United 3, Revs 3 (4-3) -- quote sheet

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2004 - NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 3, D.C. UNITED 3 (United advances on penalty kicks, 4-3)


On the game:
"It was an emotional rollercoaster. I give credit to Steve Nicol and his team. I think they made it very difficult for us tonight and they deserved to be in the final like us. It was a great game for Major League Soccer and for our fantastic fans tonight, because they stuck with us the whole season. They know we are a very good team. This first trophy is good for our guys. I always said from the very first day that I am very proud of them and today, they made me proud of them again."

On the win:
"This is a very hard working team. We can score another three, four goals, we could score another three, four goals, but, at the end of the day, we are in the final."

On the fatigue of the players:
"We have to think about what is going to happen next. We had a couple of chances to score the winning goal, but when we pushed forward, they got back in the middle to defend. Everyone was losing their legs today. Everyone gave 120 minutes (of) hard game, from both sides. At the end of the day, penalty kicks were a lottery. We put Santino (Quaranta) in (because) he is great at penalties. At the end of the day, Nicky (Rimando) couldn't save the corner kick in the 84th minute, but he was the hero in the penalty kicks. I am really happy for all these guys. It was a great season. We are one step from the Major League final to take the Cup and I am going to do whatever it takes right now to go to LA and raise the cup."


On the game:
"I think that New England came in strong tonight and showed a lot of heart. When it went to penalties, we knew that it could fall either way and it just happened to be us."

On the emotions of returning to his first team:
"It's very emotional right now. I just don't have enough words to thank everybody: my teammates, my coach for believing in me, and also the Screaming Eagles and La Barra Brava. I'm just so proud to be here. I'm very blessed."


On hitting his penalty in the shootout:
"I knew we couldn't miss our first two (penalty kicks). I just wanted to bury it and get on the board. I'm pretty confident on penalties, I just wanted to get in, get out and get it over with. It's all Nicky (Rimando) though. We've got the easy job."


On the team's confidence heading into overtime:
"It was one of the most intense games I've ever played in. New England scored last, so obviously they had the momentum going in to overtime, but we knew we were at home and we had our fans and we were going to fight as hard as we could to get the victory. We were a bit unlucky not to score a couple in the overtime, but we finished it in the PKs."

On going up against Matt Reis, who had saved two PKs against Columbus:
"I've played with Matt since I was in college and he's always been good at PKs so I knew I just had to match him. I guess tonight it just went my way."

On the final save, against Clint Dempsey:
"The referee came up and said 'It's sudden death now,' and I saw that we had made ours. I was just lucky enough to get it. Dempsey set up and kind of showed where he was going. I got a quick jump and made the save to my left. His body language right before the shot was pointing to that direction - I don't want to give all my secrets away - and I got the quick jump and the ball was there and I made the save."

On his celebration:
"It was great, because all the goal scorers always get to celebrate. To get to run and jump, that was the first time I've gotten to do that. That was fun!"


On scoring his first career goal:
"It was really special. I didn't think it would be like that or in that type of situation. The opportunity arose and I just stepped up and picked my spot."

On the defensive effort without Ryan Nelsen:
"It was a bit different, but guys stepped up. EZ (Ezra Hendrickson) came in, Josh (Gros) came in and everybody gave a great effort. I think it was an exciting game. They took advantage of their opportunities and we took advantage of ours; we just managed to come out in the end."


On the game:
"It went up and down, up and down, and, towards the end, New England was very dangerous. Nicky (Rimando) kept us afloat and in the end he deserved (the win). After coming back from an injury like that, for him to be the man that takes us to MLS Cup, is fantastic."

On playing a strong New England team:
"(New England) have gained a lot of confidence from the games they've played. You could see it when they were playing Columbus. I guess they felt that if they tried to force us on our heels, they'd have a better chance instead of sitting back and just absorbing pressure. In the end, of course, they lost the game, but they had a tremendous game, too."

On the team chemistry:
"It's great. Last year, we had a good group, this year we have an amazing group. A good group of friends. You only come across these teams once every five or six years and for this group of guys, it's fantastic. It's great to come back and be a part of it."


On the game:
"It was a fantastic effort of confidence, I thought tonight. Hell of a game, some great goals, plenty of action. I don't think there was anything to complain about tonight.

"Yeah, (I thought we deserved to win), it's a long way to come, coming to D.C. It is a tough place to come, but we came to play and we certainly played. D.C. is a good team. They give us some problems, (but) we certainly gave them some problems. I think the fact that it got to penalties really shows that there is nothing between the teams. We can't complain they won the game. We certainly feel that, had we won the game, we would have deserved it as much as they did."

On the penalty kicks:
"Yeah, you see the effort that the players given and I felt that we would score. I thought that we looked stronger than the other team.Taking penalties is part of the game. This is what it is and we talked about whether it is right to take penalties as part of the game. I don't think it is right to ask these players to play and play and play until it is the last man standing."

New England's approach to the game:
"The approach is to come play; well, we clearly get a slight advantage that Ryan (Nelsen) wasn't there. He is a good player, but Ezra (Hendrickson) came in and played well for them and again, we came to play. We didn't come here to sit in, we didn't come here to try and snatch a goal, we came here to play and I think that is exactly what we did. I think that you really haven't seen much of us this year, but, with the injuries we have had all season, I think tonight the team showed you what we are capable of doing."

On D.C United:
"They have people coming through. (Jaime) Moreno comes off and (Christian) Gomez comes in and then there are guys running behind you. That is the real problem, that is the only real problem I felt that they gave us tonight. When a team does something well, it isn't always easy to stop. We handled it very well, but going the other way, us going forward, I thought that we looked just as good."

On their season as a whole:
"Immaculate. It has been a long year. Tough year. As I said, we have shown what character we have and shown that our guys can play soccer."


On the Revs' improvement in recent weeks:
"I think the last month or so, we started to play our best soccer. (We were) moving the ball, scoring goals; we were better in the back - except for the two mental mistakes tonight. I was disappointed that we were playing so well and didn't get a better result than we did tonight."

On the game going to penalties:
"I don't like it. We're disappointed. It was a great, exciting game and somebody has to lose. Unfortunately, it was us. Obviously, I'm disappointed because I missed one. It's hard. I'd like to see us keep playing or something, but I know that's how it goes."


On the game:
"It was a game for the ages. It was a classic. In the first half, their goals were a product of our mistakes. The first goal was a good goal, (Alecko Eskandarian) finished it well. On the second goal, we didn't get enough pressure on (Jaime Moreno) and he's a good player; he got his head up and I was looking to the far post to make sure everyone was marked up and he bent it in. The third goal was a great cross and an even better finish. We battled back every time and showed exactly what we were made of. We took it all the way to penalties and gave ourselves a bit of a chance, but in the end, (Nick) Rimando made a good save on Clint (Dempsey's) penalty and they're going to the final."

On why he elected to take a penalty kick:
"Just because I know I can hit them and I'm fine with the pressure. It wasn't my best one, that's for sure. I'm glad (Nick Rimando) went the other way. I knew after we lost on penalties in the U.S. Open Cup (to Rochester) that if I ever had a chance again that I'd want to step up and take it because I know I can finish them and that I'm fine with that pressure."


On the game:
"We came back three times and you've got to give (D.C. United) credit."

On how the Revs played:
"I think we were frustrated with the fact that we gave up some goals early on. But we fought back, came in at halftime and realized that if we kept the ball and played smart we could really have a good chance. It's just frustrating when you know we played good soccer tonight."

On the Revs' play in recent weeks:
"I think it's a matter of having the same lineup on the field on a consistent basis. The first 20 games we had, what, the same lineup twice? A big factor for us was trying to be consistent and we all played our roles but unfortunately came up a little short."

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