Champions League game #1: DCU 0 - Saprissa 2


Not quite the way the team was hoping to begin the tournament, to say the least.  The red card immediately following Saprissa's first goal didn't exactly put United in a good position.  

The team will now look towards Saturday's game in LA before heading to Honduras to face CD Marathon in its second Champions League match. 

UPDATE: Select photos from the game can be seen here.

UPDATE #2:  And here are your quotes.  Lots of them. 

On Devon McTavish’s red card
I haven’t seen the replay but my first impressions of it were that it was really soft, especially in these competitions where it’s about the play and not about anything else. You want to keep it as fair as possible. I’m going to watch the tape, but my first impressions were that it was a pretty soft red.
On whether McTavish said anything after the card
No, but I asked the referee at half time and he said that Devon came in after the whistle was blown to make a tackle and that’s why he gave him a red card.
On the team’s injuries
We knew it was going to be tough, I think the difficult part has been having to manage getting guys on the field. You’re not having to coach to much, you’re patching up things and it’s pretty difficult.  We fought through this – Jaime [Moreno] and Ivan [Guerrero] weren’t available, so you just push yourself a little more.  When you’re shorthanded, getting a red card really, really hurts – anytime you get a red card it hurts, but especially when you’re shorthanded. Credit our guys – we didn’t stop fighting even shorthanded. We could have tied up the game, [but] their keeper made some great saves.
On the tournament outlook
There’s five more games, but we need to get healthy. We need some bodies on the field.  We have to keep grinding it out until we get there.
On the play of Zach Wells and decision to start him
Louis [Crayton] has had a lot of games and we’ve got a big fight ahead of us on Saturday [against LA].  We had a talk and we’re going to have to manage [players] – not everybody can go. There’s going to be times when we make decisions and his [Crayton’s] knee has been a little bit swollen, so we opted not to play him tonight because he’s had a lot of action of late.  Zach’s been getting healthy and I thought Zach held his own tonight. The goals were situations that he couldn’t have come up with it – he made some big saves. He’s been looking sharper. I think it’s probably a good thing having Louis to push Zach a little bit more to get back.
On Fred coming off an injury
You just go in every game hoping they don’t re-injure themselves. Obviously, Fred and Luci [Emilio] are valuable assets to have on the field as long as you can, but you have to take in account when they’re coming off muscle strains. We’re fortunate now we’ve made it through two games and hopefully now we can see how they adjust and push their minutes a little more.
On whether he saw McTavish’s red card
No I didn’t see it, I was tracking back. I saw Santino [Quaranta] foul the guy but I think that was just a continue of the play and the [referee] saw it a different way.
On being down a goal and a man
Yeah, it was tough.  I thought we could have played with them and I thought we could pull out a win but when you lose a man and you’re chasing a game and you’re down a goal, now you’re chasing it for two reasons. It was tough, it was a tough game.
On the game
It was a tough game to be in a game when the ref called it a red on that, it’s a tough way to start. I think we did alright.  I think going into the away game we have a lot to improve on but I think we can do it. I think we can pull [a win] out.”
On whether or not the team is frustrated because of injuries
A little bit, there’s going to be a little frustration when stuff like that happens but I think the team’s doing well, they’ve got their heads on straight and I think we’re ready for the next round. It will be a good away game.
On his first game back after injury
I want to thank [United Athletic Trainer] Brian Goodstein for exhausting all the resources and getting me back out on the field, I think he’s done a great job the last three or four weeks. He took me to a podiatrist; he’s gone for supplies and the right treatment to get me back on the field.
On Saprissa’s goals
I think we were a bit unlucky on both those goals. He probably poked the ball away and it winds up straight in their feet. The guy has it center of the 18-yard line, I take a step to my right to get a good look at the ball and by that time he’d already played it to the left of Burch, so I’m a little bit displeased with my reaction on that one but the second one – what could you do? – it was a bit of a deflection. Marc [Burch] tried his best to get a foot on it, it’s just the way the luck was going. Their goalkeeper had a blinder and the referee wasn’t helping us at all so playing a man down for 65 minutes makes it just a little bit difficult.
On the red card
I really didn’t see much. I thought the referee had blown his whistle and Devon [McTavish] was just kind of playing because whistles go off all the time and he was just finishing the play and I thought I saw Devon get the ball. The guy’s on the ground and only when the referee starts to pull out the red card does the guy really start to whine and roll on the ground and act it up a little bit. It’s unfortunate, Devon’s first tackle of the game, then blowing a few fouls after that point so its just really bizarre to get a red card that early in a game when it hasn’t been chippy or anything. I think everyone was shocked.  There was a little bit more fight in the tackle but I think he was playing the ball, it was a fair challenge. I don’t think it warranted a red card at all.
On the need to rotate players
Well, we have a tough schedule. We have 11 games now in the last six weeks. We got to balance it out and play some guys when others start to wind down a little bit. I think it’s just an effort to keep everyone sharp.
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER FRED [via translation]
On the game
The problem was that we had chances to score but couldn’t finish because we were a man down. Now we have to keep going forward and play well against them in their country.
On his injury
I’m getting better, I feel better now. I’m not 100%, but I hope to be soon.
On the tournament
It’s a strong tournament and you have to play well every time because there are some good teams. So we have to move forward from this and keep working. 
On the busy schedule
The idea was to rest some guys because we have so many games. You have to try to play though it. We’re not going to be able to just play 45 minutes every game so you have to tough it out. We’re professionals and I think we’re prepared for this, for so many games.
On Saprissa
We knew Saprissa had a good team. But we do have a lot of players out [with injuries] so that also affected us because our roster isn’t as deep. We have to try to play well, hope everyone gets healthy soon and keep moving forward.
On the red card
Well I don’t like to talk about the ref but it was so fast and in the other side of the field so I didn’t see the play but obviously the game turned different after that because we have more space to work the ball. But I think D.C. United played well without one player. But I don’t like to talk about the ref, they always make mistakes but it’s small things.
On his team’s confidence
We always try to play a good game, to make plays in our defense and try to keep the ball. We’re playing away so we have to keep the ball and to make the plays when there’s space. We can make the space so that’s what I think about this game. Keep the ball in the opponent’s field, to take the space behind D.C. United’s defense. So I think without the red card we could do it [anyway]. Obviously it’s easier with one more player.
On D.C. United [via translation]
Like I said before, for me it’s important to win away games. We controlled the ball really well, which is what we wanted. The opportunities came. D.C. United is a very organized team. It was tough, to tell you the truth. If someone had told me we’d win 2-0 I would have made them put it in writing because honestly we knew it would be hard. It’s always been tough for us to play in the U.S. I think it’s the first time we’ve won an official match here. We knew they had great players, even though some are injured. But for us, these three points are golden, very important for our hopes of moving on to the next round.
On his goal
Thank God today I had the chance to play, to do it well, and to help my team get a win. It was an interesting play, where I got a good shot and we could finish off the game and play a lot smarter. We wanted to try to keep possession, control the game, look for spaces and I think we had a good game. 
On his role on the field
As a forward it’s important for me to get goals. But also, I think just doing a good job, helping my team get a result. But thank God the goals have been coming and the coach is giving me a chance.