SATURDAY, JULY 24, 2004 - METROSTARS 2, CHICAGO FIRE 1
METROSTARS HEAD COACH BOB BRADLEY
On the meaning of his 100th win
"The numbers mean nothing to me. We are in the midst of a season. We're working like crazy to get a little bit better and get a little stronger mentally and know how to really be a team that can win a championship. So much goes into that every day between the coaches and the players but that's all you want the team to understand and that's what counts and the rest really doesn't matter."
On the significance of beating the Fire
"Now we're talking about something that is important. We have had a lot of hard games with them. I feel like we understand that you have to raise your level of competing in order to have a really good game with Chicago. A good example is what goes on in the midfield all game long between any of our guys and Chris Armas because he's just nonstop and it means so much to them to have a player like that who's just pushing the other guys and going for every ball and coming away with plays so now we have to have a way where we are going to compete on Chris' level. I think we've had a bunch of games where we've done that, but maybe at the end we didn't always make a play or we let is slip away or it was a tie. So now to come through with a win on a day like that coming from behind, it's a good step for us that is important."
On the possibility of D.C. losing to Dallas
"It's nice to have a little bit of room, but again I think we've just seen in this league over and over again that you just have to keep concentrating on your next game. Every game is hard, every game is close and the league is so even. The ability for us to win a game like tonight is important because we are going to be in a lot more games like it. Games where you try to put plays together, you try to be the better team with the ball, you try to create better chances but at the end there's still all these little battles that go on the field for headers and 50/50 balls and tackles that help you have a little bit of an edge and that is still where we're learning. It's still trying to make sure that we can do all the little things right to give us the best chance."
METROSTARS MIDFIELDER AND MAN-OF-THE-MATCH AMADO GUEVARA
On taking penalty kicks
"I have a lot of confidence and I said to God, 'Give me the strength that I need,' and now I am five out of five."
On the importance of the win
"Like all of them, I think that we needed three points and every time we win, we are looking for three points out of the match, same as always."
On building momentum
"We were coming from a losing stretch, then we beat San Jose, we tied against Chicago and then we beat Chicago so it gives us momentum that we need."
METROSTARS DEFENDER EDDIE POPE
On the importance of the win
"It was important because we are in first and we wanted to stay in first to increase our lead so every game is more and more important than the one before it."
On head coach Bob Bradley's 100th win
"I think it's good, this is certainly one of many [wins] for him, 100 wins isn't saying that much because he's going to win a lot more, but still, it's important sometimes to take a quick second and to say, 'Hey, great 100th win' and then move on."
On taking four points out of six against the Fire over the past two weeks
"We wanted to win that game, we set out as a point to make it a two-game series as a pre-run for the playoffs so it was important to accomplish our goal and we did it."
METROSTARS FORWARD JOHN WOLYNIEC
On his game-winning goal
"We were getting some room up top in the second half and the ball came to Mike [Magee] and I just took off and I knew he was going to play me the ball. I just took off, made a run out to the left, opened up a little bit and he put a nice ball in behind me right into my stride. I took one touch and saw Henry [Ring] come out and I just played it up over his leg into the corner."
On adjustments made in the past week
"I think it was just baby steps in the right direction. We finally got a tie at their place, we got the confidence that we could play against them in the second half last week and we just took that into this game. We didn't play a perfect game but we played good defense, we limited their chances and got a bunch for ourselves and put the right number away."
On beating the Fire, snapping a 10-game winless streak against Chicago
"It's a huge relief. They're a team in our division, they're one of our rivals, you can't let a team stay on top of you for too long. It's nice to put it behind us and create our own streak."
On Bradley's 100th win
"[Bradley's 100th] adds to the moment. Bob has downplayed it, but he's a great coach, and we believe in him and sometimes a moment like this can bring a team together and rally the troops behind our general."
METROSTARS GOALKEEPER JONNY WALKER
On the importance of the win and Bob's 100th
"It's always important for any person to reach a milestone and I'm sure Bob is not definitely going to be content with just 100 but it's important nevertheless. I think there is a significant meaning in this game, not the milestone as much as it's a team that we haven't been able to get the victory against. It's a team that has given us so much trouble in the conference. To beat them at home in a must win situation when the points are on the line and pretty much distance ourselves from them in the conference race, it's great."
On how he thought the game would play out
"It definitely didn't [play out the way I thought it would] because we came out, I thought we controlled things well and once again this was a typical Chicago team that didn't create too much for us against us in the beginning and they got a chance and put it away. Anytime you're 1-0 down with a team of that caliber, that has that experience, you're putting yourself in a little bit of a hole, but once again we're turned things around and got the result when it matter. I think that is what's important."
FIRE COACH DAVE SARACHAN
On the game
"I give my guys a lot of credit. They put a lot into this game tonight. It just doesn't seem like we're going to catch a break on stuff. But we have to keep moving on. To come away with no points after a good effort is certainly disappointing. That's all I can say."
On whether the MetroStars PK was a turning point
"That was a questionable call again. But it certainly allowed the MetroStars to get back into the game from a scoreline and their mentality."
On the team's busy stretch coming close to an end:
"It's definitely been a very busy stretch but that's what being a professional is all about. We need to get through this stretch and go to Colorado with the mentality that we're going to get points. We still believe that things can turn in our favor. We just have to stick together and keep working."
FIRE MIDFIELDER CHRIS ARMAS
On the game
"It was a tough loss. We put a lot into it. We had a couple of little breakdowns but I give them credit for capitalizing on their chances. I feel good about our 90 minute effort tonight. In the long run it's going to convert into more wins than losses for sure. A lot was on the line tonight. We could have been closer to first place with a win, but we'll be back the next game."
On the midweek match-up against the Rapids
"We have to bounce back quickly and learn a little from this game and just keep building. We're putting some good performances together."
FIRE GOALKEEPER HENRY RING
On the game
"I think before their PK we had good momentum going. We were getting our game going and moving forward a little bit. When Armas scored the goal we kept moving and getting forward and things started feeling good and then 'bang.' It was like the last game against the MetroStars at home last week. It takes the breath out of us for at least a second.
"But overall I think everyone in this room knows what it takes to be a good team this season. We have one more game this month, but everyone here has a very solid idea of what our identity needs to be and I think we can continue to bring that everyday."