Postgame Quotes: Revs 2, Red Bulls 2

Postgame quotes after the Revolution and New York Red Bulls played to a 2-2 draw

New England Revolution head coach Steve Nicol

Déjà vu. We’ve left too many points. Not left too many – we’ve lost too many points.

It’s exactly what you want (from Milton Caraglio). He’s a center forward and he held the ball up great. We had a huge difference just getting out with him and Rajko (Lekic) for the short time they’ve been together, they look as though they’ll do well together, which is what you hope for. And obviously scoring two goals is great. Again, he should’a had a penalty – I’ve actually seen that replay and it’s a penalty. A lot of things could have happened tonight, but unfortunately it’s a 2-2 draw.

I think (the Milton Caraglio and Rajko Lekic pairing is) huge. It’s a big difference when you have two guys who can hold the ball and are a threat. It makes the opposition take a step back and obviously and gets us a step forward further up the field. So what we’ve seen so far is pretty good and we’re looking for it to get better and better.

You gotta stop the cross. (Joel) Lindpere is an experienced guy. He shifted the ball six inches and he managed to get around Kevin (Alston). Kevin’s not an easy guy to get, but at the same time, you’ve got to match the run, too. So it’s two parts: you’ve got to stop the cross, and then you have to match the run.

We made two mistakes tonight and we got punished and that’s kind of been the story so far this season: when we have made mistakes, we’ve ended up getting punished, which is why we ended up with another point.

I didn’t think any more (substitutions) would’ve helped up. They obviously had the upper hand. We didn’t feel any changes would’ve made a difference – certainly wouldn’t made a difference on the second goal, that’s for sure.

New England Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber

I think there’s been plenty of those games this season and this is definitely one of them. Getting a two-goal lead, in really every circumstance, you expect to get the three points. We didn’t and that’s really been the story this season: giving up points in the second half.

Well, they went down to 10 (men) as well. They went down to 10 about 15 minutes after we did – 20 minutes maybe – I’m not exactly sure but, we sustained the pressure pretty well while we were down one man. We got back to even and had some chances to go up 3-1 and I had a couple shots that didn’t manage to go in. I wish I could have those back a little bit. We had chances to go up 3-1 and bottom line is it’s the same thing that always happens to us: giving up goals really, really late in the game. And we didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game, and it’s not a fluke that we keep giving up these goals at the end of games.

Well there’s more than one thing that we need to do (going forward.) I think typically we feel like we’ve tried to change a couple things. In the beginning of the season – maybe not the beginning of the season, but in the middle of the season – when we would get a lead, we would sit back and try and defend but that’s really not the way to go because you invite so much pressure onto yourself that even the best defensive teams are eventually going to give up a goal if you invite that much pressure. So, we continued playing and we did create a couple chances to go up 3-1. I think if we go up 3-1, the game is over … But yeah, I think there’s definitely more than one [reason] as to why we’re giving those goals.  But whether it’s people getting physically tired, mentally tired, if we’re going to invite that pressure into us then we’ve got to be ready for those balls in the boxes and really keep our poise in the back and we haven’t been able to do that in the last few games.

New England Revolution defender A.J. Soares

You know we could have done things better, obviously. There’s a lot of things to be said about that, but at the end of the day, you really just have to lock it down. You just have to beat the guy you’re playing against. They came back and looked strong. We didn’t get a lot of pressure to the ball and then we gave up a lot of possession and gave them a lot of chances to just walk the ball down the field and create something. So, if we prevent that, maybe we win that game.

It kind of felt like the momentum maybe changed (during the two-minute stretch during which Kenny Mansally was ejected and Dane Richards scored for New York.) It’s a pretty bad couple minutes for us. That being said, you just have to get on with it. You can’t do anything about it. But once that happened, I think we needed to kind of press out more and keep attacking, keep pressing the ball. It kind of seemed like we went into a shell a little bit and let them walk the ball up. You give Rafa Marquez a lot of chances to pass the ball, he’s going to pick some players out. So yeah, maybe that was a turning point in the game right there.

We forced errors, we got open chances. I mean, we could have scored even more, you know? Not that that’s the problem, but we went out there and we were definitely better than them in the first half and then they showed some quality in the second half. But that first 45 was maybe the best 45 we’ve put together all year, and we talked at halftime about trying to maintain that for 90 and we didn’t do it so that’s why we didn’t get the result that we wanted.

Yeah, (Milton Caraglio and Rajko Lekic) are both good players that can hold the ball up a lot. Milton showed his quality today. I’ve seen that in training a bunch of times, so it’s good that he did that in the game and that everyone could see how quality of a player he is. He’s very good. He’s a great finisher, as you could see. He’s a big, strong guy and he did a lot on the field too; working defensively and holding the ball up for us. And then Rajko, it’s his first game back [from injury] and he put in a good shift. He worked his butt off and that’s all you can ask of those two guys.

New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph

If I knew the answer (to what the team needs to do differently) I think we would probably be the happiest bunch of guys ever right now. I mean, it’s more than three games, if you think about it. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to take leads in the game and we just can’t hang on to the lead. We just don’t do enough to be happy at the end of the game. Another couple of points slip away, and in a couple of months we’re all going to be sad because at the end of this day, we’re not able to get into the playoffs.

I think we were possessing the ball well. We were moving for each other and working hard for each other. I don’t know if it’s our legs or our brains but with 10, 15 minutes to go, we just start sinking back into a shell and we just gave them way too much time, way too much space to play, and it comes back to hurt us. The first half, Rajko (Lekic) and Milton (Caraglio) did great. They combined together. Hopefully they can stay healthy – both of them stay healthy – and start working together. I think we might have a good partnership. Milton is starting to get into shape and you can tell he’s going to be a good player for us if he keeps doing that stuff.

On Milton Caraglio …
That’s what we’ve been needing; a goal scorer. If he can consistently keep scoring goals, it’s going to be good for the team. He holds the ball up and allows us to join the attack and he’s got great feet. As I said, he’s a great player now and we need that right now – for somebody to come in and step in and score goals, and the other guys are going to fill in.

Ten, 15 minutes to go, our legs start to go a little bit and then we start to get tired. And then we’re not staying mentally sharp and doing the stuff we need to to be one of those teams that walks out of here with three points. But we put in a good 75, 80 minutes and then we’re all sad because we weren’t able to close it out and weren’t able to get those three points that we vitally needed.

I’m just going to be concerned with what’s going on on the field and the guys who are in the locker room and be ready to practice every week. The guys did well. We put out a good 85, 80 minutes and unfortunately weren’t able to close it out tonight. It’s disappointing. We’re all frustrated and hopefully we can come back and bounce back next week better.

New England Revolution forward Milton Caraglio

I feel very angry because it was an easy match and we ended up making it difficult for ourselves.

(It feels) good (to score my first two MLS goal), but obviously it is a sour feeling because it did not help the team win and obviously there are things we need to work on to prevent this from happening any more.

On his two goals...
It was a ball in the area, I kicked it and it rebounded off of the goalkeeper and then I kicked it again and it went in (to the goal). And the second was a cross from (Kenny) Mansally, I headed it and it went in.

The truth is (playing alongside Rajko Lekic) was very good. We understand each other very well and it is good to find a striker with similar characteristics.

In the final minutes of play, we tried to maintain the lead and avoid conceding a goal but we couldn’t do it. They scored one. Those are the things that we need to improve and continue to work on so that it doesn’t happen again.

(I feel) very good. The truth is that (I felt) very good (playing the full 90). Obviously, it required more effort. We had to make adjustments because one of our players was ejected. But if (that had not happened) it would have been a calm game.

New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe

I don’t think it matters who we play … every team is so hard to break down … We started very poor today – it’s more the individual defending that was poor today.
We said at halftime, ‘we can’t live with this.’ We need to step up and take responsibility for it. We got a very good response in the second half. The passion, the play in the second half was definitely in the right direction, being two (goals) down, to get a tie – quite close to scoring a win there.

We have eight games to go and we probably need to pick up four wins … and we probably need a couple more ties – around I would say 13, 14 points more. That’s the reality.

(Bouna Coundoul’s performance) was OK. He has been out for quite a while. I don’t think a lot of goalies are used to the artificial surface. But overall, despite being away and travelling a lot and being out for a while, I think he had a decent game tonight.

I think (in the second half, we showed more) of our character, our passion for the game. We responded in a good way to come quite close to winning the game too, because we were attacking even when we were 1-0. So you must be happy with a tie when you were down 2-0.

New York Red Bulls forward Dane Richards

Well [my performance] wasn’t excellent, but I got two goals, so I was trying to help my team to win.

On the change of dynamic in the second half …
“Matter of urgency. We just came in disappointed in the first half, so the second half we wanted to work hard, fight and we managed to get two goals.
I think I missed a huge chance. I could have gotten a hat trick, but I got two goals and I’m looking forward to the next game.

New York Red Bulls defender Chris Albright

We have to find a way to come out with a little more energy. Energy may be a big cliché, but we have to find a way to not make defensive mistakes.

You certainly have to win the home games, that’s for sure. You win a couple games in this league and you’re on top of the table. We’re in fine shape. We’d like to be winning these games, but this is a tough place to play. It’s another tie, but it comes against a team that was desperate like us, and in the end, we’ll take it because we won the second-half fight. I think there’s been halves where we’ve won the soccer game, but I don’t know how many halves we’ve actually won the fight. Tonight we did that in the second half, so that’s a good step.