Over a preseason that took D.C. United through Florida, Arizona and South Carolina, there were plenty of opportunities for the Black-and-Red to give us some juicy soundbites. To that end, here are your top five quotes from the preseason.
#5 - "I drew that up. I told Andy to beat five guys and hit Hamdi for an open net. Yeah, I'm a genius." - Ben Olsen
Sometimes Ben Olsen is in a good mood. When he is, the coach can often be playfully sarcastic with the media, as he was while describing United's top-notch strike against Charleston. Olsen is not always in a such a playful mood, as you will see later on.
#4 - "I try to win my spot every week, it doesn't matter who is in camp with us. It is not a spot that is going to be given to me." - Daniel Woolard
One of the questions entering this preseason was whether or not Woolard would be United's opening-night left back. Trialists Jose Burciaga and Guilherme each auditioned at the spot, but neither ever provided the consistency that has become Woolard's trademark.
#3 - "I'll play through pain, absolutely. This is my job, I don't like to sit on the sideline and watch… I'll do anything I can to play." - Danny Cruz
Asked his take on playing through pain, Cruz almost scoffed at the question. The victim of a reckless challenge against Charleston, doctors initially told the midfielder that he had broken his ankle. About twelve hours after x-rays proved them wrong, Cruz was jogging at practice.
#2 - "It's beautiful when you score, because you are doing your job"
Said in his instantly recognizable accent, Hamdi Salihi's response to a post-match question points to the striker's singular focus. Scoring is his job and little else matters to the man they call 'The Bomber'.
#1 - "We are a different team than last year"
Sometimes Ben Olsen is not in a good mood. When asked if anything could be discerned from last year's two Kansas City wins over United, Olsen fired back with a curt response. The coach, however, does bring up a good point. Of the ten field players who started the 2011 finale against Sporting, only four (De Rosario, Najar, McDonald, Woolard) are likely to open 2012 starting at the same position.