Post Game Quotes (Dallas) 09-19-02

Mike Jefferies
Describe the season for Dallas?
“For us the season has been by and large pretty positive. We’ve been able to kind of get a system, and a group of guys have played together, and gotten stronger, as the year has gone on.”
“For us the last 3 or 4 weeks have been a big test. It’s the first time we’ve lost 2 games in a row let alone more, and it was important that we bounce back.”
“So tonight for us is very big in several was. One, it’s nice to get a win and head into the post season. Two, I thought it showed a lot of character to be able to bounce back after giving up a very late third goal, and close the game out eventually, and get the result in overtime. I think that’s one of the things that’s been able to carry us in a lot of games – we’ve been a team that’s been able to stay in games, and keep games tight. So, that was a big positive for us.”

What does Eddie Johnson bring to the team?
“He’s a very good young player. He came on and made an impact in this game – he got the game-winning goal. I think you saw glimpses, a little bit tonight of Eddie. He pulls off a big play at the end of the game to win us the game, and a couple of other good ones. And a couple of plays don’t go his way. I think he’s a guy we have great thoughts about the future. He’s athletic, he’s a talented player, and he’s still young.”

Even though you were already in the playoffs, how important was this game?
“It was important for us. One, we still have some hopes of home field advantage, and now the weight goes back to Colorado to get a result tomorrow, so that part makes it important. I think we were in a situation like I said, for the first time we lost a couple of games in a row, and so for us it was important to find a way to win, and maybe have that little extra edge to our confidence as we head into the post season. So those things made it an important game from our end. At the end of the game it was obvious that a tie did neither of us any good – we were both going up and down the field like mad.”


Ray Hudson
General Comments
“I haven’t thought about anything I’m going to say, I’m pretty numb. I’m proud of the effort of everybody right from the start.”
“It was probably our worst half football all season – the first season. And I had a sense, before we went out . . . there was a little bit of attitude that went out of the locker room, a little bit of edge went out of it. There was a tone in there that I didn’t like, but we’ll sort that out what that’s about. But the footballing side of it I thought we came on gangbusters and really came out with a different attitude, a much more committed drive. And we started playing some decent football. And I still think we were carrying a good few players tonight that were really below par. But some lads really stepped the game up big time as well in response, especially in the second half.”
“Credit Dallas – that’s a good team. The forwards were particularly sharp and menacing. That part of it was the difference. But all in all, maybe it’s a bit of a poetic way to go out this year, because were we good enough? We had a lot spirit, we had a lot of bounce, they played their hearts out for each other – I’ll give them that. But there is obviously some things that need to be put right with this squad.”
“We did our club proud. It must have been a decent game for national television. I think we did our fans . . . we went out swinging and fighting and clawing, and it just couldn’t take that last gasp of air. And you know what? That’s maybe who we’ve been all year long. Right from the start just not good enough, and it’s got to change.”
“It’s over now and it’s got to be influenced, and things have got to get better on a number of fronts. A number of situations in this club I want to build a better fighting spirit. I want to build a better footballing team. I want to be a better passing team. I want to be more menacing. That’s what I’ve got to go out and cobble into this team. There’s a lot of good stuff to work with – a lot of good stuff to work with! When you think of Quaranta, Convey tonight – he was my man of the match – and Nicky . . . . We’ve got a lot of good ones and I don’t just mean the young players, but the veteran players. There’s some good stuff to keep in this side. But this is the third year and it can’t go on. We’ve got to try to affect it. We’ve got to be brave and we’ve got to be bold and we’ve got to stand up and face the music after another sub par year. And all the excuses, and I think there are some valid ones, it still doesn’t pull the wool over my eyes, it just doesn’t, and again, we’re going to have to affect it.”
“Again, I credit Dallas – in a real alley fight and to come out with the last punch. I thought we could’ve won the game. I thought we were going to get it. I felt like it was going to be our night. But, now the agony is ended. It has been a very torturous year for me personally.”
“We’ll get it right. We’ve got a lot of good stuff to work with. We’ll be an improved side next year, I’ll guarantee it.”

What went wrong on Dallas second goal?
“Is that the one that went over him? Dallas is a team that really can strike from anywhere – they’ve done it before. They’re brave! They take a chance.”
“It flew over and in. It was a good snap shoot that found the back of the net. It felt as if that was the way they were going to score, like a pop and it’s in. We weren’t able to provide that sort of marksmanship – that’s what it’s called.”

Did you feel that unlike the rest of the year the defense let you down and the offense played well?
“No, I thought Eddie battled well. Milton had a real decent game. Bryan showed up as well. The kid comes up from the A-League, and the kid stepped up as well.”
“We’re missing a lot of players. But, they did us OK.”
“There was a little bit of a break down here or there, but we didn’t set out at the start of this game with the right . . . we didn’t have the right tools . . . it was one of those nights that it just didn’t go well right from the outset. The first 45 minutes was crap! I blistered them at half time. Most of the guys that came in did well, but there was an attitude in there right from the kick-in out f—— there with some!”

What kind of attitude?
“This isn’t the time to go into this because that’s a personal confrontation that I’m going to have with a certain individual. I’d rather not really get into that. But, I hate that s—. It’s like that sort of . . . . that attitude . . .”
“It’s funny because you get that feeling from that one thing. Then it’s like a disease it spreads like a f—— cancer, and it gets in. It won’t get into this team. It will be cut off at its the source. You could sense it and I told them before we took the field, ‘There’s something in here that’s been set by somebody’s attitude, and it’s going to affect us.’ I don’t know if you want to call it karma, or if that’s just . . . people think, ‘That’s just b——- to be talking about that.’ But, there was something that f—— stunk like high s—, and it won’t be there next year.”

Was it a player or official?
“I don’t want to tell you honestly. It something we’ll do . . . we’ll wash our own dirty laundry and throw it out.”

Practice Notes & Quotes 09-18-02

Attendance:
G – Rimando, McGinty
D – Reyes, Pope, Prideaux, Namoff
M – Etcheverry, Convey, Olsen, Williams, Mapp, Villegas, Alegria
F – Quaranta, Quintinilla, Lassiter, Curtis, Zambrano

Notes
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.

Possible Lineup
—————–Rimando
Reyes———-Pope———Namoff
—————Williams
Olsen——–Etcheverry—-Villegas
————–Convey
——–Zambrano——Quintinilla

Quotes
Ray Hudson
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.”

Post Game (NY) Quotes 09-14-02

Octavio Zambrano
Can you give your general comments on the game?
“Not a very pretty game obviously. We were defending for most of the night. I don’t think the officiating was obviously up to par. I just don’t think it was a very good game. It was a good result for DC . . . that’s all that counts for them.”
“For us it’s now a re-grouping period. Mathmatically we can still be in it and we’re hoping for that to happen.”

What did you see on the Mathis play?
“A red card.”

How much of an effect was playing 2 games in 48-hours?
“It was the same for both of the teams so it really isn’t a factor.”

What did you think on Howard’s red card?
“It was a terrible call because it was clear that he was going for the ball. He wasn’t touched by Lassiter, who took him wide, but the momentum was inevitable that they were going to collide.”
“When you have intent to hurt the player, or to really stop him – to reach for him – I believe that is a red card foul. But unfortunately . . . The issue of referring is a very touchy issue because we are constantly being reminded that we shouldn’t speak badly of it or we will face the consequences.”
“It’s been too long of a season to add to it so I’ll just leave it at that. I think the fans who understand the game understand perhaps what people all around understand.”

Ray Hudson
What are your general thoughts on the game?
“A good win . . . battled hard . . . and with what we had to go out there with, I thought the guys who came in did really well and stepped up and bravely supported. It was a brave win – a brave, gutsy, spirited win.”
“I hope the fans are pleased with that.”

What did you think of Namoff’s performance?
“Marvelous, Bryan was outstanding. Pretty much I would call him close to faultless. It was an absolutely wonderful performance by the kid that played 90 minutes the day before – yesterday – for his team. He showed poise, he didn’t dwell on the ball, absolutely 5-star – 10 out of 10. He really showed up.”
“I’m going to go down and repay the favor and go down and watch him tomorrow. Marvelous, I can’t ask anymore.”

What effect was it playing two games in 48 hours?
“It was draining and it showed in a lot of players, some more than others. That’s definitely a valid thing to take into account for both teams. I think we showed a little bit more resilience, desire.”
“We moved about well. Kevin had said at half time we were moving it well. We were moving it nicely. Passing was very slip shod, but the conditions – take into account – and we played 48 hours.”
“We’ve got to be ecstatic, but have too high of standards sometimes for certain players, and in certain situations. But I’m delighted for the fans and the players. Ali coming in and doing wonderful, and Roy having a great chance. But I think Eliseo and Henry set the stall out and were dangerous. So all in all we cannot complain. It was very . . . it was a great win. It makes it interesting.”
“It’s so bitter sweet. I’m not going to sleep a f—— wink tonight. I don’t want to get into this, honestly lads. It breaks me heart. It breaks me heart to see what we’re putting up with the . . . the way the lads burst their f—— hearts for each other and some players are out there not doing s—! They aren’t even in the f—— team. It f—— makes me want to puke. And when you see a team that is just cobbled together like that, thrown together, and you see the way they work for each other getting out wins, its f—— marvelous. But something inside of me is very angry because there’s something seriously missing inside this club that we will put right next year. This doesn’t pull any wool over my eyes.”

Is it the lack of urgency?
“It’s a lot deeper than that. Like I say, I just have very high standards. I think that’s why I was hired.”
“I know what’s wrong. I know what’s f—— wrong and we’ll put it right. I’ll be f—— ruthless with it!”
”We’ll take it to Dallas on Thursday, and we’ll try to end the season, no matter if we get into the playoffs, on a high note for these fans – marvelous, marvelous fans.”

Because NY is stilling chasing the playoffs, were you surprised that NY never really mounted an offense other than the gifted goal?
“It was a gift . . . You’re a dead right. Octavio has got a wobbly ship. That’s where you dig deeper. That’s where we beat them tonight we dug deeper. We wanted it more.”
“Bruce Arena has either got to be the greatest comedian or . .. he said, ‘Well, that was never in doubt.’ I thought that was beautiful. It seemed that it was on the cards that we’d come though, but god, you talk about Chinese water torture!”
“It’s funny, this is the beauty of the game. They’re champions of the division when its all done and dusted and they’re carving their name in it and then its ‘whoops . . . whoops.’ They could be . . . It’s an amazing sort of season! That’s the thing tonight I’m actually going to be kicking ‘Punky.’ I’m going to go home and kick my dog. He’s going to get his ass kicked; it’s his fault as much as anybody’s. We could be in there – we could and we should. We’ve got a 19 year old kid up top and we’ve got a kid, Henry, who is still learning the lads names, and we’ve got Roy that comes in – a travel journeyman, and we’ve got Ali Curtis, green as grass, but a big heart. What a difference, a big heart you’ve got to reward them.”
“I think it’s NY . . . They’ve got to dig deep for their colors.”

What did you think of the officiating?
“You know when you win it’s a different kettle of fish, isn’t it?”
“It might have been . . . I think Clint might have been victimized by it – it looked worse than it was. But you know if you step onto a kid’s face – and Clint’s not that way . . . I’m sure it wasn’t intentional – it might have been a harsh call.”
“With Roy’s? I don’t know. It looked like Roy had broke his leg. The kid did great. He was through and he got wiped out as far as I could see.”

What are your thoughts about Tab Ramos – last game played at RFK?
“Tab Ramos? Fabulous. For me he’s a spectacular footballer. He was the guile when the United States didn’t have any. He was the class when the United States were just starting to snip at what class is all about. Tab Ramos for me is certainly one of the greatest players the United States ever produced.”
“I love his vision. You look at his eyes – just look at his eyes – they are like saucers. He’s a lovely footballer.”
“I don’t know why he’s hanging it up? I’d take him tomorrow. So if he wants to have an extended season, we can talk.”
“A super player. I have nothing but the ultimate, consummate respect for Tab Ramos. He’s a player of great style and ability – a great competitor.”
“He was right at the fore front when the United States were just starting to advance. It’s a shame that he’s not 6 or 7 years before of his time, because he was ahead of his time. He’s one of those players that might not have had his full support and cast around him. I think at his best he could play with any team in the world. He was that good.”

Post Game (NY) Quotes 09-14-02

Octavio Zambrano
Can you give your general comments on the game?
“Not a very pretty game obviously. We were defending for most of the night. I don’t think the officiating was obviously up to par. I just don’t think it was a very good game. It was a good result for DC . . . that’s all that counts for them.”
“For us it’s now a re-grouping period. Mathmatically we can still be in it and we’re hoping for that to happen.”

What did you see on the Mathis play?
“A red card.”

How much of an effect was playing 2 games in 48-hours?
“It was the same for both of the teams so it really isn’t a factor.”

What did you think on Howard’s red card?
“It was a terrible call because it was clear that he was going for the ball. He wasn’t touched by Lassiter, who took him wide, but the momentum was inevitable that they were going to collide.”
“When you have intent to hurt the player, or to really stop him – to reach for him – I believe that is a red card foul. But unfortunately . . . The issue of referring is a very touchy issue because we are constantly being reminded that we shouldn’t speak badly of it or we will face the consequences.”
“It’s been too long of a season to add to it so I’ll just leave it at that. I think the fans who understand the game understand perhaps what people all around understand.”

Ray Hudson
What are your general thoughts on the game?
“A good win . . . battled hard . . . and with what we had to go out there with, I thought the guys who came in did really well and stepped up and bravely supported. It was a brave win – a brave, gutsy, spirited win.”
“I hope the fans are pleased with that.”

What did you think of Namoff’s performance?
“Marvelous, Bryan was outstanding. Pretty much I would call him close to faultless. It was an absolutely wonderful performance by the kid that played 90 minutes the day before – yesterday – for his team. He showed poise, he didn’t dwell on the ball, absolutely 5-star – 10 out of 10. He really showed up.”
“I’m going to go down and repay the favor and go down and watch him tomorrow. Marvelous, I can’t ask anymore.”

What effect was it playing two games in 48 hours?
“It was draining and it showed in a lot of players, some more than others. That’s definitely a valid thing to take into account for both teams. I think we showed a little bit more resilience, desire.”
“We moved about well. Kevin had said at half time we were moving it well. We were moving it nicely. Passing was very slip shod, but the conditions – take into account – and we played 48 hours.”
“We’ve got to be ecstatic, but have too high of standards sometimes for certain players, and in certain situations. But I’m delighted for the fans and the players. Ali coming in and doing wonderful, and Roy having a great chance. But I think Eliseo and Henry set the stall out and were dangerous. So all in all we cannot complain. It was very . . . it was a great win. It makes it interesting.”
“It’s so bitter sweet. I’m not going to sleep a f—— wink tonight. I don’t want to get into this, honestly lads. It breaks me heart. It breaks me heart to see what we’re putting up with the . . . the way the lads burst their f—— hearts for each other and some players are out there not doing s—! They aren’t even in the f—— team. It f—— makes me want to puke. And when you see a team that is just cobbled together like that, thrown together, and you see the way they work for each other getting out wins, its f—— marvelous. But something inside of me is very angry because there’s something seriously missing inside this club that we will put right next year. This doesn’t pull any wool over my eyes.”

Is it the lack of urgency?
“It’s a lot deeper than that. Like I say, I just have very high standards. I think that’s why I was hired.”
“I know what’s wrong. I know what’s f—— wrong and we’ll put it right. I’ll be f—— ruthless with it!”
”We’ll take it to Dallas on Thursday, and we’ll try to end the season, no matter if we get into the playoffs, on a high note for these fans – marvelous, marvelous fans.”

Because NY is stilling chasing the playoffs, were you surprised that NY never really mounted an offense other than the gifted goal?
“It was a gift . . . You’re a dead right. Octavio has got a wobbly ship. That’s where you dig deeper. That’s where we beat them tonight we dug deeper. We wanted it more.”
“Bruce Arena has either got to be the greatest comedian or . .. he said, ‘Well, that was never in doubt.’ I thought that was beautiful. It seemed that it was on the cards that we’d come though, but god, you talk about Chinese water torture!”
“It’s funny, this is the beauty of the game. They’re champions of the division when its all done and dusted and they’re carving their name in it and then its ‘whoops . . . whoops.’ They could be . . . It’s an amazing sort of season! That’s the thing tonight I’m actually going to be kicking ‘Punky.’ I’m going to go home and kick my dog. He’s going to get his ass kicked; it’s his fault as much as anybody’s. We could be in there – we could and we should. We’ve got a 19 year old kid up top and we’ve got a kid, Henry, who is still learning the lads names, and we’ve got Roy that comes in – a travel journeyman, and we’ve got Ali Curtis, green as grass, but a big heart. What a difference, a big heart you’ve got to reward them.”
“I think it’s NY . . . They’ve got to dig deep for their colors.”

What did you think of the officiating?
“You know when you win it’s a different kettle of fish, isn’t it?”
“It might have been . . . I think Clint might have been victimized by it – it looked worse than it was. But you know if you step onto a kid’s face – and Clint’s not that way . . . I’m sure it wasn’t intentional – it might have been a harsh call.”
“With Roy’s? I don’t know. It looked like Roy had broke his leg. The kid did great. He was through and he got wiped out as far as I could see.”

What are your thoughts about Tab Ramos – last game played at RFK?
“Tab Ramos? Fabulous. For me he’s a spectacular footballer. He was the guile when the United States didn’t have any. He was the class when the United States were just starting to snip at what class is all about. Tab Ramos for me is certainly one of the greatest players the United States ever produced.”
“I love his vision. You look at his eyes – just look at his eyes – they are like saucers. He’s a lovely footballer.”
“I don’t know why he’s hanging it up? I’d take him tomorrow. So if he wants to have an extended season, we can talk.”
“A super player. I have nothing but the ultimate, consummate respect for Tab Ramos. He’s a player of great style and ability – a great competitor.”
“He was right at the fore front when the United States were just starting to advance. It’s a shame that he’s not 6 or 7 years before of his time, because he was ahead of his time. He’s one of those players that might not have had his full support and cast around him. I think at his best he could play with any team in the world. He was that good.”

Post Game (NY) Quotes 09-14-02

Octavio Zambrano
Can you give your general comments on the game?
“Not a very pretty game obviously. We were defending for most of the night. I don’t think the officiating was obviously up to par. I just don’t think it was a very good game. It was a good result for DC . . . that’s all that counts for them.”
“For us it’s now a re-grouping period. Mathmatically we can still be in it and we’re hoping for that to happen.”

What did you see on the Mathis play?
“A red card.”

How much of an effect was playing 2 games in 48-hours?
“It was the same for both of the teams so it really isn’t a factor.”

What did you think on Howard’s red card?
“It was a terrible call because it was clear that he was going for the ball. He wasn’t touched by Lassiter, who took him wide, but the momentum was inevitable that they were going to collide.”
“When you have intent to hurt the player, or to really stop him – to reach for him – I believe that is a red card foul. But unfortunately . . . The issue of referring is a very touchy issue because we are constantly being reminded that we shouldn’t speak badly of it or we will face the consequences.”
“It’s been too long of a season to add to it so I’ll just leave it at that. I think the fans who understand the game understand perhaps what people all around understand.”

Ray Hudson
What are your general thoughts on the game?
“A good win . . . battled hard . . . and with what we had to go out there with, I thought the guys who came in did really well and stepped up and bravely supported. It was a brave win – a brave, gutsy, spirited win.”
“I hope the fans are pleased with that.”

What did you think of Namoff’s performance?
“Marvelous, Bryan was outstanding. Pretty much I would call him close to faultless. It was an absolutely wonderful performance by the kid that played 90 minutes the day before – yesterday – for his team. He showed poise, he didn’t dwell on the ball, absolutely 5-star – 10 out of 10. He really showed up.”
“I’m going to go down and repay the favor and go down and watch him tomorrow. Marvelous, I can’t ask anymore.”

What effect was it playing two games in 48 hours?
“It was draining and it showed in a lot of players, some more than others. That’s definitely a valid thing to take into account for both teams. I think we showed a little bit more resilience, desire.”
“We moved about well. Kevin had said at half time we were moving it well. We were moving it nicely. Passing was very slip shod, but the conditions – take into account – and we played 48 hours.”
“We’ve got to be ecstatic, but have too high of standards sometimes for certain players, and in certain situations. But I’m delighted for the fans and the players. Ali coming in and doing wonderful, and Roy having a great chance. But I think Eliseo and Henry set the stall out and were dangerous. So all in all we cannot complain. It was very . . . it was a great win. It makes it interesting.”
“It’s so bitter sweet. I’m not going to sleep a f—— wink tonight. I don’t want to get into this, honestly lads. It breaks me heart. It breaks me heart to see what we’re putting up with the . . . the way the lads burst their f—— hearts for each other and some players are out there not doing s—! They aren’t even in the f—— team. It f—— makes me want to puke. And when you see a team that is just cobbled together like that, thrown together, and you see the way they work for each other getting out wins, its f—— marvelous. But something inside of me is very angry because there’s something seriously missing inside this club that we will put right next year. This doesn’t pull any wool over my eyes.”

Is it the lack of urgency?
“It’s a lot deeper than that. Like I say, I just have very high standards. I think that’s why I was hired.”
“I know what’s wrong. I know what’s f—— wrong and we’ll put it right. I’ll be f—— ruthless with it!”
”We’ll take it to Dallas on Thursday, and we’ll try to end the season, no matter if we get into the playoffs, on a high note for these fans – marvelous, marvelous fans.”

Because NY is stilling chasing the playoffs, were you surprised that NY never really mounted an offense other than the gifted goal?
“It was a gift . . . You’re a dead right. Octavio has got a wobbly ship. That’s where you dig deeper. That’s where we beat them tonight we dug deeper. We wanted it more.”
“Bruce Arena has either got to be the greatest comedian or . .. he said, ‘Well, that was never in doubt.’ I thought that was beautiful. It seemed that it was on the cards that we’d come though, but god, you talk about Chinese water torture!”
“It’s funny, this is the beauty of the game. They’re champions of the division when its all done and dusted and they’re carving their name in it and then its ‘whoops . . . whoops.’ They could be . . . It’s an amazing sort of season! That’s the thing tonight I’m actually going to be kicking ‘Punky.’ I’m going to go home and kick my dog. He’s going to get his ass kicked; it’s his fault as much as anybody’s. We could be in there – we could and we should. We’ve got a 19 year old kid up top and we’ve got a kid, Henry, who is still learning the lads names, and we’ve got Roy that comes in – a travel journeyman, and we’ve got Ali Curtis, green as grass, but a big heart. What a difference, a big heart you’ve got to reward them.”
“I think it’s NY . . . They’ve got to dig deep for their colors.”

What did you think of the officiating?
“You know when you win it’s a different kettle of fish, isn’t it?”
“It might have been . . . I think Clint might have been victimized by it – it looked worse than it was. But you know if you step onto a kid’s face – and Clint’s not that way . . . I’m sure it wasn’t intentional – it might have been a harsh call.”
“With Roy’s? I don’t know. It looked like Roy had broke his leg. The kid did great. He was through and he got wiped out as far as I could see.”

What are your thoughts about Tab Ramos – last game played at RFK?
“Tab Ramos? Fabulous. For me he’s a spectacular footballer. He was the guile when the United States didn’t have any. He was the class when the United States were just starting to snip at what class is all about. Tab Ramos for me is certainly one of the greatest players the United States ever produced.”
“I love his vision. You look at his eyes – just look at his eyes – they are like saucers. He’s a lovely footballer.”
“I don’t know why he’s hanging it up? I’d take him tomorrow. So if he wants to have an extended season, we can talk.”
“A super player. I have nothing but the ultimate, consummate respect for Tab Ramos. He’s a player of great style and ability – a great competitor.”
“He was right at the fore front when the United States were just starting to advance. It’s a shame that he’s not 6 or 7 years before of his time, because he was ahead of his time. He’s one of those players that might not have had his full support and cast around him. I think at his best he could play with any team in the world. He was that good.”

Practice Notes & Quotes 09-10-02

Attendance:
G – McGinty, Rimando
D – Reyes, Pope, Prideaux
M – Mapp, Alegria, Villegas, Alavanja, Etcheverry, Convey, Olsen, Williams
F – Lassiter, Zambrano, Quaranta, Quintinilla, Curtis

Moreno was absent due to injury.

Nelsen and McKinley worked out in the weight room, then came out and watched practice. McKinley will make the trip and is expected to play.

Notes:
No Nelsen for the rest of the year that is already known. Add Quaranta and Moreno to the list. Both will probably sit out the last three games to not risk more serious injury.

9/11 affected the team this year. As a pre-caution the team decided to practice today at RFK and travel later tonight. It will practice tomorrow at Keen College in the NY area.

Did you know, if the bottom 5 teams all ended up with 35 points (yes, it is possible), DCUnited is the team that goes through to the MLS Cup play-in on the tiebreaker rules?

Possible Lineup:
—————–Rimando
Reyes——Pope—–Prideaux—–McKinley
——————Williams
Olsen—————————–Convey
——————Etcheverry
———-Quintinilla—–Zambrano

Quotes:
Ray Hudson
Give you take on what happened on Saturday.
“We were well in the game the first half. Certainly not playing our best, but holding them. And I think it was the last 15 to 20 minutes (of the first half) we were coming into it nicely, and that gave us some real hope. The last 20 minutes was probably the best part of our whole game.”
“Then we came out, I accept that they had some good chances, but we had some opportunities as well in that first half to take the lead. And then Moreno gets through for the chance at goal – one on one with the goalkeeper – and doesn’t score. From there on, from that point on, it seemed like everybody’s head seemed to just go down. It wasn’t just their heads, but their shoulders. I think that was the pivotal moment in the whole game was that miss. It seemed . . . it felt like is was a resignation. It felt like, ‘Here we go again.’ Opportunities . . . not scoring. And sure enough, they come back and hit us with a goal off the post – fortunate for them. And then we thought the second goal might be offside, but then . . . then we just tanked it . .. it unraveled in a bad way. Then it became players just throwing in the towel basically.”

While you weren’t dominating, it seemed that DCUnited was the better team in the first half, and at least in the beginning of the second half. Did you change tactics at any time, which might be the reason for the sudden change in fortune?
“No, we felt as if everything was coming together as we set out to be. We were never a menacing team. But, as you said, we set out in the first half to play our way into the game, and we did. And we started to possess the ball well.”
“You live for those opportunities. That’s what all the rest of that stuff behind Moreno’s chance leads to. When you don’t take advantage of that . . .”
“They’ve got a real goal scorer, like the Twellman kid. He’s going to get his opportunities, and he’s going to take them. That’s the difference. That’s the complete difference between us and the rest of the league. That’s why we’re the worst team in the league all year long.”
“We’ve showed the home fans that we can play some stylish, good possession, attacking football. But, I again I said it right from the get-go, this is a bunch of ‘homers.’ Do you remember how long ago I said that . . . . at the start of the season? People don’t appreciate what an insult that is. Being called that is tantamount to being called a set of cheats. People don’t read enough behind that. When you’re a homer it’s disgusting in my book. And that’s the way we’ve performed, and showed our true colors on the road.”

Because it was a road game, you decided on using experienced players, and Moreno as a single forward with Olsen in a withdrawn position. Looking back, were those the right decisions? Are you going to change anything for Thursday’s game?
“I don’t know if we’re capable of being confident that anything else will have a different result. It’s all in hindsight. It was still the right way to go about to having the opportunity of winning the game.”
“Benny wasn’t really withdrawn. We gave Benny a free role to join in as a natural forward. That’s really not his place or position.”
“My only regret might be not starting Eliseo. I maybe should have kept Eliseo with Jaime and played Benny out wide. That’s my only regret. It’s a regret because we lost the game.”
“Our game plan was working very well right up until Moreno missed his opportunity. That’s when the shoulders went down.”

So Eliseo will likely get the start?
“More than like. It will be either Henry or Eliseo. We haven’t determined that yet. But, I think its probably Eliseo because of what he’s done.”
“But, I got to think about using Henry and giving him the opportunity against New York. It’s a tough choice.”

Moreno will not be playing, who will slide into his spot?
“One of those guys. Yes, and maybe . . . Marco will be utilized in a different way as well. If pushing him as a supporting forward and moving Bobby into the center of the mid to take over Marco’s position.”
“Again it’s all patchwork. It’s all patchwork because we don’t have the f—— dog’s bollocks up front. We don’t have nobody. Eliseo battles hard, but he needs s supporting player. He needs somebody. He’s like a little piranha that feeds of a big shark. He needs somebody up there to carry the load. It’s hard for a young kid like him to lead the line. That’s why I think Zambrano, with his experience and his age, might be given the opportunity to show us what he can do.”
“But again, Moreno is done for the year, so it’s pretty . . .”
“He’ll do well if he gets in, but he’s got to have supporting players. He’s got to have some help along side of him. We don’t have that.”
“It’s great to see the kid (Quaranta) out here today. You see him practice like that . . . he just look f—— brilliant and you realize what you’ve missed all year. It’s hearting to know that he’ll be back next year and we’re going to have somebody meaningful along side of him next year. That’s something really to look forward to. There’s just no excusing that absence of a player like him.”

Prideaux for Nelsen?
“Sure, he’s going to be a huge miss. He’s the f—— leading goal scorer. How pathetic is that all. He’s been our best defensive outfield player all year long and he’s gone down. It’s a genuine injury. Ryan has been our Hercules back there. That’s a huge, huge loss.”
“But, you know it’s the way we’ve been all year. I’m bitterly disappointed the way it’s played out, more than anybody can imagine. I honestly felt that we could make a real good push into the playoffs despite all the bad luck, and despite all the non-contributors this year. Despite all that I felt as if we could still squeak in. We’re hanging by a thread now.”
“We’ll go in . . . we’ll throw it at them. And we may come out . . . when we sit down tonight we might say, ‘Damn the torpedoes . . .f— it all, let’s just go f—— at them,’ and throw it all. We’ve been such a pendulum team.”
“We’ve tried with some success to tighten it up. By that we’ve been getting it right defensively, but we haven’t had it offensively – we’ve been punch less. So, we’re at the point now . . . we’re hanging by such a thin thread we’re considering looking at Justin as well. Justin might start for us.”

What about some of the other bench players – Alegria, Curtis – and are you going to call up Namoff?
“Probably Namoff will have to come up now because we’re desperate for a defender now. We know Chino’s worth, and Chino’s a good contributor for the future. I don’t know if he’ll be involved in this game, maybe the next one.”

Will you likely go with two totally different lineups in the two games within 72 hours of each other?
“Sure! We’ll see how we come out of it. It’s a funny thing when you go into a game like that. If you come out of there with a result, we’ll probably be itching for Saturday. We’ll cross that bridge, or throw ourselves off it when we come to it.”


Post Game Quotes (SJ) 08-31-02

Quotes
Frankie Yallup
General Comments
“Bitterly disappointed with the result, obviously. 2-1 . . . two good chances to score to finish the game off and didn’t do it. From that point we just collapse and didn’t do the right things in the right areas to see the game out. Even at 2-2 you’ve got to see the game out and get a tie out of it.”
“We’ve got guys that aren’t ready to roll their sleeves up right now. And that’s disappointing for a team that’s defending their title. For me it’s a disappointment, but we move on. We’re still doing OK in our league, and we just are looking forward to the next game. And try to get it right – work hard during the week. We look forward to our game in Columbus.”

Is your bad road record a concern, particularly because you get the lead and loose it late in games?
“Yes they are . . . obviously, we’ve lost six in a row. We couldn’t get a tie out of it. That’s a disappointment, that’s a concern. Having said that, I would think if I could get Jeff Agoos and Troy Dyak fit, and playing together, it’s a little different. But still, that’s not an excuse. There’s still 11 guys out there and they’re capable players to get results. We can do it at home, so why we can’t do it on the away? That’s what I can’t figure out.”

Do you think it’s a mental difference in the players between the road and home games?
“I don’t know. I think we train the same we prepare exactly the same. What happens is that once you get in a couple of losses your confidence goes. I thought we played pretty well. I thought we moved the ball quite well . . . created a number of good chances. I just told the guys that you’ve got to take some positives away from each game. But, as a whole, we cannot perform like that or we’ll be out in two games in the playoffs. To be on top of your division and not be able to win six games away from home is not good. So we need to get that addressed on Tuesday, and we need to get that right.”

Ray Hudson
General Comments
“The best quote of the night is from my great, great Assistant Coach John Trask. He said, ‘Ray, I know you don’t like Russian Roulette, but this was absolutely Shakespearean,’ because that’s what it was tonight.”
“You think I’m going to be coming in here happy? You’re wrong.”
“Nicky Rimando . . . world-class. You witnessed a world-class performance tonight. Anybody realize that? That was world-class. That was a world-class goalkeeper that won the game for us. It allowed us, just like in the Fusion days, a chance to win the game. Nicky is my man of the match. Great heart, and wonderful personality from this team tonight.”
“The fans will be thrilled, the fans will all be clapping – that’s what makes them fans. That’s the type of performance that gives me . . . endless . . . endless night of non-sleep. When we can be that good, when we that menacing, and yet leave something out there, leave something behind . . .”
“The way we played in the first half I was pleased with. I don’t think our passing wasn’t particularly good . . .and the way we started the second half.”
“But the heart and the personality in the team, the all-pros, came through. Moreno tonight, tremendous! Eddie Pope, rolling the dice and leaving his defensive position like I told him to, joining in and getting the goal. But it was still Russian roulette. And without Rimando to pull those saves out like he did, it’s a different game.”
“This will bang a bell around the league. We beat the champions. This was a championship team. That was their strongest team tonight that we stuck 4 goals past. That is an enormous feather in our cap all the way through the team. And we showed tremendous ability, and I’m not happy because we can be better, each one of us individually.”
“I told the lads at halftime, ‘If you’re happy and pleased with yourself, you’re kidding yourself. Your selling yourself short.’ I’m not being a wet blanket; I’m not being hypercritical. We could just be better. We were on the good side of it tonight. We’ve played as well, if not even better, in my opinion, than we did tonight tonight. And yet, we came out 4-2 winners against the championship team. I think . . . I hope this is the spring board for our roll. I hope we roll on because when they play like that, with that sort of desire, and passion, and personality, they can beat anybody. I think we may have had a rub of the ball, here or there, but it wasn’t that. It was our goalkeeper keeping us in the game, and allowing us chance to win the game.”
“But I’m still not happy and I don’t mind saying that. We can still play better. There’s one or two guys in there in terms of our passing – and I love that I’m looking for perfection, so you can criticize me for that – but we can be that good. There was too many casual passes tonight. We could have punished them tonight, really punished them in my estimation, but we didn’t. But we come away 4-2 winners and you say, ‘OK, that’s fine.’”
“We’ll take this and savor it. I’m so pleased for our fans – our long-suffering f—— fans. They must be on the wine right now, and god bless them. It’s an uplifting win. We need that. Them lads have been on the s—— end of the stick too many times where we’ve done well, we played well, and we lost. And we’ve lost to crap teams as well. That’s not a crap team. That’s still the championship team. In my opinion, that’s still the team to beat in this league. So we’ll see how it turns out . . . that’s still the team. And we stuffed them. We weren’t lucky! But I think we were a little fortunate. We had three, or four, or five players whose passing wasn’t too well. Obviously I’ll take take. Good stuff.”

What about the influence of Villegas and Zambrano as substitutes?
“Petter did well. That’s been a hard role for him because he’s not a substitute type player. But he came in with a great attitude. And credit to him he set up a lovely goal – knocked a lovely ball into Eddie Pope .. . picked Eddie out, and Eddie stuck his head in and got a little touch, and a lovely little finish.”
“And Henry’s a quality player. Just like we said he’ll have his place and stuff. He just got off the ship. He’s going to fit in well, and still learning the lad’s names. But he’s a good addition to the squad, and a good introduction as well. I thought he showed a lot of fizz in his game, and picked us up a bit.”
“A strange game to go back to John’s quote about Russian roulette. It was a strange game. Jaime again early on did his wonderful magic and set himself up for a goal, and your heart goes out to him – mine does – because he does so much, but its not falling into that hole for him like it used to. He just doesn’t have that touch right now. But he showed me a lot tonight. That was Moreno’s best performance all year long for me! It was the bravery, the desire with Jaime. That’s the biggest part. You can talk about the fitness not being right. You can talk about him not being as good as he used to, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think he just needs to get that desire back. To show this league he is the best. He is a superlative player, a menacing player. He menaced them tonight. There was some talk about bringing him off. I’m not going to bring him off tonight, and I think it paid dividends.”

Was there a moment in the game where the momentum changed?
“It was like the barrel just kept spinning! When they went up ahead 2-1 I thought, ‘Oh lord, not tonight after we showed so much in the first half.’ And again, credit the lad’s heart and personality because they didn’t let down. Even the lad’s, and I’m not mentioning any names, that weren’t having a good night, there was no drop off. And I’ve told you lads that this isn’t a team that is going to implode. They like each other, and they get along.”
“I hope this is a springboard. I hope this is a situation that will go onto the next game because if we can beat that lot, we can beat anybody. There’s no excuses now, and our fans should remember that as well. They’re good enough! They’ve got it, they can bounce back, they can did themselves out. That encouraged me, but it’s not the way you like to win – to come back like that – to go ahead deserved, to go behind.”
“But they’ve got great forwards. I thought Landon’s finishing was world-class. It took a world-class performance to beat Nicky tonight. He’s a real dagger man up there for them.”
“I’m proud as punch tonight. It will be a good night for the boys, and my god they deserve it. They deserve a little bit of sugar.”

Ryan Nelsen
What was there tonight, especially late in the game, that hasn’t been there before?
“Just a bit of guts I think. It’s a bad situation, but don’t have anything to lose. We can’t have anymore bad luck in the season. I think we just threw caution to the wind. We threw a few people forward maybe when we shouldn’t have to get the goals. We scrambled on defense, and finally broke them when we attacked.”

What did you tell Landon in the first half when you got in his face?
“Oh well no, I just said if he wants to have a beer with myself after the game, just to come back – no problems.”

Did you guys do anything different to defend against him tonight?
“No, he’s just quick as lightening, so obviously you’ve got to watch anything in behind. And in the second half the game opened up, which means the space opened up and we played too risky. But, he got two opportunities and he scored on them – that’s the sign of a good player. We had four opportunities and scored four of them.”

Eddie Pope
What was there the second half that hasn’t been there before?
“I think we stopped asking ourselves those questions – what’s going wrong? It’s so hard to put your finger on it, especially when you play well and you come up with a tie on the road, or a difficult loss. We just quit asking those questions, and we said, ‘Let’s make our own luck. And at the end of the day if we work hard and still haven’t won, then we’ll accept it.’ We need to make our own luck and try to get over that hump.”

Practice Notes & Quotes 08-29-02

Attendance:
G – Rimando, McGinty
D – McKinley, Prideaux, Nelsen, Pope, Reyes
M – Etcheverry, Williams, Alegria, Alavanja, Convey, Olsen, Quintinilla
F – Curtis, Moreno, Lassiter, Zambrano

– Again, it is strange to see everyone healthy and practicing. Only Quaranta, who worked out very heavily today on his own, was out injured. Expect Quaranta to begin practicing with the team in the next 2 weeks. He will play again in the regular season (see quotes).

– It’s simply amazing what a job security threat does to performance levels. Jaime Moreno absolutely blazed through practice with pinpoint passing, shots on goal, and excellent dribbling through the opposition. Any ill effects of the hamstring injury seem to have melted away in the past 24 hours. Today’s practice might have been the best Moreno has played in the past three years. It was certainly the best he’s practiced this season! And Zambrano played extremely well. . . . interesting correlation.

– Don’t be surprised if Brandon Prideaux is the odd man out once all the starting 11 (minus Quaranta) are on the field. McKinley’s offensive passing and Reyes’ defensive ability is more important at this moment to the team’s plans.

Quotes
Santino Quaranta
How do you feel?
“Good. I’m feeling well. I’m feeling a lot better, stronger. We’re still being cautious, but . . . . I’m running hard. He (Rick Guter) has me back training and stuff so . . . I feel a lot stronger and more confident.”

Do you think you’ll make it back before the season is over?
”Oh yeah. I’m about a week-and-a-half, two-weeks from playing. I know we’re still being really cautious. I was originally supposed to be out for the rest of the season. But, a lot of people have come back from this so it’s not . . . something I want to be out for the rest of the season for. Hopefully we’re in a situation I can come back and help the team. I definitely want to.”

The team is obviously having problems scoring. What do you think is the problem?
“It’s not . . . You can’t really say it’s a problem. Well, you can because we’re not scoring. But, it’s not that everybody isn’t trying – people are trying! We’ve been kind of unlucky. In ways you create your own luck, and we haven’t been doing that. I think it’s different players in different situations – everything keeps changing and nothing is the same for people to get use to. In the middle of the year we were in a rhythm . . . we were doing fine, we were doing all right. Of course, then I got hurt . . . Jaime got hurt . . . we had to try different things. It causes problems. I think it’s now us just wanting it bad enough.”

Compare this team with Rongen’s team from last year. What are the biggest differences?
“If anything we’re a little more talented this year – especially with some of the new signings. The difference between last year and this year is that Abdul was strictly a goal-scorer . . . he caused a lot of problems to defenses. This group of forwards and front-runners is kind of creative forwards. Roy and Ali are the type of players that strictly score. The people that are starting now are creative scorers – they like to have assists too. I think that’s been kind of a problem. You’ve got people playing that aren’t strictly goal-scorers. It’s tough . . . it’s tough.”

What about your contract status? You’re still a P-40?
“I think so.”

What about the contract? Are you going to re-negotiate in the off-season?
“No, I’m happy right now with everything. If something would happen . . . I have the U-20’s World Cup coming up . . . I guess we’ll take it from there.”

Do you want to go overseas?
“Obviously everybody wants to wind up there at some time. I’m just going to play it by ear. If an offer comes I’ll definitely look it over with my agent. The best situation for me is what I’m going to do. So, if that’s the best situation, that’s what I’m going to do. If it’s here . . .”

Give me an example of what it would take for you to leave DCUnited?
“Obviously Ray being from England . . . he’s the best coach I’ve played for! He gives me the freedom to do everything, and he’s a great motivator. He’s great all around to the young players, and he’s been fair to everyone. Even John (Trask) and Curt (Onalfo) have do a great job. For me to leave here it would have to be something very nice, and I’d have to be comfortable with. With this team I’m really happy even though we’re not winning. I definitely have trust in these coaches – they are going to get it right. That’s the main thing. They are going to get it right, and we are going to be successful. Whatever it takes we’re going to be successful.”

RH mentioned that some players might have already thrown in the towel on the season. Have you seen anything like that?
“I haven’t seen anybody give up. It’s just . . . it’s to the point where we’ve kind of done everything . . . and it’s a tough situation. At the beginning of the season we gave away a couple of games. And now the season is flying by. We’re in a tough spot now, but the people are optimistic. With this talent I think we’re one of the best teams in the league. You have to say that! . . . . I don’t think people have given up at all because Ray’s the type of guy, if that would happen, they wouldn’t be here. That’s the bottom line. If people are going to be down and pointing fingers, they aren’t going to be here. And I think that’s the way it should be.”

Practice Notes & Quotes 08-28-02

Attendance:
G – Rimando, McGinty
D – Nelsen, Reyes, Prideuax
M – Etcheverry, Olsen, Convey, Alegria, Villegas, Williams, Alavanja
F – Lassiter, Curtis, Quintinilla, Moreno . . . . .. . . . . . . . Zambrano

McKinley ran laps at a high, sustained pace.

Notes:
For those who thought that Zambrano is a slug on the field, they might want to start back stepping. He’s definitely in shape, although he might not be ready for a full 90 minutes. His quickness is above average and his speed slightly below average. Like the other South Americans on the team, the ball seems to stick to his feet when he is dribbling. An example of this was during the game of “21 touch Keep Away.” At least on a couple of occasions he managed to dribble through 2 v. 1 situations and then deliver the ball to an open teammate. His vision is better than the average MLS player often finding the correct player, but not to the extent of McKinley/Agoos with the long-range crosses. He did manage to put in a couple of goals in the team’s short field scrimmage, including a neat shot through a screening Q2, which beat Rimando to the near post due to the power. The obvious negative on Zambrano is that he has no air game – he didn’t jump once during practice. He did make a couple of decent runs, but once he found a spot he didn’t move very much until the situation changed. Reflective of his quickness, on defense he found ways to hide in passing lanes, and then dive out to intercept passes between defenders, thus creating dangerous turnover situations. All in all he is a player that could make an impact, but time will tell.

As yesterday was a down day, today was upbeat – possibly because of the rain as Olsen said (see quotes). Olsen’s antics were at the front and the players around him positively responded. Almost from the outset he flew over the field challenging and demanding the ball during the “Keep Away” game. One new tactic Olsen found to disrupt the opponents is to sling mud at them as they are prepared to receive the ball (not really new, just something veterans hold back on until the time is right to use it (and no one is looking)). At least in this case the tactic worked against Nelsen and Olsen’s team got the turnover. Yet, moments later Nelsen managed to get his revenge with a beautiful mud assisted 10-yard sliding tackle against Olsen with mud and water splashing in a picturesque display. Although nowhere near touching Olsen, who nimbly jumped over Nelsen, Olsen did manage to “dive” into the nearest mud patch and pull a quad roll beseeching for all to hear about the inequities of the play and the unfairness of the system. The conclusion, Nelsen and Olsen are “mudders.”

The team worked on crossing into the box during the inter squad scrimmage – crosses coming in from Olsen, Convey, and Villegas. Although the drill is fairly regular, today’s finishing was simply much better. Not only were the shots going on goal, and into the net, but also the shots for the most part were taken much more quickly and from farther out. In the end the finishing was better, but not totally up to the quality of the past.

Quotes
Ben Olsen
You like the mud?
“Yeah, I love the mud. It’s actually nice to get some rain it gives you some energy. It’s been so hot lately. It’s tough on your emotions. You’re tired so much that you can’t have some fun.”

RH has you playing at forward. Is this something that you expect to become a regular thing?
“I don’t think so. I think it’s a . . . it’s kind of a false position for me. We’re down some guys up top with Jaime and Santino. But it’s fine. I’ve got to learn the position – I haven’t played it since college. It takes time to learn and for them to learn me. It’s a tough position. Scoring goals is a tough thing.”

The team is having a tough time scoring. You’ve been around long enough to know the game and what problems are there. What do you see as the problem?
“Well, it’s a combination of things. You have to be lucky to score goals. I think that’s a factor maybe. The service to the last ball maybe isn’t good enough. Maybe the runs aren’t good enough. Once we get those two on the right page, I think we’ll see a lot better results.”

Compare to Bruce Arena and Thomas Rongen’s teams, what are the biggest differences?
“Well, it’s a whole different set of guys. There’s only 4 or 5 of us left. We’re still feeling each other out. Although it’s been a year, I’m coming back, and Jaime is coming back still. So we’re learning each other still. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just bad karma.”

RH said yesterday that he thinks maybe a couple of players have given up on the season. From the player’s perspective have you seen that?
“I haven’t seen that. I’d hate to think so. That would be really disappointing, but who know? I haven’t . . . I haven’t come across anything.”

Practice Notes & Quotes 08-23-02

Attendance:
G – McGinty
D – Prideaux, Nelsen, Reyes, Pope
M – Alegria, Villegas, Etcheverry, Olsen, Convey, Alavanja, McKinley
F – Lassiter, Moreno, Curtis, Quintinilla

Quaranta attended and worked out with physio Rick Guter. It is obvious that he is anxious to get back into the swing of things and over his initial depression – he continually exchanges jibes with pretty much everyone within earshot.

Rimando is in Atlanta cheering on the Freedom in the Founder’s Cup.

Williams will join the team on Sunday. All this week he was in NJ attending his high school coach’s funeral.

Notes
Etcheverry worked out separately. According to RH he might not be 100% for the game on Sunday due to his recent travels (see quotes).

Moreno pulled up lame at the end of practice with a pull or strain to his groin/thigh. He is day-to-day.

Possible Lineup:
————–Rimando
Prideaux—–Pope——-Nelsen
————Reyes(man marking)
————Williams
Olsen————————-Convey
————-Etcheverry
——-Moreno——-Quintinilla

A very light pre-game day practice. For the most part, the team warmed up and then went into a ½ field, 3 small goals scrimmage. It ended the practice with 1-touch shooting on goal w/ McGinty fending them off. For the most part the defenders did significantly better than the mids or forwards. The latter two groups constantly tried the tricky shots – curving into the corner of the goals, chipping the GK, drives to the upper 90s etc – while the defenders simply hammered the ball home.

Quotes
Ray Hudson
– Recently the MetroStars’ defense has been dreadful at home. Will you try to go out early and score quickly against them?
“No, maybe the other way. We’re not going in tentative that’s for sure. Marco’s a little tired, so we’ll see how he is on Sunday. We may bring him on later in the game. That’s a consideration. But yes, we’re going to go at them right from the get-go. But, we’re going to earn the right to win the game as we’ve done. I think just going out there gangbusters that’s a bit too old school. You’ve got to play your way into the game. You know you’ve got to get it solid. We know that they’re going to come at us hell and high water and maybe we can catch them on the break early on.”
“But, we’re certainly not going to ram it down their throat right from the first whistle. We’ve going to play our way into the game. That’s what we’ve done in the past. It’s been a 90-minute performance and we’ve been as threatening at the end of the game, if not more, than when we started the game.”
“I just hope the finishing is as good as it was the other day.”

– Can we expect the same lineup as San Jose with the possible exception of Marco?
“I’m not sure. I’m going to think about that – see how Marco is. But yes, they played awfully well in a lot of regards on Saturday against San Jose. You always keep faith with that sort of performance. You have to, don’t you? Isn’t that what rewarding effort and ability is all about? That’s what I want to do. But, we’ll what happens with Jaime here, and see how Marco is looking. We’ll be fine either way.”

– Aside from scoring against San Jose, what did you see with that lineup that makes you want to stay with it?
“Just an overall cohesion . . . balance. The players playing right up to their scratch mark and really complimenting each other. And I still think, I watched the game twice after that, that we can pass the ball more accurately, it’s as simple as that. We need a little more consideration in our passing. But, I think overall there was a greater compliment of each other on Saturday. Without being too technical or vague as well, they seemed to compliment each other’s performances better. Even Jaime, even the opportunities we didn’t take advantage of, there was a lot of . . . a lot that led up to those opportunities – the running off the ball, the through passes, the creation of chances. It all came together real nicely without putting the cherry on the cake, which is what it’s all about. You know it’s like m———– without penetration, you’re just playing with yourself.”

– If either Etcheverry or Moreno are not in form on Sunday, how quickly do you pull the trigger and get them out of the game?
“It depends. It depends on how bad . . . it’s not just them, it’s anybody, it truly is. If it’s a bad performance out there, you looking at the bad performance and what that player can possibly . . . even Marco, if he’s having a really off, horrible, nightmarish game, you’re reluctant to pull that guy with the flies’ eyes off the field, because he can do you just like that with that telling pass. You know you’ve got to take that into account. Whereas if it’s Richie Williams, that’s . . . he’s a lot more easily substituted for. We have players in the defense that can come in for Ryan if he’s having a bad day. But with Marco and Jaime, they’ve pretty much go to look as if they’re going further and further in the hole before I’ll pull them out. I have to keep faith with our match winners. I have to be loyal to them, and I feel as if I have been.”
“But, like the other day when I pulled Jaime here, it was clear his game was going downhill and I didn’t want him to be a part of it much more. And he responded well to that and he’s taken his medicine.”
“Nobody likes to be subbed. I don’t know what it is like because I was never subbed in my life – and you can look that up in the record books.”

– Zambrano said that he’s going to another team. Is that true?
“Yes, that’s total . . . that’s not true at all. I think what may have happened is that is that he’s had some phone calls and renewed interest all of a sudden. That happens in football, it just happens. You get what we call ‘knobbled,’ you get tapped up.”
“Henry will be here on Tuesday hopefully. There’s been wranglings on his visa. It’s like bubbling tar now . . . it’s a war zone and people are dying there – 17 people were killed there the other week! It’s not exactly going to McDonalds and ordering a pack of French fries. He’s having troubles, but it’s been sorted out, and he’ll be here once these complications are sorted out. He’s had to travel from his home down there to Bogata, which hasn’t been easy. There’s been all sorts of hang ups, but he’ll be here.”

– What most concerns you about New York?
“Diallo, Mathis, and Andy Williams – them three. Andy’s having a good year. And Diallo is such a huge presence and menace. We’re considering marking him man-to-man and giving Milton . . . Milton’s done an outstanding job when he’s plays in man-to-man situations, if not his best games for us. He’s so athletic, and so fast, and so tenacious, I think he’ll do a good job with Diallo if we go that route.”
“You know they’re fighting for their lives, they’re fighting for themselves I believe. There’s always been a lot of disruption in New York for the last few years I think in some ways. They really are, they’re looking out for themselves. Octavio will have them . . .”

– They really only need to get a draw to complicate DCUnited’s playoff chances. Do you expect them to play for a draw and pack the box?
“I wouldn’t think so. I think they’ll want to come and win. They’ll want to put us away. They have to play us three times. So I don’t think they can be too cute. If they come out with that sort of cute attitude it could bite them bad. This is New York, this is in the Meadowlands, they ain’t going to . . . . I don’t think for a second they’re going to be tentative or they’re going to hold back. They’re going to come at us and they’re going to be the team that wants to puncture us early and deflate us because they’ll be well aware the longer we hang in the game we’ll be the ones to be more threatening. The first goal will be important . . . very, very important in this game because I think if we get it, I’ll be very confident.”