Wizards quote sheet

we've been talking all year -- about two Cups. We put one exclamation mark behind the 2004 season, we didn't quite get the other one done. Last year, semifinals, this year, finals. There's another step there. You'll see us next year."

On whether a handball should have been called on Eskandarian's second goal:
"For sure D.C. was opportunistic. We haven't given up an own goal all year. And you know what happens. On that other one, it's a miscue on our part. It needs to be a better throw, it needs to be a better control. It happens quickly. If the referee doesn't call it then it's not. You've got to applaud D.C.'s opportunism. Their goals were scored off our 'U.F.F.U.'s.' That's 'unforced errors.' I'm missing a letter there. And we need to clean that up. That's the game. That's about it."

On the service to Kansas City's forwards:
"They did a good job. They did a good job on sitting on our central strikers. Other teams have done that. And it's a combination of their defending and our movement but also service. But when they close that up then there's other things there, the wing channels. You've got to by the basic organization, we've got a two-against-one on either side. And when we use that well, whether with Jose (Burciaga) or with Alex (Zotinca) on the other side, we've got our opportunities. So the service was difficult. Old bit of soccer wisdom, you play about as well as the opponent lets you."

On MLS Cup 2004 MVP Alecko Eskandarian:
"He's a good young player. We all have been aware of him for quite some time. There's no shot on that field out there that he passes up. We do our homework. We saw what he did against (Jeff) Parke from New York, we saw what he did in the last game against a combination of (Rusty) Pierce and Jay Heaps, so we were ready for that. It was good execution, on his part on the first one. On the second one, he was aggressive. Did it hit his hand? I don't know, it's what the referee calls. But he's a heck of a striker. That's what he does. He smacks the ball at goal. And you've got to applaud that."

On whether Kansas City became complacent after its first goal:
"That's the normal ebb and flow of the game for sure. We are always of the persuasion that when we get a goal, probably, the best time to get another one is pretty close to that one. So you need -- we were going for that. It's not a matter of, 'one goal was going to decide this game and when you get it doesn't matter.' And for sure, the other team's got to be wondering. And they raised their game. And it was 15 minutes, or something. But no, I don't think we became complacent, that's really not our nature."

On his changes following the ejection of Kovalenko:
"We brought in another forward. And we dropped Josh in behind the two. We still did a lot of damage wide with Jose especially, I though he had a sterling game, even if he hadn't gotten the goal. And for sure we were trying to pick them up and pick them up in their half and it becomes pretty much man-to-man pressure. But we brought the extra forward. And then at halftime we brought a more experienced guy in Igor. And then we brought Diego Walsh later on to give us even more offensive potential."

On why Diego Walsh was brought in so late in the match:
"Let's see. That's eight [minutes] and another six added on, probably was seven. That's about 15 minutes. How long did it take us to score the first goal? [Reply: 'Six minutes.'] Right. So what is long to somebody it not that long to someone else, and vice versa. That's what goes into it."


Opening comments:
"I'd like to congratulate D.C. United as well. They've had a tremendous year and have closed it in a very positive way, by winning the championship. I still can't say enough about our guys, though. I think we had a tremendous year. A lot of you guys out there never gave us a chance. And it was okay with us. I know most of you guys never expected us to be here. I'm proud of this group, I'm proud of what we accomplished this year. I'm proud to have won the Open Cup tournament, which is never easy. And there's something there to build on."

On Kansas City's approach to the game:
"We came out aggressive. Our mentality was to come out and try to play. We weren't satisfied once we got the early goal, we wanted to keep attacking. We got a couple of turnovers that cost us, the momentum shifted towards them, and they were able to capitalize. I think that was the game. We never came in here to defend. I know a lot of people characterize us as a defensive team, I don't think that's what we are. We are disciplined in defense but we never try to not score goals. Like I said they came in took advantage of a couple mistakes and in the second half it wasn't enough."

On what Kansas City lacked in the second half:
"We lacked a bit of clarity. On all accounts, you have to give credit to D.C. It's a team which stopped us well in the back, including when we were facing them with only 10 players. I think the team tried to send (balls) in order to find the center and make space but unfortunately we didn't get it. We had three or four opportunities in the area where the ball came in, and that's football. It simply wasn't our day."


On the match:
"It was very emotional. It was certainly interesting, especially after we got a goal in the first five minutes; it gave us a big lift. But, over the next 20 minutes, D.C. took control. They did a good job of sitting in front of, especially Benny and Carroll in front of Davy and me. After that, we were never really able to get back into the flow of the game and they were able to break out and get some opportunities. Give them credit, the broke out some urgency, got numbers around the ball and Esky had a couple of good finishes."

On the pressure packed environment:
"There was a lot of pressure on both teams. Each team had their players that they looked to go to, but D.C. took the first half and certainly took it to us and then we did not respond when they scored a couple of goals. I thought after the red card we were going to get the third but they held on at got the goods at the end."

On Kovalenko's red card being a potential turning point:
"We had the chance to make it 3-2 and we did. Then, we were up a guy with 20 or so minutes left and you hope to get some good opportunities and put Nick under pressure, but they held up pretty well. I think we had one real chance with Davy, but beside that we were not so productive."

On the defense giving up three goals on the day:
"It's something we did not do very often this season. It starts up front and works it way to the back. In the first half, we put ourselves in too big a hole and it ended up being too much in the end."


On the opening half-hour of the match:
"It was a rollercoaster. I think we did not come out as well as we would have liked. The first 30 minutes, we shot our load and in the end we paid the price for it. We were not very organized; we were not very prepared for what they had. After that, we had to try to play catch up."

On the second half:
"The second half, even before Dema got sent off, was a completely different half. We had the opportunities including Davy's within the six that just went over and Matt Taylor had a few. Again, we had the opportunities, it was just a matter of putting them in there."

On the play of Alecko Eskandarian:
"We just gave him too much room. We made it room easy for him. All of us in the back know it and take responsibility for it -- we should have done a better job."


On getting out to an early lead:
"It was great to get an early goal -- that was one of our goals, to come out and set the tone. We played very well in the first 15 minutes and were rewarded with a goal and then we sat back, which ended up working against us because they scored three goals in the next 20 minutes and took advantage of the way we were playing."

On the team's play in the second half:
"We felt pretty good coming out of halftime, not only did we get an early goal, it worked out even better when we get the red card too. After that, they packed it in, but we still had some chances, but nothing too clear cut."

On their run through the playoffs until this match:
"We had a great three weeks. Bo came in for Tony and made some great saves for us down the stretch and put us into position to win games -- a hot goalkeeper can do that for you."

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