Quote Sheet: RSL 0-1 DC United

Kreis, Beltran, Grabavoy and Borchers react to RSL's USOC loss

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis

On the mood in the locker room after the loss:

“I don’t really know the mood of the players. I haven’t spoken to them yet. I haven’t been back to the locker room because I stayed out there to watch the third team celebrate a trophy on our field. If I had to guess, I would say they’re as disappointed and gutted as I am.”

On what it was like staying on the field after the game:

“I think that it’s good actually, it’s important you pay your respects to your opponent who came in here obviously and gave everything they had. They were willing to throw their bodies on the line to get a win and walk away from this season with something. Full respect to D.C. United for their efforts in getting themselves to the final. Full respect to them for winning in our stadium.”

On hitting the crossbar and creating more chances making the loss worse:

“Yeah, yeah it does. It’s something I can’t really put my finger on. We can get so close, we can have so much momentum through the majority of the season and we get to a game like this and we can’t seem to put things together and we can’t get over that last hurdle. You scratch your head; we did everything necessary to the point where we should have goal scoring chances. It seemed like every single time it wasn’t going to happen. I can’t put my finger on it. I think it comes down to this is a brutal game sometimes. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve ever stood here on the other side of the argument. I don’t think I’ve ever stood here and said that my team got completely outplayed, out shot, out possessed, out-everythinged, but we walk away with a trophy. I don’t know that I ever will be. I don’t know that I’ll be willing to sacrifice that for that.”

On the team’s attitude at halftime:

“It was good, it was pretty good. The guys had a lot of positive things to say, a lot of belief still. It was another situation where it’s time to choose. I feel like we have gotten ourselves in games this year where we give up the first goal and we hang our heads a bit. I really wanted to avoid that, I really wanted the players to avoid that because they had done pretty darn well to control the momentum and do everything again necessary to get around the opponents penalty box. I felt like that was the first dangerous chance that United had in the 44th minute and it was extremely unfortunate that it ended up in the back of our goal. So my mood was all positive, all confidence, all about belief going forward and I think the guys came out with it in the second half. Early on we were right at them again. We just couldn’t – for one reason or another – get the ball over the end line. Unfortunately that’s the only thing that matters, it’s the only statistic that matters, it’s the only thing that anyone will remember. That we lost our third championship opportunity in our stadium and D.C. United is the 2013 Open Cup Champion.”

On how he expects the team to rebound from the loss:

“We’ll see. We’ll see. I think there’s some points where coaches have a lot of answers and there’s some points where coaches look to the players for answers. This will be a moment I look to the players for answers.”

On D.C. United GK Bill Hamid’s performance:

“I think Bill Hamid is a quality goalkeeper. He’s a good shot stopper and he typically plays well against us. But without having a chance to look at the replay my feeling is, could we have put it a little more in the corner? Yeah. My feeling is we got right in and around some dangerous things. We’re still not shooting the ball, it almost looks like we have guys waiting for somebody else to take the responsibility and the accountability to make a special play. At this time of the year everybody needs to be ready, responsible and accountable to make the play to put us over the top.”

On his decision to start Sebastian Velasquez:

“Yeah, I thought him and Luis Gil were probably the top performers if I had to pick two out of the last match. Luis Gil, it was an easy decision to start him this match. He had an appendix removed Sunday night at midnight so he was ruled out of the match. So for me it was a pretty easy decision. Seba played really well in Vancouver and had a big contribution in that win so he was a confident player we should give the opportunity to.”

On the team’s opportunities to get into the Champions League:

“I believe that this team has what it takes to win. I believe this team has what it takes to win all our remaining matches to put ourselves in the very best possible situation to win the Supporters’ Shield. Now I don’t control what Seattle does and what New York does and I don’t actually control what my players do either. But I believe and hope they still do as well.”

On the Saborio & Plata pairing up top:

“Good not great. Good not great. I thought [Saborio] was really, really close to pulling off a special play in the first half on a couple of occasions. Plata was really close to pulling off a special play on a couple occasions. He probably had the best chance of maybe the night, the shot he didn’t hit the frame on in the first half. Sabo got himself in and around some good opportunities in the second half. The very last one he headed—I don’t know if he headed it at the goalkeeper or defender. There’s going to be a little bit of rust. We hope he can rebound from this and continue forward and stay healthy.”

On the players making a push after the result against Vancouver:

“Absolutely. I think that we can’t just look at that game and discredit it. I won’t. I refuse to. So we’ll look at that, look at this match, the San Jose match and we’ll have to make difficult decisions about who’s going to carry us through the end of the season. The truth of the matter is we have a month ‘til the end of the season. It’s a long time for us to kind of answer some questions as we go along here.”

Real Salt Lake MF Ned Grabavoy

On how hard this loss hits the team:

“It’s obviously pretty devastating.  It hurts, just because the players and staff and management – everyone that’s a part of this – cares so much.  It hurts everyone.”

On the cruelty of a sport that allows a team to dominate a match and still come up short:

“It’s tough to put your finger on it sometimes.  The fight was there from minute one.  It almost makes it hurt more because I didn’t think we played bad, I didn’t think the energy level wasn’t there – all those things were there, and I just think that’s what makes it hurt even more, because you’re left searching for answers.”

On how the team will bounce back for RSL’s upcoming match against FC Dallas:

“Obviously people won’t sleep well tonight, that’s just how it goes.  I think it’s one of those things where you look back a little bit, but we’ve got another game this weekend.  Sometimes it’s good to have a game this quickly, to focus on another opponent and focus on another match, to get the bad taste out of the mouth and to move on.  Everyone is going to say it, but we need to do that.  As tough as it is, we need to do that.  Right now, maybe this makes us stronger somehow – that’s really the only positive we can take from it.”

On his emotions while watching D.C. United lift the trophy on RSL’s home field:

“It’s difficult.  You envision how the game is going to go, how it’s going to play out, the preparation leading up to the game.  All these things – you envision yourself up there, celebrating with your team, and the natural high that comes when your team wins.  It’s difficult, without question.  It definitely makes it harder, so it’s difficult to just sit there and watch.”

Real Salt Lake FW Devon Sandoval

On the team’s state of mind going into the half down 1-0:

“I think we were still confident.  We had a lot of possession, we were creating a lot, we were doing a lot of good things.  Going into the half, we still felt good.”

On his mindset in coming on as a late substitution in the game:

“I wasn’t putting any extra pressure on myself.  I was going out there to work as hard as I could, do my best and try to score.”

On his scoring chance during stoppage time:

“When I saw the ball coming, it’s kind of like tunnel vision – I’m going to do everything I can to score, and the option was there so I took it.  I was hoping to turn around and see a better result.”

Real Salt Lake MF Sebastian Velasquez

On his overall reaction to the game:

“I honestly don’t know how to take it.  We know how badly we wanted it, and to come up a bit short is the worst thing ever.  Football is not just a sport—it’s a passion, it’s a life.  To lose something like this is devastating.”

On the unhappy ending to a tournament that has been focused on for many months:

“Honestly, from the beginning of the season – since preseason – one of our goals was to win the Open Cup.  Obviously we didn’t achieve our goal.  We still have a season to continue, and we have to learn from this.  The dirty thing about football is that you can have so many chances, but it has to go in, it has to touch the back of the net.  We had plenty of chances, but we were just so unlucky to not finish one.  I think we’ll learn from it, and it’ll probably make us stronger.”

On his outlook for the remainder of the MLS season:

“I think we’ve just got to bounce back as fast as we can.  We have another game on Saturday – hopefully we can get a win here, and then continue on.  The playoffs are pretty close, and hopefully we can clinch a spot in the playoffs, then hopefully win the MLS Cup.  We’re still fighting for the Supporters’ Shield.”

Real Salt Lake DF Tony Beltran

Thoughts on the game…

“It’s an incredible disappointment. Another opportunity at home in front of our fans to raise a trophy and it slips by us. I think it’s especially tough just the way the game goes. We’re all over them. We have balls hitting the crossbar, balls hitting the post. It’s devastating. It’s absolutely devastating not to get something out of this game. Come to the locker room and see a guy who worked so hard all year, put it in. Not just guys on the field, but 1- 28. Everyone has worked so hard and we let them down and missed this opportunity.”

Thoughts on rebounding from the loss…

“There’s only one way to rebound. This game is devastating. Let’s be honest, this is devastating. We had a huge opportunity to get back into Champions League and win a trophy for this club. Now it’s gone. There are still two trophies to play for. As hard as it is to put this game aside, we will have to do that.”

Real Salt Lake DF Nat Borchers

On comparing tonight’s loss to the Champions League Final 1-0 loss…

“It’s a really tough feeling for sure. To lose a game of this magnitude at home in front of our fans, 1-0 again. Giving up a goal at the end of the half like that is tough, but I think this team has got a choice right now. We can let this thing bring us down and affect our future results, or we can put it behind us and move on, and that’s the choice that we have to make right now.

“It’s a very tough feeling to lose like this and to lose at home, but we’ve still got a lot to play for and a lot to be proud of. We still have a very good team. I think that we’re just going to have to get past this, and it’s going to take the next 2-3 days before Dallas to get our minds right and get motivated for the next game.”

On comparing a one mistake loss in the Champions League Final to tonight’s loss…

“It was certainly the case.  We do a very good job of keeping possession and knocking the ball around. I thought we were dangerous tonight, but one mistake that will give them and opening, and they scored. Nice finish by [Lewis Neal].  I just think that we still got to be able to react and come back from these situations. Unfortunately, goals change games. The team that scores first has the higher percentage of winning games, because then they get to sit back and defend in their shape. We can’t stretch them, because they’re not chasing the game like we are.”

Thoughts on why the match wasn’t equalized…

“It was definitely a combination of a few things. I thought Bill Hamid and D.C.’s backline did a good job. They were in the right spots and they defended us well in our crossing, and we had some real dangerous moments, but Bill Hamid came up big time and we just couldn’t get the ball past him.”

On ranking this loss against other losses in his career…

“You can rank all your defeats if you want and sit back and be depressed all day long, but I don’t want to do that and think too much about this because there’s not a whole lot of time. This isn’t the last game of the season. Like I said, we got a choice to make in this locker room right now. To either let this loss affect us for the rest of the season, or step up and react to it. I think there’s going to be plenty of motivation not to take away from a game like this.”

Thoughts on the last 10 minutes of the game….

“Well the last 10 minutes of the game when you’re down 1-0, you got to put numbers forward. That’s what we did. I thought we did a good job of getting guys in the box, but you know D.C., they did a good job of putting pressure on our crosses and that didn’t allow us to get a whole lot of easy looks. Again, when you’re chasing a game, and a team is able to sit in like that, makes it much more difficult than a normal run of play when you’re tied or winning 1-0.”

D.C. United

D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen

On his overall reaction:

“I’m so happy for the fans and the players and the organization for hanging in there. I think that we’ve done a good job this year of sticking together. The wheels never fell off and there were a lot of times when they could’ve when you go through this much turmoil within the league. It’s tough to stay together but they did that—the fans didn’t turn us off, and the organization supported us. And now we’ve found a way to get something positive out of a really tough season.”

On Hamid’s performance:

“We knew he would to be spectacular today to get out of here with a win. We knew that our back four would have to be pretty impressive as well. It was a group effort. Everyone made their plays that counted and that’s what we needed. RSL, they are real. That’s real team. The way that they move the ball and put you under is pretty impressive, but today was one of those days that we hung in there and had a belief, and we survived their onslaught toward the end.”

On his emotions in the dying moments of the game:

“It was a long 15… 20… 90 minutes. The onslaught was most of the second half. They were coming in waves and you can’t fall asleep for a second. I think that the size of the game helped us focus. Some of the guys have trouble focusing in a league game if it doesn’t mean something. They really took every play and did what they needed to do.”

On his tactical approach to the game:

“Tactically, we wanted to stretch them. I think that DeRosario and Silva at times can be a little bit like-minded. We knew that we were going to be under the gun at times and we needed a release valve, and Pontius gave us that, especially in the first half. I felt that Lewis Neal needed to be on the field. Through experience, he’s a big game player, we know that. Also, tactically he makes sense. RSL gets a lot of their joy down the middle—centrally, they pick teams apart. With him being in there, we really forced them to the outside. That made those guys deal with the game and limited them as much as possible – Beckerman, Morales and those guys dealing underneath. Some of it worked, some of it we dodged some bullets, but I thought that overall, it worked.”

D.C. United MF Lewis Neal

On what the Open Cup title means to the team:

“It’s huge. It’s a huge confidence booster, but we are under no illusions that the season has been terrible. It’s not been good enough from top to bottom. As a club we been wolfed in some of the games and we are deservedly bottom of the league. For some reason, in this cup, we have seemed to play really well in all of the cup games. Thankfully, we came here tonight and it wasn’t pretty. But winning the cup isn’t about being pretty, it’s about winning the game, and we were able to do that.”

On his goal:

“It was unbelievable. It was a good piece of play from John Thorrington down the left. I saw him crossing and I made my run into the box and hoped that the ball would drop somewhere or bounce so I could get the shot off. Thankfully it didn't just bounce and it fell to me. I got onto it quick and hit it hard and low and thankfully it went in. It was a great feeling.”

On how his goal changed the game:

“It was huge. We had the whole 2nd half to hold onto at lead. We were defending for our lives at times. It was something that we worked on a lot. We worked on the organization side of things—concentration, and focusing for the 90 plus minutes. That was something that we haven't don't a lot this year in the league and that's [why] we've been so bad. Thankfully today we did it. That lead at halftime was huge. It was huge going in and giving the guys confidence. I thought that we frustrated them in the first half. They had quite a bit of possession but didn't really go anywhere with it. The first half was good and the in the second half we dodged a quite a few bullets, but thankfully we were able to hang in there.”

D.C. United GK Bill Hamid

On what the win means to the team:

“Now we know that we can go into any environment and get a win. This is our first away win of the season except for Chicago in the Open Cup. Now we know, we have that belief, we have that faith in ourselves that we can go and get a result anywhere we want. As long as we believe and come with that mentality, we can do it.”

On this win potentially earning him a USMNT call-up:

“I’m just enjoying the moment. I’m always thinking about that. I’m always thinking about pushing myself to get to the next level, but right now I’m just enjoying it. You can’t look down the road. In moments like this you’ve got to enjoy it, you’ve got to soak it in, you’ve got to realize all of the hard work you put in – all the hard work you’ve put in as a team, and you’ve got to enjoy it. If that call comes, that call comes. If not, this is a great achievement for us as a club.”