MLS game #22: DCU 0 - NYRB 0


A missed penalty and a missed opportunity. Darn

The locker room mood was not a pleasant one post-game.  A number of players said it felt like a loss.  In a way, that outlook is a good one - the team isn't happy with a draw at home.  They want to win and feel like they should win.  

Another positive was the return of Marcelo Gallardo who came on in the 70th minute.  It was his first appearance since June 29 and he made an immediate difference in the game, releasing several players behind the defense with clever passes.  He will certainly inject an entirely different look as he gets back into shape and back to feeling comfortable with the team.

The team also gets to keep to the Atlantic Cup, as the season series finishes 1-1-1.  With all things being equal this year (including goal differential), United keeps the cup as the previous year's holders. 

Additionally, Louis Crayton makes five saves and gets his third shutout in four games. 

The focus now turns to Wednesday and the U.S. Open Cup final.  United will play the Charleston Battery in its first championship game since MLS Cup 2004.  In its history, D.C. has played in nine championship games, winning seven of them.  That's pretty good.  The team will look to make it eight of ten Wednesday night at RFK Stadium.  If you don't have tickets, get them now.

UPDATE (11:11 p.m.):  Post-game quotes below and a couple game photos here

On Jaime Moreno’s missed penalty:
The guy’s made a lot [of penalties]. He tried to hit it in the corner and put power on it. Sometimes when you hit it as hard as he did I think you lose some of the accuracy. He put a lot into the game and I’m sure fatigue had something to do with it. Obviously, he’s as disappointed as we are.
On Jaime Moreno needing rest:
We’ve given these guys time off recently and we’re going to keep managing it. It helps getting some guys back [from injury]. Although it wasn’t many minutes for some of them it was important to get them acclimated and playing a little bit. So hopefully we’ll continue to give guys some minutes and it will allow us to rest other guys.
On Marcelo Gallardo:
I think offensively he’s always a threat. We still have to focus on making sure he’s fit enough to do all the work. Tonight it was important to give him some minutes. He injected life. Unfortunately we didn’t come out with the result we wanted. I think everybody was pretty disappointed. Soccer fitness is a key to playing and he’s not there yet but you can still see he’s got some special qualities when he plays. He injected some life.
On Luciano Emilio:
He pulled himself out; he was feeling tight. He’s a veteran and wanted to pull himself out to make sure he’s available [for the Open Cup final]. We’ll evaluate him more tomorrow.
On the match:
I don’t think we were very good with the ball in the first half. We had to make a few adjustments. The game was there to take it. We’ve been better with the soccer part than in the first half so I was a little disappointed coming into the locker room because we talked a lot about possession. I think we got better in the second half. The build-up to the penalty was pretty good soccer. Unfortunately the result of the penalty didn’t go our way.
On missed penalty kick:
It’s not an excuse you know. I powered IT, I usually don’t power that much and put a little more speed than usual. The keeper didn’t move so it wasn’t a good penalty kick.
On whether he was tired:
I was cramping the last 10 minutes but still, that’s not an excuse.
On the return of Gallardo:
It’s good to have people healthy again. You can see [Luciano’s] struggling now with muscle [pain]. There’s so many games that we play and unfortunately having so many people injured, you don’t have a break. But that’s how it is. You’ve got to keep digging in and keep working.
On shutout:
It’s for the entire team, we all worked collectively and yes I’m grateful for the shutout and for the entire team.
On having to leave the goal area multiple times:
I know everyone was kind of nervous but I talked to my defender’s yesterday and I told them – It was all planned that we were going to be playing in this lineup because of [Dane] Richards and because of [Juan Pablo] Angel.  I was watching Richards all the time because he was coming from his side, coming across and going behind my defense so I had to come out to cover the situation.
On the game:
It’s good to have games like that this time of year. Both teams fought hard and it felt like nobody really wanted to make a mistake. It felt like a playoff game, it really did. It was a good fight. I think we should have won the game.
On Jaime’s penalty kick:
It’s unfortunate that he missed, he makes so many. He’s our captain, it’s just one of those things. It’s unfortunate.
On the match:
I think we did enough to win the three points but in a way we let them off the hook. But I’m very pleased to have a clean sheet and contained a very good team going forward, especially at home. A clean sheet will prove to be very good for us and for what we’re trying to do here.
On their defense:
I told the guys this morning I watched Inter against Sampdoria and I watched top players like Stankovic and Figo competing becuase that’s what this professional sport is all about. You have to be able to compete and when you have the ball, you play. We created very good chances today so Juan Pietravallo as well as Seth Stammler were immense in the midfield and hopefully they continue doing their job.
On D.C. United’s play:
They throw everything during the first 20 minutes, they have the support from the fans, which I think is very good. But we controlled the game. They had some possession but they didn’t create that [many opportunities]. I don’t recall a clear shot but there was one when [Luciano] Emilio turned and had a shot on goal. That was when we lost the ball coming off the back. So it wasn’t really that they created a lot. They just played off our mistakes. Aside from that I think we controlled the game and in the first half we should have been up 1-0.
On getting a shut out for the first time against United:
This has to go a long way for the guys that are more familiar with that stuff than me. One thing for sure is that we had the best chances in the first half. I think we’re probably a little bit sad in the locker room because we all know that we deserved the three points.
On the game:
We’re pretty happy with the result. We came in this game knowing it would be an ugly game. We knew we wanted to get a shut out, play hard. We had chances but to come out of a game in D.C. 0-0 is a really big accomplishment. It was one of those games where it’s a battle. It was really hot and humid, guys were cramping as we were running around.
On Jaime Moreno’s missed PK:
He’s very good at taking PKs. Occasionally he tries to hit it down the middle. I took a chance that that was going to happen and just kind of stayed put. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the guy miss.
On the 0-0 draw:
It just shows how tough this place is to play in. Obviously we’re happy with our effort tonight to get a 0-0 because this place is tough to play at.