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Post-Match Quotes: July 7, 2013

Ben Olsen: "It's not an easy place to play so we'll take a positive out of it."

Ben Olsen, D.C. United head coach

On Joe Willis:
He made two very good saves, and I thought the rest of the game he was pretty steady. He handled the box well and he was probably the star of the night for us.

Overall impression of the game:
Defensively, it was a game where we hung in. Beggars can't be choosers right now and we'll take the point. There are very few times in my playing career or coaching career where I've come here and gotten a result. It's not an easy place to play so we'll take a positive out of it.

On what the key was to keeping the Rapids scoreless:
Joe made a couple big saves. Everybody did their part tonight. Again, offensively it wasn't a great night. That's kind of been who we are. If we're going to get results, we've got to put up zeros, and we did that tonight.

On why they have so much confidence in Joe Willis:
Because he's had plenty of nights like this. This isn't a one-off for Joe. He's been steady. We see him in training. We see him day in and day out. His attitude and his approach. I've always liked his demeanor so we have a lot of faith in him. It's only because he's earned that faith. It's not like we're just giving it (the starting job) to him because we like him. He's had a few games here where he's been the guy in charge.

On the second half being back-and-forth:
I wish it wasn't as back and forth. I wish we were a little more connected at times. It's been a long stretch for us. There's been a lot of games and some of the guys are on fumes. They had some good opportunities and we just hung in there. We had definitely the best chance in the game with Carlos [Ruiz] and he didn't take his chance, but I thought he put in a good shift. The subs came in and helped out there in the end.

On the second half:
They had plenty of looks. We had a few. I don't think we need to say a number, but seven on frame, we eliminated some tough shots and Joe came up big.

On if this draw can be considered a turning point:
We can use anything.

Joe Willis, D.C. United goalkeeper

On his return to Denver:
I had to request about 22 tickets. A ton of college friends, my girlfriend's from here. She lives in D.C. with me now, but her family is all here. It's pretty cool.

On the result:
Getting the shutout is huge, and I can't complain really.

On his first save of the game:
I thought he was going to try and take it down, and I think maybe he was trying to take it down, but it bounced off of his knee. I was lucky enough to get a hand up in time.

On his save on Brown during the 75th minute:
I kind of messed that up in the beginning. I started to come and my communication with Ethan [White] was just bad. He was able to get in behind. Once he did that, I just came out and tried to make myself as big as possible and I was fortunate to get a hand to it.

On if the Rapids were close to scoring:
Yeah, they were. They throw a lot of guys forward and they have some good attacking players. They've been doing it all year. They get a lot of chances. We knew that coming in.

Overall impression of this season:
This season's been alright. Obviously we aren't doing very well. We're struggling right now. It's not fun. We have glimpses together where we put good football together. We need to have a complete performance for 90 minutes, but all the pieces are there. We have confidence. That's not a problem. It just hasn't been going our way this year.

Oscar Pareja, Colorado Rapids Head Coach

On how they beat the top two teams in the East and then tied D.C. United:
Scoring goals. Because that’s the way the game is. You have to give credit to the players today that got 23 attempts at goal. Probably they doubled the attempts that we had in the last game but we couldn’t score. The game is cruel. The game is like that and today was that day. We couldn’t get the ball back and then that’s what makes the difference. In Montreal we were fine with it. I thought we looked calmer, we looked composed, in front of the goal we were sharp. Against New York we had options. There were not many but we were sharp in the back as well. Today it was 23 attempts to goal and we came out with no goals. So that’s the game. The answer is we score goals and today we couldn’t.

On getting so many shots on goal and not scoring:
I have to see the positive things in this game today. I feel bad for the players because they made a big effort. I thought they played well, especially in the second half. We came out with a bit more determination to score but that’s what it is. We are getting the options. I thought we were building well. Once again in the second half I thought we looked better with the way we controlled the game. I’m happy with the defensive part of the team. I thought we were looking better and better on that part. And all these positive things cannot put us down and see that the team is progressing. I hate to lose two points today, for sure, but the game is like that.

On D.C. United goalkeeper Joe Willis:
I thought he had an incredible night.

On his reasons for subbing Shane O’Neill out early:
Shane was hesitating at that point because he got a yellow card too early. The best part that I have from Shane is his aggressiveness and his determination and his toughness in the game. And if I take that away from him then that’s a big piece of the game. He was hesitating because he’s young. With Thomas I don’t have that problem. Thomas has 300 games under his belt. Shane has 10. So I wanted to protect him but at the same time I wanted to bring fresh legs with Brian that would give us a little bit more going forward so that was the purpose.

Atiba Harris, Colorado Rapids midfielder

On the game:
We didn’t finish and the good thing about it is we kept a clean sheet and got a point, so we just got to look at the bright side and move on.

On whether the midfield felt off during the game:
D.C. came in and they kind of made it difficult for us and they stuck to the game plan though. They were kind of trying to kill time and they kept position well. But like I said again, we didn’t put away all our chances, but we kept a clean sheet and we’ve got to look forward to New England and get three points.

On whether the 10 day break before the next league match will help the team:
I think so. I think after playing three games in what eight days, nine days, and it’s good to get a break, but we have a game against Santos and we still need to keep sharp and look forward to giving them something positive.

Drew Moor, Colorado Rapids defender

On going into the ten day break before the next league game:
I think we just need to stay positive. This was one of those ties tonight that feels a little bit like a loss. But we can’t think that way. We’ve got to stay positive, you know move onto the next one. We have a little bit of time off so you know we’ll want to take some time to recover, but we’ll want to prepare for New England right away obviously. You know a little bit of time is sometimes a good thing. We just couldn’t finish tonight, but overall a solid performance. But at the end of the night I think we leave disappointed only to get the one point.

On having several home games in July:
Playing at home you feel comfortable. We’ve made this a difficult place to play and that’s a good thing. So anytime you play at home, you have the fans advantage. Just the little advantages here and there, but we need to go out there and play our game. I thought we did that tonight. We don’t want to be discouraged by not scoring a goal tonight, because we’ve shown in the past couple weeks that we can score a bunch of goals. So we’ll fix some things and, like I said, look to New England right away.

On what has changed in the last three games:
I think we’re just more solid as a unit. And it’s not just the back four. It’s really all 11 guys on the field just being solid. We have some very good defenders that haven’t featured in the past couple games and that’s a good sign because we’re coming together a little bit. Getting Shane back, who’s fantastic obviously, is a big boost as well. But there’s a bunch of defenders right now that are pushing for spots during the week and that makes you concentrate more, that makes you focus more, and that makes you work harder and it has translated over into the matches the past couple weeks.