SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2004 - COLUMBUS CREW 1, D.C. UNITED 0
COLUMBUS CREW HEAD COACH GREG ANDRULIS
On the Crew's play tonight:
"We talked on Thursday at this time of the season, little plays make a difference. On the positive side, Tony (Sanneh) finishes off a terrific ball by Simon (Elliott), Duncan (Oughton) saves a ball, Kyle (Martino) saves a ball, (Jon) 'Bushy' makes a couple of great plays. It wasn't one little play tonight it was a lot of very good ones. We did what we needed to do in the second half, a man up and a goal up. We had enough chances tonight but they didn't go, and good thing we didn't need them. D.C. is a very good team and I think it's good for us that we weren't at our best, but we still found a way to get a result, and I think that shows the character of this team."
On the team's play as they are within one game of tying the record for the longest unbeaten streak in MLS history:
"I think if you asked me last Saturday I would say yes, tonight was sort of a leveling but I think through the course of the season you have games where you're not always at your best. What we just talked about in there was making sure it's progress next Saturday. You have to continue to try to get better, and battle, and get ready for the playoffs. We haven't talked about the streak, and we're not going to talk about it."
On the team's performance tonight:
"I don't think we were very sharp moving the ball, and I think we lost our shape a little too easily and gave them a little bit of space. I think it's more tactical things, and I thought we tried to play too many situations where we lingered on the ball. We've got to move it. They are very athletic; they close you down quickly. Where they were able to get through us was with quick play, and we're capable of doing it, we just didn't do it tonight in the first half."
On Jon Busch's play tonight:
"He kept us where we needed to be in the first half, he has a clean sheet at home. He had a little help from some of the guys in front of him. I think we really limited their great chances, although that save in the first half is as good as it gets this season, it was certainly highlight reel type of situation. That ball was dead to right in the upper 90, and it was a terrific save, and it's great that he's capable of doing that. He hasn't been called upon to make that kind of save in a long time, but he's been clean in all the other situations, and it's good that every once in a while you have to do the extraordinary, and he rose to the occasion tonight."
On Kyle Martino, Jeff Cunningham and Edson Buddle being on the field at the same time:
"We tried to change the rhythm of the game a little bit, and tried to get them backed up, and went with the three forwards. And it did change the momentum for a little while, and then once we changed the momentum, we stuck Kyle back in behind, and what can you say, those guys had four breakaways, and on any given night more than zero are going to go in. Kyle had a great chance, Edson, Jeff had two good ones, those will go, and what we got from the change was what we were looking for on the offensive side."
COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER TONY SANNEH
On his goal:
"We've been working on that in practice. I made the exact run I was supposed to and Simon played the exact ball he was supposed to."
On getting the win:
"To play not your best and win is a great feeling. We are starting to get a championship mentality. We can't get to complacent, we need to get a little bit better killer instinct."
COLUMBUS CREW GOALKEEPER JON BUSCH
On the game:
"We got a win. It wasn't pretty and we absorbed a little too much pressure but we got the win. I was just glad I was able to contribute tonight. We are just taking it one game at a time. The streak is great but we wanted to get in the playoffs and we did that and now we want home field advantage."
COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER SIMON ELLIOTT
On the game:
"We were a bit disjointed at times tonight. We didn't have the flow that we usually do. We know we are capable of playing much better but we were still able to get three points. This team has a lot of character. The guys can see that good things are possible. Look at Kyle. Things weren't going his way up front and then he's in the back blocking a would-be goal. Those are the type of things everyone has been doing this year."
On the goal:
"We've been working on our set pieces. I was able to whip it in and Tony (Sanneh) made a great run. Like I've said, if you get a good service and a good run, good things will happen."
D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH PETER NOWAK
On the game:
"I always say that I'm very proud of my team. Even a man down, we were controlling play. That means the mental part, the physical part, we were on our game. With 11 players on the field, Columbus couldn't do much against our 10."
On his substitutions:
"We had to make changes to change our system. I spoke to Christian (Gomez) at half and told him that we needed to bring in a defender (Ezra Hendrickson)."
D.C. UNITED DEFENDER RYAN NELSEN
On the yellow cards he received:
"I wasn't happy with either yellow card. On the first, I simply told him that Kyle Martino had taken two dives and that the second call was the most embarrassing call I'd ever seen. I didn't even swear, but he showed me yellow anyway. He didn't even warn me."
On the Crew's goal:
"Tony (Sanneh) got position between two of our guys and scored a very nice goal."
On the game:
"We were by far the better team, though in the first half and it was a shame that (one man) ruined it."
D.C. UNITED FORWARD ALECKO ESKANDARIAN
On the referee:
"I talked to the ref before the game to make sure that he knew I was on warning and that I wasn't going to do anything to warrant a card. I'm baffled by why I received one on the play that I did."
On Jon Busch's dramatic first-half save:
"I hit it well with the outside of my foot. (The ball) was dipping in, but (Busch) robbed me. I've banged a few by him this season, so I guess I deserved that one."