Crew 2, Fire 0 -- quote sheet

more than held his own -- and that's good for Chris and its good for our team."

On the Crew attack:
"We talked about the best way to play against a team like Chicago that attacks so well and has a lot of good attacking weapons. To make them defend and we wanted to get after them and we wanted to attack with numbers. I don't know how many games Jeff and Edson have played together this year but I think we can see the difference when those two guys are on the field. Edson wins something and really helps with possession and Jeff is incredibly dangerous going forward and those guys both had good games for us."

On the team's injuries to the back line:
"You know Stephen Herdsman and Chad Marshall both tried to gut it out but they didn't pass the fitness test prior to the game so Duncan (Oughton) and Nelson (Akwari) stepped in. They both have a lot of minutes for us, so even though they're different players they bring different qualities and I thought that defensively we did a very, very good job. We really didn't give them a chance until late in the game when we got a little soft territorially, but other than that I don't really remember an honest-to-God goal scoring chance."

On Kyle Martino's performance:
"Much better. We challenged him to be a lot more aggressive on the attacking side. (Assistant coach) John Murphy said he did a lot of donkey work tonight. You know he really, really carried things on offensively, but also defensively. Early in the game he was pressing up on their backs and changing their rythym, and once they changed the way they attacked he adjusted to it."

On dedicating the game:
"We dedicated this game tonight to Jim Smith (his last day on the job as Crew president/GM is on July 9). I think as you all know Jim has worked tirelessly for the franchise and the organization in helping put this team together this year and I think the guys responded to that challenge tonight and obviously put together the best 90 minutes of the year. And I don't know if you can show any greater respect for somebody than to go out and play your best game of the season as a way to show him your gratitude for all he's done for you. I have a quote and then we'll move on to the game. 'Success is not measured by what you're leaving to, but what you are leaving behind.' And he is leaving behind a great franchise and hopefully a great team and certainly his legacy will live on for a long time."


On the win and his first start:
"The win was great. Having beaten them last time and to make it two in a row against a team you know is going to come after you was very satisfying. We knew how great and dangerous those guys (Chicago) are. We wanted to come out and play a team game and execute our game plan and that is what we did. I didn't know until an hour before game time that I was starting so I was just preparing like I was going to start since I knew there was the chance. I was just concentrating on what I needed to do and not get caught up in all the hoopla that goes with making your first start."


On his goal:
"I just kept going (on his goal). For a split second I thought about it (possibly being offside), but (Henry) Ring came out and I put the ball where I needed to."

On not scoring early despite chances:
"I just try to stay positive and continue to make as many opportunities as possible. We just wanted to get off to a good start, especially at home, and we were successful tonight."


On the Fire's performance:
"Not a whole lot to say. We got outcompeted and we got outplayed tonight. We never really got into a rhythm of passing. Columbus put a lot into it tonight."

On the play of the Crew's Jeff Cunningham and Edson Buddle:
"[Jeff] Cunningham and [Edson] Buddle are always a handful. Sooner or later if you don't have the ball and they're coming at you, they're going to get their chances. It's disappointing that we didn't come out and compete on that level."

On how his team will prepare for a busy month ahead:
"We have to go back home and look at the tape and look at each other. We have to realize that we just can't walk on the field and win. We've got to put more into it. Our soccer needs to get better. We have to work on a combination of little things. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We have to pick up and get after it this week and be ready for New England."


On the loss:
"First of all, we have to give them credit. They were very organized and we didn't match the intensity to start off in the first half. They had a lot of opportunities early on and capitalized on them. I was able to make a couple of saves, like any game, but we just didn't quite figure out how to stop them from getting in behind us."

On the Fire's bad luck of late:
"We need to get back home and see what we can work on and see what we can tighten up. We need to figure out where things went wrong. And we have to take responsibility for what's happened. We're definitely going to have to work harder this week at training."


On the loss:
"We have some work ahead of us. We have to sort out some things as a team. We're not doing all the little things right. We're still in a good position in the standings and we just have to stick together as a team."

On the Crew's performance:

"They were home and brought a lot of energy and their forwards were dangerous. As a team we lost a lot of battles on the field and when that happens it's tough to win games. But the true test of a team is in times like this. This will show our character in the next few weeks."

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