SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2004 - COLUMBUS CREW 3, LOS ANGELES GALAXY 1
COLUMBUS CREW HEAD COACH GREG ANDRULIS
On the game:
"I want to thank you all for coming, especially with Ohio State football today. I expected a smaller room. But anyways, I think it was a good performance, a hardworking performance. I think certainly we can see the class that Tony [Sanneh] brings to the team, and I think that out of anybody on the team we wouldn't have picked Ross [Paule] for the hat trick, but congratulations to him."
On Ross Paule's recent play:
"I think it's the head gear. Seriously, he's been solid since he joined us, and I think he's in a good zone right now. He's playing at a high level; he's healthy. Tonight he played a couple different spots in the midfield, and was solid from beginning to end."
On the importance of midfielders getting forward:
"We have to have other guys going forward. And I think both times on Ross's two first goals, Edson [Buddle] was wide. I think he served both of them across, I know for sure the first one. But we need more guys filling in and framing the goal, and we haven't had a lot of that, but tonight we did. And I think we were moving the ball around, and it helped a lot, and it gives a chance to get some numbers forward."
On the Galaxy's goal in first-half stoppage time:
"We gave them a lifeline at halftime, and clearly if you can come in at 2-0 instead of 2-1, your attitude is a little bit different. The guys are mature in there, and we keep talking about the next play, and that's what we focused on, making sure we got off to a good start in the second half. We basically said, 'Hey, we're up one at halftime at home, how do we handle that situation?' Not the fact that we just gave up a goal. We changed it into what was positive for us and I felt the guys responded fairly well."
On the early subs:
"Kyle had a little bit of a tight hamstring at halftime. We don't want to burn anybody out, and having a guy like Jeff on the bench, and Michael [Ritch], and David Testo, it was a difficult situation which guy was going to go in, but Michael's been playing very well in training, and Jeff Cunningham has just been on fire. I don't think we miss much when we put those guys in. Edson, we thought, just got fatigued."
On the importance of getting three points at home:
"It's a home game. We only have three left now. We know that home points are going to be very important for us, and we want to start finishing off some of the games where we've been in, and had chances, and tonight I thought we did that. It was an important win for us."
On the long unbeaten streak:
"Well, it's a third of the regular season that we haven't felt or tasted defeat, and the guys in there deserve a tremendous amount of credit. They're playing at a pretty high level; we haven't had a big dip that ends up happening every once in awhile in the season, but consistency. It comes to consistency, and we're not bleeding goals. I'm disappointed about the goal they had at the end of the half; I'm disappointed about the chance they had at the 90th minute, but other than that I thought we were pretty solid."
On Sanneh's play:
"I thought he was terrific. I thought obviously for the first minutes for us he fit right in and I think he put a stamp on the game and made some terrific passes. The thing that you guys probably weren't aware of is the communication. He's constantly talking, and he was running the show in there. He's a very good addition for us."
COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER TONY SANNEH
On the team's performance:
"I was impressed. We got three points. I was a little bit surprised how good of a team we are possession-wise. We don't quite have the speed like the great D.C. teams I was on, or a real playmaker, but everyone's so comfortable with the ball that it allows us to play in somewhat the same way where we can just hold it, and systematically break teams down."
On playing as a defensive midfielder:
"I think me playing there, it lets Ross [Paule] and Simon [Elliott] get up the field more, and with my athleticism I can cover a lot of ground. My job is to hang behind them, and with Kyle [Martino] not being a true forward it's important that somebody else is getting in the box, and Ross did that on occasion and created some chances for himself tonight."
On whether it's tough to join a team at such a late point in the season:
"A little bit. You don't want to be the guy who ruins it for everybody. The guys are a really good group of guys and they know what my strengths are, and they really respect me, so they're not giving me a hard time. If it all goes well we're all going to benefit from it so they've been pretty supportive of me. I'm not here to change the team; I'm here to keep things fresh and be a spark and help the situation get a little more competitive in there so guys are fighting a little bit more so we don't go into that lull that some teams do because this team has peaked so early."
COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER ROSS PAULE
On his first career hat trick:
"It's a great feeling to get three goals and for it to happen in a win. It felt awesome to get my first professional hat trick. The main thing is I'm getting opportunities and today I was able to convert. I am just benefiting from having great players around me."
On deciding who would take the penalty kick:
"Jeff (Cunningham) fought me for it but I knew I was going to take it. He was pushing for it."
On deciding which direction to hit the PK:
"I thought about changing it up but if I hit it like I want to it will be a goal even if the goalkeeper guesses right."
On the team's 11-game unbeaten streak:
"We've been getting results but not wins. It was huge to get three points at home. We are just gaining more and more confidence and we feel like every time we step on the field we're going to win. We are coming close to peaking but we're not there yet. There are a lot of little things we still need to work on."
LOS ANGELES GALAXY HEAD COACH STEVE SAMPSON:
On the game:
"Obviously, when you have six changes in a lineup, you have to try to find your rhythm and it took us a long time to find our rhythm, although I thought that we had some good chances early in the match. If a couple of those chances go in, it is a different story.
"I thought that our team did well to fight back after a two-goal deficit to get the goal before halftime, but give the Crew credit. They played well with a good speed of play, found spaces in the midfield where we had gaps. I thought [Ross] Paule had an excellent game and that Tony Sanneh will be an good addition to the Crew's team."
On his substitutions:
"I thought that we got some good minutes in for some young players. 'Memo' Gonzalez and Josh Gardner came on and did well. [Arturo] Torres continues to be an outstanding player who makes a difference whenever he comes on the field. We got some young players into the match and I think that is going to pay some dividends for us in the playoffs."
On the second Crew goal:
"In part, it was a result of [Hong Myung] Bo being injured. We were trying to get Torres onto the field and we had to play him as a forward, basically, taking him out of the defense. So, that hurt us a little bit."
On the penalty kick call:
"We didn't think that it was a penalty. It hit the shoulder and not the arm and hopefully the replay will prove that."
LOS ANGELES GALAXY FORWARD JOSEPH NGWENYA
On his goal:
"Andy [Herzog] got the ball wide and I tried to get into the box. He is a great crosser of the ball. I was able to get my head to it, but it came off the post and right back to me. So, I was able to put in the rebound."
LOS ANGELES GALAXY MIDFIELDER SASHA VICTORINE
On replacing Hong Myung Bo in the back line:
"It maybe not be the most comfortable spot for me at times because I have not really played there a lot, but I do feel confident that I can. It is easier to do when you have [Danny] Califf and [Ryan] Suarez marking, which lets you be free to keep an eye on everything else because those are two pretty good markers. I just tried to keep us organized.
"At times in the second half when we were down, we had to start throwing numbers forward and had to play man-on-man in the back, take some risks in the back and we did that well. We started to keep the ball better and create chances, and putting (Crew) on their heels a little bit. But unfortunately, again we were down goals and they could sit back in and make it tough for us."
LOS ANGELES GALAXY DEFENDER DANNY CALIFF
On returning from his knee injury:
"It was unbelievable to play again. It felt a little slow; I guess being out for two months it takes a little while to get your sea legs back, so to speak. I felt a lot better in the second half, a little bit more comfortable. The first half was a little bit rough, but overall I was just really happy to get back in there again."