and helps us, Casey [Townsend] comes in and helps us, [Lionard] Pajoy comes in and helps us, so everybody’s contributing right now, and I think the spirit is good. Can we turn it around now against Vancouver [on Saturday]? Again, putting so much into [the Open Cup] to get a result – we’re going to have to make some changes. But I think our spirit right now [will allow us] to start doing a little bit better in the League.”

On how United responded when the Revolution equalized in the second half:
“I was a little worried. Our response wasn’t great after the goal. It took the wind out of our sails a little bit. I though up until that point, we controlled the game. We had some good attacks, some creativity – I attribute that to Dwayne [De Rosario] and Chris [Pontius]. I thought they did a good job just being a little bit more unpredictable than usual. Dwayne looks like he’s back in-form, and that’s a big deal for us. Certainly in this Open Cup, he’s been as good as anybody. He put the team on his back there once [New England] scored. I think he kind of reeled us into getting that extra goal, and [Lionard] Pajoy makes a good play in the end.”

On how Chris Pontius has played the last few games:
“[Pontius] got winded pretty early here. He’s had such an up-and-down year or two with injuries, and we’re still getting his fitness back where he can play two games [in a row]. But I liked him up there the last two games as a forward. I think he’s enjoying it.”

On how he views Dwayne De Rosario’s omission from Canada’s Gold Cup squad:
“It’s a big boost [to have him still be with us in July]. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dwayne’s pissed off about it, and if some of [his recent form] is because of that. Dwayne can find motivation in a lot of things. He can find motivation in me dogging him at times... I don’t care where he finds motivation – he’s been a real stud these last couple of weeks, and he looks like he has that edge again. He has a little bit of a different look in his eyes. It’s good to have.”

On how this momentum in Open Cup will affect long-term morale:
“It was a tough two months. The spirit was still there. There was still a sense of belief that we could kind of at least flatten out and start to go the other way. The spirit hasn’t changed that much. I would say the belief right now is there more than it was, and in this League, belief is a very important thing. If you lose it, you can go the wrong way. You look at last year – we went the other way with just pure belief and hopefully we can get that back.”

D.C. United forward/midfielder Chris Pontius

On his goal:
“I played it wide to Nick [DeLeon], and he was playing the ball back to me, and I was just trying to put it on frame far post.”

On team morale:
“I think it’s big for us and another big thing is when you look early on in the season we weren’t getting a whole lot of looks on goal. Today, our service was better, our runs were better, and we were threatening by getting behind and getting looks on goal. It was a big game for us so it’ll build our confidence even more.”

On his improving form:
“I’m obviously trying to get up to full fitness and I’m not quite there yet, and it’s a bit tough when you’re going Saturday, Wednesday. But I scored and my body feels good and I’m starting to play with some confidence, which I wasn’t doing in the beginning [of the season].”

On playing up front with Dwayne De Rosario:
“Dwayne [De Rosario] and I played off each other pretty well. Usually, there’s a couple balls in there that were a bit mixed up on but once again, that’s our first time up top together so I think as we play more, we’ll connect a little bit better.”

On his assist to Dwayne De Rosario on the second goal:
“He told me on a free kick before he was looking at the back side and so I tried getting it there. I didn’t get it all the way there on the free kick, but I was looking there on the corner kick. I have confidence in him scoring since he’s done it a lot in his career.”

On the team’s overall performance:
“Yeah, it was good. It was still a bit scary at the end there, but there’s some good things we can take away from it. We can do a lot better in limiting opportunities but that’s a good New England team. They create a lot of problems in the middle and their interchanges are very good, so we did a good job to hold them off.”

On his goal:
I was thinking to myself, ‘Geeze, how’d I miss that first one?’ So I had to make up for it with the second one. Actually, I tried hitting the first one with the outside of my foot and completely mis-hit it. I was glad to pull one back for the team.”

D.C. United midfielder Dwayne De Rosario

On the team’s current run of form:
“Two wins back-to-back: that’s what we wanted, so we’re going to try and build off that. Keep moving forward, don’t look back.”

On his goal:
“The first couple plays I was telling Conor [Shanosky] to drive in to the first post. A couple times he did it and Chris [Pontius] kind of hit it more to the middle, so I said ‘Listen, look for me back post. Wait for them to make a run and then look for me back post.’ He played a good ball and I was able to finish it.”

On playing up top with Chris Pontius:
“Yeah, I thought we did good. It’s the first time this season, so there are little things we need to work on, but he’s mobile and he reads the game well. Great finish, instinctual finish by him, which is always good to see. I’m very pleased with the win and I felt good with the partnership.”

On the team’s winning streak:
“Two hard opponents, two tough opponents, and two opponents that have proven their caliber against us in the League. And we came up in a Cup game—a game with a lot of importance—and rose to the occasion so that’s good to see. Like I said earlier, now we just have to build on that momentum and just keep moving forward.”

On his omission from the Canadian Gold Cup roster:
“I mean, I’m disappointed, but I know for a lot of the country this Gold Cup is an opportunity for a lot of people to see new faces. But it is what is. The coach made that decision, and I’m going to continue what I do here.”

On whether his omission from the Gold Cup roster gave him any extra motivation:
No, hell no. I play for this club, this organization, to win. I don’t dwell on that stuff and that’s something they have to deal with. I wish the players all the best but me, I’m focused on this cup game. It’s a huge game and I like these big games.”

New England Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps

On the game:
“Credit to D.C. – they came in and played a good game beat us 3-1.”

On the second half:
I don’t think we ever really did much in the game to really do enough to win. I think we’ve got to go and look at the film. We lost 3-1, and it’s unfortunate because we should have had a little bit more energy. I felt like the energy wasn’t good enough.”

On the team’s upcoming road trip:
“We’ve just got to turn around, recover and get ready for Saturday.”

New England Revolution midfielder Juan Toja

On the loss:
“Obviously I feel bad because we lost. It was a great chance for us to go forward. It was very disappointing for me and for us, for the players, for New England. We tried to do our best, we were close to it, but unfortunately these things happen and we lost tonight.”

On how the game changed when D.C. United went up 2-1:
“They scored at the end of the first half, which is hard. But we talked in the locker room, and we were focused. Since the first minute, we knew that we were going to have our chances. We jumped into it for the second half. I think we started so much better than the first half. We controlled the ball very good in the second half. I scored and then we had a couple of chances. The game was there for both as they had their chances too, but unfortunately in that corner they scored and then the spaces were very open as we were trying to score in any way and then unfortunately we conceded the third goal. I think we did a good job, we fought a lot and you can see that in the field. I’m very disappointed. I don’t know what to say.”

On the upcoming road trip:
“This is soccer – it works like that. We have a lot of games coming. We have one on Saturday night in Los Angeles. We have to forget this, but we have to see what was our good stuff and what was our mistakes and learn from it. Everytime you learn from good things and bad things, so that’s what I personally do and I know the guys and the coach will stick with us and tell us. We have to look forward. We have MLS coming up, [and] we are looking forward to it.”

New England Defender A.J. Soares

On the team’s overall performance:
I thought we were the better team and should have got a better result if we would have really taken the game into our own hands but we let them stay in it and we let them come at us. In the end, they beat us because we let them beat us.

On the team’s multiple near-misses:
Yeah, we had chances but we gave up three goals. We made mistakes on goals and we really shouldn’t have let any goal in. Every single one of them was kind of a turn-off, but that happens in soccer and sometimes you have to score four to win. We didn’t score four and we let in more than we scored, so that’s just what happens.

On the team scoring at the start of the second half:
That was our goal. We wanted to come out and score in the first couple minutes and we did. We thought if we did that, we could take the game to them and get back on an even playing field knowing that we could just beat them in that half and take it one half at a time. But we let them back in it, we let them stay in it, and it hurt us in the end.

On the team’s upcoming road trip:
We’re professionals. We’re going to let it go right now, tonight, and start thinking about the Chivas game. This game’s over already in my mind. We’re all focused on the Chivas game. We’re going to do whatever we can to keep moving up the table in the league and Open Cup is over for us. We’ll think about it next year, but from now on it’s done.