SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2004 - NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 0, D.C. UNITED 1
D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH PETER NOWAK
On the game:
"It wasn't pretty, that's for sure. It was a very physical battle. We expected that was how it was going to be. Nicky (Rimando) had a fantastic day. It's easy to win 2, 3, 4-0. It's very difficult (to win 1-0), it takes courage. Christian's (Gomez) goal made the difference today. Nothing else, we didn't use our wings as we were supposed to. There (were) a couple of bad plays, but the defense was fine. After Dema's (Kovalenko) red card, they played good. There (were) great substitutions with Earnie (Stewart), he gave us everything (he) could. With Freddy (Adu), he played a great game. These plays make a difference. As I said, this game wasn't pretty, but I am pretty satisfied with the result."
On Dema Kovalenko's eviction from the game:
"I will have to see the play. Dema is a veteran in this league and has played five years in this league. He gave it his all twice against a rookie and we have to be careful what we do and what kind of message we send to the players like that. Freddy (Adu) got knocked out a couple of times and there was no reaction. From my end, we are in a battle, we have to be careful with our cards. This team deserved to play better. It is difficult to play 90 minutes. Dema will be suspended next week, but he will be really ready for the playoffs."
D.C. UNITED DEFENDER RYAN NELSEN
On the attitude of the team going into the playoffs:
"Any win is good when you're going into the playoffs. It's good to get into that habit and keeping a zero at the back is pleasing. I think we created quite a few chances to get more than one, but you know, that's all we needed. We'll take the win."
On the performance of the defense:
"Not bad, not bad. We got a bit deep on a few too many occasions. We really didn't put enough pressure on the ball, which made us drop. It's never good, you don't like drop back too much into your own goal box. But, when it did happen, we dealt with the crosses and whatever they got at us pretty well. I remember a couple of hairy situations, but nothing to get too scared about, so it wasn't too bad. It was pretty solid."
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER BEN OLSEN
On the team's performance:
"It's tough when you're down a man, but, in the end, the team did a good job of defending and we picked up three points and put ourselves in a great position for next week."
On playing against the MetroStars:
"It's going to be tough. We're playing the MetroStars, a big rival, and we're probably going to be playing them in the playoffs. It will be interesting. (Next week's) going to be another tough battle. They're all tough from here on out. It's going to be a great matchup with our biggest rival."
On the team's performance from the middle of the park:
"I thought early on it wasn't so good. In the second half, we got better, but in the first half there were way too many holes, we didn't step up to them tight enough. Things get a little bit bizarre when you're down a man, but we did better. I still think we can do a lot better, but the battle was there. We got the ball and, when it was time to compete, I thought we did a good job."
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER CHRISTIAN GOMEZ
On being so open on his goal:
"I was surprised that the ball actually went through to the near post and I found it on the back post by myself. I hit it on the volley and it went in. I thought the defender was going to get to the ball first, but I was lucky enough to get there and put it in. I made a run through the penalty area and was in the right place at the right time."
On scoring goals:
"It's not a surprise to me that I'm scoring goals. I'm an attacking midfielder. That's the position I've always played, so I'm used to scoring goals and assisting my teammates."
REVOLUTION HEAD COACH STEVE NICOL
On his team's performance:
"I think it was quite typical of the way we've played this year. We've promised a lot, but basically the whole season when it's come down to whatever, a shot or a tackle or something, we're not producing. We're getting ourselves in decent positions, but we're not producing. The goal was nonsense. We just gave them a goal. Someone should have taken charge in the defense. It's really simple to me. We don't produce when it counts. We always promise that we're (going to), but when it comes down to it we don't do it. We've lost by a single goal again, because we're coming up short all of the time."
On the team's chances drying up in the second half:
"We were chasing. It's the situation we're in. We did well to knock the ball around in the first half, but when you're chasing it's quite easy to say you'll play the same way, but it's hard to do it. We had some good buildup without a finish, but that's what happens when you're chasing the game."
REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER CLINT DEMPSEY
On playing his first game in two weeks:
"I think my fitness is coming back. We played hard and had the better chances, but it's been the same the whole season. We just haven't taken advantage of the chances. I feel like I'm starting to get back into form. Hopefully, we can get things together and pull a win off against Chicago next Saturday to put us through to the playoffs."
On his chance in the first half:
"It was a surprise to me. It was like a deflection but the ball came back to me. I couldn't believe it. I wanted to make sure I got a touch on it as soon as I could and make sure I put it on frame. (Nick Rimando) was tracking back and it went straight to him. It's a chance I'd like to have back, but that's the way it goes."
On the team being in control of their playoff fate:
"That's the way you want it to be, but if we could have won tonight all we'd need is a tie to be through. We're only in the playoffs if we win, so we'll just have to gut it out and give it our all and then we'll see what happens."
REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER STEVE RALSTON
On the playoff hopes of the Revolution and the team's performance tonight:
"We win, we're in. It's harder to play at home and play for a tie anyway. Of course we're disappointed that we didn't win tonight. We were real sloppy in our passing and we couldn't find our forwards. When we did find them, the balls we gave them were sloppy, difficult for them to handle. We had a few good chances but gave up a bad goal and that made the difference. If we score one of our chances early, it's a different game."
On playing up a man:
"We always feel like we can score a goal. Guys like Taylor (Twellman), (Pat) Noonan, guys like that can always score goals. Even when it was 11 v. 11, we still felt like we could get a goal. We're disappointed we didn't. I thought we got a little sloppy there towards the end, the crosses from (me) and other people weren't the best. We could have done better in the final third."