With three goals from last year's MVP (amazingly, his first hat trick in MLS), United put together a comprehensive 4-1 win over the visiting Red Bulls Saturday night. After struggling to find the back of the net through the first part of the season, Luciano Emilio has now scored goals in four straight games - tied for the longest streak in MLS this year - and run his season tally to seven, second best in MLS. Jaime Moreno was his usual self, dishing out two assists and creating chances all over the field.
With the win, United leapfrogs New York and into fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. There is still a long way to go, but with three wins in the last four games (and a draw in the other), the team seems to be finding itself.
Post-game quotes from both teams below and there are a few photos on the Video & Pics page.
D.C. United Head Coach Tom Soehn
On the team’s performance:
I actually thought in the first half – it was a three-goal lead – and I came in disappointed. We could have played better. We finished well but we didn’t manage the game that well. The second half I thought we started knocking it around a little bit better. Whether it was the conditions or the way we came out, I just expected a little bit more from our starters.
On the team’s improved play:
We just want to build consistency. After you look back you say we’ve done this for two months in a row, and now you say you’re there. We’re still working on some things and I’m disappointed we gave up a goal. We’re working hard on getting a clean sheet but we haven’t gotten a clean sheet yet and that’s troublesome. So there are still some things to fix. Obviously we’re creating a lot of opportunities, I thought that was a positive. I’ve said this before, when Luciano [Emilio] does get one, they start to come in bunches and they’re starting to come in bunches, but there are still things to work on.
On Zach Wells:
He’s manning the box a little bit more. He’s more decisive in the decisions he makes. That’s what we’ve asked of him and he’s trying to do that.
On whether or not he’s happy with the team’s position:
I’d rather we be first. Right now all we can do is control what’s going forward. We can’t look back As long as we stay consistent now and keep putting results together and good performances together, we’re going to be happy with that because that’s what we have now.
D.C. United Forward Luciano Emilio
On his goals:
It was a collective effort. There was a lot of good passes on the goal and the other ones it was rebounds and I happened to be there at the right place, at the right time.
On his confidence:
My confidence is very high right now. I think everyone too, in the locker room. Not just myself but all my teammates and that’s good for us.
On if he’s doing anything different:
Not at all. I’ve been playing the same all along. I think the difference is that were creating more chances now as a group and obviously I have more opportunities.
On the team getting better:
We’re working hard to get there. I don’t think we’re there yet. But I think game by game we’re working together to get to that level where we were last year.
On his hat trick:
I think it would be very important for any player to score a hat trick. Obviously I’m happy about it – now I’ve got to keep working hard and focus and maybe next time I’ll score four.
D.C. United Defender Marc Burch
On the win:
We’re at home, you know. We’re playing for our home crowd and we knew we had to win. We got a great win last week [over Chicago] and we have three home games in a row so we have to get wins on all these to get ourselves up on the table.
D.C. United Defender Devon McTavish
On the team’s performance:
Unfortunately we’re still letting a goal in and for us in the back line it’s sad. We’re upset about that but everywhere else it was a pretty phenomenal day. We still have plenty of work to do but we’re definitely heading in the right direction now.
D.C. United Midfielder Santino Quaranta
On talking about his addictions:
It was an emotional day. It’s tough to read that about yourself – about where I am now. If one person reads that, and it helps them, it’s not about me now anymore. I go about this every day. It’s about other people reading that story and maybe it helps one person. It was an emotional day for me. My phone started ringing at seven o’clock in the morning. The fans have been amazing. I was a little nervous when this came out, I didn’t know what to expect because I kind of kept this under wraps and I didn’t go to anybody wanting to put the story out. I don’t want a pat on the back for it. It’s what I have to do as a father, as a husband. I’m just so grateful to be back. It’s the bigger picture. This is bigger than the stadium, it’s bigger than this team. It’s an amazing journey back for me in general and I’m very grateful to be out there playing in front of people and to just be walking.
New York Head Coach Juan Carlos Osorio
On the result:
Until the first goal, it was basically a very even game. Then we just decided to go forward. We had no organization. They counter attacked and with four passes they go through our defense and it’s a goal. I am very disappointed with our defense today. We allowed open shots on goal. On the night, we lost against a better team. We failed to keep possession and hopefully we will improve.
On the next game:
This is over. We need to see what players are available for Wednesday. Try to put a decent team that is willing to compete and hopefully get a result in Boston.
New York midfielder Dave van den Bergh
On the game:
[They kept possession] Especially when it counted, you know. After 3-0, the game is over basically. We got to go back and they scored in three minutes to go up 4-1. We wever never really in it and that’s disappointing.
On the differences between the two teams:
It’s our mistakes, you know. Jaime Moreno could drop, receive it and turn. IF you see how our forwards were treated – they didn’t have time to control the ball, let alone turning. We kind of played into their strengths, which is the worst thing you can do against a good team like this.
On going down 2-0:
It was difficult, but we still had plenty of chances. Woly [John Wolyniec] had an extremely good one on 2-0. You know, we score 2-1 and it’s a different game, you know. And even then, if we go in at halftime, 2-0 down it’s a lot… just play out the half and take your loss and go in 2-0 down, not 3-0.