With a side made up primarily of reserves, United fought extremely hard, created several decent scoring opportunities - including one shot that careened off the post - but in the end, lost on a (big time) fluke Cruz Azul goal. The team's determination and effort though could not be questioned tonight (dcunited.com recap here).
United will now turn its attention to its 26th League match at home against Chivas USA on Saturday. Following, they'll fly to Costa Rica where they'll face Deportivo Saprissa on Thursday, Oct. 9.
We'll be back with some post game quotes and a few photos shortly.
UPDATE: Post game quotes below and a few photos here.
D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH TOM SOEHN
On the team’s performance:
The effort and the energy that a lot of the young guys brought on the field mixed with some of the veteran guys, it was a good quality performance. Unfortunately the way the goal happened, it was well wide and it hit someone on the backside and we end up eating one, so you’re disappointed because we kept pushing. Obviously, at the end of the game we opened up but that’s because we’re pushing to get back into the game. But, overall, the energy we brought, the eagerness to go forward and the eagerness to defend was pretty good.
On the team’s eagerness:
Well, there were fresh guys on the field, that’s why you saw that eagerness. Obviously, we’re going to have some fresh guys on the field on Saturday as well.
We’re disappointed. Obviously if we win this game we’re still in the [CONCACAF Champions League] but now its going to be very difficult. We have to focus on Saturday now.
D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER ZACH WELLS
On Cruz Azul’s goal:
It stings that it would go that way. He drove it but he shanked it a little bit and [it was] just unlucky to hit it right on the back of his own player and trickle in. I have to blame myself for that one. The guys fought hard all night, to get a fluky goal like that is disappointing.
On D.C. United’s performance:
I thought we put in a heck of an effort tonight. I was really impressed, we were organized, we moved the ball, [and] we didn’t react poorly to mistakes. We just kept going so I was really proud to be on the field tonight.
On Greg Janicki:
I thought the guys were organized in the back. I thought that Greg [Janicki] did a great job. For his first game I thought that Greg was absolutely fantastic, he was winning balls in the air [and] breaking up plays. Overall I’d say a pretty darn good debut.
D.C. UNITED DEFENDER MARC BURCH
On the goal:
[It was] a bad goal. Just a deflection, completely unlucky - like a lot of the goals that have happened to us this year.
On whether he feels Cruz Azul outplayed them:
Yeah I did, I don’t think [it was Cruz Azul’s] best team. I thought we did well the first half, we created some of the better scoring opportunities. In the second half we had some nice ones too, [Tabiso Khumalo] hit the post. Maybe a couple of better crosses and we could have finished a few. It would have been nice to be 1-2 in a tournament and try and pick up a win down in Mexico.
On whether the team’s performance is encouraging:
Yeah, it was good. There was a lot of energy and everybody gave it 100% and it’s a lot of experience for the young guys. I saw what some of the young guys could do and they looked good out there.
CRUZ AZUL HEAD COACH BENJAMIN GALINDO
Of course winning is important. Winning because Cruz Azul, this great institution, has always taken this very seriously. We’ve got two wins, against Saprissa and tonight, and a loss against Marathon but honestly we’re taking this Champions League very seriously.
On the team’s performance:
We really worked hard. We had two or three opportunities to make the lead bigger. That’s what we were missing but we’ll keep working on that. I think finishing is something you always think you could have done better, especially since we had chances.
CRUZ AZUL DEFENDER JAIME LOZANO
On D.C. United:
I think D.C. United is a good team, they are always in these type of tournaments and they always play well. They’re a good team and have really good players. Fortunately for us we got a goal and we got the opportunity to win three points but I think it was a really good team and they really fought throughout the whole game.