The following is a compilation of quotes from 2004 Sierra Mist All-Star Media Day at RFK Stadium following morning practice sessions of practice for both the East and West on the stadium grounds:
D.C. UNITED & EAST HEAD COACH PETER NOWAK:
On the upcoming Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game:
"I am proud and honored to have this group with me this weekend. For quite some time I was one of them and I know what this game means to these guys. There are veterans here but we also have some very young kids, they are the future of American soccer. Every year we have kids from the Project-40 program and the [U.S. Youth] National Teams. We have Eddie Gaven, Freddy Adu, Alecko Eskandarian and Clint Dempsey - this is the future of American soccer, so I'm very proud to coach this team."
On the balance between having fun and pushing the players too hard:
"I understand that they have played a lot of games lately and that there are a lot of games that will be very important at the end of the season. So we have to find a balance and they have to find a balance for what is the most important thing for them, to play in this game or concentrate on other games. They are professionals, so they will treat this game with respect and they will show what they can. This is the All-Star Game and we are supposed to show what we are all about. I'm pretty sure that we will find a balance between having fun and showing our best, both us coaches and the players."
METROSTARS & EAST STARTING DEFENDER & CAPTAIN EDDIE POPE
On playing in the All-Star Game:
"It is always an honor to be named to the All-Star Team, to be able to play with guys I've played with before like Jaime [Moreno] and with the young guys like Eddie Gaven and [Clint] Dempsey. It's an honor to be here and I'm looking forward to the game."
D.C. UNITED & EAST RESERVE FORWARD FREDDY ADU
On his first All-Star Game experience:
"It's great. It is an honor. Not many players get to do this. I was fortunate enough to get called here and I'm going to enjoy it."
On whether he was surprised to be picked to the East All-Star Team:
"I was just as surprised as everybody else. It's my first year and pretty much no one expects you to make it here in your first year. If you get called into an All-Star Team in your first year it is a great accomplishment. I'm just here to have fun and to get to know some of the other players from around the League and pretty much just show what I've got."
D.C. UNITED & EAST STARTING FORWARD JAIME MORENO
On the importance of the All-Star Game:
"It is going to be very important for us, for the players and for everybody. It is an honor to be here. Everyone is here to have fun, but everybody is going to take it seriously because we want to win. It is going to be a great atmosphere and we will do our best."
METROSTARS & EAST STARTING MIDFIELDER EDDIE GAVEN
On making the starting lineup in his first MLS All-Star Game:
"To be playing with the best players in this League is probably the coolest thing I've ever done in my soccer career so far. I'm just going to go out and try to play well and keep on playing well the rest of this season."
CHICAGO FIRE & EAST STARTING GOALKEEPER HENRY RING
On being the starting 'keeper for the East:
"A lot of players could be here. Jon Busch (Columbus Crew) is an outstanding goalkeeper and could be in there easily, along with plenty of other guys around the [Eastern] Conference. I'm pleased and honored to be here and hopefully I can represent the little guys around this League a little bit, the guys that haven't gotten much of the spotlight before."
On preventing another high-scoring All-Star Game:
"History says I won't have much luck doing that Saturday, but we're going to have fun with it and hopefully I can make a save or two. People will be running in and there will be lots of chances, but I'm just looking to have fun and do what I can do and enjoy the day."
D.C. UNITED & EAST STARTING MIDFIELDER DEMA KOVALENKO
On facing Dallas midfielder Ronnie O'Brien after last year's incident which resulted in injury to O'Brien:
"I hope he doesn't have hard feelings. I've said it before, I don't want that to happen to anybody. It is a game, and a freaky play like that can happen to anybody - it can happen to me. I'm glad to see he's back to playing and playing well, and that's the most important thing. I'm very happy for him."
D.C. UNITED & EAST RESERVE MIDFIELDER BEN OLSEN
On his status for the match:
"I do not think I'm playing. I would like to play, but I don't think it's going to go. I'd love to play in front of the crowd here in D.C., but I'm not fully 100 percent. We've got so many injuries on United that we can't afford another one."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES & WEST STARTING FORWARD LANDON DONOVAN
On the All-Star experience:
"It's fun playing with these guys, not only the attacking players but the defending players as well. It's going to be a lot of fun tomorrow. I can't wait to score some goals."
On playing in the absence of ex-MLS midfielders DaMarcus Beasley and Bobby Convey:
"It's odd not to have them around this weekend because they've always been here, especially (DaMarcus) Beasley and Bobby (Convey) more recently. They have bigger and better things they've moved on to and I'm very, very happy for them."
On being an "old" All-Star veteran at the age of 22:
"Let's not use 'old.' I didn't realize I was the youngest [on the West], but I guess all the youth is in the East this year. You don't realize it, but there are a lot of good, young players now. DaMarcus and I used to be the young ones, but now there are a lot of players younger than us that are succeeding, and that's really cool to see."
DALLAS BURN & WEST RESERVE FORWARD JASON KREIS
On the All-Star Game experience:
"Obviously it is a huge honor for me any time I get to step on the field with players like Landon [Donovan] and Carlos Ruiz. It's something that all of us as players look forward to having the opportunity to do and it is a fun occasion. I've asked Sigi [Schmid] if I can play right back tomorrow to help out the defense, so I hope he'll consider that."
DALLAS BURN & WEST STARTING DEFENDER CORY GIBBS
On making the All-Star Game in his first MLS season:
"It feels good. It is a great achievement. I just want to thank the fans and players and coaches for nominating me."
On being a defender in an All-Star Game:
"We'll just try to keep the score down. Everybody up top for the East and their midfielders are great players, and that's why they are here. It's going to be a good competition and an exciting game."
LOS ANGELES GALAXY & WEST STARTING DEFENDER CHRIS ALBRIGHT
On returning to Washington, D.C.:
"It will be interesting to hear what the Screaming Eagles have to say. But it's great to be back. I'm excited because I'll have a lot of family down from Philadelphia and I still have a lot of good friends here in the city that will also be in the crowd. Obviously things didn't go as planned here and I'm out in L.A. I've made the switch to defender and the experiment has worked thus far. Hopefully I'll be back for more All-Star Games."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES & WEST STARTING DEFENDER & CAPTAIN JEFF AGOOS
On returning for his record ninth All-Star appearance:
"I'm excited. I'm playing with great players and guys I've seen and played against for the last year, so I'll enjoy it. It will be a challenge and hopefully I won't give up too many goals."
On the mood of the San Jose contingent this weekend:
"From a team standpoint we're pretty disappointed. We are not off to a good start and I think everyone on our team would be happy to see just one representative on the All-Star team like we did last year. But we're going to come here and enjoy it for a few days and hopefully get back to business on Monday."