Post Match quotes after Real Salt Lake's 1-0 win over D.C. United

OK, I forgot to publish this yesterday, so let's start out with the video of RSL press conference(quality may not be as good as normal, forgot my little flip video camera and had to use my phone):


Then we will move on to the post match quotes from both locker rooms (thanks to the hard work of the RSL Communications team):

RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis

On playing under the circumstances of the lightning delay...

"It's always difficult for the guys. It can be hard to stay focused, it can be hard with so many communications about when you're going to start and it seems like there is no real set system such that there is going to be a certain amount of minute delay so we kept on saying ‘okay 20 more minutes, okay 20 more minutes, okay 20 more minutes,' so it can be frustrating for the players, but all in all I think they handled it pretty well and we saw a pretty exciting game."

On the importance of the full three points...

"Absolutely critical. I told the guys that yesterday, I mean we have three home games remaining, there just can't be anything less than the three points in those games to get ourselves the best possible chance or not to make it into the last two playoff spots and to have a chance to succeed in the playoffs."

On the difference in the first and second halves...

"I think the guys were playing with a little angst in the first half. Felt like every time we got the ball in their half it felt to me that the players felt like they had to score right away and for me it didn't need to be that way. We often times put a lot of pressure on ourselves about how we perform at the beginning of matches, but I think if we can be a little bit wiser about how we perform in the first half by keeping the ball a little bit more in their half of the field, than that will wear them down. I just felt like we were all feeling like we needed to score right away every time we got the ball in their half. It was like we were trying the most difficult pass out there and I thought that we just need to knock it around. I thought that we started out the second half doing that and it led to our goal. We need to have patience sometimes to recognize that just keeping the ball does something to your opponent."

Overall thoughts on performance by the team...

"Another pretty strong one, I think there were some critical errors back there that we covered ourselves pretty well with, but in the first half in particular we nearly gave them a goal. Rimando's performance was outstanding again tonight; obviously he made some critical saves for us in the second half. Individually, I think the guys did well to recover themselves and get themselves to the top of their plays, but there were some few to many times for my comfort where we just we weren't quite sharp enough back there, we weren't quite tight enough."

On how much RSL's errors were due to the quality of D.C.'s attack...

"I think it does have a lot to do with that, and the way they play in particular because they play with two forwards and two wide players that play very, very high. The most forwards or players in that advanced position that we played against this year is typically three, with one center forward and two wide players. But they take a lot of risks and are good at switching the ball, which can present us some troubles, and the players that get on it when they do switch it are quite good on the 1v1's. That was one of the biggest challenges we faced, and we came out with a shutout so we should be pleased."

On Will Johnson's performance...

"I think a splendid performance from him tonight. In the first half I thought he played a little bit deep, and he has sometimes a tendency to do that. I like him to play a little bit higher so he is not deep or level with Kyle. I think when he does that it can cause us some trouble both with the ball and then without. Then in the second half he was just more aggressive with his positioning and that put him in a better position to attack, and obviously I am extremely pleased when someone who works that hard scores the game winner. He deserved it."

On Nick Rimando's performance...

"It was very, very good. When I think about someone like Nick and some of the other guys tonight, I think Sabo's performance was outstanding even though he didn't score. But you get into this time of the year and you need your big players to step up, and we got some big performances from some big players tonight."

On the anxiety of the team and your own...

"I feel the same, I was right there in their same boat. If you put a mic on me in the first half you would see that I am as anxious as they are. I want us to beat teams two or three or four to nothing, all in the first half, and that sometimes can be the wrong approach, I need to learn some patience as well."

RSL GK Nick Rimando

Thoughts on the match...

"I thought we came out with a lot of energy, played well and fought hard. We really had to work hard for our goal tonight but I think the guys put good work in and we created enough chances to get one and the defense played, I think, great in front of me. We were able to come up with some big stops on a good team. It feels good to get three points at home and a shutout for the fans."

On fans sticking it out at the game...

"I think it's awesome. Sometimes you don't know what to expect when you have delays. Walking out there and seeing the stadium packed when we're warming up for that 15 minutes and hearing and feeling the energy from our fans really felt great. It's something that I don't put past them. I don't put it past these fans. They stick around and it's really great to play in front of them."

On Will Johnson's goal...

"Great goal. Typical Will goal where he's going to work as hard as he can and run at every ball. In this case, he's going to get to the ball as fast as anyone else could. He did a great job at timing his run, getting to the ball before the goalkeeper and realizes he's concentrating on that ball. He put it in the back of the net."

RSL MF Will Johnson

On his goal...

"The ball just sat up there nicely for me and I stuck my head in there and was lucky to get on the end of it and knock it in the back. I think the most important thing from the game though is the shutout. Every time we shutout a team it gives a good chance to win the game because we have more than enough talent to find a goal here or there. So I think the biggest thing is the shutout."

On what the win means to the team...

"It gets us one more step closer to a playoff position. It keeps the pressure on the other teams in and around us. It's very tight in our conference at the moment. There's only five or six or seven games for most teams left so it's getting down to crunch time and every three points gets you closer to the playoff seat."

On positioning and playing a little more forward...

"I try to get forward as much as possible. When we have nights where we struggle with the ball and Ned and I are doing a lot of running to get back, sometimes we hit balls up to the forwards and it's just not possible to get up there and support and keep our shape. So, you try and get forward as much as possible, but on nights like tonight - ironically - I couldn't get forward a whole lot because we weren't good with the ball and that leads to a lot of defensive work and a lot of running. Nobody in the world has the legs to be able to get back and forth when you're doing that much defending because we gave the ball away too many times."

"I love to get forward as much as possible, but like I said, you know, this team is about defense. I'm not a guy who is going to sacrifice my defensive responsibilities to try and get goals and boost my stats. The only way this team wins a game is by everyone being committed defensively and tonight I think was a good example of that."

RSL MF Kyle Beckerman

Overall thoughts on the match...

"We'll bounce off that and take the positive things and try and fix up what we didn't do so great and move on to the next one."

On being unbeaten in three matches...

"Well winning games and getting shutouts is the important thing and it's a good thing to be doing that getting towards the end of the season because that's what's going to win championships - not giving up goals and winning small margin games. Yeah, it feels good but we still have some stuff we can work on and we can still get better."

On team's focus going into next week...

"Well, we are just going to be working hard. We know it's a very tough place to play in Houston. Now it's even harder because they have a brand new stadium. So, we'll just try to keep at it, keep trying to get better and see if we can fix the mistakes we made this weekend and not bring them into next weekend."

RSL DF Nat Borchers

Overall thoughts on the match...

"I actually thought we could've done a lot better. I felt like D.C. was able to find De Rosario and enjoy a little too much. I don't think we were good enough communicating with the midfield in the back. So actually, I feel like we could've done a lot better than we did for sure."

On Nick Rimando's performance...

"He's just solid. He made all the right choices coming out for balls. He just made things a lot easier for us in the back. His communication was fantastic."

D.C. UNITED Head Coach Ben Olsen

On his overall thoughts on the match...

"I liked a lot about today from our guys. The final part wasn't there and that's soccer sometimes. We played hard. We talked all week about having to change our mentality on the road and the way we go about things in order to have success; I thought we did a lot of that. It showed. The guys put in a hell of an effort but the final stuff wasn't there. If we continue to play this way on the road, we will start to pick up some points."

On what kept them from equalizing the game...

"Nicky Rimando. A post. Nicky played probably as good as he has played all year. Being that he was playing D.C. United, I'm sure he was pretty happy with that."

On the delay...

"It's more of a pain than anything, it's just more sitting around. I thought the player's response was good after the break. I thought it was a good start and I thought that it carried throughout the entire game. Our energy and commitment were great but I'm disappointed for them because playing off two days' rest, their efforts didn't produce anything tonight."

DC UNITED GK Bill Hamid

On how the deflection affected him on the goal...

"I don't know. There was a deflection on the cross and it threw a lot of us off."

On the passion that DC United played with tonight...

"Yeah, the team played extremely well. We were buzzing about creating chances. Not sure how we didn't walk out of here with a win, but it was just a great effort from all those guys on the field."

DC UNITED DF Brandon Mcdonald

On whether or not it was a sound defensive effort from DC United...

"Yeah I would say so for the most part. We've just been really unlucky lately. We've got to move forward. We've got a lot of the season left, so we've just got to keep going and hopefully get some points in."

On what D.C. United needs to do to finish out the season strong...

"We just have to stay as a unit, stay together. What we've been doing on the field has been good but we need to do it for 90 minutes."

DC UNITED FW Chris Pontius

On how D.C. United performed...

"I don't think the outcome necessarily shows how the game went. I thought we fought hard. I thought we did all of the things that we talked about. We came out here 0-0 at half and I think even in the first half I had a couple looks, De Rosario had a good look and Rimando makes an unbelievable save. If one of those goes in, the game changes completely."

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