Rajko Lekic vs. Colorado Rapids

Postgame Quotes: Revolution 2, Rapids 2

Steve Nicol, New England Revolution Head Coach

On the match:

We wanted to keep it in front of us and try and stop them from getting in behind. I thought we did a great job on that. And then the goal, it was good header, he read it well and put it away. We came out at halftime delighted, and we started the second half exactly the same as we did the first. We didn’t give them anything and the one time they got in behind us they got the penalty. We’re always going to argue that he got the ball but if had been in the other penalty box we would have been expecting the penalty as well. And the second goal only happens here. The ball that we use is impossible for the players to play properly. It’s moving everywhere. Even the simplest things become difficult. So to go down to 10 men we’re thinking we don’t deserve this. And you see the character of those players. We didn’t stop pushing and we got some free kicks rightly so. And to be honest I think we deserved to get the point at the end of the day.

On the performance despite tough conditions:

This is our fourth game in 10 days. The heat that we’ve been playing in recently, for them to come back as I said for the fourth game in ten days to go down to 10 men and come back the way they did I think tells you everything you need to know about our players.

On facing the Rapids:

We figured what we wanted to do was play long balls. We figured we could challenge for that. We didn’t want to let them play through us. And again I thought we were very successful for a majority of the night. That one time they caught us (referring to Kimura’s goal) obviously was huge in the game.

Kenny Mansally, New England Revolution Forward

On playing in the second half:

When we came out in the second half we had been leading one-nothing so we just tried to keep our position. And later on we went one man down so it was difficult to come out all out because you’re a man down. And then (Steve) Nicol made the changes so I came in and out of everything I did I just wanted to run the back four and make two or three of them scared. I wanted to use my speed.

On getting a point on the road:

Unbelievable, because with two games on the road at least we got a point. We get the point so that’s great for us. We just have to work hard next week. We have three games in a row that are all away games. It’s tough, but we’re just going to work hard, get points, and we’re going to make the playoffs I hope.

Benny Feilhaber, New England Revolution Midfielder

On his goal in the first half:

To be completely honest it was our only offensive play in the first half. It seemed like we were defending well but we didn’t have too many opportunities up front. We had an opportunity to get the ball in the box. I was kind of deciding whether to stay at the top of the box or sneak back but from my perspective it looked like everyone was near post. And there was one guy kind of marking me but when the throw in came I just decided to dash in towards the goal and hopefully the ball would pop around there. And (Stephen McCarthy) was perfectly positioned and he just flicked it on to me and then I was perfectly positioned to just right there and headed it in. So it was an easy goal but the tough part was actually getting there. So it’s a little bit of luck but obviously you’ve got to be lucky sometimes to get to the right spot at the right time.On the game overall:

It was great to get on the board without really creating too much. In the first half, even in the second half until the penalty we were defending pretty well. We weren’t giving them too much, they had most of the ball. Everything was in front of us and nothing was too much behind us. And then obviously they get behind us on one play and (Sanna) Nyassi’s speed was what caused it for them to get the penalty but in the end it’s a great fight to come back and get the two-two draw.

On their offensive chances:

I think the first half was an ugly game from our perspective at least. We weren’t keeping the ball too much but we were playing gritty and not giving them too much as well and that was really the game plan in the second half to just keep everything in front of you and if we get an opportunity to counter-attack, go for it. Try and put the second goal, which we actually almost did I think on that play where I played it to Chris Tierney down the line and he crossed it in. I thought it was very unlucky that it didn’t go in. Shalrie (Joseph) almost got the head on it and it almost went in on an own goal. So we had a couple of opportunities and even on one where Shalrie had the one chance in the box, to be completely honest I don’t know where the offsides came from. I think it was off a throw in, and none of our players touched the ball off the throw in so I don’t know where the offsides came from and then Shalrie shot it so he couldn’t have been offsides. Anyways we had some opportunities there but it wasn’t pretty play from us but that’s really what the game plan was coming in here. We knew it would be tough to run in the altitude and heat and obviously we were going to play more defensively away from home.

Pat Phelan New England Revolution midfielder

On getting a point on the road:

I think if you look at the road trip as a whole, four points out of it is pretty positive for us. Any points is really positive for us, this is a tough place to play. We got the first goal, and then got the PK called against us. And unlucky on their second goal but we did well to fight back and I think we can walk out of here with a well-deserved point.

On coming back to tie the game with ten men:

I think it’s one thing you didn’t see in the Philadelphia game is even if we’re not playing well we’re going to grind and that was positive to see. The D.C. game was positive and just putting two consistent performances together and getting points out of two consistent games is huge for us. We need to get points in pretty much every game but two more wins and we’re up to like 4th place. With a big game against Kansas City next week, hopefully we can continue our ways here and make up some ground.

On going down to ten men:

I think the referee was pretty even both ways. I’m a little confused as to why we got a PK and a red card and theirs wasn’t. But that’s neither here nor there. I think to be able to come back from that earlier in the season might not have happened, or didn’t happen. So like I said, a huge positive to take form there and hopefully we don’t put ourselves in that situation for the rest of the season. But it’s a good measuring stick of where the teams at mentally.

On the throw in that lead to the first goal:

I don’t think you can draw it up any better. I think since I’ve been here that might be the first time that’s ever worked. But obviously Stevey (Stephen McCarthy) in the air provides a great presence with him and Shalrie (Joseph). And Benny (Feilhaber) just anticipating things and being in the right place at the right time and making it difficult for the other team. To go up a goal on the road anywhere, particularly here is just huge.

Colorado Rapids Head Coach Gary Smith

On the match after giving up the first goal:

The key to the game was always going to be, after going behind from a typical set piece play from New England, was getting back into it, and finding a way to nudge ourselves in front. Which we were able to do, which was a bit of a freak goal, it has to be said. The disappointment and the frustration is of course, with ten men, rightly so, they’re very direct and they want to get it in the danger zone, and we deal with it poorly. No challenge on the first header, and the second phase ball, they’re onto quicker, which was, with what was maybe four minutes on the clock, pretty difficult to swallow, I have to admit.

On the Revolution’s play:

It was always going to be a very difficult night, I felt. New England had a very good result at D.C.; maybe things are starting to come together for them a bit more. I thought they defended very well. We had the vast majority of the possession as the stat shows, but couldn’t convert them into chances. Overall I think we had one more effort at goal than them.

On leaving Omar Cummings on the bench to start the game:

I thought the pairing of him and Sanna [Nyassi] in the week were great, but Omar’s had two tough games. Caleb [Folan] is a very capable individual, and I wanted to keep that front line as energetic as possible. And I always felt there would be some inclusion at some point from the bench, with Omar, and I wouldn’t think he’s a very nice sight coming off the bench with however long to go. He did well when he came on – instrumental in the first goal.

Colorado Rapids defender Kosuke Kimura

On his goal:

I was looking to try to get behind them. I saw Caleb running, and so was Omar, both guys started running. I’m just going to kick it towards them, and just Caleb was chasing the ball and I think Matt Reis, he saw that Caleb’s coming, so he misjudged it kind of. So it’s almost [Caleb’s] goal, but anything counts. A goal is a goal.

On the team’s play:

We’ve been having so many games, we had like three games in the last week, it makes things really tough. Our legs get heavy, and all that, but still there’s no excuse. At home, we’ve got to put it away. We’ve been working so hard. First of all, we gave the goal away fifteen minutes in – we can’t do that at home. We gave them that little edge to go again, to come out against us, and we didn’t control that enough. But we were patient, we get the goal back in the second half, and everybody was going. But there’s still not much spark there. We’re missing something. Maybe everybody’s fatigued and all that, but there’s no excuse.

On the tough schedule coming up:

From now on we’re going to have so many tough games, we’ve got like ten games left and CONCACAF [Champions League] coming up, it’s going to be tough games… but it’s a little bit more like a mental game now.  We can’t drop any points from now on.

Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni

On the match:

The game ended maybe the way it should. We had a PK and we had a ball that jumped over the goalie’s head. I think overall we had decent possession, but we weren’t as dangerous as we’d like to have been, and we had an extra man. I think the biggest problem was we had an extra man and didn’t take advantage of it and really press the game and make them suffer and really take it to them. I think it was probably the biggest disappointment, that and not being able to be more forceful, more dominant. But as far as the result, you’ve got to take it with a grain of salt. It was two PK calls and a weird throw in set piece that they had.

On the different between Wednesday’s 4-1 win over New York and Saturday’s tie:

There’s no rhyme or reason in the game of soccer. I mean, look at our second goal; it bounces over the goalie’s head. Could you predict that? You can’t predict anything. And if a team sits behind the ball, it’s a lot harder to break down than it is if you’re the team that is pressing numbers forward…. They’re two completely different games with two different dynamics. More importantly, we’ve got to learn, and figure out a way to break down teams that are going to sit back when we have a lead, or sit back and defend, and figure out a way to do that a little bit better.