A short-handed United club took the field in San Jose with a defined line-up and specific instructions from bench boss Tommy Soehn. The club responded with a huge effort. The team kept its shape. They counter-attacked effectively and created chances. Subs came off the bench and made a difference in the game.
The home side missed out on some opportunities and left the door open for a come-from-behind shocker. In the end, the Black-and-Red was doomed by a couple of bad give-aways and the club dropped a 2-1 decision to the streaking Earthquakes. The full recap can be read here.
The U.S. Open Cup champs now have a full week to prepare for FC Dallas. In addition to being a crucial home game in the stretch run of the season, fans at RFK Stadium September 13 will be able to pay tribute to the United side that brought the club to international prominence with Champions' Cup and InterAmerican Cup victories that stunned the world. Get your tickets here.
UPDATE (11:13 p.m. PT) From the post-game locker room, I give you the following:
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH FRANK YALLOP
On the win:
I am very happy to get the three points. We didn’t play that well and we could have scored more goals. It was a good home win for us and we look forward to the rest of the games we have.
On the team’s performance:
I think our guys were a little flat today. We had a few days off last week and sometimes you try to rest bodies rather than train and it always backfires in the end. I think that happened tonight, I don’t think we were as sharp as we normally are and the heat didn’t help. We are going to push the guys a little more and make sure they are ready to go next game.
On Francisco Lima’s performance:
He is a driving force and an influence in the middle of the field. He is exactly what we needed in there. I think between Ramiro Corrales and Francisco Lima they were starting to really strike a nice partnership. I like Francisco (Lima) I think he has great character, the guys like him a lot. He is a tough man and he always wants to win and that is terrific to have in any team.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER DARREN HUCKERBY
We are just enjoying the game right now. The team has been putting in the work during the week and getting rewarded on Saturdays. Every game we are growing and getting results, so we just have to keep playing this way and working hard.
On team’s play:
We have a good understanding out there right now and we will continue to work on things. I think that the team’s movement has been good so we have created a lot of opportunities.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD ALTURO ALVAREZ
On his goal:
I got a nice ball in the box and I took a quick touch and I was able to finish it. I am happy to score and help the team get a result. We are in a good spot now and we have to keep playing well.
On atmosphere around team:
The practices have been very sharp since I have been here and the team is feeling good. We are all on the same page right now, working hard for each other and getting results. There is a good atmosphere in the locker room right now.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES DEFENDER NICK GARCIA
Looking ahead to Houston:
These next two games are obviously huge. We have our own destiny in our hands now. Houston is a very good side, so it will be tough, but we have the guys in here to get two good results and stay in the playoff hunt.
D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH TOM SOEHN
I thought they had the better in the first half, we gave up the ball in really bad spots. And I expected that with all the guys we had out (injured) the soccer was not going to be the greatest. You have to make up for it by competing. To our credit, the young guys really turned it up in the second half; I thought we had the better of the second half.
On Louis Crayton’s play:
Well, we’ve had plenty of success with him and he’s a very experienced guy who knows how to manage the backline and comes up with big saves for us. He’s done very well.
On how the Open Cup Final affected team’s play tonight:
Well, injuries affected us today, but our guys battled. I’m proud of the young guys. We were right there in the end. They kept us around in the first half and didn’t put away the chances we gave them. In the second half I thought we had the better of it, unfortunately we didn’t finish the chances we had.
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER SANTINO QUARANTA
It was always going to be difficult for us in this game with the amount of guys we had out. We just wanted to come in with a good effort and start out with defensive posture with a 4-5-1. With the personnel we had, that was the best we could do tonight. You always have to be happy with the effort coming back. It’s a lot of younger guys on the field, but it was good to show effort and to fight until the end.
On his goal:
I was just trying to make runs, and cause the defense problems. I have been doing that lately and been successful. I just took a chance, it is never bad to take a chance, and I had a pretty good finish. I’ve been doing pretty well with these goals lately, personally you always want to win a game but I’m happy with the way I’m playing right now.
On being a leader:
I’ve been around a long time like some of the other guys have too, but you have to try to be a leader when guys are gone. You have to keep working, and stay positive, since things are not always going to go as planned with a younger team. We have to keep these guys positive because they did well tonight despite the result.