Postgame Quotes: Revs 4, Whitecaps FC 1
New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps
(Laughing) No questions about Lee Nguyen tonight. Unfortunately, giving up a goal that early – we worked all week on making sure we wanted to start well, and we didn’t. That’s disappointing, but at the same time it woke us up a bit and we really started to click as that half went on. In the second half, we started slow again but we certainly managed the game a lot better.
That’s what we want to do. That’s what we see a lot of during the week; that’s what we try to build on. That’s what we’ve started to build on since Jan. 15. There’s times you see it, there’s times we’re still each other, to be options for each other. But tonight, there was a lot of movement and that was the key to tonight’s success with the passing.
It’s crucial. We’ve talked about that. I’m a big believer, when you give something up, you’ve got to – it’s the cliché the next five minutes – the next minute to two minutes, if you can really press, the team is still tired – literally tired from still celebrating a goal, they all came up and celebrated – that’s when you have to take advantage and press a little bit. Maybe you get a corner, maybe you get a free kick. But that’s what we were trying to do is get after it right away.
Lee (Nguyen) has been a good locker room guys for us. On the field, he’s doing a lot of things. This week, we had a quiet little talk with him and said, hey this is a good moment for him. You’re going to play against your former team. As a former player who played against my former team, the Miami Fusion, a few times, there is something there when someone says you’re expendable or they want to move on without you. I don’t think it was never that Martin Rennie or the organization didn’t think he was a good player, because I know they did. They said they had a lot of guys who were similar and we’re going to move on. Look, they’re 5-3-2 and they’re in the Canadian cup final. They’re a heck of a team, and so I think maybe Lee had a little something to show but it was not against Martin Rennie. It was not against the organization. It was just one of those where you feel a little bit slighted and he showed it tonight.
Lee (Nguyen) can shoot. We work on that stuff in training. Once in a while you see Lee put a shot on and he, Benny (Feilhaber), Kelyn (Rowe) – those guys can shoot from anywhere and it showed.
It was important – especially the way the half ended. You never know when cards are going to come out and how a game can be changed. We were part of a game last week where cards came out quickly and so that was certainly a conversation we focused about two, three minutes on. The other thing was set pieces. I think tonight was real important for us. At halftime, we were able to pull some footage of the first half set pieces because we wanted to make sure nothing in the second half was going to come from a dead ball situation. And our guys rallied around that.
They’re starting to gel. Stephen McCarthy has had ups and downs. He’s a second-year player, but it’s his first year playing the position. I think he has all the attributes to be an amazing center back and every week you see glimpses of it. But it’s still a learning process. A.J. – you see him getting better and stronger and he’s helping Stephen along. It’s nice to have that partnership. They get along well and you can see it on the field. They work for each other. They communicate well. That’s huge for us right now.
New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen
I wouldn’t say revenge. I’m just relieved. I’m just happy we got the win. The way it ended up I couldn’t have dreamt it any better. I’m just glad for my teammates, we worked hard and we didn’t give up after that first goal. It was a great win.
Just mentally for everybody, it was a shocker when they scored. And to come back like that, it helped everybody push forward. Then Saer (Sène) getting the second goal after that, everyone just gained more confidence.
Chris (Tierney) threw me a perfect ball, just into space. I took a touch and I just wanted to take a shot and put it in the corner. That’s just how it worked out … The ball is always stuck my laces, right? (laughing) I just felt good in the warm-ups and from there it just carried onto the field.
Yeah it was a huge win, and we have another home game as well so if we can push forward and streak two together and just carry forth from there I think it’s going to be great.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie
I think first of all congratulations to New England. It was a great performance by them and an excellent result for them. I know it was an important game for them coming off a couple defeats. Also, well done to Lee Ngyuen, fantastic tonight. He showed the difference between the highs and lows in soccer. A few weeks ago, the low of not being wanted by a club, and the high tonight, of being, I’m sure, man of the match, winning the game, scoring two goals, getting an assist. And even more importantly for him, against the team that didn’t keep him, so well done to him tonight. I felt that we were a little bit flat. We started the game obviously really well, scored an excellent goal. But even at that moment I didn’t feel particularly excited about it, because I just thought we were a little bit flat. We’re in the midst of doing a lot of games just now and we’ve been doing well and we’ve been adjusting the team to win every game, but tonight I didn’t get it right with the combinations I put out there and as a result we didn’t get the win.
I didn’t think that (center back) partnership worked out for us tonight. Obviously, tonight the big thing I think that stood out for me was the leadership that was missing with leaving guys back in Vancouver. With Jay DeMerit, John Thorrington, people like that, that bring leadership on the field and maybe that was lacking a little bit.
I think the goals were more, there was space in midfield and we worked clearly on how to defend that and we didn’t do a good job of it in the first half. But I think playing slightly different players who haven’t played as much together at the MLS Level, it cost us tonight. But for us, we just came off winning five games in a row, and the next few games are really big for us. We’ve got a cup final on Wednesday, which we really look forward to. You know it’s all positive for us except for tonight, which was a humbling experience - which is one we have to take our medicine learn from - and improve from.
(Eric Hassli’s) was an excellent goal, and if you analyze the game, there were a lot of positive position and ball movement and things like that. But I think sometimes when you’re a couple of goals behind, it’s easy to play in, to pass the ball, and it just wasn’t there for us tonight. I think it was maybe a slightly harsh 4-1 for a reflection on the game, but that’s what it was. Sometimes that’s the score lines that help you learn the most cause you made a lot of mistakes that made that happen.
I think that we’ve got a fairly clear idea of where we are. But obviously when you take two or three players out of the back four or you move players around, the back four changes dramatically. So I think if you put in one player with a settled back four it would be fine, but if you change too many, it can hurt. But ultimately, people have asked if the Canadian cup is important to us, and it is very important to us. We see it as a way to get into the CONCACAF Champions League, and a chance to win a trophy. So tonight, some of what we did was based on that, but ultimately we still thought we would have enough to put out a better performance than we did and we let ourselves down tonight.
The fourth (Revolution goal) was a fantastic strike, but it wasn’t well defended. He had lots of space at the edge of the box and I think generally there was just a lot of space around the edge of the box. I think it was on the third one, it was a cross where none of us were in the right position to defend it, so basically when you lose goals like that you could break it down and you can definitely say there was lots of improvement that could be made. Probably with (Martin) Bonjour and (Jay) DeMerit in there, it would be slightly different but they weren’t and that’s what resulted.
That was the thing: as soon as we scored the goal, I sensed that and I was trying to get that point across but we didn’t respond and that does make the difference. If you’re 1-0 away from home and you keep it solid for a little bit longer, then the game can go your way and you can start to dictate the tempo. But the way the game went, losing the goals as quickly as we did made it too much of a mountain to climb.
I think that generally we do defend well and don’t give up too many goals and we need to get back to that. Your going to lose some games in MLS and we know that. Where this team is at right now we’re going to get some wins and we’ll have some disappointments along the way. But how we respond is important and how we responded last time we lost was to win five in a row. So well have to look to do that again and if we do that again well have a fantastic end to the month.
Listen, I’m happy for Lee (Nguyen). I’ve never had a problem with Lee. He trained well with us. We basically saw we had a lot of players similar to him and really we wanted to make sure he ended up somewhere where he would play. We could easily have kept him. He was on a salary that was very, very easy for us to keep him, but we felt he would not have played a lot in our lineup. And therefore, he would have been disappointed and unhappy about it. So we felt it was right to let him get a chance to play somewhere else, and he’s taken that chance and he’s done really well with it. If he plays like that every night he’ll be an All-Star and you know it just shows you soccer’s like that. I’ve never ever had a problem with a guy doing well and its happened to me before where I’ve made a decision on a player and we’ve gone another way. But I’ve never wished them any ill. I’ve always wanted them to do well, not so much against my team of course. Obviously a sweet night for Lee and as disappointed as I am for us and our performance, I’m not disappointed about the fact that he did well and I’m happy for him.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Alain Rochat
Like you said, a tough result. We started very good and then after the first half with three easy goals like that? Unlucky. But we tried to get the ball away, but we didn’t manage to do that. So we got punished. Joe (Cannon) didn’t even touch the ball but it’s still three goals behind. So there are games like that and you don’t have to think too much about that.
I prefer to win four times 1-0, then take four goals and lose one, as opposed to 4-1 losing 1-0, you have to get the points at the end. And we have some points. At the end losing 2-1 or 10-0, it’s the same. Like I said, it was unlucky and we will try to do better for the next few games
Yes, that’s two very nice weeks for an interesting game. It starts on Wednesday, (then) Saturday, so we have to be ready this week. We don’t have to think too much about the game from tonight.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Davide Chiumiento
I think we started well with a beautiful goal from Eric (Hassli), a nice combination with me and Sebastian (Le Toux). After I think we made a lot of mistakes, and it wasn’t a good night for us. I’m just disappointed, but we have a really important game on Wednesday, so we have to forget about this game and focus on the next game.
We have a couple things defensively that we need to improve, and we know that. In away games, if you make mistakes like that, they score. We have to learn from that and focus for the next game, which is a final, so we need to forget about this game.
Yes, we cannot change anything about this game so we need to focus on the next game – recover well, go back to Vancouver tomorrow, and prepare for these really important next games, first Toronto and then Seattle.
We made a lot of defensive mistakes, and we didn’t focus well defensively on the field. With these kinds of mistakes, you just have to learn. It was a disappointing night - they scored four goals, and after a good start like that, it is a painful way to lose.
I played really free offensively, and personally I felt I did well. But with a 4-1 end result we can’t be happy, and it’s a team sport. Personally, I felt we had some good positioning, and you could say at the end it was good. But we made mistakes defensively and that’s a problem for the whole team, and so we will have to improve.