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Post-Match Quotes: July 27, 2013

"I thought overall, though, it was a step in the right direction from last week." Ben Olsen

Ben Olsen

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen

On the differences between the first half and the second half:
“I thought the energy was good in the first half. We started extremely bright, but then we had an inability to get through their line of pressure, and sustaining possession cost us a lot of defending. We started to wear down, and I give them credit because their front line put us under pressure and you have to play through that line and keep the ball instead of going back and forth with a team like that. That’s what they want, and they do it pretty well. Second half, they got a little open and made some plays. I thought overall, though, it was a step in the right direction from last week. Some of the things were implemented, but it’s still a loss and it still hurts.”

On Jared Jeffrey and Conor Doyle starting today and their performance:
“[Conor] Doyle got here this week, and he has only been in two training sessions. We came across a few injuries late with [Carlos] Ruiz and [Casey] Townsend, and we figured it was a good chance to try him and I thought he did fine. It’s not an easy exercise for him to go out in his first game in a while with new teammates, but I saw good things. He puts himself in good spots and physically he can do the work, but he probably has to be a little more combative. His feet are good, though, and again the important thing with him was he was in the right spots and when things start to click, he will be an effective player for us. And Jared [Jeffrey] did fine. Jared hung in there, and hasn’t had a lot of games either as we still try to get guys where they need to be.”

On if Conor Doyle would have started without injuries to other players:
“He would have been in the mix because he had a good week. He showed us some good things and we’re looking at a lot of different options right now. We got some new guys in, so we’re tinkering and we’re looking at things that can spark us and prepare us for the future.”

On what he would like to see out of Conor Doyle next game:
“I would like him to be a little more central. [Luis] Silva was very high in the first half, and they were playing on their two center backs maybe a little too much. I would have liked Silva to come off a little more and that would have helped us with possession. I thought we tried to do that in the second half, and at times we looked better with that. But, you throw them out there the first week with a new team and it’s a tough task, but he did fine.”

On Kyle Porter’s injury:
“He will be fine. I think he picked up a knick, but he will be fine.”

On if the focus right now is on developing the future:
“[Luis] Silva is a real piece, and we are looking to add as many real pieces to the club right now. I’ve got one eye here presently on the week-to-week MLS…I have another eye on the Open Cup, which is a big deal, and finding out what the best team is that we would have out there. And I have my third eye on the future of this club, and that’s a very important thing right now. I still believe in the future of this club and a bunch of these guys I have in this locker room.”

D.C. United goalkeeper Joe Willis

On New England’s first goal:
“I saw the cross coming in and I saw [Dimitry Imbongo] making a near post run, so I tried to get myself there and make myself as big as possible, but I just got cemented to the ground.”

On New England’s second goal:
“I saw [Saer Sene] cutting in on his left, and he curled it. I had a decent push, but I was nowhere near it and I saw it hit the post and the cross bar and then the next thing I saw was [Diego] Fagundez heading it in. I didn’t really see much on that one.”

On the team’s second-half performance:
“I think in the second half we didn’t play badly. Of course, they scored two goals but I think we kept the ball more in the second half than we did in the first half. They snuck one in on us and it kind of goes back to that old story of, ‘Oh, here we go again.’ It didn’t seem like we lost confidence though. These things happen sometimes.”

D.C. United midfielder Dwayne De Rosario

On his match fitness:
“I just got back. If you’re asking me, I want to play 90 minutes, 100 percent. But I haven’t played in a while, so you try and get game fitness as you play. I tried to come in and spark the team and give an aggressive spark going forward and try to do what I can to help them out. Unfortunately, now we have to put this one behind us and look forward to next week—another home game, and like I said, every chance I get, I’m going to out there and work my behind off.”

On Luis Silva’s performance:
“It’s refreshing for me to see a player read that and play and move—to feel that and sense that he’s there and wants the ball. I like that. I get giddy when players get that ball and can read that and he has that ability. He has that ability. You see the shot from outside the box. He had the opportunity to play it wide, and I told him since he got here: ‘Stop looking to pass the ball, you’ve come here to score goals. You have the opportunity to strike the ball, strike it.’ And he’s done it two times and put the ball in the back of the net. It may not be me, but it’s nice to see that confidence, that he could have laid it off to Nick [DeLeon] running wide, but he took the shot and it went in the back of the net. I love to see that confidence from an attacking player.”

D.C. United midfielder Luis Silva

On his starting role:
“I’m very happy that the coach has given me the opportunity to start, and obviously it’s my second game and my second start.”

On working with Dwayne De Rosario:
“I think he’s a fantastic player and he plays that position that I’m coming into very well. I’m trying to learn from him as much as I can and be aggressive like he is. He’s been helping a lot.”

On the team’s second-half performance:
“I think we dropped off. We dropped off as a team, and obviously they came out, pushed numbers up and we just dropped off. I think we could have put our chances away in the first half and we didn’t, and that affected us in the end.”

On his midfield role against the Revolution:
“I had the freedom to come in the middle and stuff but I was trying to stretch out the field more because it was so crowded in there. Overall, I was happy.”

On the difference between playing for Toronto FC and D.C. United:
“It’s totally different. Over there, I was playing as a forward. Maybe sometimes they’d drop me back in the midfield, but here the coach is trying to give me the freedom to play as a number 10, which is my natural position, so it’s totally different. I have the freedom to go anywhere on the field here, and, defensively, as long as we’re organized I’m fine.”

New England Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps

On the game:
“We didn’t have a good first half, to be very honest. We weren’t following our gameplan. We weren’t playing very well and it took a little bit of time at halftime to go over. But D.C. deserves some credit. They came out well. They came out playing. They were playing that 4-4-2, they were pushing high, and we had the ball but we weren’t dangerous with the ball. I thought they did a nice job. There were great tactics from Ben [Olsen]. So, they did that a little bit but I thought we were able to make the right changes at the start of the second half and they gave us more opportunities.”

On D.C.’s narrow defending:
“The last game that we played them, we went very narrow on them and it was a 0-0 draw. Part of our gameplan tonight was to get wide. In the first half we didn’t do it well enough. But in the second half we really wanted to get [Chris] Tierney in some better spots. We switched Saer [Sene] to the other side to give ourselves a bit more width because he naturally wants to come in so we pushed him wider. We found the little gaps. I thought Dimitry [Imbongo] had a nice finish and Saer really should have had two goals.”

On the impact of the equalizer:
“You’ve got to get back in the game and go from there. We just felt that if we play the way we want to play and how we know we can play. The game would change and we could get more opportunities and that’s what happened. It doesn’t always work that way, but I was glad that we had a full half. Sometimes you need to come in and have a word and I thought we did a good job and the guys reacted excellently.”

On the response of his players to tactical changes at halftime:
“It’s important when you can look each other in the eye and draw a little breath. When you get in the game, you’ve got to make the moves from the sideline and get the guys on the field to react. There’s going to be times when you can’t. So, when you come in you can take a breath, look at the shape, decide what we think is going to be strong. And that’s our job, quite frankly, as a staff.”

On the return of Revolution midfielder Kevin Alston:
“It was awesome. I thought he did great. He’s exactly what we needed—a shot of energy. He’s been great all week in training and up to this point in two weeks of training. He’s been itching to get on the field and you could see when he came on he was like a shot out of a cannon.”

On the impact of his return for the rest of the team:
“He’s been around the longest, probably, with Darrius [Barnes] and Reisy [Matt Reis]. So, he’s an old soul in our locker room and someone the guys lean on. You’d like to get a man into a situation where the game isn’t so intense, but Kevin went in and did an excellent job.”

On the need for patience with Alston’s return to match fitness:
“We actually wanted to get him a game or two in Rochester, and like I mentioned when it came out, the story’s unbelievable. But we needed a player and we needed an outside back, we needed cover and you saw how it changed tonight when we were able to get Chris [Tierney] up. It’s an awesome story. I know he’s going to make an impact on our team. It’s almost like a signing and a lot of the players feel like we added a really excellent outside back.”

On his relationship with Ben Olsen:
“I admire Ben. I think Ben was the one who opened the door for guys like us to coach for the team that they played for. Benny’s got a great vision of what he wants the team to be. I think it’s a tough situation, but if anyone can get them through it’s Benny. He’s not only dealing with what he’s dealing with this year, but you can see the foundation he’s building. I think the moves they’ve made for Luis Silva, who I think is an excellent player, and for Jared Jeffrey, who to me is going to be an excellent player in MLS. And obviously Conor Doyle who’s here probably six months and they’ve got to make a decision. For me, those three key additions for the team are dangerous. I think we went through it a little bit last year and they’re going through it a little bit this year. When you play younger players, you can build a good core and then you’ve got to let them get games and results aren’t always predictable when you have a group that’s coming together.”

New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston

On how it felt to return to action:
“It felt unbelievable. I was excited to be on the pitch, but at the same time I was telling myself to not mess up. But it felt great.”

On whether it was good to make a return in D.C.:
“It was…it was unbelievable. My parents were there, my brother was there, my grandfather was there, all my family and friends, so it made it special to be able to do it in front of them.”

On his eagerness to play again:
“It’s what I love to do and as soon as I got that green light I was training and thinking about getting back on the field and doing everything I can to help the team.”

On returning to match fitness:
“I feel good. There’s nothing like game fitness. So, that takes minutes in order to get that. However, my strength and fitness are night and day compared to how I felt before. Everything’s completely different. I feel like I’m starting fresh and starting over. I feel like there’s no weight on my shoulders. So, I feel a lot better.”

On the context of the game when he entered:
“Like I said before, I knew what the situation was. So, don’t mess up as we’ve got the lead. So, keep it.”

On how much patience has been required:
“I’ve had to be very patient. There were a lot of unknowns. Even through the whole recovery process. I can’t tell you how many times I’d go in for a doctor’s appointment and think I was doing well, but have the doctor tell me my level was much lower. That was my fault for setting myself up for a fall like that, but a lot of patience was necessary because there was so much unknown. I didn’t know how long it would be or what the recovery process would be.”

On whether he had imagined this moment:
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been laying in bed or in the shower just thinking about it and just playing.”

On the support of his teammates:
“As soon as the game was over, everybody came over to congratulate me and I was trying my hardest not to cry, I was fighting tears. They’ve been supportive since the start and they showed it again tonight.”

On if the return felt like a debut of sorts:
“It did. I had a lot of butterflies and I was really excited. It was almost like a renewed feeling.”

On if he took some time to soak everything in:
“Once the final whistle blew. When we had just the one goal, I was focused on not losing the lead and that was it—to do whatever I could to play right now.”

New England Revolution defender Andrew Farrell

On getting three points at D.C.:
“It’s kind of like a playoff environment for us. It was a must-win. We beat Columbus [Crew] and we wanted to gain back some momentum. We have some home games coming up. But, you know, D.C. [United] is a good team. Their record doesn’t show how good of a team they are. They got some new additions. Luis Silva is a good player. And Nick DeLeon, my former college teammate, he’s a good player. They’ve got a lot of good pieces. It’s just the results don’t show what a good team they are. But, we didn’t play good in the first half, 45-minutes, it was tough. We wanted to come out a lot better than that. We came out really flat, kind of like we did at Colorado. So, we were a bit nervous. But, you know, we felt like we still had 45 minutes to make up the game, to get a chance to take the plunge. In the second half we came out and reacted well. We got some good players and they showed what they could do tonight.”

On what the message was for the second-half:
“Well, you know, we didn’t have much to lose and had everything to gain. So, we just kind of came out and battled. Getting the second chances of people like Dimi [Dimitry Imbongo] and Chad [Barrett]. We were going to fight for everything. And then, you know, we just got to widen. The width was huge for us. You know, I didn’t get as high as Chris [Tierney] did. When Chris goes out wide, he whips that dangerous ball in and we got an opportunity out of it.”

On equalizing early in the second-half:
“It was huge. I don’t even know how much more time we had after the goal. Like, 30-plus more minutes left in the game? And we went after it. We didn’t want to get complacent with that goal. We thought we could win the game. And we came out and I think we showed that with the offensive guys. They did that and essentially we held them after they came back a little at the end of the game.”

On the impact of good away form as they return home:
“It’s always good to sleep in your own bed before a home game. The game’s on Sunday as well, so we get a little extra rest. We like to play at home. We’ve got some guys coming back from injury, some guys that maybe with a little bit of rest can heal back up and get back out there. Every game right now is important. Every game is against an Eastern Conference opponent, so we’ve got to take advantage of that.”

On the return of Kevin Alston:
“It’s great. Ever since he was out, he always tried to come back into the locker room and then try and get back on the field. With a player like that who’s a veteran, and for me as a rookie to see him work hard with what he’s been going through is inspirational to me and it inspires all the guys. It’s good to get him back on the field, he wanted to be out there and we’re glad to have him. He’s one of the premier outside backs in this league and we’re glad to have him back and healthy.”

New England Revolution midfielder Chris Tierney

On the game overall:
“We had a tough first half – poor giveaways that cost us. It got better toward the end of the first half. We made some great adjustments for halftime. D.C. was defending very narrow. We made the appropriate adjustments, created some chances and won the game.”

On D.C. United’s defending:
“The way that D.C. defends is super narrow, a lot of space on the flanks for me and Kelyn [Rowe] and a combination of the surface. Credit to them, they put us under pressure. So we knew we had to get the ball. We knew we had to defend it. Credit to the guys they made the adjustments. We started to move the ball better and we opened things up more.”

On the New England attack:
“You have to keep moving on, getting balls into the box. I think we did a good job of that…so even if you don’t win every time you have to respect it and get back pedaling and look elsewhere. That one play just happened to be what you have to do to get on the end of it.”

On returning home:
“We’re excited to get back home, for sure. Road trips are always tough, but outside from Colorado, this one was a good for us. We’re happy with the last two results and, hopefully we’ll roll that momentum into our home stand and start playing some better soccer on the turf and keep winning.”

On the return of Kevin Alston:
“It was the best. It gave us all a boost. Obviously, everyone knows what he’s been through. He’s an inspiration for all of us. We all feed off the energy that he brings everyday. We’re super proud of him. It’s great to see him back and, hopefully, we’ll see more and more of him. He’s been in training and starting to look right. Same old Kevin. He’s super athletic. He’s working his butt off. We’ve seen him in training for a while, how eager he is to get back out. We’re all really happy for him and we’re a better team with Kevin in there, there’s no doubt about it. He’s an all-star and there is a reason for that. He is a great player. We get him back and he’ll make us better.”