Post-game quotes: United-FC Dallas




On Jaime Moreno

On the day that he was honored for the 100 [goals] and 100 [assists], he showed why he was there. For me especially, that second goal, the composure to come down the middle and get them to lay down and chip over, not to many guys that I know can do that, and he’s done that for years. He’s done a good job of getting himself where he needs to be fitness-wise. And he showed why he’s so valuable to us: he spreads the ball around, and holds it when he needs to. He was unlucky not to get one in the first half. We were unlucky not to get a few in the first half.

On being down 1-0 at halftime

I think the only frustrating part for me is that we tried to shove everybody forward before half, to get a goal back. I just told them at halftime, ‘we need to relax, we’re going to get plenty more chances, and all it takes is getting one in to get it going’. To their credit, they did a pretty good job in the second half, recognizing that and fixing it.

On Milos Kocic

He manned the box, he punched a couple, I thought he got fouled a couple of times, I don’t know that they gave him enough respect coming out, but overall, he manned the box well. The guys in front of him have done a really good job too.

On Christian Gomez

He’s coming off an injury, and I think it was crucial to get him in today. We wanted to wait until everybody was a little tired. We knew he could expose things, and I think he did exactly that. It took him a little bit to get in the game, but once he did, he really managed the game well. He knew when to move forward, when to hold it, when to spray the ball, he did a pretty good job.

On Namoff’s long balls

We’ve been working on it, amazingly, after eight years as a pro, he’s able to get it right. [Laughs]. No, he’s been working on it a lot, he’s taken a lot more pride in his game, and it shows. He’s got, what - three, four assists? I don’t even know, but they’re all very similar balls.

On having momentum heading into next week’s games

Momentum is a team thing. We, through this course of winning games, have used a lot of guys, and we’re going to continue to do that, to keep everybody fresh. The guys responded with difficulty after the New York game, they were tired, the heat and the turf took a lot out of them, and it took us a little bit longer to get going, and we put a lot in it tonight, so it’s going to be important to make sure we stay fresh and we feel that we’re a deep enough team that we can inject some young, healthy ready-to-go guys and keep our roll going.

On the depth of the team

It’s a battle all the time, and it’s a challenge for the coaching staff, in so many ways of figuring out whom we’re going to play. But it’s a great thing, I mean, the guys are competing like crazy at training, and it makes our life wonderful but yet difficult. But that keeps everybody in it, so we feel we can pull pieces in and out and not lose our strength.

On Dallas tonight compared to the USOC game

Well, we knew the lineup would be different, I give them credit for what they did achieve early on, and they maintained control of the game. We expected a lot of that. [Dallas] played more of a 4-5-1 today, which we kind of expected as well, which a lot of teams tend to do here. And we created a lot of chances. We were unfortunate in not being able to get one early.


On his first MLS start

I credit our defense because they had [to face] Kenny Cooper, who’s like 6’4” and can jump, and other guys so they tried long balls at the end to hurt us. I did a little bit- I should have maybe punched a couple of balls, I tried to catch them and it’s impossible because he fouls you every time, every time I get the ball he fouls me. He hit me in the jaw really hard once, it was like a boxing match. But it’s alright, you know? Still, it’s experience. I’ve got to, next game if I play, I’m just going to punch everything out.

On playing a different Dallas team than from the USOC game

Yeah, much more motivated. Much more ready to play the game. I felt that in the [Open] Cup game they came just to play a game, not to win but just to get it done. I feel this game they were much more ready to play and that this game meant more to them than the Cup game.

On the goalkeeping depth

It’s a fight every single day, between us. Everybody can step up and play. You know coaches are making decisions before every game [on] who is going to play. You have to be ready and for me, I just try to push, try to help the team by coming out. I try to come out on every ball and help the team because I know how hard it is for the team when you stay on the line so I try to help them as much as I can.


On Jaime Moreno

I’ve seen this for 12 years. This isn’t my first rodeo with Jaime Moreno. You never count him out. Every year, for six years now, every year he comes back and people doubt him. I tell people every time ‘Do not doubt this guy’. He’s going to keep on doing what he’s doing. It’s a classy performance once again from him.

On Kenny Cooper

He’s a little bigger than I am [laughs]. It’s a physical game, he’s a big guy. What do you want me to say? All these games, I think we’re a better team when we’re physical and we show up because we’re always going to be a good soccer team. So if we match teams physically, we have a pretty good chance to be the better soccer team on the day. So that’s kind of our philosophy.


On scoring two goals after being honored before the game

It’s pretty emotional, especially when things like this…they don’t happen very often so those moments are special. Unfortunately I don’t have my parents here but I know that they’re watching me and they’re as happy as I am. My mom has prayed and it pays off so I’m really pleased [with] the way things are going and like I always say, my goal is to maintain that level. I don’t want to have ups and downs so I want to keep at the same level so I can contribute to D.C. United.

On his two goals

It was a great ball from [Bryan] Namoff. We usually practice those moves and I saw the ball so Namoff put a great ball [through] and I put it down and finished with my left foot, which is unusual. And then the second [goal] was a great ball by Christian [Gomez] and I saw the keeper kind of going low and there wasn’t much room to go through so I decided to chip it. It was a nice goal.

On his fitness

My fitness is better. I think mostly I’m not tired, I’m just cramping a little. I’ve got to talk to [Athletic Trainer Brian Goodstein], maybe I’m lacking potassium or something in my body. I think that would help me. Overall, I’m feeling a lot better. My heel is almost 100% good so I just have to take care and keep working and keep improving.

On the team’s improvement

There’s always room to get better. Like I told you, we want to maintain that level. I think the last couple of games we have done that. The team has played really well and we get better every game. We’re going in the right direction so we just have to keep believing and keep working the same way. And like Tommy [Soehn] has said we have a deep squad and guys are ready, they’re hungry for the chance and everybody who has a chance, they’re going to take it.


On the game

Overall thoughts? Disappointing. Not to take anything away from D.C. United, they outplayed us. They played quick, aggressive. For us, the disappointment comes from giving up two goals and we’ve given up 14 goals in seven games. You’d think your center of your defense should be your strongest and both goals come through there so it’s disappointing.

On goals coming early in the second half

I think the opposition is trying to play quicker balls through the center. They are trying to unbalance us with the diagonal balls. It doesn’t take a lot to figure out where are weaknesses are; I think right now we are not able to handle pressure real well.

On the play of Ray Burse

I thought it was his best game. He made a couple of great saves, the last one when the ball slipped through [the defense] and he was able to go one-on-one and then he made another one with [Christian] Gomez hitting a pretty hard shot, he was able to get to it. I thought it was his best game so far. I think what Ray has done for himself is that he’s gotten an opportunity to prove himself and this has been good for him.

On what he said to the team at halftime

We knew they would be making some changes and we knew they would be putting a lot more players forward. We felt that our diagonal ball would help us with them having only three in the back and we only tried that diagonal ball once and it didn’t get there. Maybe we should have tried it more often. The idea was not to give up any soft goals the first 10-minutes. We survived a couple things but I go back to the goals that are being scored and its so much more me worrying about our team than worried about the opposition.


On the game

It’s pretty much the story of our season so far, you know? I think we’ve gone into halftime tied or in the lead most of our games and in the second half, for whatever reason, we come out flat. We don’t bring the needed energy or desire to get the three points. In a great situation, to be completely honest, D.C. pretty much outplayed us the whole game. First half we were pretty fortunate to be up a goal but that’s what you have to do. Tough environment, tough atmosphere out on the road, going into halftime 1-0, I don’t think you can ask for much more that. But, you know, it’s the mentality and right now, for whatever reason, we just don’t have that killer instinct or that winner’s mentality. Obviously it shows in the results and it’s really, really disappointing, that’s for sure.

On giving up goals early in the second half

I’m not surprised, I’m not surprised at all. Like I said it’s the mentality and for whatever reason from the forwards to the midfield to the defenders to the goalkeeper, we don’t have it as a unit right now. There’s no one particular reason for the blame, it’s just throughout the entire team. I think it’s just a mindset, you know? And when you go into the locker room 1-nil up at halftime and you come out and give up goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half, it’s always not a good thing. We just need to get back to the drawing board; we just need to figure out what goes wrong and what we can do to make it better because the results can go our way. No doubt about it, we’re a good enough team and I think everyone knows that but right now the results don’t show it.


On giving up goals early in the second half

We’re coming out flat and other teams are coming out sharp. I think on several of those instances we probably have had the lead or at least tied, in these positions. In those situations it’s much like the start of the game, you have to come out sharper and if anything, be safe with it. Defend hard and if you have to play it up into their end of the field, get your shape up. You have to do that but it’s, like you said, a common theme and it needs to be put to rest.

On the team’s mentality

It’s frustrating. I don’t think we need to make any excuses. I don’t think we’ve done well enough to get the results right now. Have we played poorly? Absolutely not. I think there’s been stretches of games where we’ve played extremely well and every game we’ve been right in it, other than maybe the first one. We don’t lack confidence, that’s not it. We’re just not doing enough, we’re not being hard enough, we’re not being physical enough. We’re letting teams believe that they can beat us right now and that’s a powerful thing for other teams to have and we need to get it ourselves.

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