SATURDAY, MAY 15, 2004 - COLUMBUS CREW 1, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 0
COLUMBUS CREW HEAD COACH GREG ANDRULIS
On whether the team was playing for him:
"When we got together in the huddle yesterday at midfield Robin Fraser said, 'I believe we've turned the corner based on what we've done this week in training.' He kept using the word believe in his sentences. Believe that we're beginning to gel, believe that we're beginning to get there. That he can see things and I think that message from a captain, a veteran, somebody who has been around for so long resonated through the entire team and clearly we have to believe in ourselves more than anything else.
"The guys had a very gutsy performance today and they got the job done."
On Nelson Akwari filling in for the suspended Robin Fraser:
"Nelson proved last year in that stretch at the end of the season that he can play and we had a talk two weeks ago when he hadn't been in much of the last couple of games.
"I had guy after guy after guy coming in to my office, 'Coach, I want to help. What can I do? How can I get in? You know, I want to help.' That's a very positive thing for the team and Nelson was one of those guys and what we said to Nelson, you know, is you're doing everything right and something is going to happen that is going to create an opportunity for you."
"He had us organized, made a couple of very key plays and did a very very good job in a position that really he doesn't play an awful lot. Normally he is used to playing with four in the back but Nelson is a good player and it's great to have that kind of contribution off the bench."
On the Crew attack:
"We have to attack, we have good attacking players. We have to be more aggressive getting the ball forward into attacking spaces. I thought the first half, at times, it was as good as it's been in a long, long time. We created a lot of chances and you know now we'll make some better runs in the box and can finish some of those off. We've got good defenders, we've given up one goal in the last three games against us, so that's our part that we've sorted out at least for now."
On the passing of former Crew coach Tom Fitzgerald's father, Ken. Fitzgerald was in Columbus for Saturday's fifth anniversary match of Crew Stadium but had to leave after finding out about his father:
"Our thoughts and prayers are with him. It would have been great for him to be here to share in this with us and when I talked to him this morning he was going to fax me his speech because of one of the things that we set up. He was going to come in the locker room and give the pre-game speech so I was totally unprepared today for that, and clearly totally unprepared for the sad news that phone call dealt. But nonetheless, Tom was here in spirit and supported us as he always has."
COLUMBUS CREW FORWARD EDSON BUDDLE
On his game-winning goal:
"I was aiming for the corner. I didn't hit it as hard as I wanted too but it still found the lower corner. (The forwards) were not necessarily pressured; we just want to win games and to do that you have to put the ball in the back of the net."
On the result:
"It was good to get our first win of the year. Everybody worked hard and we got the result that we wanted."
COLUMBUS CREW GOALKEEPER JON BUSCH
On his back-to-back saves on Taylor Twellman in the second half:
"Twellman got behind our line and I was fortunate to be close enough to spread myself and make myself big. And on the rebound I knew I could get close enough again and he just banged it into me."
On getting the first win of the season:
"The first win takes some pressure off the boys. If we play the way we did in the first half we are going to win a lot of games this year."
On the fans:
"Our fans were fantastic tonight. My hat's off to them. They came out in the rain and stayed for 90 minutes, that win was for them."
COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER FRANKIE HEJDUK
On the result:
"(The win) takes the monkey off our back, for our organization, fans and ourselves. It was almost a must-win situation. We didn't want to suffer another loss at home. The win was a morale booster. Everybody battled, it was a great team effort."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION HEAD COACH STEVE NICOL
On the result:
"I think today's game is a classic example of not getting what you deserve. We certainly have no qualms ... We certainly deserved to get a point from the game on the second-half performance. It's as simple as that."
On the two consecutive offside calls:
"The second one I think was offside. The goalkeeper was out. You know, you have to have two guys behind you. So that's offside. The first one, not having seen it live, I'm obviously going to say it's onside, but I certainly think it was."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER STEVE RALSTON:
On the play where he was called offside after appearing to have scored:
"I think the referee made the right call as much as we hate to admit it. The rule is there's got to be two guys behind the ball and I think with the goalie forward and the guy on the goal line it didn't look offside, but it was close. I tried to get back onside. I didn't see the replay."
On the Revs' change of tactics in the second half to a 3-5-2:
"It benefited us. We had better chances; we had more of the ball. In the first half we sat back and let them have the ball and they dominated us at times. But we made a good adjustment at halftime and created a lot of opportunities. We just can't get one to go in the net, really. Taylor's (run, set up by Pat Noonan) was close to not being offside. Goalies are making more saves with their faces than I've ever seen. If we play like we did in that second half we'll be all right."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION FORWARD TAYLOR TWELLMAN
On his scoring drought:
"It's just how it goes sometimes. I've hit the keeper in the face three times in a row. It's just frustrating, but on the other hand I'm getting chances. That's all I can ask for."
On the difference between the two halves:
"The second half was awesome. For once we weren't under pressure and we were coming at the other team. It was definitely a benefit to us."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION GOALKEEPER MATT REIS:
On the Columbus goal:
"I saw it late. I saw it right when it got around Jay Heaps and when it went to the top of the box and then there was just kind of a mess of bodies in front of me. Unfortunately, since he didn't hit it very hard I felt that if I'd been able to see it I would have been able to stop it."
On the result:
"We didn't pass the ball as well as we could have. We made the adjustments in the second half to kind of match the formation they were playing which gave us, I thought, the advantage. But we didn't seem to move the ball very well and get behind them enough. It's disappointing. I don't feel that they were a better team than us. Coming here I thought we could have at least salvaged a tie."
On his save on Columbus Crew forward Jeff Cunningham:
"I was just trying to cut down the angle. I saw they were going to try and play a through ball to him; I thought he was going to try and dribble around me so I just tried to get down at his feet and try to get out and close it as much as I could."