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United 3, Rapids 1 -- quote sheet

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER QUOTE SHEET

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2004 - D.C. UNITED 3, COLORADO RAPIDS 1

UNITED HEAD COACH PETER NOWAK

On Freddy Adu:

"The last three weeks he has proven to all of us, including my players, that he deserves to be on the field. He is the one that brought to life the U.S. Open Cup game and he changed the last game in San Jose. So you know as far as that, we start to trust players and he is a part of this team and today was great. I was pretty sure that after the game in San Jose, he was going to start this game and again, he belongs to this team. The future is bright. We have to keep his feet on the ground and his head out of the clouds and realize that what he has done the past couple of weeks for this team was (great).

"I think he is still in the process of getting better. He has put in a lot of work and he started the game a little different, because he started behind the strikers and not as the guys who was going to score the goal. He scored, because he had lots of space and the time to score this goal. This is what I have told him many times and he is still a young man and he tries to create the chances. We cannot say he is going to start every game. We cannot guarantee that he is. There are only three spots that are guaranteed on this team, my assistant coaches and me. He has made great progress and I am very happy for him and this team. He is a big part of this team. This team is all about the team, and all about the winning."

On the goal:

"I am not happy about the goals we (scored). We should have had more goals scored. These mistakes we make, they are too easy. We have to regroup and come together and play as D.C. United. There is still a lot of work. I hope it comes together for our game on Saturday."

On the rookies:

"Lot of rookies playing this season. The rookies are doing very well and I see the things they learn from some of the older people like Benny (Olsen) and Earnie (Stewart). Sometimes it is a roller coaster with them."

D.C. UNITED FORWARD FREDDY ADU

On playing a central midfield role:

"That's my natural position. It gave me a chance to play with a bit more comfort. It was just one of those days where I felt like everything was clicking. I saw the whole field, I was reading the plays two or three plays ahead."

On maintaining the momentum:

"We have to stay (angry). We're playing good soccer and sometimes we've gotten out of our element, because we thought things were too easy. We came out angry tonight, after our performance last Saturday, and we absolutely took it to them. We took it to them from the start."

On the goal:

"Before the game, the guys said, 'you have to get a goal for yourself, because you've been playing well lately.' To get the goal felt great. My mom's probably laughing right now, because she asked me to get her a goal tonight and I told her I'd try."

D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER TROY PERKINS

On the game:

"It felt good to be at home. It was good to get the win, because we needed those points badly. Let's hope we can carry it through to this Saturday [against New England]."

On not getting the shutout:

"We always prefer to get a shutout, but we got the win and that's more important."

On the conditions:

"I think it benefited us. We like to ping the ball around and keep possession, and with a wet surface it allows us to take the possession to them."

On the keys to winning on Saturday:

"We need to keep our momentum going, just keep our focus and not worry about who we're playing."

COLORADO HEAD COACH TIM HANKINSON

On the team's performance:

"I think we are still recovering more than anything else. We had a nightmare in the 90th minute in Dallas three days ago and basically, today, we had a 90 minute nightmare, so we have a repeating theme going here that we are going to have to dig ourselves out of. I think that we looked sluggish, we weren't closing down on the ball, we weren't tracking our markers, our two only mids were pushing out too far and were creating a space that Freddy was able to explore. So, from that standpoint, we just did a very poor job and that is something we will have to address. We just were playing very poorly tonight and D.C. knows what to do with those opportunities.

On the team's reaction:

"I hope we get angry. That should be the emotions. We have two guys whose heads are down and they want to huddle up. They want forgiveness and sympathy, understanding, and none of that belongs in a competitive environment and our players have got to understand that. I am not seeing that. That is something we have to light on fire here. When we do that, then we will start addressing our game."
On the game:

"I think that if you look at the game you know 9/10ths of the game is D.C., because of our inability to keep the ball and anyone who wants playing time, you got to be a player who wants to keep the ball. You know the reason there are so many runs for D.C. is because D.C. has more creative movement and they create options. Right now, our guys are getting the ball and no one is running, because we are all afraid we are going to give the ball away and find ourselves out of a defensive spot. It is confidence. That is something that will be a challenge for us to find."

On Freddy Adu:

"He seems he is doing more work without the ball, whereas before, he couldn't play without the ball at his feet and you see him making runs in the spaces and that stretches out more opportunities.

"I have seen him come in mostly for Alecko on top. They put him in the midfield where he was able to face the game, whereas when he was on top, he wasn't as effective. Being an attacking midfielder is something that he is more (capable of)."

COLORADO RAPIDS FORWARD JOHN SPENCER

On his goal:

"It was a great ball, but losing a game like this is tough. It's nice when you hit the net, but it's hard."

On creating chances in the attack:

"Obviously, you won't score goals if you don't have chances. It's easy for a striker to say he's going through a bad spell, but we've got to create more chances. I think we had only one shot, maybe two shots on goal, so it's something we need to work on."


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