Ben Olsen us open cup victory
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Post-Match Quotes: US Open Cup Final

D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen

On his overall reaction:

“I’m so happy for the fans and the players and the organization for hanging in there. I think that we’ve done a good job this year of sticking together. The wheels never fell off and there were a lot of times when they could’ve when you go through this much turmoil within the league. It’s tough to stay together but they did that—the fans didn’t turn us off, and the organization supported us. And now we’ve found a way to get something positive out of a really tough season.”

On Hamid’s performance:

“We knew he would have to be spectacular today to get out of here with a win. We knew that our back four would have to be pretty impressive as well. It was a group effort. Everyone made their plays that counted and that’s what we needed. RSL, they are real. That’s real team. The way that they move the ball and put you under is pretty impressive, but today was one of those days that we hung in there and had a belief, and we survived their onslaught toward the end.”

On his emotions in the dying moments of the game:

“It was a long 15… 20… 90 minutes. The onslaught was most of the second half. They were coming in waves and you can’t fall asleep for a second. I think that the size of the game helped us focus. Some of the guys have trouble focusing in a league game if it doesn’t mean something. They really took every play and did what they needed to do.”

On his tactical approach to the game:

“Tactically, we wanted to stretch them. I think that De Rosario and Silva at times can be a little bit like-minded. We knew that we were going to be under the gun at times and we needed a release valve, and Pontius gave us that, especially in the first half. I felt that Lewis Neal needed to be on the field. Through experience, he’s a big game player, we know that. Also, tactically he makes sense. RSL gets a lot of their joy down the middle—centrally, they pick teams apart. With him being in there, we really forced them to the outside. That made those guys deal with the game and limited them as much as possible – Beckerman, Morales and those guys dealing underneath. Some of it worked, some of it we dodged some bullets, but I thought that overall, it worked.”

D.C. United MF Lewis Neal

On what the Open Cup title means to the team:

“It’s huge. It’s a huge confidence booster, but we are under no illusions that the season has been terrible. It’s not been good enough from top to bottom. As a club we been wolfed in some of the games and we are deservedly bottom of the league. For some reason, in this cup, we have seemed to play really well in all of the cup games. Thankfully, we came here tonight and it wasn’t pretty. But winning the cup isn’t about being pretty, it’s about winning the game, and we were able to do that.”

On his goal:

“It was unbelievable. It was a good piece of play from John Thorrington down the left. I saw him crossing and I made my run into the box and hoped that the ball would drop somewhere or bounce so I could get the shot off. Thankfully it didn't just bounce and it fell to me. I got onto it quick and hit it hard and low and thankfully it went in. It was a great feeling.”

On how his goal changed the game:

“It was huge. We had the whole 2nd half to hold onto at lead. We were defending for our lives at times. It was something that we worked on a lot. We worked on the organization side of things—concentration, and focusing for the 90 plus minutes. That was something that we haven't don't a lot this year in the league and that's [why] we've been so bad. Thankfully today we did it. That lead at halftime was huge. It was huge going in and giving the guys confidence. I thought that we frustrated them in the first half. They had quite a bit of possession but didn't really go anywhere with it. The first half was good and the in the second half we dodged a quite a few bullets, but thankfully we were able to hang in there.”

D.C. United GK Bill Hamid

On what the win means to the team:

“Now we know that we can go into any environment and get a win. This is our first away win of the season except for Chicago in the Open Cup. Now we know, we have that belief, we have that faith in ourselves that we can go and get a result anywhere we want. As long as we believe and come with that mentality, we can do it.”

On this win potentially earning him a USMNT call-up:

“I’m just enjoying the moment. I’m always thinking about that. I’m always thinking about pushing myself to get to the next level, but right now I’m just enjoying it. You can’t look down the road. In moments like this you’ve got to enjoy it, you’ve got to soak it in, you’ve got to realize all of the hard work you put in – all the hard work you’ve put in as a team, and you’ve got to enjoy it. If that call comes, that call comes. If not, this is a great achievement for us as a club.”