Man of the Match Q&A: De Rosario
Despite winning your sixth game in a row on Wednesday, the Quakes did not yet clinch home field advantage throughout the Western Conference Playoffs. Do you feel that is a good thing, because it still gives the Quakes something meaningful to play for in the final four games of the season?
Dwayne De Rosario: "It can be, but just because we clinched the playoffs or the home field, that doesn't mean the games after that mean nothing. The last four games leading up to the playoffs are some of the most important because you are building up momentum and it is very important when you are going into the playoffs to keep up your high standard; you don't want to go in after a loss. You want to go into the playoffs on a high note and with as much confidence as possible. Whether we are in the playoffs or not, I don't think that affects how we will come out in our next game."
Can you talk about the play where you scored the first goal of the game on Wednesday against Chicago?
DDR: "Basically, every time I see [Brian] Ching go for the ball, I know that most likely he is going to win it. I anticipated that he was going to flick it on, and it was a great flick on. Then I saw [Chicago goalkeeper] Zach [Thornton] kind of hesitate for a little bit and he was already caught between the penalty spot and the six-yard box, so I chipped him. I think the defender tried to block it, but fortunately it went over them and took a good bounce. Usually when I train on that field the ball bounces over the net, so it was about time that it went in the net."
What was going through your mind as you stepped up to take the penalty shot in the second half on Wednesday against Zach Thornton?
DDR: "I was thinking that it was a goal, I don't miss penalty shots. That is the attitude you have to have if you are going to score on something like that in this league."
How do you feel the Earthquakes played Wednesday in the 2-0 win over Chicago?
DDR: "It was another great team performance. From Pat [Onstad] to Alejandro [Moreno], to [Brian] Ching to Eddie [Robinson], everyone played well. Guys that filled in like Ryan Cochrane, he did a great job. We are going to need everyone as we go into the playoffs and try to get to the finals; we are going to need every single player. Every time a guy gets a chance to go on the field he proves himself and that shows character and what kind of depth we have."
The Earthquakes have been called a "starless" team this season. Do you think that describes the way this team plays?
DDR: "I don't know who said that it was a starless team, they must be blind. Every guy on this team is a star, if we weren't stars we wouldn't be in first place. I think we just don't have that one guy, that one star that everyone focuses on. Instead we have 11 guys on the field, and every one is a star. They work hard and prove that day in and day out. That is why we don't have that one guy, because really there are too many good players here to promote and to get the attention."
The Earthquakes now have 56 points, which is a new club record. How can you explain the success that the team has had this season?
DDR: "This is a great organization and a great group of guys. I think that is what makes us tick. We have a great staff and guys that want to be here day in and day out. That is something that you can't buy. You can't build that kind of character into players, it just has to be there. But every guy here has good character and they come here because they love playing and it shows on the field. Everyone plays hard for 90 minutes and leaves everything on the field."
How would you describe playing under Dominic Kinnear?
DDR: "He is most definitely a players coach. He has played the game and he knows the ins and outs. He was with Frank [Yallop] who is another great coach and he learned a lot under Frank. Now he has adapted his own method but is keeping the same type of structure and the same type of system while keeping the atmosphere light. I think the players just take to that and the response is great."