NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION HEAD COACH STEVE NICOL
The first two goals are bad defending – no two ways about it. We can’t keep playing men down, either. Not only did we play for another hour a man down tonight, but having played two men down on Saturday – 10 men for an hour and nine men for 40 minutes, you just can’t do it. It’s impossible. Up until the sending off, we hadn’t been good anyway. We set pretty much the same as them – 4-5-1 – to try to get people breaking, but we just never got a hold of the ball and we never got close enough to anybody to affect the game. But the sending off just killed us. You can’t play men down.
At halftime, we wanted a response. That’s why we ended up putting Eddie (Jankauskas) up with Zack (Schilawski). We wanted a response and we wanted just to try to squeeze and play the game at the other end of the field. But again, when you’re a man down … the third goal is just a great example that they had more men than us and they end up with the space to score. But the first goals are rank bad goals – there’s no two ways about it.
I didn’t think we responded particularly brilliant up until halftime. We couldn’t get ourselves organized properly. The biggest thing, you need to close the ball properly and we haven’t been doing that. If the first man closing the ball doesn’t do it properly, then everybody behind him is affected, and we never did that. I thought we showed some fighting spirit second half, but again, it’s not enough, particularly when you’re a man down and two goals behind. You’re giving a team two goals to start, then a man as well, it’s an impossible task.
There’s a lot to say how were going about it [in the second half]. You’ve got to be realistic: two goals down and a man at halftime – I don’t know too many people who are going to put any money on us winning the game. But what we were looking for is some spirit. And I think we got that, and that’s important. At least we take that out of the game: as much as everything was against us, we showed some spirit. The guys out there laying it on the line and giving it everything they’ve got. And that’s about all we could have asked for the second half … that’s why the second half was important that we showed some spirit, because when you have that, you have a chance. So, we’ll dust ourselves down and get going for Saturday.
NEW ENGLAND DEFENDER DARRIUS BARNES
We played most of the game with a man disadvantage, and it just puts the pressure on everybody. When they get the goal before that, it’s just that much tougher.
On the complexion of the first 25 minutes …
“I think we had them where we wanted them there. [They didn’t] pose any threats. Everything that they were knocking around was in the middle of the park – they really weren’t a threat. And when you go down a man to a team like that that can pass the ball, they continue to pick you apart – especially when it’s like that the whole game you can’t really do too much about it.”
The first two goals were both weak goals. I definitely feel like the majority of goals – even with a man disadvantage – we could have done something about them. They weren’t pinging the ball in and picking us apart. It’s just something we’ll have to go back to the drawing board and look in the mirror and toughen ourselves up. Everybody has to do their role in the team and make sure we don’t get played through like that.
I feel like that game we came out flat like we did in previous games and going a man down, it’s just not what you want to do and it tests your mental toughness. Columbus is going to be a test this weekend. We’re going to be without Marko (Perovic) but fortunately we get Kheli (Dube) back and Joseph (Niouky) back, but we’re going to have to dig deep and look into ourselves and pull out a great performance because we can’t go 2-5-1 to start the season. We’re already 2-4-1 and that’s not acceptable for this team.
We just have to throw it to the back of our heads, throw it to the back burner and regroup, recover. This is going to be three games in about seven days, so that within itself is going to be a tough task. Columbus has a great team and we’re playing at their place is going to be another task that we’re going to have to conquer and defeat and hopefully we can get this team together and get back on track somehow.
NEW ENGLAND MIDFIELDER CHRIS TIERNEY
It’s always tough when you go to 10 men, but even before that they had the run of the play and we couldn’t get things going again. For some reason we just can’t find a way to start the game properly, it seems like. I don’t know what the issue is. Now it’s in our heads a little bit that the game kicks off and we’re just a little bit slow, and things just went downhill after the red card. We’re always going to be chasing it after that, so it was tough. There’re not many positives to take away, to be honest.
After the red card, you kind of lose your structure a little bit. It was awkward enough as is just to start – I haven’t played a lot [in central midfield] – but it’s a situation where we need a bunch of guys who are going to do a job and who want to win and want to put themselves out there and go into tackles. So we’ve just got to pick ourselves up and go to Columbus believing we can get a result and if we don’t do that, then we’re going to keep losing games.
It’s hard to forget about these games, but you’ve got to have a short memory – especially with ones like this. It didn’t matter - like we said at halftime - it doesn’t matter whether we lose 2-0 or we lose 20-0 if we put ourselves out there and have a little bit of pride, then you can look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and move on to the next one.
It felt better when the (second) half kicked off, and then they got that third goal and frustration comes in a little bit. You’re just trying to make sure that when you have the Revolution shirt on you’re giving everything you have, and there’s no excuse for walking off the field when you’re down 4-0; you shouldn’t be able to walk at that point. We’ve got to make sure that we have that mindset going in to Columbus and I think that if we do, then we’ll do well.
CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH MARTIN VASQUEZ
There’re many plays like those during the game, for both teams, but (Marko) Perovi? swung and connected. The referee saw it, the linesman saw it, and I think it’s a red card.
On three game unbeaten streak:
It helps, it gives you confidence, and we have to start preparing for Saturday. It’s going to come fast and against one of our biggest opponents, we have to have our top game. I think at home, on the road, hopefully being this consistent to our play will give us consistent results.
CHIVAS USA MIDFIELDER SACHA KLJESTAN
We feel good, we’re happy with our performance today. After we went up a man, we really controlled the pace of the game, but even before we went up a man we grabbed the lead and were still really in control of the game. Any time you get three points on the road it’s a good thing, so I think now going home on a three game unbeaten streak, we feel good and we hope to get another three points on Saturday.
We’ve had some tough games against New England over the years, and it’s always good to get three points on the road. So no matter where we’re at, it feels good.
I feel very confident right now. The past five games, I feel like I’ve been consistently pretty good, helping the team our offensively, dropping back in the midfield to keep the ball. My partnership with Justin (Braun) has been pretty has been pretty good up top. I think he’s done a good job at battling and I’m kind of picking up the second balls or the ones he lays out, so we feel good right now. I feel like we’ve got a good rhythm.
CHIVAS USA FORWARD JUSTIN BRAUN
I think it’s been the mentality of the team. I mean the past five games, we’ve really started clicking and we’ve found a group of guys who play well together and I think it showed on the field. We’re playing good possession-type soccer, which is what we’ve wanted to do since day one. I think it’s been the hard work of the guys and we go out there and play for each other.”
Houston’s a tough team. We’ve had trouble with them in the past, but we’re definitely riding high right now. We don’t want to get too high, but we just want to go in Saturday and keep playing at the level we’re playing at and play our game and hopefully we’ll come away with the three points.