IMAGE: Russell presser

Quote Sheet | New signings meet the media

Paul Arriola

On joining United in the middle of a tough season...
“The season’s not over. No one in the locker room has their head down, at least from what I’ve seen. I’m asking to get on the field as quickly as I can and help the team one game at a time. You never know what could happen. I’m here to help the team win. That’s my job. It’s always going to be about the team.”
 
On if he feels a new sense of pressure...
“I think it's funny when people talk about pressure because as a professional athlete there’s always pressure. If there’s no pressure, then what are we doing it for? A club willing to spend a lot of money on me shows the confidence they have in me. Now it’s my job to show I have the confidence in them and in myself to help the team win championships.”
 
On differences between MLS and Liga MX...
“MLS is a lot more physical. The ball moves a lot quicker. In the Mexican league, the ball moves a little bit slower. There’s a lot more guys who step on the ball and who are more 1-v-1 type guys who want to beat their guy then give the ball up. Sometimes that worked for me since I’m an outside player and I like to take guys on. At the same time I also like to get a lot of touches and I want the ball to circulate quicker.”
 
On how MLS has developed over the years...
“MLS is growing a lot. Not just MLS, but soccer in the United States. I think we are definitely doing it the right way. I think sooner rather than later, kids aren’t going to want to go other places to get more games and to improve their quality. There will be nothing better than to stay in the United States, in your home, and continue to grow and be confident that you’re getting the best out of yourself and the situation.”
 
On his connection with other recent signing Russell Canouse...
“I’ve known Russell since we were 12, 13 years old. We’ve been together throughout the national team process. I was so excited when I found out he was going to be coming as well."
 
On choosing to join United...
“In the end, I had to look at all of my goals—my short-term, medium-term and long-term goals—when I looked at them, I think the plan that D.C. had for me was what I was looking for, and that made the decision easy. With the new players that we have and the young, newer faces going forward, I think it’s great. Obviously, getting a new stadium and slowly transitioning to that is something that’s going to be very special and I’m really excited for it, too. In the end, you have to do what makes you happy and the only thing you can ask for as a human is to search for happiness. In the end, this was a spot I felt comfortable with and in the end, it was a great decision. Playing-wise, I’m looking to grow and constantly be on the field.”
 
On the draw to join MLS...
"I’m American and ever since I’ve been watching soccer I’ve always followed MLS. The more it’s grown and the older I’ve gotten, the more teammates I’ve had or played with in the past play for an MLS team. The interest to play in the MLS has always been there—four years ago it wasn’t the right time for me and I opted the other way, but I knew I wanted to come back."

Bruno Miranda

On the Bolivian community in the District...

“It feels really good to be here and to have people from my country making me feel so welcome and making it feel so much like home. That’s an important feeling being at a new club in a new city.”

On playing in MLS versus Chile...
“To be honest, there isn’t really much of a difference in terms of the playing style and the hard work from all of the players and the team. But like I said before, the fans welcomed me here and it’s great to feel so comfortable and so at home in a new city.”
 
On following the paths of United Bolivian legends Moreno and Etcheverry...
“Yes, hopefully [I can follow in their footsteps]. They’re idols here and back home. I hope I can replicate their success here as much as possible.”
 
On moving further away from the Bolivian national team...
“I don’t feel like I’m further away than I was before. I have a very good relationship with the coach of the [Bolivian] national team. Even though I may not get called up for the next round of games, in the future I will still have an opportunity. Being at this club will still give me an opportunity to play with the national team and have success with them.”

Zoltán Stieber

On reaching a deal with United...

“A few weeks ago, I found out that D.C. United were interested in me signing for them. I approved this option and in the end I decided to come here. I've played most of my career in Germany—it was quite a long period in my career, and I was thinking about doing something different. I think that was the right decision for me, so I am very happy to be here.”
 
On looking for new opportunities in MLS...
“I was looking at MLS because of two teammates of mine from the [Hungarian] national team—Krisztián Németh, who used to play at Kansas City, and Nemanja Nikolić, who plays at Chicago. Both guys did really well, so I was following their career and MLS. I know the league is developing and getting better, so I’m really excited to be here and to be part of it.”
 
On joining United in the middle of the season...
“Obviously, it’s not easy to come in in the middle of the season, because in Europe it is the offseason. So, I’m not 100 percent fit at the moment but I’m working on it and I’m sure I will be able to help the team. That’s my target, as soon as I get my papers done. The most important thing is to get fit and help the team.”
 
On Hungarian players adjusting well to MLS…
“We have some quality players in Hungary, that’s for sure. I think that speaks to their ability and strengths. I’m hoping for the same [successful adjustment], and that I can get in good shape as soon as possible.”

Russell Canouse

On reuniting with high school teammate Travis Worra…
“As soon as I got here and in the locker room, [Travis] was the first one there, surprisingly. I probably stood there for about an hour and caught up with him. It’s been a while. He said he hasn’t been back to Lancaster in a bit, but we caught up on the high school days.”
 
On deciding to move back to the United States..
“It was a tough decision. I was pleased with what D.C. United put forth—the new stadium coming, the development of the club; I wanted to be a part of it. Also, as a kid around 8 or 9 years old my dad brought me down to games at RFK Stadium. I remember going and seeing Ben [Olsen] as a player, Freddy Adu, all those guys. So, coming back, standing out there in the stadium, having my first interview and being able to walk out on the field was pretty special.”
 
On his relationship with Paul Arriola…
“Paul and I have a pretty special, long relationship. We were a part of the [United States] U-20 squad, but it actually goes back to the U-14 national team. We went through the whole cycle together and have stayed friends and stayed in contact the whole way through. As soon as I heard he was coming, it was pretty special and I got really excited. It’s good to have him here. Paul is a great addition to the club who will fight for the team. I think everyone is happy to have him.”
 
On D.C. United’s future...
“Bringing in some young players brings a hunger to the team. I want to come in and give my best and fight. I’m ready to go. I think it’s pretty special for everyone coming in now, when we have the opportunity to be part of the tradition at RFK and then slowly transition to Audi Field. I think everyone seems hungry to go and everyone on the team wants to keep working hard and finish the season out strong.”

Ben Olsen, United head coach

On the importance of the transfer window moves...
“It’s just another great step for the club. Audi Field is here, it's being built. The plan that has been enacted by Dave with support from the ownership, you’re seeing it all come together. So it is an important day. As a head coach, it’s also still about this weekend and getting this group on the same page.”
 
On the new signings...
“This is an injection of new blood and talent at the right age who are hungry and represent what myself, Dave [Kasper], and the owners want out of players. I think that will translate with the fans because of the players that they are, but also the people that they are. They’re all selfless and they’re going to come here and give everything that they have, adding to what is in that locker room, and there’s a lot of good in that locker room. There’s going to be a lot of talk right now about Paul [Arriola] and the signings, but keep in mind that we have a lot of very talented players in the locker room already, and hopefully the marriage is a successful one, but it takes a bit of time.”
 
On finishing the season with the new players...
“After today, we’ll get back to business and prepare. It gives everybody around here a jolt of energy, which is good, especially the way the season has gone. Hopefully, we can build off that energy and last weekend’s result and performance. As quickly in this league as you can spiral down, you can float forward. We’ve seen it year after year. I’ve been in this league too long to not think that we can make a run at this. ”

Dave Kasper, United general manager and VP of soccer operations

On getting the deal with Arriola done...
“The days of floating second round picks or $150,000 of allocation money are gone, especially when you’re going after a prized asset like Paul. We were determined to get this deal done. We wanted Paul in this club. We certainly know what the market value of these assets are in this league, so you just pay it and move on. We were happy to pay it because we knew we were gonna get Paul.”
 
On the investment in Arriola...
“This is a very strategic investment—all along, this was the type of investment the club wanted to make, strategically. We’re very pleased that we got it over the line thanks to Tijuana and Paul’s agent, and we’re very pleased with the result. We’ve added talent, we’ve filled positional needs and we’re very excited, not only about Audi Field, but about this year because this season’s not over.”
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