WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2004 - COLUMBUS CREW 2, KANSAS CITY WIZARDS 1
COLUMBUS CREW HEAD COACH GREG ANDRULIS
On the return of Preki:
"It's awfully good to see Preki back out there on the field. I know that he is going to help them a lot as they continue down the rest of the season."
On Kyle Martino's play and the game winner:
"Well, clearly you get emotional, you get excited, and Kyle's certainly been banging on the door all night. And he gets the penalty kick and hits the cross bar. Tony makes a good save on that break away. Good for him, he's been playing very well lately. He's been a difference maker and I thought he had a terrific game. And certainly for the team to come back that way, and show the character they did and get three points at home, it's huge."
On winning a game in hand:
"It was a game in hand for us, so those games in hand mean nothing unless you can get points out of it, and we got the three points. I'm proud of the guys tonight. They did a good job."
On the overall play of the game:
"Again, they overcame coaching tonight to get the result. I messed them up in the middle of the second half. We changed things up and it back fired a little bit, but they were able to overcome that and get back to what we do best. Our possession was real good, I thought, in the first half. In the second half we lost our rhythm a little bit. But again, a good result nonetheless and something to build on."
On the play of Jon Busch and Chad Marshall:
"He [Busch] was terrific, and there is nothing he could have done on the goal. We got caught on the counterattack; I think we reacted slowly to that chance that Meola (saved) in our heads just for a split second and they got the ball right in behind us quickly. And when they are right back and beat half your team down the field, he [Wizards midfielder Taylor Graham] was determined and it was a great finish. Buschy had another solid performance and I think Chad Marshall was terrific tonight, absolutely terrific, as well."
On his reaction after Kansas City's goal:
"I was thinking 'Is there a change we can make that's going to get us the goal? Can we push forward?' I really wasn't thinking 'Here we go again.' You know, this is a different team with a different mentality, and our senses on the sideline were 'We missed a good chance, they finished theirs, but there is still time left.' We knew there was going to be four or five extra minutes, and I thought the way we were playing that we kept knocking on the door. Had we not got the goal, we would have been clearly disappointed, but I'm just proud of the way the guys bounced back. I really never had any of that emotion of 'Here we go again.'"
On facing D.C. on Saturday:
"They are a good team. I've been saying tonight to the TV guys, the thing about D.C. United is that they play a very, very attractive brand of soccer. And that the Columbus fans, probably for the first time in a huge amount are going to see a very good team, and it isn't just about Freddy Adu. I mean they are a very good team. We've had a couple of decent matches against them, and we're looking forward to it. It's going to be a great challenge for us, but also a great opportunity."
COLUMBUS CREW FORWARD KYLE MARTINO
On the game-winning goal:
"Coming up to it, at that point I was just frustrated that we had gone from me getting stoned on a breakaway to them coming back and leveling it. I got the ball and got turned, Simon played a nice ball where I got turned, and I just kind of took a touch and saw that I had space to go off and tried to unbalance Tony by acting like I was going to hit it near post and just kind of got it good and it went far post and luckily he didn't get enough of it to keep it out of the net."
On the team's feelings after the Wizards' goal and the game winner:
"It feels great simply because that seemed like one of those games that we were going to come out of there with a point. And I could see us coming into the locker room and everyone was going to be furious and I could see it coming, and creeping. And to give up a goal the way we did, and to go up 1-0 early, and to finish the game off by getting scored on and then almost giving up two points, we were frustrated. But for us to get that final goal I felt tremendous. The guys came in here, everyone felt great, and when we have games in hand we need to take advantage of it and we did."
On drawing the penalty kick:
"I got the ball and got turned. One of the defenders flew by me, and I tried to touch it by him and I saw a defender, I can't remember which defender, came across and I just kind of touched it quick. And I saw that he was going to the ground and I knew he was going to get a piece of me so I just wanted to make sure the ball got by him and sure enough his legs came across and took me out and Ross did a great job finishing it off."
On his adjustment to playing forward:
"It's been a hard change just because there's a bunch of different aspects that a forward needs to bring to a game. And I think that playing with Edson (Buddle) up top makes it a little bit easier simply because he takes the brunt of all the physical contact. He can take balls down and he is a great target man. I'd say that I get a lot more chances to get in the final third and be creative and be dangerous; I love it. But getting knocked around by defenders all day long, it's not exactly one of the things I love to do. But I'll do whatever it takes for the Crew to do well."
COLUMBUS CREW MIDFIELDER ROSS PAULE
On deciding who would take the penalty kick and scoring a goal:
"The decision was made on the field. I just stepped up and [I] have the confidence to take them. I picked a corner and hit it well."
On Kyle Martino drawing the penalty kick:
"Kyle did a great job in the box. He is so creative and did a good job of drawing the foul for us."
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS HEAD COACH BOB GANSLER
On the game:
"We are not into self pity. Injuries happen before the season and during the season and we need to carry on. We came in here to win the game, for sure, but we needed to keep it close. Columbus is playing well right now both at home and on the road. We all thought we had a tie and from our performance in the second half, in our subjective opinion we thought that would be a fair result. (Kyle Martino's) was a good goal but it was something we needed to defend."
On Igor Simutenkov's chance to put the Wizards ahead:
"He gave us a spark, but (on that play) he went against his M.O. Usually that is a full instep, right-footed drive to the far post. He had one in the last game that went off the post and didn't go in. This time he tried it with the inside of the left and go for the far post and didn't get enough on it. I thought he gave us a spark and pull the trigger two or three times."
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS DEFENDER TAYLOR GRAHAM
On scoring his first career goal:
"It is pretty bittersweet. I thought we were going to pull off a point on the road; it would have been a good result, but they snuck one in late. It's a little disappointing obviously. I think both teams played well and we certainly had more chances in the second half than in the first. I think a tie is a more fair result than leaving here with no points, to be honest. But that is the game and you have to play 90-plus minutes - they did and we didn't."
On nearly scoring his first goal one minute before:
"Igor played a free kick in and I just tried to change the direction of it and I think Busch saved it on the far post. I'm glad I got one, but it would have been nice to get two, but all I really care about is the result for the team."