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Post-Match Quotes: October 18, 2013

"We have to leave this game behind and now focus on Houston." Luis Silva

Ben Olsen at SKC

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images
D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen
 
General comments on the match…
For about 15 minutes, we were bullied. We warned the guys that it would be a fast paced, physical opening to the game. I didn’t think we had the right  bite to us. When we go down a goal, about twenty minutes in, we start getting it. We start understanding this is a man’s game. I thought for the rest of the game that we were the better team, but it doesn’t matter, it does not matter. When you don’t play the full game, a good team like Kansas City, they’ll bite you and they’ll bite you early.
 
Team’s gameplan going into the road game…
We’re trying to get a win. We haven’t won a game on the road so we were looking to fix that tonight. But, again it wasn’t so. I thought the second half was very good from our group. Very positive, we put some young guys in and I thought we understood what it took in the second half. But, again, hopefully we can learn some of the lessons that we’ve been given this year and fix them for next year.
 
Defensive breakdown on the lone goal in the match…
It happens. We’ve put a lot of stress on our goalkeepers and backs because we’re not scoring enough goals. Everyone will talk about Perry’s mishap, but over the last couple weeks, we’re just not finishing. We’re not dangerous enough with the final ball and with the final finish. So we’ve got to take a little pressure off our defense and our goalkeeper.
 
D.C. United striker Michael Seaton 
 
General comments…
We started off shaky in the first half, but we picked it up. It took Ben to yell at a couple of guys for them to get into the rythem. Second half, I think we dominated only thing was they scored off a mistake and that’s been happening the entire year. They scored off that mistake and that results in us losing. 
 
On the mentality going into the match…
The mentality going into the match was to get a point at least. We want to win, we can’t settle for a draw or lose. De Ro said it, we want to win this game. Everyone wanted to go into this game with high intensity, but then it didn’t happen. It took Ben to yell at us to get into that rhythm.
 
On finishing the season at home against Houston…
That should be great. The fans have been great this year and I think that can just drive us to actually get a point that game. I think we can win that game, it’s the last game and we’re going to make it count.
 
D.C. United Forward Luis Silva
 
On Olson’s pregame message…
We are coming into the match with the mentality that we are going to get three points out of here. Even though we’re away, we are going to go out there and try hard to get the win.
 
On the elements…
Both teams have to play in the same conditions. The weather was okay, it was a bit cold but once you start running, you forget about that and focus on the soccer.
 
On ending the season at home…
It’s our last game and it’s at home, so we have to end it with a win. We have to leave this game behind and now focus on Houston.
 
On the team’s morale…
We are just trying to get three points and play for ourselves. We know we’re a good team. Things haven’t been going our way this season, but we know we are capable of beating teams like this. Today we made a mistake in the back that cost us, but I think throughout the game we showed good energy and good chances to score.

Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes
 
On Sporting KC’s 1-0 win over D.C. United…
That was a massive result for us. It’s not easy playing anyone in this league, and when you go up against a team that has absolutely nothing to lose at this time of the year, it’s never an easy game. There’s no doubt this wasn’t one of our best performances of the year, but at the end of the day we found a way to win, get three points, and keep the pressure on the other teams. We solidify first or second (in the Eastern Conference), which is huge for us going into the playoffs. From that perspective, it was excellent. Now we have got to get ready for a (CONCACAF) Champions League game on Wednesday.
 
On Sporting KC’s offensive performance…
I don’t think this game was as clear-cut as some of the others we’ve had at home. It’s one of those games where we knew it was going to be very difficult. The nice thing was we scored a goal early. It’s a great goal from our perspective based on the fact that we’ve been working on stealing a few balls close to the goal. (Dwyer) did a good job clearing himself of the keeper. Some of the other chances weren’t as clear or clean. Why (is that)? We weren’t on tonight like we normally are. But like I said, given the fact that we’ve had many great performances and come up short quite a few times, it’s nice to have the opportunity to walk away with something even though you didn’t perform as well.
 
On Jimmy Nielsen’s one-on-one save in the first half…
Two games in a row the same thing has happened. (Nielsen) was stellar in (the Houston) game too. That’s the kind of save that you respect and want your goalkeeper to keep you in the game. He has the ability to make himself really big. Guys have a difficulty of finding a goal and they usually miss. Credit to him, because that (save) kept our three points.
 
On Sporting KC’s defensive performance…
When it comes down to this time of the year, there are a lot of situations that happen where the ball can fall a different way. Other than that chance in the first half, it wasn’t like we gave a ton of stuff away. We were just a little sloppy at times in the game. But in those situations when it mattered, I thought we had good positioning, especially in and around the box. We didn’t take too many chances and were able to clear the ball out of our area.
 
On Sporting KC earning three points despite not playing their best…
We love it when the grass is wet and the ball is moving quickly. It’s hard for me to chastise the guys because we have played so many games home and away where our form has been very good and we have come up short. Our concentration now has to be the Champions League. That’s a huge, huge goal of ours—to get into the knockout stage (next March).
 
On playing two crucial games next week—one in the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday and the MLS regular season finale on Saturday…
No, (we aren’t looking ahead to Philadelphia). It’s all about the Champions League now. We have to get ready for that game. That’s a huge game for us here at home. We’ve got to be ready to play. I think it’s great because (back-to-back important games) mimics what the playoffs could be like. It keeps us in form because we get a chance to turn around and play again right away. We’re also coming off our (international) break here. We need games going into the final push of the season.
 
Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer
 
On Sporting KC’s 1-0 win over D.C. United…
It was a tough game. We were a little sloppy here and there. We controlled the game, but it still wasn’t a great performance. We got the job done, and in a lot of games we’ve played really well and not got the points we deserved. So we’ll take three points all day.
 
On scoring the game-winning goal in the 7th minute…
It was a good defensive play. We work on high pressing, and (Peterson) Joseph did a great job pressuring the center back. I knew that my job was to close the keeper, so I took a chance. He played it back, and I think the defender saw me coming halfway through his pass. I just took it around (the keeper) and finished it off.
 
On D.C. United’s three yellow cards in the first half…
It doesn’t really make a difference to us. We just keep playing our game. As they keep getting yellows, they’re going to start being less aggressive. It was just a result that we’ll take every day. The stats may say we didn’t play well, but we won 1-0. That says three points, so we’ll take it.
 
On his current attacking form…
We have a great team, so I’m always going to get opportunities and chances. When they come I just need to finish them off. Our final ball wasn’t quite there tonight and certain things didn’t fall our way. But like I said, we got the job done. We’ll take this momentum into Wednesday. It’s always good to get the ball in the next, but more importantly we won the game.
 
Sporting KC forward Soony Saad
 
On Sporting KC’s 1-0 win over D.C. United…
We started the game really strong with high pressure, and that’s how we got the goal. It was an excellent read from Dom (Dwyer). We kept our foot on the pedal and were creating chances, and then came halftime. We were feeling really good, and then in the second half (D.C. United) applied a little bit more pressure. We kind of sat back a little bit, and it was definitely a tough second half. We had to be sharp attacking and defending. It’s results like these that will come in handy in the playoffs.
 
On Dom Dwyer’s game-winning goal in the 7th minute…
It was a very good goal by Dom. The high pressure is something we’ve been working on all week, and we knew that we could definitely high-press D.C. Like I said, it was a cool read from Dom and a very cool finish. That set the tone for the game.
 
On the weather conditions…
The weather was pretty cold. We’re used to the hot KC nights, but this is what it’s going to be in the playoffs. It’s good to get our feet when it comes to how the weather is going to be.
 
On Sporting KC clinching a No. 1 or 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs…
It’s huge (being the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the playoffs). We want to defend that Eastern Conference regular season title because we’ve won it the last two years. We’d also like to get our hands on the Supporters’ Shield.
 
Sporting KC defender Ike Opara
 
On Sporting KC’s 1-0 win over D.C. United…
The guys battled well. D.C. was a very good team tonight—they were moving the ball well and got a couple chances on us that we hopefully don’t allow going forward. They came out well, but we matched them and got a goal with some great pressure from (Peterson) Joseph that led to it. Dom just had to finish it, and he was due for one. We got the goal and held out.
 
On Dom Dwyer’s game-winning goal in the 7th minute…
We wanted to try and set the tone with some pressure. Really the goal started from (Peterson) Joseph making D.C. play backwards. Then Dom cleaned up the scraps being in the right place at the right time. He had a little work to do getting around Bill (Hamid) and he put it home.
 
On D.C. United’s performance and the weather conditions…
D.C. came here to play, as opposed to a lot of other teams who come here and sit back. Getting that early goal opened things up. The conditions weren’t too bad—you just have to get adjusted to the cold again after you’re dealing with the heat for so long.
 
On Sporting KC moving to first place in the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield race…
It’s a big deal getting home field advantage. Hopefully we can also take the Supporters’ Shield—that’s our ultimate goal. We’re just going to do what we can and control what we can control. If things go our way, great. If not, we just need to continue to get better as we head into the playoffs.
 
Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber
 
On Sporting KC temporarily moving to first place in the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield race…
New York has a game in hand, and so does Real Salt Lake and Portland. But we did everything we could tonight and put ourselves in good position. I don’t think it was the greatest game from us playing at home, but three points and putting yourself in a good position going into the playoffs is most important. Now we sit and wait for some of the (league) results tomorrow. Hopefully (our destiny) is in our hands going into Philadelphia (next Saturday).
 
On Dom Dwyer’s game-winning goal…
It was great. (Peterson) Joseph pressed a little bit to cause the turnover and Dom clinically finished. It was great for us to have Dom get that goal. Hopefully he gets on a run for us going into the playoffs. It was important to get that goal early and really close things down the rest of the game.