Post-Match Quotes: June 29, 2013

D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen

On the team’s effort tonight:
“I had a group of men that fought their tails off and they’re gutted. I asked them to give me everything this week. I pushed guys to the limit with three games and an Open Cup [match], and they gave it to me today. They gave me everything they had.”

On assessing United’s play overall:
“Yeah, we didn’t score. In the final third, we have to be cleaner. But overall, I thought there was some good stuff – the way we played, the way we attacked, the way we moved the ball. We fell asleep a little bit on a play, but Bill [Hamid] bailed us out.”

D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid

On how he saw the play that led to the penalty:
“I just saw me make full contact with the ball. I feel like I almost…I actually beat the guy there, to the ball. I honestly didn’t even know he fell. I don’t know. I’ll leave that to the replays and I’ll leave that to the critics.”

D.C. United midfielder Alain Rochat

On the play in the first half:
“The key was to go hard into the game in the first minute and that is what we did. Like I said, we were unlucky to not score at this point of the game. After we were patient and it doesn’t come, we start to be nervous. We miss the easy passes. Like I said, everything is against us. It’s hard to find an explanation.”

On facing Vancouver since being traded:
“It’s a team I know very well. It’s pretty recent I was with them. That was weird to play against them. I was really working on our situation. It is very bad that we couldn’t get more than the loss today.”

D.C. United midfielder/forward Chris Pontius

On the team’s play today:
“It’s frustrating coming in here 0-0 when you push for a goal like that. Just our final ball was off today.”

On trying to get better in the final third:
“[There were] plenty of opportunities. These are things that some nights they are clicking and you are going to put every chance away, and the other nights it seems like nothing is bouncing or falling your way. Definitely tonight was one of those nights. That is on us. We have to be a lot cleaner. You have to pick out a man in the box, then it has to be a clean finish.”

On not finishing the chances:
“It happens in any sport. That doesn’t weigh on my mind. You have to have short-term memory on the field and go for the next one. It doesn’t weigh on my mind.”

On this loss compared to others:
“You have to also think that we put in a few games and they have had a break. We definitely had some heavy legs out there. Guys are still pushing to get goals in the end. Like I said, we have to be a lot cleaner in the final third and we can put that game away.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Head Coach Martin Rennie

On the win:
“We deserved the win. It’s our second away win in the last three games and I think in the last seven games we’re 5-1-1. So, we’re on a really good run at the moment and have got confidence and I thought it showed well tonight.”

On the importance of road wins:
“In the first year, the team didn’t win on the road, but last year we won I think three games, we’ve now won at least two so far this season. We need to improve on that if we want to be right up there in the table, we have to win on the road more consistently. Our record at BC Place is very strong, but for us to move up and develop we need to consistently win on the road. I think we showed the qualities to do that and we need to keep doing that each time we take to the field when we’re not at home.”

On Vancouver’s defensive play:
“I think it did well. It was a little bit makeshift, we didn’t have [Young-Pyo] Lee tonight and we were missing a couple of other players. But the players who did play, played really well. It was a very good clean sheet, but the clean sheet didn’t just come from the defenders. It came from the whole team. Because I felt we pressed D.C. into playing long balls and when we did that, I thought we handled those quite well. Brad Knighton made some saves in the first half. I thought he looked very good. He’d looked very good in training all week. So, I thought he’d do well tonight, so I’m really pleased for him tonight to get the clean sheet and of course the whole team.”

On the penalty and whether Vancouver were lucky to win:
“I think it was a stonewall penalty. I didn’t have any doubt in my mind that that was a penalty kick. I don’t think we were lucky at all, I thought we controlled the tempo of the game for large spells of the second half, and if we hadn’t scored when we did maybe we’d have scored later. But on the road, you’re not always going to dominate the game in terms of possession. But I think we were well worthy of the win. We were on the road and performing a long way from where we live and getting the win is important.”

On whether preparations have changed for East Coast road-trips:
“I think against East Coast teams we’re 5-0-1 or 5-1-0 or something like that. So, we’re doing well against East Coast teams. With Montreal, they were very dangerous at home so we played a little bit more defensively and got a clean sheet in that game. I think people are realizing within the locker room, that if they work as hard as they possibly can for each other we’ve got enough quality to win games, and when you win games and get on a good run of form it builds confidence. And I think we’re confident right now. We recently picked up our first wins against the LA [Galaxy] and New York [Red Bulls]. And we’ve won three in a row on the road, which probably matches the record the club has. So, we’re making progress, but we’ve obviously got a lot of work to do.”

On the importance of having a strong squad:
“I think it’s important that you have that depth. They’ve had a bit of adversity and we have as well and I think that the players who have stepped up have done a great job and whenever the other players get their chance they have to do the same. We also know that we’ve got players coming back who can make a big impact on the team as well. So, we have to keep getting results, and if they can fight their way back in, we’ve got a really strong team going into the second half of the season.”

On the importance of fitness and fresh legs:
“We got that rest and made the most of it, but what we needed to do was adapt to the conditions, which were a bit different from Vancouver and I thought we did that well.”

On Vancouver forward Camilo Sanvezzo’s form:
“He’s scored 12 goals in the last 13 games in MLS and the Canadian Cup, which is an unbelievable record. When you have a striker who’s scoring it gives you a great chance and we’ve got a couple [players that] are doing that. We’ve also got players like [Darren] Mattocks who came on and looked really lively and we’ve got others who didn’t make the field tonight, but they are some good attacking options and that always gives you a chance.”

On Vancouver midfielder Matt Watson:
“I don’t know if he’s been able to crawl up the stairs yet or not, but his work rate and work ethic were absolutely fantastic. He set the tone for the team because of that and I’m really proud of the effort that he put in. And it would be interesting to see just how far he ran in that game because it was non-stop. He was the one who got the penalty kick and was everywhere for us, so I was really pleased with that.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Matt Watson

On what the team will take from the game:
“We’re on a great little run now so that should get some confidence and I hope people take that into canvas. It was hard work, it was humid out there, but I examined our work rate and I thought it was there and I think we deserved the game.”

On earning the penalty kick that led to the team’s goal:
“I got a little bit of a touch but the goalkeeper also got a touch on it. I’m going to have to watch it again but he definitely got a piece of the ball and definitely went through me as well, so I guess it’s a PK. He took out my feet and that’s what the referee called the penalty for, and there’s nothing I could really do. But hey, obviously I’m happy with the PK and Camilo put it away.”

On the team’s overall performance:
“It’s huge. Like I said, we’re on a little bit of a run right now, and it’s just great for our confidence and showing that we can defend and we didn’t concede any goals. At our home games, we’ve been conceding a lot of goals and scoring a lot, so it’s definitely something we can build on.”

On the team’s second-half defensive performance:
“I think it’s amazing. When we scored early in the second half, it made it hard for us because there was a lot of game left and then we were just kind of running all over the shop trying to stop the ball. You just need to clean up on the ball, and I think as I said, defensively we did amazing and the effort was there.”

On the performance of the team’s new players:
“Definitely, definitely. I mean, obviously guys that come in don’t even speak the sign language, you know, and maybe weren’t even on the pitch just a few weeks ago. They’re doing really well when they come in. We have a lot of depth, and hopefully we can carry that into the next game.”

On whether the team deserved the win:
“Sometimes you play really well, like maybe the Montreal game in the Canadian Cup. You play really well and you lose the game. Tonight wasn’t the best performance and D.C. United did really well and we’re lucky, but sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t, sometimes it’s against you. But we worked really hard and I’m just happy we got the win.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Goalkeeper Brad Knighton

On his preparation coming into the match:
“Obviously I had a good week with training and I felt like it prepared me really well for this weekend and obviously the clean sheet to show for it.”

On the team’s current run of form:
“Yeah, the confidence is building, and obviously 5-1-1 in our last seven and two out of three on the road was fantastic. To win at D.C. and win at New York are two tough places to come win, and we’ve managed to come together as a team these last couple weeks on the road, and the performances have shown.”

On the team’s defensive consistency:
“Obviously you like getting a clean sheet on the road and it’s our first one since the first week of the seasons so obviously that’s something to build on. There’s some camaraderie with the back four that we’ve had now for a couple games so there’s a consistency factor coming in and a lot of us are starting to get to know each other. That normally bodes well for good performances, and we’re just looking to win right now.”

On the back line’s depth:
“Obviously the players that they have wouldn’t be here if they weren’t good enough to play in this league. We’ve recruited some really good players and the results the last couple weeks have shown that we’ve got depth at this position. It was a rocky start from the beginning for the first couple games but now we’ve gotten accustomed to playing with one another.”