G – Rimando, McGinty
D – Reyes, Pope, Prideaux, Namoff
M – Etcheverry, Convey, Olsen, Williams, Mapp, Villegas, Alegria
F – Quaranta, Quintinilla, Lassiter, Curtis, Zambrano
Today, while driving to practice, Alavanja was in a car accident and taken to an area hospital. There aren’t many specific details and the team will be coming out with a statement later today. It isn’t thought to be a life-threatening accident.
McKinley, Moreno, and Nelsen all came out to practice at one time or another after working out with weights.
If you were playing DCUnited tomorrow night, how you go against them?
“Not my problem . . . couldn’t careless. I’m not going to worry, or spend valuable energy, worrying about that.”
“But, now that you’ve asked the question – I haven’t even contemplated is what I mean – ‘Micky’ will want to take this game as a real bounce back game. He’s got to. He’ll try to get Vaca in a very influential role, and give him more freedom than want he has done – maybe play him more centrally than out wide so he can be the string puller of the team. And I’m sure he’ll be winding them up to upset our apple cart.”
“Missing as many players as he’s going to, and patching his team up like he’s going to, there are a lot of times that can be a real good motivational thing to the rest of the players to bring their level up. They’re going to be a dangerous team, there’s no two ways about it. I don’t buy into the notion that they’re a wounded team, missing players, it’s not that way at all.”
“Our league is way too balanced out for that to occur. So, we’re looking at this as a pretty big hurdle we’ve got to get over. And if it’s not a high hurdle, it’s got a lot width to it. By that I mean, if we’re looking at this . . . if we’ve got that little bit of let down . . . we’ll be skating on thin ice, and we cannot do that this game. This is real, prime focus, cut their throats day for us. We’ve got to be merciless, and we’ve got to set it out like we’ve been doing for awhile, starting out and keeping that momentum going.”
Is getting the first goal vital to getting the momentum?
“It would certainly be a big help. But how many games have we went down a goal recently? I can remember my heart missing a skip when we went down a goal, maybe against the run of play. The guys have bounced back; they’ve dug in and shown a lot of guts and resiliency. Thankfully that’s been at home, this crowd lifts them. And they never, even deep into the game, like the New York game before we tied the score . . . I’m not too concerned if we go down. It would certainly be a huge . . . that will really bubble us up if we can get first blood! That’s what we intend to do – we always try to earn that first goal. But, there’s no predicting like that – what happened with New York – 6 minutes and a complete gift to them. There are things that happen in a game – a deflection, a missed offside call – then you’re on the hook, it takes two to win then. That’s a big . . . the hole will get deeper.”
“I cannot put that much pressure on them to . . . ‘We need that first goal,’ I won’t be singing that tune. These guys need to be brought down a little bit, because they’re charged for them. They already know what this all means. There is very little I will have to tell them today and tomorrow, although I’ll say it in big block letters, they fully realize the importance of it all.”
With all the problems of the season, what does it mean to be in the playoffs?
“I think for the fans, and ourselves as well, it’s a wonderful . . . It’s a bit like getting an unexpected present that you’re grateful for, but you’re not sure you’re fully deserving. But, the guys who started to turn this around they deserve this opportunity. I think that . . .”
“This game tomorrow is such a strange showdown because even if we win, we may not be in. We’ve got to take care of business. We’ve got to be so resolute. And, if the cards fall against us, I think these guys will say, ‘We could have, should have, been there.’ It will set the right tone for the off-season because we were very close. If we get into the playoffs if will be a huge, fortunate measure of success. And if we miss by the skin of our teeth, then that’s how much we’ve got to get better next year.”
“The main thing is that we want to finish on an upswing. No matter what happens, let’s finish it with a bit of an exclamation mark, a punctuation point. Let’s see . . . Give these people something to look forward to next year, ourselves as well because it’s been a hellacious season. That’s just the way it is.”
Dallas will be missing Suarez and Broome. Will you give extra attention to attacking their flanks?
“Yeah, as we’ve been doing all season with some good success. We’ve been showing them the videotapes; we know where they’re weak at. But it’s a feeling that we penetrate down the central as well and get some success there. Especially with our guys, the two kids up front, are playing. There’s that ying and yang thing about them . . .and with Bobby coming from the center of midfield, and Marco there. Like you said, we’ve got some successful guns on the flanks. So, we’ll be spreading it around pretty much like we have.” “It hasn’t been clockwork all the time – far from it. But, when it’s been good, it’s been really nice.”
Dallas’ stamina has been questioned in the past. Are you going to try to out run them?
“Yeah, we’ll be going peddle to the metal as much as we can. We’ve got a real good bench. We feel as if we can really take the game to them, and outlast them.”
“But, you’ve got to earn it – that’s what it comes down to. You earn every yard of effort and it’s got to be there tomorrow. You can talk about this, that, or the other, and if that’s not there from the outset, we’ll probably struggle, and that’s when things won’t go our way.”
“I want to see drive and energy right out the gate tomorrow.”