Quotes: Revolution 3, Crew SC 1 | July 9

Kei Kamara vs. Columbus Crew

New England Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps
On the good start to the game and the momentum it provided:

Coach Heaps: “It was really important. Tonight was a real gut check across the board. We demanded a lot of the guys tonight. A lot of guys played a lot of minutes over the last three games, but we want to dig deep on a group of guys and I thought that the approach was really good. I was really happy with the way we started the game, the way we played. You know, really, we had a turn off for about five minutes there at the end of the half, which is not good enough, but halftime, we turned it around. I thought we came out and we created a couple more chances before the third goal came and bent a little bit, but in the end we really felt like we were the aggressor.”

On the difference in performance from the previous game:

Coach Heaps: “I think there was just a little bit more commitment, just a little bit more presence for 90 minutes. It’s something that, in this league, that little difference, makes all the difference. So we have to continue to do that and I thought the mentality, the urgency, the fight, the will, all those things.  Because, we’re a good enough team to beat teams, but we have to bring that first and then the play comes second.”

On Kei Kamara’s performance and his involvement in the goals:

Coach Heaps: “It’s funny. I did an interview about this. Obviously, when you play against your former team, there’s going to be motivation because you know them and everyone knows what happened, to have us get him. But there was a lot more at stake than that. We were challenging the guys for their own performance and starting the game the right way, and having that mentality. I think a lot of our focus was on us. It really wasn’t on Columbus and Kei. It was just about us getting out there and doing the best we could do and that was the mindset all week. That’s what we prepared for all week, not all week, but the last three days.”

On the play of Kei Kamara and whether or not it’s expecting of him:

Coach Heaps: “I didn’t get to talk about his performance. Yeah, I thought he was awesome tonight. He worked hard. When he works hard and Lee (Nguyen) works hard, everyone else works a little harder because they know those are our key, main, attacking players. And the way that they closed down tonight and the way that they pressured and then the way that they were involved in the attack, that’s two way playing for us. So Kei for me, we asked a lot of him. He’s played 90, 90, 90. He came in off the bench in the Open Cup, so he’s played a lot of minutes lately and hasn’t even batted an eye. He just dug in with our group and talked tactics with him about what we need from him, and he was perfect tonight in terms of what he did defensively for us. And then offensively, like I said, I was glad that he got that goal.”

On the scouting report pregame for Ola Kamara:

Coach Heaps: “Well, his runs off the ball are key and I think it’s been noted that he’s that good at it and he did it again tonight. I mean, he had two or three good runs off the ball.  That’s the scouting report. He’s not going to turn and dribble and beat three guys, but he’s going to run off a shoulder and split the two centerbacks. Unfortunately, we turned off for one play and he scored. And that’s the kind of finishing he’s doing right now. But overall, I thought we dealt with it well. Other than that, first half once, and then the goal, I thought we dealt with it really well after that.”

On the pressure exerted in the first half and how it helped to unsettle the Columbus Crew:

Coach Heaps: “It was important. I thought that that was the tactic, to get out there and really press them and commit to it.  And guys did. That’s what we need. And when they do break us down, we continue to get back and get our blocks and fight defensively in our half. Overall, the mentality was, no matter what they threw at us, we were going to continue to push and try to close down and I thought we did that.”

On the importance of picking up points at home in the back half of the schedule:

Coach Heaps: “Vital. I think that was obvious. We knew coming out of the break, we were going to be on the road a little bit. I think Wednesday night was a disappointing result considering, even though we had the loss in D.C. and Montreal, or upsetting. I think Wednesday was the real gut punch because we’re at home and we knew we were going to approach the game, we thought, the right way and we didn’t. So we really had to rally and get ourselves ready for tonight. But that’s the mindset at home, that you have to come out and throw the first punch. You have to be aggressive and we got to keep doing that.”

On the production of Je-Vaughn Watson and Scott Caldwell:

Coach Heaps: “I thought tonight, the pairing was really good. I thought Scott Caldwell, you know, he’s kind of the reader and intercepts the passing, where Je-Vaughn [Watson] can really get in the trenches and battle. I thought he did a really good job. There was some really good play in that center midfield today. Everyone wants to block the midfield, but when you really looked at it, [Tony] Tchani had a good game. [Wil] Trapp is really, really coming into his own. Then our guys, Watson and Caldwell, I thought were just excellent. That matchup was fun to watch. So we kind of went like for like and tried to say, ‘Hey. Let’s see if we can mirror what they’re doing and disrupt what they’re doing and have the Lee’s (Nguyen) and the Kelyn’s (Rowe) and the Teal’s (Bunbury) be the ones that break free from those areas.’ And I thought that as the game went on, that happened.”

New England Revolution Forward Kei Kamara
On how long he has been looking forward to playing against his former team:

Kamara: “How long? [Laughs]. Actually, it’s not a game that I thought was ever going to happen. You know, when I was part of that team, I just saw myself there and just the only time that I saw myself playing against those guys was when we did scrimmage at training. So, there were three of them marked on the calendar and a lot of people were just making me aware that, hey, you get to play them this many times. But for me, it was a fun game, yeah.”

On whether or not this game was different from any other game he has played before:           

Kamara: “Yeah, it was different than when I was at Columbus and played against Kansas City because that day it was like, I wanted it all. I went — my nerves — I couldn’t keep myself down, and today I was focused and the team hasn’t really gotten what we wanted from games and I told myself I can’t make it all be about how much I want it. It’s got to be about how much we want it.”

On how the team responded to Kei Kamara’s mindset:

Kamara: “Yeah, it was great. The work we put out there was just amazing. It looked like everybody wanted it. I mean, if we can score an early goal like that, that was definitely what we planned to do and just to work out there in defense. You know, they really kept us going and it was good.”

On how much he wanted a goal:

Kamara: “I wanted to score a goal at home, yeah, and they gave me a happy meal. I have to eat it, so that was great. Tony [Tchani] kept telling me that and I said, ‘Yeah, if you give somebody a happy meal and they can’t finish it, then you’re not worth the happy meal.’ To me, I love that, so for that to be my first goal here in front of this crowd: it was amazing.”

On the importance of scoring the first goal early:

Kamara: “It was a great shot. Actually, I just told Lee [Nguyen] that. You know, when one of those — they leave your foot, you just have a feeling. It was a great cross from Chris [Tierney]. I actually thought I was going to get my head on it, but game plan was don’t let Kei get his head on that thing, and it worked out perfect. That ball went back outside and when it left Lee’s foot, I just—it felt good.”

On whether or not he was getting antsy to score a goal as the game progressed:

Kamara: “Yeah, I can’t lie: as a forward I want to score, and playing against your old team you want to score. But when I had that one chance that I hit, got blocked, hit, got blocked, and went off the crossbar. Then I said, ‘You know, forget it; let’s just try to get this win.’ So, I tried to forget it but it happened: another one came in front of me. That’s the game. You’re going to keep getting chances. The same chances are going to happen over and over and I was just happy to be there at the right time.”

On the build-up to the own goal:

Kamara: “Just a team play really. You know, a team play. Lee’s [Nguyen] got that vision and I’m really trying to connect with these guys. Really good guys offensively. I’m going to say it again: when I played against them, they’ve done really well. The offensive group is just amazing. A lot of credit to the defense as well, but I’m a striker, so we really focus on scoring goals. But I went in, he played me that great ball. I knew I didn’t have a shot at goal and the best thing I could do was just play back across the box and when I did that, I was hoping Kelyn [Rowe] would get it, but I guess [Wil] Trapp got it.

On whether or not his goal tonight was an easy goal:

Kamara: “No. No, no, no. Actually, the easy goals I score are the goals I score with my head. Those are the easy goals. The goals that come on my foot are really, really tough, I would say. You can tell I struggled a couple times to get one in. That was actually another great ball play by Kelyn [Rowe]. I just saw it and had a vision in my head that I was going to head that in the back of the net. Didn’t happen, but like I said, we’re just going to feed off the mistakes they make. I was in that locker room before and I know how this team — how New England plays, how we press, how they hurt us. And obviously déjà vu – same thing all over again.”

On whether or not scoring tonight’s goal helps his adjustment to New England:

Kamara: “I’m still shocked. I’m still shocked. This is me. I’m in this league. I love this league. I went to England, I always looked at when do I get to come back and be a part of this league. I feel like I am MLS, to be honest with you. You know, growing up in L.A. and working at the Home Depot Center and training with the Galaxy and getting picked by Columbus. I really feel so part of this league and so it doesn’t really matter what team I go to. It’s been San Jose, Columbus, Houston — all these teams — Sporting, and just scoring goals everywhere and just connecting with the people and the fans. When people love you, to me, I’m just the happiest kid. And being out here — as long as my family’s here, as long as we’re happy and I’m sure if I can score them more goals, everybody will kind of love me again.”

New England Revolution Midfielder Kelyn Rowe
On tonight’s result, coming off the heels of Wednesday night’s game

Rowe: “It’s just a good start. You know, we talked about the second half of the season being something we need to turn around and you saw that fight in everyone today, and that’s what we need going into the second half of the season—going into what’s going to be a playoff run.”

On what changed in the team’s approach since Wednesday night’s game

Rowe: “Like I said before, it’s all about the fight. We have the skill, we have the talent, we have the guys who can put the ball in the back of the net, as you can see, and we got the guys who can bite down and defend well. It’s all about just putting it all together and fighting for the next guy next to you, so I think everyone had a good run today. It was a tough battle, but we have this extra week where we don’t have the Wednesday game this week. I think we took that to heart and went out and got three points.”

On how they dug in to keep their lead after Columbus scored

Rowe: “We know what it takes to win in this league. We’ve done it before. Everyone has played in this league and have gotten results and grinded results out. And we knew that there was going to be a chance for the third goal, it’s just going to come to us, and it did. So for us, it was about grinding out that 2-1 lead and being smart with our possession. Maybe we don’t try and keep it in bad areas, we kind of give it up because we have that one goal lead. We have a chance to knock it over the top and kind of get our bearings back and defend because we have those guys, like I said, who are grit. They’re all grit. They can run around and win balls and if we can find Lee [Nguyen] and Kei [Kamara], like we did, and Teal [Bunbury] on the break, we’re going to find goals.”

On the momentum this game will give them going into their next game

Rowe: “Like I said—we’ve all said it, this second half of the season is huge for us. We didn’t have a great first half of the season. It wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t our best, and I still don’t think this is our best, but we’re gradually getting better and better. And it comes not by one person getting better or two people getting better; it comes all collectively fighting together. You saw a lot of that tonight.”

On Kei Kamara’s performance

Rowe: “That’s Kei Kamara for you. I mean, he’s a goal scorer and he’s always going to be around the box and he’s a terrific forward, and that’s why we have him. He’s really coming into his own here. I think he’s getting a lot more connections with Lee [Nguyen], with Teal [Bunbury], myself. And guys pushing forward—you can see him, we’re finding him in good spots. He’s putting himself in great spots and he’s finishing chances, so we’re happy to have him on a good run.”

Columbus Crew SC Head Coach Gregg Berhalter
On the pressure New England put on his team:

Coach Berhalter: “I think we knew they were going to pressure. We thought we’d still be able to play out of it and I think, even in those moments, I think we could have dealt with the situations better -- specifically on the first goal. We did a great job to win the first ball, and it’s cleaning up the second ball and that wasn’t there. Second goal as well, I think it could’ve been avoided with perhaps holding a tighter line and Kei [Kamara] would be off sides. Then, the third goal obviously shouldn’t happen in soccer and unfortunately it did today.”

On whether his players stopped playing on New England’s third goal:

Coach Berhalter: “There was just miscommunication inside the penalty box. The way I look at this game, the way I see this is, again, a game we came up short in key moments. I think the play was acceptable. The way we tried to play the game was acceptable and the effort was certainly acceptable, but we came up short in the key moments, no question.”

On Ola Kamara’a effectiveness tonight:

Coach Berhalter: “Yeah, he was effective. He’s a good player. It’s still may be a small silver lining in an otherwise game that we’re not happy with. I think that it’s time for us to get these moments right because the season, now we’re half way through it, and it’s slipping away.”

On Kei Kamara’s performance tonight:

Coach Berhalter: “Shawn, I don’t comment on players not on our roster [laughs]. No, he’s a handful right? He’s a handful. We know what he brings, I thought he’s good in the air and he’s good in certain moments. We admired him as a player, no question. I thought he did fine. It’s nice to get a goal and an assist, it’s great.”

On having one win in ten games:

Coach Berhalter: “I wouldn’t necessarily say that, but I’m obviously not happy with the results and I’m not happy with how we’ve been losing games. And the guys aren’t either. If you ask them, they’re not happy with that either. It’s something we need to get better because, as you said, it will go off the rails if we don’t start winning.”

On taking a different tactical approach:

Coach Berhalter: “We look at that all the time. We’re always evaluating that and we have a very specific way to play. We believe in the way we play. Our way of playing is proven to get results. It’s proven to create goal scoring opportunities. So, when you look at all that, it’s there and now we just need to get the results. We have in the past and there’s no reasons for me to believe that we can’t in the future.”

Columbus Crew SC Forward Ola Kamara
On the game’s result:

Kamara: “I think the New England Revolution, they got a good beginning, and we gave them the score early and then they get the second one as well, so it was tough for us. We tried to battle back. We got the one goal. I think we were best in the second half before [the] Revolution’s goal, but then it gets hard when you’re down three one. What they brought to the game was they were very physical, they played their style very good, and that’s why they win.”

On the Revs having just played on Wednesday:

Kamara: “You just have to play the game. We have to come and play our game and they play theirs. Of course in the end we wanted to do that but, I mean, in this situation where we’re under three – one, you can’t really take advantage of it.”

On the team’s chemistry improving:

Kamara: “It’s hard now, but I’m just focusing on the Wednesday game now. But right now, it’s just hard to get any positive out of it.”

On the upcoming home games and a chance to get results:

Kamara: “Absolutely, it’s urgent to get some points now. We really have to get points. [The New England] Revolution now is six points ahead of us and Toronto won today as well, so we really need to step up our game.”

Columbus Crew SC Defender Michael Parkhurst
On the result:

Parkhurst: “Disappointed, we came here to get a victory and we leave with zero points so we’re disappointed in the overall game and how it went and giving up an early goal, a soft goal. The way we conceded wasn’t something we’re proud of.”

On Kei Kamara’s goal:

Parkhurst: “A defensive miscue. Two guys kick each other and he’s standing right there.”

On communicating defensively throughout the game:

Parkhurst: “I thought defensively we did well for periods of the game as far as dealing with Kei (Kamara), dealing with crosses. Obviously on the third goal, we need to communicate better, somebody’s got to put a foot through it and clear it up the field. We had a couple of new pieces in the back line tonight and we got punished for it.”

On moving forward and regrouping:

Parkhurst: “It’s got to happen quickly, we have a game on Wednesday, two massive games at home and now we’re at a period we’ve got to put some pressure on ourselves. We need wins, and at home, it’s got to happen. So very, very important rest of the week for us.”

On the upcoming games at home:

Parkhurst: “After a loss like this, it’s always good to get back on the field as soon as possible. We’ve got that chance on Wednesday at home. Like I said, it’s time to put a little pressure on ourselves, we need victories and we need to start climbing the table and get above the line and there’s no better place to do it than at home. It needs to happen, it needs to happen now.”