Alecko Eskandarian

Q&A: United appreciate their fans

What do D.C. United fans mean to you?

Peter Nowak - Head coach
"The players, coaches and the others on the team consider the fans as the twelfth man. They are that extra man on the field because it boosts our play. The great success we've had this year with the home field shows that. I don't think we can expect more than that from them. The whole team and the coaching staff really appreciate the support we've seen since the first week we showed up on the field. They are important in our life and I hope they show up in the playoffs. The whole year was fantastic and I expect they will show up in the playoffs that much more."

Tommy Soehn - Assistant coach
"Having played against this crowd, they always felt as if they were an extra man on the field. Their intensity and their enthusiasm was really a big difference. This year, being a coach with D.C., you realize how much it sparks us and how well we play at home. They've done a great job and they've been great for us."

Mark Simpson - Assistant Coach
"Obviously, we've had a great following since 1996. We're really looking forward to continuing to build up the atmosphere, getting the opposite side (stands) rocking and jumping up and down. It would be great getting a full sellout for these (playoff) games. It would really pump up our side. They mean a lot to us. We've been very successful at home, and there's no question they play a big part in our success here."

Jaime Moreno - Forward
"They mean a lot. Those people appreciate what we do and the only way to pay them back is to play a good game of soccer. We know that is important. They're a big motivation for us. We know they care about us. And we're always going to be thankful for them because they are the reason we have a league."

Troy Perkins - Goalkeeper
"What they mean to the team is the atmosphere they bring to the game. Playing in all the other cities this year, I don't think there is any other atmosphere [better] than this. This is the best atmosphere we have in the US. To me personally, that's what you go out there and (work hard) for. They're the ones paying your paycheck and supporting the league. We do it for them everyday."

Kevin Ara - Midfielder
"For me, it's my first year, the fans have welcomed me really well. I can attest to the fact that we have the best fans here in D.C. They mean a lot to us, and you can see how much they mean to us by our home record. They are important. They even make the away games like those who went to the New York game. I know all the players appreciate their support."

Bryan Namoff - Defender
"It's great! It's having the fans behind you at home. I know we have the best fans, hands down, in the league. I think that's what causes our chemistry on the field. I think it leads us to being such a strong team at home."

Josh Gros - Midfielder
"It's great! I never expected to have any fans other than my parents. They're nice and very supportive. They're definitely a big help for the home games. They get you up for those games."

Brandon Prideaux - Defender
"On game day, they bring the excitement and atmosphere. Without them it wouldn't be as much fun. RFK is such a great place to play. The fans here are great! I played in Kansas City and, of course, we play on the road, and I think we have the best fans in the league."

Nick Rimando - Goalkeeper
"The fans are the twelfth man. They pick me up and they pick up the team when we're down. When we're down a goal they pick us up. Here, I think they're the best in MLS. They come, rain or shine, and that's what we need. They're strong supporters."

Dema Kovalenko - Midfielder
"They're the best fans, the best fans ever! When I was in Chicago, they were good fans, but, when I came here, I see that they are unbelievable fans. They are always supporting us. They sing songs, scream and it's like the atmosphere in Europe. I wish we had even more of it. We appreciate everything they've done for us in the past. It's great support for us and a big help."

Mike Petke - Defender
"The fans in D.C. are very knowledgeable. They support us win or lose. They're behind us and it helps us to give 100 percent. Then, they give it to us when we don't give one hundred percent, which is a good thing for fans to do. They do it with respect and loyalty, and we appreciate that."

Freddy Adu - Midfielder
"To me personally, it means everything. When I first came into the league, they were the same people who accepted and helped me when things weren't going well. They fans were always there. They scream your name and it pumps you up when you come into the game, and it helps you play. When you have people cheering like that you want to reward them by playing well for them."

Santino Quaranta - Forward
"We have the best fans in the league! I know it's been tough for them to stick by us because we've had a couple of bad seasons in the past, but they are great. I know it means a lot to me, and I think it means a lot to the guys in the locker room. I know we really appreciate them for what they do."

Eliseo Quintanilla - Midfielder
"I think it's great! We have great fans for a great team. I appreciate them for everything they've done to support me since I came here."

Alecko Eskandarian - Forward
"We are lucky to have one of the most passionate followings in the league. Our crowd is so loud. Their chants and singing creates a great atmosphere for us to play in."

Ryan Nelsen - Defender
"The RFK faithful are easily the best fans in the league. Sometimes, I feel sorry for teams that come to play us at RFK, because of the passion, knowledge, love and excitement they bring to the game."

John Dyson is a contributor to

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