Eddie Robinson is happy with the improvement the Quakes' defense has made.
Kent Horner/MLS/WireImage.com

Man of the Match Q&A: Robinson

Your defensive line has recently acquired some new faces with Craig Waibel and Troy Dayak out with injuries. Has there been a different feeling on the field with Chris Aloisi and Danny Califf taking over their starting positions?
Those guys are great players. They've been around the league for a while, they know what they're doing. Califf has a lot of national team experience. It took a little bit to get the team chemistry down, but we took care of that in training. We haven't really missed much of a beat, and we've been playing real good defensively the last six games. So the new players have really fit in well.

The Earthquakes allowed 11 goals in April. But in May, opponents only scored three goals and San Jose earned three shutouts. Can you think of anything in particular that you have changed to help the defense improve?
At the beginning of the year, we were quite unfortunate with some of the goals we gave up. They were just simple mistakes late in the games. But now that the guys are fitter, we don't make those mistakes anymore. Since we brought so many new guys at the beginning of the year, we all know our roles more and have really meshed in the back.

The Quakes have some new starters all over the field, not just in the defense. Can you talk a little bit about how the entire team has meshed with these new players seeing more time on the field?
Once again, these are guys who have been around the league and they've played a lot and they know what it takes to succeed. In the last five years with Frank Yallop and Dominic Kinnear, they have always done very well with player selection. Obviously they choose players' ability, but more importantly they choose by players' personality. They bring guys in that they know are going to fit in and who aren't going to cause problems on the team. So when guys do get injured and we lose guys like Brian Ching, Brian Mullan, Troy, and Craig, other guys can fit right in because they have the personality and the attitude.

Can you talk a little bit about the Quakes overall play against the Wizards on Saturday?
The first half, I don't know how we didn't get a goal or two. The second half I think we ran out of steam a little bit near the end of the game. Our problem this year is giving up goals on counterattacks. As far as other teams creating stuff against us, there hasn't been much of anything, but the goals that we've given up the last few games are us giving the ball away. I thought we were real unfortunate to not come out of there without at least a point against the Wizards.

The team ended up having a 2-2-1 record in the month of May, but that included playing four out of the five games on the road. What's the attitude of the team coming out of the road trip?
We're ok with the way we played and the results we got. We're not happy with it, but we're not completely disappointed with it. It's going to be good this month playing some home games. Now we know what we've got to do at home this month, and that's get some wins. So we're not upset, but we're not ecstatic with the way we played in May.

Looking ahead to the game against D.C. United this weekend, what do you guys need to do to get the win?
Just play our game at home. When we have the ball, spread out and pass because that's what we're good at and break them down. It's a small field so that helps us out defensively because we can stay compact and not let them create anything. Hopefully we'll get some goals this weekend.

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