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Post-Match Quotes: July 30, 2014

"I thought it was a really good night, in particular the second half." Ben Olsen

D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen
On the result
It was a 3-0 win against one of the better teams in this league. They had some defenders out, and they had a game a few days ago. I think some fatigue set in for them but overall for us, I thought it was a really good night, in particular the second half. The first half, we had some trouble dealing with Defoe and Moore, Oduro and Jackson. Their movement is very, very good. It’s as good as you deal with in this league. It easily could’ve been 1-1, 2-1, to them in the first half. Shutouts aren’t easy to come by in this league, and I’m happy that the group got that tonight. Rolfe was pretty classy. Nick DeLeon looked good. Eddie was a real force tonight. I thought Steve and Bobby, the outside backs, everybody had a pretty good night.
 
On Chris Rolfe’s value to the team
He’s just a guy that can change the game for us. We’ve asked him to do more work than he’s accustomed to in that position, so the amount of miles he’s putting on while still giving us a threat in the box, he’s just what we needed. He’s changed us; he’s changed the way we can play. He’s just a classy player, and we’re lucky to have him.
 
On recovering quickly for Sunday’s matchup with Houston after a fast-paced game
It was end to end, and when you play this team, from an energy level standpoint it’s always taxing. The quick turnaround, going to Houston, will be tough, but we’re going to be tested at some point with our depth. We’re going to rely on guys in the next month or two that haven’t seen a lot of minutes so that’s a good thing. I’m looking forward to getting those guys in, to test them in real games and that might start with Houston.
 
On Eddie Johnson’s recent goal scoring
I think as he’s scored some goals, you can see his energy level out there rise. That’s how goal scorers are. They start to score, and they want more, and they put more effort in. But take the goals away from him, the way he occupies center backs, the way he holds the ball for us and allows us to change the point of attack is crucial. It’s something we haven’t had here for a while. The partnerships are continuing to form out there. At times, our passing tonight, if I’d say anything negative, our passing tonight still let us down, and it’s at times when we can really kill off teams.
 
D.C. United Midfielder Chris Rolfe
On the key tonight
I think we came out with a good game plan, the coaches had us ready. You know, last time we were in Toronto, they gave us a lot of time and space and we played a little too slow and in to their game. It was a little different tonight and it worked out.
 
On his goal
I don’t even remember how it started. I think the ref made a good call on not calling the penalty, although it definitely was a penalty. Nick did a great job; he was so good in the second half for us. Yeah, he got fouled and then after that it was just putting in the corner.
 
On thoughts about pieces coming together
You know, there are teams that I have been on, that throughout the whole season we don’t ever gel. And we can continue to put new guys in and take guys out, and everybody has been doing a great job and the combination of players we have has been fantastic.
 
On how [Rolfe] feels physically
Actually, I feel pretty good. For making it all the way through July now, playing the majority of the games and the majority of the minutes, I think my body has done better than expected. Knock on wood, hopefully that will continue.
 
D.C. United Defender Steve Birnbaum
On Toronto’s challenging frontline
I mean, they throw a ton of numbers forward, so I think the backline did a great job tonight. You know, tracking runners in the box and meeting pressure and everything, but we capitalized on the pressure they sent forward. That allotted pressure off the defense, so that was great for us.

On playing against the skill set like Defoe’s and Bradley’s
I don’t think I have ever played against anyone as good as those guys before. But, you know, I do go up against people like Eddie Johnson in practice everyday, so it’s great to learn from those guys. And, Defoe’s movements are second to none in this league, so I just kind of learn on the fly and I think I’ve done alright.
 
D.C. United Defender Bobby Boswell
On the overall defensive performance
We knew they were going to play some counter-attacking soccer, and they are probably one of the best in the league at that. You know, we were just good to get the early goal, kind of made them open up ever more. I thought Bill was huge, he really shut them down when they came knocking in the first half and right at the beginning in the second half. We were able to keep them off the score sheet, kind of frustrate them. They played a pretty big game on the weekend, where as we were able to get a little more rest, so we knew as the game wore on that we’d be able to move the ball around and we were able to get the second and third. You know, in my opinion, a 3-0 win is always a great team result from front to back.
 
Toronto FC Head Coach Ryan Nelsen
On the result
Well, unfortunately we didn’t win in either box. We had the opportunities to score the goals, we didn’t take them and then we had to defend our box and we didn’t defend it very well, and goals change games. I think if we got that first one, with the chances we had, it would’ve been a whole different game, but we didn’t. They took theirs, and we didn’t take ours.
 
On midfielder Warren Creavalle’s Toronto FC Debut
I thought he did really well, considering he doesn’t know any of his teammates. Obviously, it was a hard game to come into and he showed some really good signs and we’ll work hard with him.
 
On midfielder Michael Bradley handling the heavy schedule after the World Cup
Well, that’s what he gets paid to do. It’s a job. We don’t have the luxuries of having two-week holidays and all that kind of stuff, and Michael’s handling it really well, he’s doing great. The thing about him is he needs to play off his teammates more as well. It doesn’t happen over nine games he’s played with the guys, so the more that he plays the better he’ll become.
 
Toronto FC Midfielder Michael Bradley
On not finishing first half scoring chances
We’re in a little bit of a rut at the moment where we create good chances and just have a difficult time scoring. When you combine that with conceding a little too easily, it means that you make things awfully difficult on yourself, so certainly tonight that was the case. It was frustrating, but the reality is still that we’re more or less halfway through with 26 points, so we’re not up at the top but we’re not down at the bottom. Now it’s just about finding a way to keep ourselves going, to know that we got to be a little better and we still have to keep improving, but still knowing that the big games are still to come.
 
On how to improve on giving up goals in recent games
It’s, like I touched on earlier, it’s [about] being a little more committed, making sure that defensively we’re that much harder to play against and that much more difficult to beat. When you turn things around, that will create chances that are a little more clinical and a little sharper and find a way to finish off some of these games.
 
On goalkeeper Bill Hamid’s performance
I think that there are always two sides to the game. We look at it more from our standpoint, and I’m sure in their locker room they still are pleased with the way that Bill played. That’s always how the game will work.

On changing his role when missing starting defenders
I’m trying to always read the game and find ways to help the team.
 
Toronto FC midfielder Warren Creavalle
On his Toronto FC debut
Debut or not, they’re always focused on getting three points and unfortunately we didn’t come out with that tonight so the debut’s not really important to me.
 
On the team’s performance
When we created chances, we weren’t able to finish but on the other end, in our box, we weren’t able to stop them from finishing their chances. On both ends we just got to be a little bit tougher and learn from it.
 
On entering a new locker room with a team in a slump
You just got to learn on the fly. There are a lot of great guys around that are extending their hand to me, helping me along to way, so I’m just learning on the fly.
 
On playing against D.C. United’s new offense this season
Credit to them for creating chances tonight. I think it’s just up to us, defensively, to keep them in check. They’re, to me, another team with a good offense. You’re going to see that around the league, so I don’t look at them as any different.