Q&A: Kovalenko, Adu, Eskandarian
Dema Kovalenko - midfielder
How did it feel to play in the All-Star game in front of the home crowd?
"It's nice, especially in front of the home crowd. Everybody was excited and I was excited too. It's nice to be home and I thought it was a good game. The first half we played well, but in the second half it was a bit slower. It was very, very hot! It was hot just sitting and watching the game. To run 90 minutes was very tough. Like I said, it was nice to be with these guys, especially for me because I don't have many friends (laugh). It's nice to get to know them better and they get to know me. It's a great weekend."
"It was good, but I'm glad we won. It's the All-Star game, but it's like Eddie (Pope) said, 'Let's have fun, but let's win the game.' That's what we did and it's good for us."
How important is the break in the schedule to D.C. United?
"It's been tough. It's been tough for the guys and especially for the coaching staff, because they are frustrated they can't put a team together of the best guys. But, that's what we've been saying since before the season, we have the guys on the bench that have to step in and do the job. It's very important with (Ryan) Nelsen, Mike (Petke), Nicky (Rimando) and a couple of the other guys out, and now the guys off the bench have to step up do the job. We can't play like we did in Dallas, it's not acceptable. We'll go back to work on Monday, fix things and we'll do well."
Freddy Adu - forward
How do you think you played in the All-Star game?
"I think I played great. It was hot, and the game was a little dull. I felt I had to do a little something to help the fans get going. I got the ball and started doing some tricks and everything turned out great."
"Everybody here is so good. It's kind of hard to jell with everybody else. Like I said, for people like me and Eddie Gaven, we come in here thinking, 'What are we going to do?' These guys are veterans and have been here, done that. It's our first time. I went in, I felt like I did a good job, but it's an All-Star game where you can have fun. I had a lot of fun and we won. In the end, it was a great day. It's great to play in the All-Star game, it's and honor and I'm glad I played in it."
How important was the All-Star break to D.C. United with all the injuries?
"It was very important. Everybody is hurt. We had to bring in people to replace others. We were pretty much dismantled as a team, and this gives us a chance to rest and recover, and to get back into form and to take it from there."
Alecko Eskandarian - forward
What did it mean to you to play in the All-Star game?
"It felt great. Obviously this format, to come in and play, for me personally, it was something special being my first time around. Just being around all these great players, it's almost easier playing. I had a lot of fun."
How would you describe your goal?
"(Amado) Guevara makes it so easy. It's an honor as a forward to play with someone like that. He's always looking forward to find little holes and stuff. I think we had pretty good chemistry out there, little touches and little passes. He just slipped it through and I put it away."
How important is the break to D.C. United with all the injuries and the run of bad games recently?
"We needed it, that's for sure. We probably need another four week break to get everyone healthy. But, that's the way it goes. It's a rigorous schedule that we play and unfortunately, we got hit by the injury bug. Right now we just have to fight through it until our top players come back. We have to have to have some guys step up and fill some shoes. They are pretty big shoes to fill, but that's what winning this league is all about. It's a long season and the best overall team comes out on top."
John Dyson is a contributor to DCUnited.com.