IMAGE: Lloyd 9-16 2017

Quote Sheet | Week 28

United head coach Ben Olsen

On the team's response after the own goal...

"The response was poor."

On the team’s average age...

“We looked it at times. We’re going to have games throughout the rest of this year where we look young. We’re still looking to win every game and be in the best spot possible when it’s all said and done this season. But, we need to see who we are going into next year, so there’s a certain amount of evaluation going on for the rest of this year and that evaluation includes me."

United defender Steve Birnbaum

On the match...

“It was tough. We started out well had some good, balanced possession and had some chances. After we went down, that took the wind out of our sails a bit. I thought we started decently well in the second half too, we didn’t put away our chances and then the game got stretched." 

On the mentality going into next week...

“We just need to get better. We need to get back that mentality of winning. We’re letting in easy goals and we can’t score, so everybody has to get sharper, put in quality work all week in training, and hopefully that translates during games."

On the young core...

“We obviously added some pieces in the summer, and now it’s just all about meshing together, which takes time. It’s late in the season, so we can just start building. We want to win games now. One game at a time, putting a string of wins together is the most important thing. This league is hard. It’s difficult to win, we know that."

D.C. United defender Nick DeLeon

On starting the game off strong...

"We started well. We started like we wanted to. I think we had good dynamics. We kept the ball well. It was just a little unfortunate with the own goal. I think unfortunately our reaction wasn't good to the own goal. I think it's snowballed from there."

On finishing the season strong... 

"Yes, it's on everybody's mind. We want to finish the season strong and go into the next season with great momentum. That's where the guys are. We have to go back to the drawing board and get some of this stuff sorted out. I think overall unfortunately we gave up some soft goals. Our possession was pretty good. Better than it's been in a little while. I think we got unlucky with some of the goals and we didn't finish some of our chances. I think ending this season the right way is very, very important for next year."

On Bill Hamid's performance in goal...

"That's Bill. He is incredible in the net. He saves our butt a lot. And he did it again today. I think it could have been worse. But that's nothing special for me; I see it game in and game out from Bill. That's Bill doing this thing." 

On facing San Jose next week... 

"What we want to see is our team bounce back. Not having two losses in a row. We need to bounce back with a win. We are going home. I think it's our second to last game at RFK Stadium. We need to end on a high note in that stadium and for our fans. I know we'll come out with the right mentality against San Jose and we will give it everything we have and we will leave it on the field."

 

Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic

On the team’s defensive effort against D.C.... 

“I think we defended very well. I think in the past when we were falling like dominos and committing a lot of mistakes, but today that didn’t happen. I think obviously you can make mistakes but there is always a guy who can stop that domino from falling by being alert, being aware, helping and being focused and that’s a defensive attitude we lacked especially in that last stretch of four games where we didn’t win, but I think that’s back and that goes together with the attacking performance. That’s important if you want to be successful. Don’t concede goals and create enough opportunities so you can convert as much as you can so you can have great wins like we had today.”

On targeting second place in the Eastern Conference... 

“I think we still have to improve and do a better job in controlling the game and not commit easy or innocent mistakes in our organization. I think we are building momentum for the playoffs, which we still have to earn until that spot is secure. We always look high in the standings, we want to get to the second place, we are going to do our best. I’ve always said our approach is the next game, and this is how we are going to prepare. We have to do our job then whatever happens on the other side and if we can benefit from it, perfect, but we have to do our job. That’s how we’re going to approach and build the momentum for the playoffs.”

 

Chicago Fire midfielder Arturo Alvarez 

On the win...

"It's a big win. I think we deserved the win, it was a good game overall. It had been a while since we won at home so we wanted to make sure that this was the one." 

On returning to winning form...

"It's something that we kind of maybe went away from a little bit. We knew that it was in there, we just had to dig deep and make sure that we got it out tonight." 

On the start...

"I think we've been, personally, we train well. Obviously game fitness is one thing but I feel good and it feels good to play. You always want to go out there and do a good job and try to help the team any way possible. I think I did that tonight." 

On being shorthanded...

"A win is a win. Obviously, we would like to have a full squad, but it's part of the game. There are injuries involved, it's a long season. Whoever gets a chance to play has to stay pumped and perform."

 

Chicago Fire defender Brandon Vincent

On the goal... 

"Great ball from Artie, that's all I can say, really. You know he put it on a dime, he put it on an absolute platter for me. I got free at the back post, I headed it and it was in. Earlier, I didn't see anyone tracking me; their wing, I didn't know where he was. I kind of put my hand up to tell Artie that I was open on the back post and he found me. That was it."

On winning at home... 

"It shows the strength of the group. We feel good at home and we're happy to get a result, a win back at home. It's been a while since we've gotten three points so it feels good."

On returning to winning form at home...

 "Normal, whatever you want to call it, it's pushing this team to the playoffs."

On earning a shutout...

"It starts from the top: the guys up top putting pressure on the ball, making it hard for them to get closer to goal. When they are, the defense tries to do the best they can to stop any shots, and if it gets through then Lampson's there to protect the goal."

On making a push for the playoffs... 

"Getting as many wins as possible leading up to it is a big part of it. Being strong as a group, competing, going out with that mindset that we're going to battle and win every challenge and win every game. That's what we're looking to do."

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