EASTERN CONF. SEMIFINAL
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 1, COLUMBUS CREW 0
REVOLUTION HEAD COACH STEVE NICOL
On the win:
"The guys in the back defended very well. But I think it was a real team defensive shape. Whenever we lost the ball, we got into good spots. Obviously, in the first half we were delighted with the way we played. We made some chances and then, when we lost the ball we kept things tight. Second half, we didn't start well. We had exactly the opposite of what we had in the first half. We had bad shape. Obviously, they were down, they're coming out and Greg (Andrulis) has lifted them a wee bit. So they were obviously going to do something to start the second half. We obliged by doing the opposite of what we did in the first (half). We didn't let any goals in, we kept a clean sheet, everybody gave their all to the cause and now we move onto the next game."
On his team's preparation for the game:
"We've had a good week, and there were a couple of altercations the other day (at training) which really could have showed that everyone was keyed up for the game. We really started the game focused and hungry and wanting to do well, and that's what we did. The last four games on the trot at home, we got into a wee bit of a rhythm at home and so we just carried that on."
REVOLUTION DEFENDER AVERY JOHN
On his goal:
"The whole week we've been shooting in practice and the most important thing is getting them on target. I just remember (Steve Ralston) having it on the right side and there was a big hole in the middle. I saw the opportunity to go forward, and got it. I think I was probably forty yards (from goal). My first instinct was to shoot it from 40; you never know what can happen with the wind. Nobody closed me down, so I think I traveled like five to 10 yards, nobody closed me, and once you get toward the top of the 18 and no one closed me, you have a pop on goal. I hit it well. I kept it down and it went in."
On the pleasure of scoring:
"It's not the right thing to say, but I get more joy hitting somebody on a tackle than scoring a goal. It's a good feeling. Don't get me wrong. But I'm a defender by birth. I love doing it, I love getting in on the tackle, going up for headers - that's my joy. I take a lot of pride in it. If I score, it's in addition, and I'm happy with it."
REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER STEVE RALSTON
On protecting the lead for 65-plus minutes:
"The first three quarters of the season we let a whole lot of leads slip away. We've done a much better job late in the season of being able to protect a lead and being able to play with the lead."
On stifling the Columbus attack:
"They're a good team. They've got a lot of firepower. They have a lot of guys who can put the ball in the net. I'm really pleased with the way we played. We got guys behind the ball. Obviously they're going to - they brought in all kinds of forwards and just tried to get balls in the box, and they've got a lot of height and they're really dangerous on set pieces. So I thought we did a good job of matching up with Tony Sanneh and Chad Marshall and those guys who are really good in the air, I thought we did a good job with those guys."
On Game Two:
"They're coming to come out all over us. They're going to be pushing the game and trying to play in our half. We've got to be smart and we've got to recognize the situation. If there's any doubt, just get the ball out and get everybody up the field. It's definitely not going to be easy. The first fifteen minutes of that game is going to be really important for us not to give up anything. We've got to be ready to go from the opening whistle."
REVOLUTION GOALKEEPER MATT REIS
On the reason for the Revs good performance:
"Our pressure all over the field. That's the reason they couldn't really get their game going."
On the next game:
"They're at home and obviously they're going to come charging out of the gate. Only being up one-nothing, in this format, it's really not that great. We still have a lot of work to do and it's really one-nothing at halftime. We need to bring the same desire and the same work ethic that we brought this whole entire game and hope for a little luck and we'll be on."
CREW HEAD COACH GREG ANDRULIS
On tonight's performance:
"It was a hard game for both teams. At the end of the day it took a shot of 30 yards or so to beat us. You don't expect a center back to hit a shot like that. You clearly need to close them down earlier if you can."
On trailing one goal to none in the series:
"We're down 1-0 at half. We've been in this position before and we'll bounce back."
CREW MIDFIELDER SIMON ELLIOTT
On trailing in the series and how the team will rebound:
"We have to worry about what we can do on the field. We get a chance to get it right next week and I have all the confidence in the guys that we can get it done. We've done it all year. If we worry about ourselves and playing our game the results will come."