Ben Olsen post match

Post-match quotes: D.C. United 2 - Colorado Rapids 0

Head Coach Ben Olsen

On the game:
“You could tell we has some soccer players out there. Some guys really know how to move the ball, and it could’ve been even better. I think we complicated some of the plays in the first half. Early it was sharp and moving, and then we started taking three instead of two touches and complicating the game. Overall, it was a pretty good performance. I was very happy with the depth from some of the guys that haven’t had 90 minutes. They did a good job.”

On changing the starting lineup:
“It’s never easy to go away from your quote-unquote starting 11 as a coach. We’ve built depth and we’ve talked about it and we have to trust in it. Today they did a very good job to the man out there. I thought it was a very complete performance; everybody did a good job tonight.”

On Hamdi Salihi and Dwayne De Rosario starting together at forward:
“It’s a nice option. It was pretty good, overall. I thought some of the guys that haven’t had 90 minutes tend to get a little tired, and I think Dwayne’s had a lot of games where we’ve pushed him. It was good to move him up, maybe give him a little less of a workout today. It looked good — it’s definitely a good option to have.”

On the first half:
“I thought our ball movement was good. When you move the ball, one-two touch, and you have guys filling spaces and exploiting the width — when you play a diamond, it’s important to exploit the width and get the ball from one side to the other as quick as possible. I thought we did that. Lewis [Neal] was dangerous. [He’s] a guy who can not only pass centrally, as you saw on the goal, but he’s a threat on his left foot whipping balls in. We wanted, with Hamdi in there, to be in there to get a lot of crosses in. I thought we did that, and that opened some stuff underneath.”

On injured defenders:
“It’s both [being overworked and bad luck]. It’s been a lot of travel. Sitting on planes after games starts to mess with the muscles. We’ve been grinding Robbie [Russell] pretty hard, so I thought giving him, last week, a little break, he’d be OK. He looked good; at halftime, he had a little soreness, but he said he could go through it. We’ll have to evaluate how bad it is, but again, hopefully we’ve got some guys coming back who are ready to do there part. That’s what this depth is about: When someone goes down, it’s not about panicking, it’s time for the next guy to step up.”

On the defense:
“[Daniel] Woolard really seems to be liking center back, so now I’ve got to deal with that. It’s a nice problem to have because he’s been really good in there, and [Brandon McDonald’s] been a rock as of late. He’s physically been an ironman through this. We have another game very quickly, a quick turnaround, against a team that’s still struggling. They’re going to be hungry, they’re dying for a win, so we’ve got to make sure to put this behind us and make sure we do our part against Toronto.”

D.C. United Defender Robbie Russell

On recovering from the Houston loss:
“We, as a team, felt like we needed a response [after] Houston, and we are at home, with our home crowd and it’s a whole different scenario. It’s a set chance to cut loose and take it too, and I think we did a good job. We came ready, [the win] is huge for us, and now we have to do the same this weekend [against Toronto].”

On the solid performance, despite the lineup changes:
“It’s a tribute to our depth. It’s also a factor the fact that we’ve had so many injuries and guys had to fill in consistently and they’ve been getting minutes, and it’s starting to pay off a little bit. When guys come in this is how it’s supposed to work.”

D.C. United Forward Hamdi Salihi

On the team’s idea of play:
“I’ve said from the first game that I like it when I come out here, because we have a clear idea of how we want to work, and we work this way every day. And now everybody can see that every day this is working better and better.”

On scoring and his confidence:
“When you score is always good, it gives you confidence. I’ve said this before, I’ve always believed in myself and in my quality. I work the same way every day, it doesn’t matter if I score in one game or if I don’t, I work the same way.”

On the chemistry with Dwayne De Rosario and Branko Boskovic:
“DeRo and Branko are great players and it’s not difficult to play with them because they can find you everywhere. It’s always good to play with players like this. I’m especially happy for Branko because he is coming back and he played a great game. He deserves this because he is working hard everyday and he is a good player.”

D.C. United Defender Daniel Woolard

On playing in the center back position:
“I don’t mind it; I actually enjoy it. I’ve played there quite a bit in the past, so I’m comfortable there. I enjoy it, if [Ben Olsen] needs me there I’ll stay there.”

On adjusting to the new role and getting confidence:
“When I’m getting ready for a game I watch games that I’ve played [before]. I have played center back against Colorado [in the past]. I’ve played quite a few games at center back in my career, from college to here – it’s comfortable. I think you get comfortable when you get results up front. The way this season started, we punished some teams and we got some confidence. So I think that is really helping us in our home stand.”

On the three home game stretch:
“They are big games, great opportunities to get points and separate ourselves from the middle of the pack. I don’t know if they are must-win, if we don’t win all three or two more I don’t think the season is lost. They are not necessarily must-win but we are going into the games to win.”

Colorado Head Coach Oscar Pareja

On the loss:
“It’s not good enough when you end up losing a game. You can see the goals we gave up. Obviously we’re not happy, we’re disappointed, but that’s the way it is. We gave some options to D.C. and they have punch. We paid for those mistakes.”

On goalkeeper Matt Pickens:
“Matt is doing a good job. He’s doing his job.”

On Conor Casey’s first start back:
“Conor is in the process. He’s still in the preseason mode since he was out of the training. Now he’s getting back. Today we were planning on giving him a half, maybe a little bit more. He was up, supporting up top, and that’s important for the group. By the end, you want to keep him on the field, but we have a quick turnaround with a game on Saturday. We have to be progressive with Conor. It’s a process for him, and he’s going to need a couple games.”

On incorporating new players into the lineup:
“It’s hard to say how long [it will take to adapt]. We’ve got to adapt these guys into the team, and it’s a process for us. We’ve got to be patient with the new players and faces that come to the team, and it’s going to take a little while. I think this happened today already with the group, it helped and provided some depth. We hope the competition will give them what they need to be ready.”

Colorado Defender Jeff Larentowicz

On the defense:
“I think that’s what didn’t go right: those two goals. Besides that, I thought we were pretty sound defensively. They had a few headers from set pieces and Matt [Pickens] made some very good saves. Other than that, we dictated the play most of the time, we just allowed two goals.”

On incorporating new players into the lineup:
“I think the coaches have to depend on the players that have been in there every week. That’s me, that’s Drew [Moor], that’s the guys that have been around for a while. At the moment, we’re not holding it all together. It’s difficult for the players coming in. It shouldn’t be difficult for us to hold it in together. At the moment, we’re not doing a great job on the road, we’re having difficulty scoring goals, but the season goes on.”

On Conor Casey’s return:
“It was fantastic [getting Casey back]. He’s a natural forward, he’s a natural player. He’s got tremendous skill on the ball, and that’s something we’ve lacked from the start of the year. I thought he did well tonight.”

Colorado Forward Conor Casey

On returning from injury:
“It felt good. It was nice to know I got 60 minutes or so. It was good to be out there. I was looking to get a good run in and sweat. Physically, it’s all positive. The minutes were good. I didn’t feel too bad at the end, so that’s good. I’m really excited about that, and getting back in the swing of it. Obviously the game didn’t go very well for us, but other than that, physically I feel good. I’m happy with the progress.”

On adjusting back to the game:
“It’s new. Obviously we’re doing it kind of on the run. Me coming in, they’ve been together for about 10 games or so. There’s a little bit of catch up, but it’s a work in progress. With where we’re at in the season, we’ve got to be able to adapt quickly because we can’t keep dropping points.”

On the loss:
“I thought we played OK in the first half. We had a couple half-chances that we didn’t put away. They got a counter goal; we made a mistake. Sometimes that’s how games go. We didn’t really find our footing in the second half, and it kind of got away from us a little bit.”