Postgame Quotes: Revolution 2, Crew 2

Postgame quotes after the Revolution and Columbus Crew played to a 2-2 draw at Gillette Stadium

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION HEAD COACH STEVE NICOL
The first goal was a bad goal. Number one we don’t close the ball, and then we don’t attack the cross … You can argue all day whether we played well, played badly, whether we were average …

We really stuck with the same things we did on Wednesday. We’re going out and doing what we did on Wednesday and then come out tonight and to come here tonight and not be committed would make Wednesday pretty futile. SO we made sure we came out strong, both halves. If we’d gotten the third goal it would have killed the game. We had the best of the game five to 10 minutes after the second goal as well, and we lost the goal at a bad time.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER SHALRIE JOSEPH
We got a two-nothing lead and we gotta be better at just protecting the lead. I thought we started to defend way too early in the game. So many times in the game we just started to stick back a little bit and absorb pressure and we shouldn’t have done that. That cost us tonight. The team showed a gutsy performance after they played over the weekend in Colorado and then at Dallas, so come in tonight and be up two-nothing, we let another one slide again.

No the Dallas game wasn’t in the back of our minds, I just think we gave them way too much space, and we gave them way too much time on the ball. I think when you do that with a good team like Columbus, it comes back to hurt you. Tonight it did. We just have to be a bit more sharper mentally and stay focused 90 minutes. That’s been costing us all season: we’ve been up on games when we should be closing it down. We have a great defensive team, our back four has been great for us all season. We relied on them a little too much tonight. Unfortunately we just couldn’t keep that lead.

On finally getting a penalty called in the Revs’ favor …
We’ve been begging for breaks all season.

The only good thing is we got a young team now, we put it behind us and move on to next week. It’s been a tough season for us, especially me and for the team, not being able to close games like that, leading games and late in the game, at the end of the 90 minutes being happy and victorious. We gotta look forward to next week and just keep plugging away. We don’t want to finish in the bottom of the league, the bottom of the table, and be one of those teams that come in last place, one from last place. We gotta be stronger than that. We owe that much to our fans.

That’s what’s so frustrating about it, that we been able to score two goals and take two goals from every game and be happy with that. Because especially being up, I think we got two goals up we gotta protect that lead with the defensive team we have, with the four in back and Matt in back. We ask for that every game if we can get two-nothing up, and we’ll be smiling. But unfortunately for us we just can’t close it out. We need to stay concentrated for 90 minutes and stay focused and keep that lead, and tonight again it come back and hurt us.

I know the guys look up to me, and I’m admired. I want to be one of the guys everybody talks about. I want to be the best player in this team’s history, I want to be the best player in the league. So that comes with it. If the team fails, definitely the finger I think should be pointed at me, and I embrace that responsibility and move forward from that.

What more could you have done?
Cleared our ball. I was supposed to keep my hands tucked in, get another goal, whatever it takes. I just gotta find a way to keep the team going and keep the morale in the team locker room high.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER PAT PHELAN
I was just unmarked, and it was a great ball. I just had to get my foot on it and not mess it up. Perfect start once again - we got an early goal. At the beginning of the year, I think we struggled in the first half and we kind of picked it up in the second half, and in the last two games, we’ve turned that around, which is a positive. But in the second half we let a two-goal lead slip, and that’s frustrating. But the fast start is definitely something to take forward.

I think we took our foot off the gas just a little and once they scored that first goal, there was probably some doubt creeping in some people’s minds like, ‘Oh no, here we go again.’ You try and prevent that but you can’t help but think of it. It’s just a mentality thing, and as positive as it is to start off fast, go up 2-0 on a very good team, you’re not going to win games, you’re not going to get to the playoffs, if you don’t finish it out.

I got fouled a lot in that game, and I fouled a lot in that game. You can’t really point out one thing, it’s frustrating, it’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.

It feels like points lost. It feels like playoffs are slipping further and further out of our reach, but at the same time I’ve been saying all year, you’ve got to have a short memory. We’ve had a full week. We’ve got a tough game against Salt Lake, so there’re positives to take out of the game. We’ve just got to put together a full performance and I think we’ll be alright.

COLUMBUS CREW HEAD COACH ROBERT WARZYCHA
We can't start games like this. It's the second game in a row we've given up a goal inside of two minutes and it was a set piece goal again. We have to work on it. We have to go back to basics and practice it.

I thought we responded very well. I thought we played a very good game, to be honest with you. On the turf, I think we possessed the ball very well and we had some idea how we were going to play and how we were going to attack. We created some chances and we defended well. Their tactics were to play the ball forward and win the second ball. But we did very well. I'm happy with the response, our aggressiveness and the way we played. We just have to make sure we don't give up those goals on set pieces.

There wasn't any doubt we could score two goals at the end of the half. We were pushing for it and we got rewarded.

We have to work on a couple of things. We have to start and play from the first minute and we've got to be smarter.

COLUMBUS CREW FORWARD STEVEN LENHART
I think we did alright. It was like the second minute that we got scored on. We found (our way) and played. It's hard to play on that turf, you know? It bounces weird and skips around, but we did alright.

It's just how it happens sometimes. You have to keep battling and hope something goes your way. Luckily it did. I thought we did well to stay in there, stay confident and keep playing.

There was a little space there and I was just trying to time it right. It took a weird bounce, but I got my head on it.

I think everyone knew we were going to score again, but a tie? I'm not satisfied with a tie, but it's whatever.

I think that's alright. We did alright to stay in it and come (back) from being down 2-0. It's alright.