Ben Olsen at Houston - 2013
USA Today Sports Images

Post-Match Quotes: June 15, 2013

D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen

On the positives from the game:
“Not many. [Alain] Rochat in his first game looked pretty good, at those spots. I thought he did a very good job in the holding midfield position. It’s not an easy task coming into the team with training and stepping in. I thought he had a good night.”

On the mentality after taking the lead:
“[Toronto] had one shot and they scored on two set pieces. We didn’t have a good game. We just didn’t play good in any facet of the game. I thought we looked tired. They had a lot more energy than us. They were very direct and picked up a lot of second balls. I thought that some of the guys that came into the game, some of the newer guys, looked a little confused. We put a lot into that Open Cup, so I’m not putting too much stock into the energy level, but it’s still disappointing the way we played. There was a lack of ball movement, ideas in the final third. We had some quality chances. It could have been 2-0 with [Lionard] Pajoy’s chance. He rounds the guy as well on the endline and dribbles it around, so there were a couple of chances that I thought we could have caught them.”

On Daniel Woolard’s injury
“I think he’s OK. He’s split his eye open, [but] he’ll be OK.”

On if the scoreline is a reflection of the game:
“They’re a fairly direct team. They took their opportunities on set pieces pretty well. There was an own goal, I think that’s our fourth own goal. It’s a lot. One or two is a lot in a season, so we’re at four. We’re not getting a lot of breaks in that sense. We obviously could have been better with the first goal, and the second one we’ve still got to attack the ball. We can’t be heading the ball back into our own goal. They were a little bit more aggressive, they played a good ball. It’s a frustrating loss, it really is, but again there are a lot of heavy legs out there from the Open Cup. We put a lot into that game and I think our energy level wasn’t where it needed to be tonight to have a lot of success.”

D.C. United defender Daniel Woolard

On why he thinks United lost:
“Maybe them just wanting it more? I don’t know. I think B-Mac [Brandon McDonald] got fouled on the first one, there’s no way [Robert Earnshaw’s] going to win without jumping all over B-Mac, so it’s unfortunate there. The second one wasn’t them getting on it. It flicked off me a little bit and went in. We didn’t really get in and win any set pieces. We gave them two by giving fouls and then not winning the first ball.”

On whether the loss was deserved:
“No, not at all. The free-kick where they scored their first one – they had one guy in the box. They didn’t have many other chances other than what they scored on. They threw a lot at us, we didn’t create too much. In the first half we created a few and I thought we played pretty well early on in the game. I think we should have come out better than a 2-1 loss for sure.”

On how the team reacted to Toronto’s equalizer:
“I think it lifted us a little bit. I felt like everyone got hungry again once [Toronto] scored, and we started moving the ball around, but goals just aren’t coming. If we had got a second one when we were pushing and creating chances early on in the first half then the game would have been totally different.”

D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon

On the loss:
“It’s the same as it’s been all year. It’s unfortunate, I think that’s our [fourth] own goal of the year. Then, a soft goal, it’s what we continue to give up.”

On whether the team had tired legs after Wednesday’s Open Cup match:
“It’s not an excuse, we were a little tired but it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to play through it, you’ve got to find a way to play through it.”

On the impact of continued losses:
“The losses are starting to hurt more and more, so it’s definitely tough. I don’t have much to say about it. It is what it is.”

On whether the team still believes they can turn things around:
“I hope so. I still do. You’ve got to continue to believe in it and continue to move forward by trying our best, but we’ve got to do something or change something. I don’t know. I don’t have any answers.”

On the difference of the early goal
“When was the last time we had a lead? We started the game off right but unfortunately it’s the same story. We came out how we wanted to, but again still lost 2-1.”

D.C. United defender Brandon McDonald

On he felt after being 1-0 up:
“If you look at it, it looked like we had some energy. We were continuing with how we started against Philadelphia on Wednesday, which was a good effort. Coming out today we started pretty well and then obviously the goals came.”

On the morale in the locker room:
“After you lose so many, it’s natural [for heads to drop]. In this group of guys that we have in this locker-room, no one’s pointing fingers at each other and putting the blame on each other. It’s something that we’ve got to turn around. At this point, we’ve got to keep moving. I think everybody’s just shaking their heads at this point.”

On the first Toronto goal:
“I went back and I was a ladder. I thought I was fouled, and I think a lot of other people thought I was fouled, but the referee didn’t see it that way and I guess that’s all that matters.”

D.C. United midfielder John Thorrington

On the impact of recording another loss:
“You’re running out of time to put it right. I think if you take this week as a whole, two out of the three games were positive. It’s always tough when you come off, you’ve put a lot into a game on Wednesday to come back on Saturday. Excuses are like opportunities, if you look for them they’ll be there. We saw this as an opportunity to get out of last place and continue the work we’d built up on the last two games, which were by and large positive. It’s disappointing. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board, see where we could have done better and learn how to not give up goals at bad times, how to manage leads and play like we can. We showed Wednesday how we can play. People will point to tiredness as an easy excuse, but for me that’s an excuse. Over the course of the game we didn’t play well enough to get anything more than we did.”

D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid

On the scoreline:
“We had two set piece goals and they punished us, bruised us on it.”

On conceding on another set piece and giving up another own goal:
“They’ve been really good on set pieces. First one, I should have done better…I saw it was one v. one, and I trust Brandon [McDonald], so I stayed. Earnshaw [gave] a little bit of a push, but I should have come out. It’s just set pieces, you know? It’s unfortunate. The score doesn’t dictate how the game went. I should have done better on the first one, and then an unlucky own goal. Own goals happen.”

Toronto FC Head Coach Ryan Nelsen

On getting the win:
“Yeah, I thought it was a very professional performance in the second half. The guys looked very solid and closed down the space. They’ve got some very dangerous players. It was just a really professional away performance.”

On coming back from a goal down and scoring twice:
“It was a very dubious penalty, a very soft penalty, to give. But, again, it takes a lot of character to get a win away from home against a team that’s a bit wounded and a bit desperate, very similar to us. And they showed a lot of mental strength. I mean Robbie [Robert] Earnshaw’s goal was a fantastic goal, a fantastic leap. And the set piece was a fantastic little read by Luis [Silva]. So, it showed a lot of character from the guys. The performances have been there for weeks. We just haven’t seen games out. This is probably not our best performance by a long stretch. But we got three points.”

On if getting the win against D.C. United was special:
“No. Because, of course it’s fantastic to win, it’s fantastic to come back just to see the stadium, see old friends and the fans – so many great memories here at D.C. United. And it’s such great club. And Ben Olsen and Dave Kasper, you couldn’t get two better guys around the League to run a team. Benny is one of the best young coaches, best young American coaches in all of America and Dave’s been around the League so much. They’ll right the ship. And D.C. United will be as strong as ever.”

On Toronto FC goalkeeper Joe Bendik’s performance:
“Yeah, [he made] a couple of really big saves. As the goalkeeping coach pointed out, it was the crosses he was so dominant with. Whenever the ball went in, it only ever looked like there was one guy that was going to get it. Joe’s been doing that since the start. He’s such a dominant personality and he’s obviously got a huge future in the game.”

On protecting leads:
“Again, it’s really hard. Because the performances have been so good during the season and I think if we had seen all those games out we would be in a really nice position in our conference. Unfortunately, that’s the learning curve we have to go through as a team. Sometimes it hurts before it gets better. And hopefully guys will take confidence from this being away from home. Putting balls in the box and people bombing forward – I thought they saw it out really well and looked really confident in the end.”

Toronto FC forward Robert Earnshaw

On how he managed to leap over Brandon McDonald to get the goal:
“Well, in school I was high jump champion (laughs). No. I mean it’s just the timing really. The ball was good because he over hit it so it gave me a chance to get up behind him. The guy, he was trailing back, so it gave me a chance to go up and head the ball.”

On the delivery from Steven Caldwell:
Credit to him because I called for it and I want the ball in [those] areas. If it’s a good ball, and it was a great ball like that, it just gives me a chance to get a header on goal. And it’s just nice to get that chance.”

On getting the win:
“Today was a must-win for us. We came into this game really looking forward to it and excited about it. But it was a must-win. You know, the pressure was on us and for us, today, was win or nothing. Because if we came away without the points, I think we’d have been more devastated than any team, I think, in the whole season. So, the pressure was on us, even when we go 1-0 down and to come back and show character and a change. You know, the last two games, probably our two best games that we played. It’s a credit to the points that we have in the two games. You know, we’re improving all the time.”

Toronto FC captain Darren O’Dea

On getting the win:
“It’s fantastic. I think for the last while we’ve just talked about believing. We’ve played well in a lot of games, and a lot of periods of games, and things didn’t come off for us. Today, at times, it wasn’t great in the first half. The second half we looked comfortable and without having a lot of possession, we looked comfortable. We firmly believe in what we started out to do at the start of the season and we believe the results will come. And hopefully this is the first now of many.”

On getting the lead back from United:
“I just think it shows whoever it is, fans, or anyone outside the club, that inside the club, it’s no surprise. We know what we have here. And we’ve kind of keep telling people that we have it, but there’s no point to keep talking about. wWe need to show it. And that’s one result. Hopefully now it will kick us on because the performances that we’ve put in don’t always lead to points. You don’t always get what you deserve. But today, today we got our reward.”

Toronto FC defender Steven Caldwell

On what the victory means for the team:
“The performances have been pretty good lately, but we needed that result. To go a goal down, to come back and get a lead and to keep that was very satisfying.”

On his assist off the first goal:
“Yeah, I see it all the time. [Earnshaw] makes great little runs, peels off people, and obviously it’s difficult for some teams to find him. I thought I’d just play it in the air, and [it] was a fantastic leap and finish from him.”

On how Gale Agbossoumonde performed tonight:
“Absolutely magnificent. Very difficult to come in to a situation like this and be so young an inexperienced and to do as well as he did: full credit to him. Keeping his concentration when he’s not in the team, working hard and being prepared when his opportunity arises –he’s done exceptionally well today.”

On the penalty kick call against Toronto in the first half:
“Yeah, I thought it was a little bit soft. We kind of got caught a little bit. We got overrun a little bit, so we kind of had to go one v. one and I kind of had to peel the way to the forward and leave Gale [Agbossoumonde] in his own. So, it was a difficult situation, but it was slightly soft, and I don’t even know if it was in the box – maybe you guys can tell me better. Yeah, disappointed, but the most important thing was that we fought on and that we managed to get back in the game and we didn’t let that affect us.”

On how Toronto will build off this win:
“It gives us that win. Obviously, we’ve been craving it for a number of weeks. So, first and foremost, it takes a little bit of pressure off us…We’ve got an extremely tough away game next in Houston. But like I said, the way we’ve been playing and the way we’ve been attacking games, especially the last home game and this game, if we keep that commitment to the cause, then I think we’re gonna win more games than we’re gonna lose.”