that's why we didn't want to change the lineup in the second half. We wanted to keep Christian in as long as we could, but we saw that he started to struggle a little bit, so we brought in Freddy (Adu) to get into the mix and hold the ball, and Freddy did a great job. Alecko got a little cramp at the end, but the effort from the group was great."
On Christian Gomez's developing chemistry with the team:
"Absolutely. Things like that are not going to happen overnight. As far as his understanding of when Jaime is going to go -- playing a great through ball like he did on the penalty kick -- it will come with time. Right now is a crucial time and he understands that. He's dealing with the pressure very well, he scored his first goal in his fifth game. I couldn't wish anything more for him."
On the team's overall form:
"We've played a good season overall. We've had a couple games where we didn't show up. We have 20 healthy bodies right now and it's a very competitive group in every single practice. Everybody wants to play, and I hope that we continue to work this way. The results will take care of themselves."
D.C. UNITED FORWARD ALECKO ESKANDARIAN
On the team's performance:
"I thought it was a great team effort. All the guys worked so hard for each other. It was scary how organized we were, because it made it easier to play. There were a couple times I messed up or should have done better, but we were so compact, so organized that we knew the next chance would come and then the next chance would come. It was an awesome team effort, I think the best I've ever seen our team play."
On the team's perfect 7-0-2 record when scoring:
"I had no idea about that. Anytime you score, you can help the team win, so if I can do my part and help the team win, that's my job as a forward, to get into good spots and finish the chances that these guys create."
D.C. UNITED DEFENDER RYAN NELSEN
On the team's defensive effort:
"I thought it all started from the boys up front. The top five made it so easy for us at the back. When there's pressure on the midfield ball, it makes it so much easier for us."
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER CHRISTIAN GOMEZ
On his first goal:
"It was a counter. We broke free with Alecko and Jaime. I got the ball, and when I looked up, I saw that the keeper had left a little more room on the far post, and I was able to put it right where I wanted it."
CHICAGO FIRE HEAD COACH DAVE SARACHAN
On the team's performance:
"D.C. United was clearly very aggressive in the first half. They beat us to a lot of plays. What we talked about, they did. They won tackles, got the ball moving and we found ourselves chasing. There were a couple of mistakes that led to goals, but they clearly came out like the aggressive home team."
On D.C. United's forward play:
"We talked about making sure that we didn't allow a lot of room, a lot of time and space with the ball, and it seemed like they found some room. When guys like Jaime and Eskandarian have some room they can be dangerous. They were active and busy, and it made it hard on us."
On looking forward to Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup Final:
"When you are a visiting team, you have to expect a lot of pressure and for teams to come after you. We talked about it, but I felt we were a half-step slow to everything. Now we know when we're going into any building from here out, we have to make sure we're sharp from the get-go and not allow teams to get an advantage on us."
CHICAGO FIRE GOALKEEPER HENRY RING
On the first half:
"I don't know (what happened). It seemed like their first touch was pretty deadly. Their first shot on goal, they struck it pretty well. I was able to get some fingertips on it, but obviously not enough. The ground down there was pretty wet and didn't have a lot of traction, but that's no excuse."
On the impact of the quickness of the first goal:
"I really felt like we had time to recover from that, but they were really pressuring us. I felt like our attitude was positive and we could do some stuff, but they capitalized on every mistake we made."
On whether the penalty save changed the momentum:
"I'd like to say that it did, but I really can't because we didn't step it back up."
CHICAGO FIRE FORWARD ANDY HERRON
On his debut with the Fire:
"I think [our play] was good in the second half. We did better work. We made some mistakes in the first half, that's how they got some goals on us. I don't even want to talk about the first half. The important part is that we did come out and do a better job in the second half. The guys came out and trusted that we could do better."
On whether tonight was a good introduction to the style of play in MLS:
"I'll leave that up to you. I got in and tried to do my work. I have to work more, but this was only my first week with the team in Chicago. I hope that if I keep on working I'll get used to playing with the team."