Crew 4, MetroStars 2 -- quote sheet

COLUMBUS CREW 4, METROSTARS 2

COLUMBUS CREW HEAD COACH GREG ANDRULIS

On the game:

"I think both goals that were scored against us were sloppy on our part. Not to take anything away from what New York did but they weren't the cleanest goals we've given up. To the guys credit, I thought we did a great job responding to those goals and not letting New York gain any momentum off them by turning around and scoring relatively quickly both times."

On the difference Jeff Cunningham made in the game after coming on as a sub in the second half:

"Jeff Cunningham made a world of difference, opened the game up for us. Two great balls to Edson. Clearly Edson getting four tonight, he's been pressing a little bit, it's good to see him get rewarded for all the hard work he's been putting in."

On Edson's performance:

"It's the right time for him to be warming up. He's a bit streaky. He's had a few games where he's had some really close calls. The first minute of the game he has a real good chance, it just wasn't meant to be on that one. He's a kid who has a tremendous amount of potential and I thought he played pretty well tonight, obviously."

On the significance of the game tonight:

"It's a conference game worth three points, it's a home game, it's against a team that's right behind us. We didn't make any bigger deal out of it than that. We want to get points at home, we want to be the first-place team, we want home field advantage, that's what the game was all about."

COLUMBUS CREW FORWARD EDSON BUDDLE

On his goals:

"Anything in the box I'm trying to put away. It may not always look that way but that's my goal every time I am out there. The four goals feel good. My teammates did a good job of finding me."

On first place:

"Where we are in the standings this time of the year is a good place to be. We talked about the game during the week. About coming out relaxed and playing our game and getting points tonight at home."

On the game:

"We defended well as a team tonight and that made a difference. I am pretty sure coach will go over the tape and find the things we need to improve on."

COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER ROSS PAULE

On coming back from one-goal deficits twice:

"It shows what this team is all about. It shows that whatever is thrown our way we are going to battle back. It is a sign of a championship team."

On Buddle's four-goal game:

"I thought it was awesome. Every chance he got he put away. The great thing about it is that we are getting him the opportunities."

On the game's significance:

"We know what we can and what our goals are. First thing was to clinch a playoff spot, and we did that. Now our goal is to secure home-field advantage."

COLUMBUS CREW DEFENDER AND CAPTAIN ROBIN FRASER

On Buddle's performance:

"Brilliant. He got himself into position to finish and that's what he did. That's as good as it gets."

METROSTARS HEAD COACH BOB BRADLEY

General thoughts on tonight's game:

"The main thing that we did tonight was score two goals, and then immediately lose our concentration and allow them to come right back and score. That is a killer in a game. You are on the road, both times you take the lead, and then you give it up that fast."

On the play of Cornell Glen:

"Cornell did very well coming off the bench for us last week. He gives us a real spark with his speed. We were hopeful tonight. When we were making the sub, it was during that brief moment when we were up 2-1, and I certainly felt that if Columbus feels they need to take more chances, his speed might be a good factor to help us get the third goal. But obviously that didn't materialize."

On the play of the Columbus forwards, particularly Edson Buddle:

"I think we allowed them a little too much time on the ball, and we didn't close down their forwards like we needed to. Anything a guy gets four goals, you are allowing him too many opportunities. He [Edson Buddle] is a dangerous guy, and we know that coming into the game. In terms of closing him down and making certain plays we didn't do a good enough job."

METROSTARS GOALKEEPER JONNY WALKER

Thoughts on the game:

"I think that we were a little lax in the beginning of the game, but things picked up. I think that it was an opportunity that slipped away today. Fortunately for us it was in a game that was very important, but not the end of the road. To have a match like this in your hands, with the playoffs on the line, and then give it up hurts. But I think we are going to take this, channel it, and we will be back."

On how the team is going to come back after the loss:

"It should be interesting next week. We are scoring goals, but we are also giving up goals. We need to find the happy middle. We are slowly cutting down our mistakes to where they need to be for the playoffs, so fortunately for us this is not the last game before the playoffs. We have four weeks to prepare for what is the most important part of the season, the playoffs."

METROSTARS FORWARD JOHN WOLYNIEC

On the feeling of the team after taking the early lead:

"I thought we were in good shape. I definitely didn't think it was over, but I think we felt confident. I think what hurt us, was how quickly they came back and scored on us. It takes all the wind out of your sails, and it took us a whole half to get it back. Then once we got it back, they did it again. So mentally that really hurt us, especially because we were on the road."

On giving up two leads:

"Each time we scored, they were determined to get it right back, and we didn't do enough to hold down the fort. I thought we should have learned our lesson after the first one. It was disappointing to get the lead for a second time, and then to give it right back just as fast."


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