Image: Ben Olsen #LastCallatRFK

Quote Sheet | #LastCallatRFK

United head coach Ben Olsen

On the emotions he felt throughout the day…

“I’m not going to lie it’s been an emotional week. There are so many great stories with the Legends that I shared that locker room with. The emotions were building up all week as the alumni trickled in. We shared stories and spoke about the building and the friendships, relationships and everything that surrounds D.C. United, and involves this great building.”

 

On disappointing result in United’s last game at RFK…

“The loss hurts. There’s nothing more frustrating than not giving the fans a win after they gave us that type of crowd and energy. I can’t fault the guys from an effort standpoint. I asked them to give the fans and the building everything they had before the game and they did that. It represented how the season has gone for us.”

 

On preparing for next season…

“There’s an emotional level to this, but there’s also excitement to move to Audi Field. It was also getting this season over with and turning the page to the next chapter. We’ll take a couple of days off and then we’ll get in the office with Dave [Kasper] and keep grinding to make this team a very competitive group to start the season next year.”

 

On mid-season changes…

“The reboot was a good one. We needed to be nearly perfect once we rebooted but things didn’t go our way and that’s usually the case when you sit in last place. There’s good stuff in place with the group we have right now, but there’s never an excuse to be in the spot where we are right now. It’s been a difficult year.”

United general manager Dave Kasper

On the lead up to the final match…

“It’s called Legends Weekend. They are Legends for D.C. United, Major League Soccer and for soccer in this country. It’s amazing to see the former players, coaches and staff that were on the field here today, and all of the accomplishments they achieved in this building.”

 

On RFK Stadium’s rich soccer history…

“There are a lot of memories of soccer in RFK Stadium dating back to the Washington Dips and D.C. United. It’s been an emotional day. As Ben [Olsen] was talking about earlier, we’re trying to take all that in and say goodbye one last time to this building.”

 

On retaining club identity during move to Audi Field…

“Our fans, culture and a lot of thing that D.C. United got right early on are always going to be a part of this club. We taught a lot of fans from other cities how to do things and to me that was the greatest thing about today. That level of energy and excitement from the fans and the noise in this building was tremendous. That’s going to be there in the new building and it’s probably going to be twice as loud, just because it’s going to be one of the most intimate buildings in the history of the league that we’re going to have next year. So we’re going to get that right from day one.”

United midfielder Paul Arriola

On scoring first goal…

“It felt great and it was a special moment for me. It’s always good to get the first goal out of the way, even though I would have wished it came the first game that I was here. It ended up being the last one of this season and it just happened to be on a special night, which is great.”

 

On the loss and getting ready for next season…

“In the end we weren’t able to get the result, which is obviously disappointing. For myself, the goal gives me a little more confidence going into next season. I know what I need to work on and I know what I’ll be doing in the offseason, but collectively I think we have a lot of work to do. Especially leading into the next season.”

 

United midfielder Russell Canouse

On being a part of the club going forward…

“It would’ve been nice to finish out with a win, but it was good integrating us young players in at this time in the season and being able to be a part of this going into next season. I think it gives everyone that’s here some motivation and also a feeling of the tradition within the club and something that we can wear on our chest every single game going into next year.”

 

On the moments that stood out to him Sunday…

“I heard the Legends Game when I pulled in the parking lot. I was able to dress quickly, get out there and see players that I looked up to growing up. I think a lot of the guys either played them or looked up to them growing up as well. That kind of stuck out to me, the Legends Game in the beginning and then when I got subbed out. That’s when it really hit me, ‘Hey, this is the last couple minutes at RFK.’ It was tough that we lost the game, but it was a special moment.”

 

Former United midfielder John Harkes

On encapsulating the Legends Game experience…

“I was trying to slow things down a little bit and take it all in because these type of moments, sometimes they rush right by. You get so excited, the adrenaline is flowing, everybody is on the field. Great players back together again, which is nice because the biggest thing about it is that you’re sharing that experience because of the players that were there and the people, the coaches, the front office, the staff from day one in [1996] and throughout the years. So you look back on the game itself and you think about how lucky we were to have so many great moments in the game and we’re fortunate to win five titles from my three years that I was here. There were so many great players that were able to share in that experience”

 

United midfielder Ian Harkes

On growing up with RFK…

“It was a great day to celebrate RFK and great to see all the players back, guys I grew up watching. It was little too early for me to watch the [1996 and 1997] teams, but just being a part of RFK as I grew up, coming down to see different players that I idolized. Obviously, my dad is someone I’ve looked up to my whole life and seeing clips and watching old footage of him has been great. It was funny seeing him hobbling around a little bit but no injuries and I [thought] he played well.”

 

On excitement for new stadium and 2018 season…

“I think there’s a buzz around the club and the players are excited to get into the new stadium. We have a long way to go before we get there, though depending on the schedule. The offseason is going to be important for us and we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard and hopefully get the results next year.”

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