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Post-Match Quotes: October 12, 2013

"When Nick’s healthy and fit, there are not many better than him." - Olsen

Ben Olsen

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen
On his overall thoughts on the game:
“I think you saw it last year as it spiraled in a good way, and this year the belief isn’t here in a lot of ways. If you let teams hang around like that and you don’t get the second, third or fourth goal, eventually they’re going to throw enough numbers forward and get the ball in the box where things happen like that. We’ve seen this before and you got to go get the second goal and be classy enough to have the composure with the final ball to finish off games. The defense was great – they did everything I asked of them. Offensively, they did everything I asked of them except the hard part, which needs to get better. Step away from the emotion of losing the points and it was a good game. There are a lot of good players on the field in black and that’s promising in looking forward to the future, but it doesn’t make it easier.”

On the importance of the goal for Nick DeLeon:
“In the numbers department, it has been a slow year, but when Nick’s healthy and fit, there are not many better than him. He’s a special player.”
 
On why he took Nick DeLeon out:
“He has a groin problem. He’s been battling it and trained very scarcely this week, and he started feeling his groin around five minutes before we took him out. We wanted every second out of him, but we don’t need him pulling a groin right now. The substitutes did okay, but they have to understand the game a little better. That was disappointing.”
 
On what he sees in Conor Doyle:
“Conor [Doyle] is a goal scorer. He needs to score goals. Pretty simple. I like his movement and the areas he shows up in. The physicality can get better and I see it at times and I know it’s in there. I think that part will improve this off-season and we’ll get him a little bigger, faster and stronger. I’m looking forward to seeing what he has because he has a lot of attributes. I thought Luis Silva looked better and alive again in the first half. Perry Kitchen was very solid.”
 
On if he sees Conor Doyle coming back next year:
“We’re not making a lot of decisions right now. We’re going to evaluate everybody and see what we need going forward next year. But, he’s been a joy to have with the group.”
 
On Jared Jeffrey’s role in the middle and Perry Kitchen on the back line:
“Perry [Kitchen] has all the qualities you want in a center back: focus, concentration, physicality and calmness on the ball. He certainly could be an option there, but I also really like him in that holding midfield spot. It’s a luxury to have a guy who can play both. The reason he is there now is more out of necessity than it is to take a look at it from a tactical standpoint.”

D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon

On the goal:

“They dropped off. I had the space and I hit it and it was just one of those hits that feels good when it comes off your boot. It felt good to get a goal. I’ve had a tough year with injuries and whatnot. To score a goal, and score a goal in that fashion is pretty special to me for sure.”

On the result:

“It doesn’t feel good, especially with how many chances we created. We had multiple times to put the game away, to not even get the chance. But that is on us. A positive is we are creating a lot of chances, we just have to start putting more into the back of the net. It’s good. It’s progression for us. Because in the beginning of the season, we weren’t creating anything. Now we are starting to do that. We just have to get the finishing touch.”

On being subbed off:

“A hip flexor kept me out of a couple training sessions this week. That is why I came out a little early. I’ll do some treatment and I will be ready again for next weekend.”

D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid

On the result:

“Very tough. We wanted the three points and it feels like a loss. We did well to put one in the first half. Great goal by Nicky [DeLeon], ease the pressure up. We got into the half one-nothing, which was the plan. Just holding them off, maybe put another one in the second half, going and grabbing that second because we are at home. We wanted to jump on them. We got the opportunities, that’s the positive. But, we have three games left. We can’t keep relying on positives. It’s a great performance. The 1:1 tie feels like a loss.”

On the improvements in the team:

“It’s a lot better offensively. Like I said, there’s so many positives. For us to be getting these chances and threatening teams like we are, it’s a great thing moving forward. It’s a great positive, but we have to find the net and ease the pressure on us a little bit. Like I said, credit to us, we found it in the first half, but we have to keep pressing forward looking for seconds.”

On the defensive performance:

“The defense did extremely well. I’m not going to lie. Perry [Kitchen], he’s been used to the defensive mid role throughout the season. So through injuries, he’s had to adjust and he did well as a center back. [Daniel] Woolard’s always clean and he’s very sharp in the back. We know Dennis’ [Iapichino’s] skill. We know his talent. We know he can get the job done. And [Chris] Korb’s been very consistent throughout the whole year. Credit to our backline. They put out a lot of fires, ‘cause we have guys like [Antoine] Hoppenot and [Conor] Casey. Jack [McInerney] comes in. You got Danny Cruz flying down the wing. We had a lot to deal with, and we dealt with it well.”

Philadelphia Union Head Coach John Hackworth
On salvaging a point against D.C. United:
“I’m really proud of the team in the second half. They came out and did everything possible to salvage a point. But at the same time, I’m a little disappointed on the whole performance. I like to look at our performance. When we perform well, I’m OK, but that was not a good performance by the Union tonight.”

On Jack McInerney’s goal:
“I’m really happy for Jack. For him to come off the bench and get a goal, to get the monkey off his back—an important, a really important point for us on the road. It’s great for Jack.”
 
On bringing on Antoine Hoppenot on before Jack McInerney:
“It just felt like Antoine [Hoppenot] has done a really good job at the end of games. He stretches the opponent and clearly we felt like we needed to do that. They were playing really good defense and were a little compact and Antoine has that ability. We felt like if Antoine came on and did a good job there, which he did, that there would be space for Jack.”
 
On United’s goal:
“Collectively, it was a bad play on our part. There’s a specific role that we have players playing in that exact situation and it didn’t happen. We were disappointed on that goal—something we talked about, showed on video, film—unfortunately, we just let that happen.”

On the play of his back line:
“They were fantastic. [Raymon Gaddis], [Jeff Parke], and Amobi [Okugo] deserve a lot of credit. And look at Matt Kassel’s performance tonight. He came on in a really tough situation, played extremely well. [We] made a switch at halftime to kind of go to a version of three in the back and he did a great job. Those guys kept us in the game so that a guy like McInerney and Antoine [Hoppenot] could come on and make a difference and eventually get that equalizer.”
 
On the team’s upcoming fixture against Montreal:
“The thing right now—that game is going to be huge. Going into this game, we controlled out own destiny a little bit, and if the results keep going the way they are right now, we don’t control our destiny and that’s disappointing.”

On his decision to bring on Jack McInerney in the second half:
“It’s a tough decision because you want to give Jack as much time as possible, but we had taken over control of the game at that point and had been creating some chances and dictating possession. You make a change right there, and you know you’re kind of going for it. You leave yourself very vulnerable to the counter-attack, but we had no choice at that point. You’re down a goal, you’re on the road—you have to. Again, credit to our back line and some good luck there as well, and then we just kept on pushing for the equalizer and we got it.”

On if he was surprised by his team’s slow start to the game:
“Yeah, there’s no question. But we were dealing with a lot of changes this week, and we have to realize that D.C. is a much better team than people give them credit for. They just won the U.S. Open Cup, they beat Real Salt Lake at Real Salt Lake, you’re playing at RFK which is notoriously a very tough place to play, and the expectation that for us we’re going to come in and automatically get three points is unrealistic at this point. But, that said, don’t think our guys came out and pushed the game the right way in that first half.”

Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney
On his feeling after scoring the equalizer and breaking his League scoreless streak:
“It’s just a lot of relief, and, not stress, but it feels like a lot of frustration just lifted off my shoulders.”

On the difficulty of rebounding after an earlier save from Bill Hamid:
“Yeah, it is, but you don’t have a choice, you got to keep going on. I thought I struck the ball well and that was going inside the net, but I think he just stuck his hand out and it hit him right in the hand. That was just a good save on his part.”

On his goal as well as Kleberson’s service:
“He had put in a couple good balls before so I just kind of backed out and tried to find some space. I saw Amobi going up and I just told him to leave it, and he did. I just got my head onto it and put it into the net.”

On the difficulty of staying confident during his scoreless streak:
“Yeah, it’s been tough, and the longer it goes the more frustrating it gets. But like I said, you just got to keep fighting and pushing. I’ve proven that I can score. I just got to keep my head up and keep going and hopefully, got this one so hopefully they’ll come now.”

On what the team can do to have a stronger start in its next game:
“I don’t know if we really need to make any changes. We’ve won two games and a tie. Those are good results, and especially where we’ve been and the injuries we’ve had and the situations people have been put in. I think today was a decent result. A win would have been better, but we just need to keep battling and doing what we’ve been doing lately, and the results are coming.”

Philadelphia Union forward Antoine Hoppenot
On Jack McInerney ending his scoring drought:
“I think if Jack [McInerney] starts getting hot again – you saw how deadly he was in the beginning of the season scoring 10 goals in however many games that was – if he catches fire again, it’s going to be a very dangerous team with Conor [Casey] up top. Today, Conor was dangerous getting a lot of head balls…I think we’re a dangerous team if we we’re able to find another guy who can put the ball in the back of the net.”
 
On how the Union will approach next game vs. Montreal:
“I think we just gotta go out there and play our type of soccer. We have soccer players – we’re able to pass the ball around, we’re able to move the ball as you saw in the second half today. I thought we did great in the second half. We had that movement, we had them kind of pinned back and I think we did a good job of creating a lot of chances for us to be able to get a goal. So, I think if we’re just able to play our soccer, we’ll be able to be very dangerous and put a lot of pressure on the Montreal team.”
 
Philadelphia Union midfielder Brian Carroll
On the playoff push:
“We’ll probably need at least one win out of the last two to have an opportunity, but things are tight and we have to do everything we possibly can to find a way to get on to the next stage of the season. I have confidence in the group that we have that we can go out there and find a way.”
 
On having a lot of family in the stands:
“Thanks to Josh, our team coordinator, and some of the guys I still know at D.C., we were able to get a lot of the family in tonight, so I appreciate that.”
 
On reaching 300 MLS appearances:
“It’s cool. I like the fact that I’ve been able to accomplish it, but a win would have been nicer. Jack [McInerney] rescues us and we found a way, which is a good sign, to stay alive in the season and now we have to find a way to go to Montreal and get one or three [points].”
 
On allowing D.C. United to dominate the game:
“I said coming into this game that it wasn’t going to be easy and it wasn’t. But we kept battling, and we found a way to limit them to only one [goal] and we found a way to get back into it. We needed to leave here with nothing less than one [point]. Obviously, we would have loved to have three [points] and dominate the game more and have more chances, but that’s how it was tonight. Given how the game started, we have to at least take one [point] and move on.”
 
On Jack McInerney scoring tonight:
“He’s been working so hard for that for such a long time that I’m sure it’s great for him to get that one and just move on and help us move on to the next stage of the season.”
 
On Jack McInerney’s mental response to the goal drought he has had:
“He’s shown up every single day to games and practices, confident and playing hard and trying to help the team win. He came through for us tonight with a big win.”