Matt Besler vs. D.C. United
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Quotes: Postgame reaction from SKC's 1-0 victory over D.C. United

 

D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH BEN OLSEN

Thoughts on the match...
It was always going to be a tough task with the two days of rest, but I thought the guys pushed through it. I went with a lot of guys who played minutes. I could’ve changed it up but I wanted to push them, and they responded.

It was a pretty good performance overall. We know what we need; I know what we need for next year. But it’s not as much as you guys think. I still have a lot of confidence in this group of players. There’s going to be some changes, for sure. It’s not going to be the same group of guys next year. It’s that simple. We have to get some additions. We’ve got to get better. That, combined with some of these young guys getting this experience will hopefully be a good recipe for a successful season.

I was hoping to get out of this with a .500 [record] or above, but that didn’t happen. So I’m disappointed in that.

On Dwayne De Rosario’s impact on the team...
He’s been pretty good [laughs]. He has changed the entire team. With Dwayne we are always a play away from either him setting up a goal or doing it himself. We haven’t had that player probably since Jaime [Moreno] – it’s really nice to have a guy like that. But it’s my job to get him a little bit more support, both up top and in the back, and make this group a better team.

I’m disappointed because this latter part of the season, this last stretch has not been good. We have some excuses, some injuries, and in a lot of ways they are real. But I still think that with a break or two we were a playoff team. That’s what’s disappointing to me; that I couldn’t squeeze enough out of every guy to get into the playoffs. Next thing you know [Chris] Pontius is out, Dejan [Jakovic] is out, [Branko] Boskovic is out – I guess here I go with the excuses.

Again, I know what we need for next year. I know it’s not easy to find what you need in this soccer world, but we will get that and make this team better.

On Charlie Davies’ season...
I look at [the season] as a huge step for him. He’s probably not very happy with the playing time he’s had, but he has scored 11 goals. I look at it as a wonderful comeback. Because of the last stretch, in which he wasn’t getting as many minutes he is probably not happy about it.

It’s pretty remarkable that he’s come back and contributed to this team. Anywhere you cut it, whether it’s the beginning, middle, or the end [of the season], if you take it as a combined season he’s a big part of some of the success we’ve had this year.

We are going to have a lot of work in the offseason. I was hoping it wouldn’t be quite as much, but it’s going to be a lot of watching videos and again, making this team better.

On his first year as Head Coach...
Every day is a new challenge. Fortunately, every game and every practice is a learning experience for me as well. I’m not in over my head, I’ll tell you that much. I feel partly proud for what I’ve done this year. But I’m also pretty hard on myself and know that I could have gotten this team into the playoffs. Maybe that’s the part that was green on my end, not knowing how to get them to the playoffs. As we as a group get better, I will get better as well.    

D.C. UNITED FORWARD JOSH WOLFF

Thoughts on the match...
I thought the first half was one of our better collective efforts. We held our lines pretty good, and we got after them offensively. Unfortunately we gave up another goal on a set piece. It’s disappointing. In the end we didn’t do enough to get the result, even though at time we found some space out there. Obviously I wanted that one chance at the end to go in. If I could have just gotten my head [to the ball] I might have been able to get a goal. There were things that could have been cleaner.

Thoughts on the 2011 season...
Realistically I think we’re all disappointed. Four weeks ago we were pushing for the playoffs, and now the season is over. Obviously we missed some points and there were key injuries to guys like [Chris] Pontius and Dejan [Jakovic] that were detrimental to our side. Saying that we were still in a very good position to make the playoffs. There were 12 to 15 points out there we didn’t take and it’s disappointing. That said there were positive strides made this year, and we’re looking forward to getting back at it next season.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER PERRY KITCHEN

On the match...
I think we put it all out there. It’s a trend that hasn’t been good where we keep coming up short in the end. We have time now to think about our mistakes and make adjustments. We’ll be back ready for next season to do better.

On his first professional season...
I thought overall it was a good learning experience. There are definitely things I can get better at and work on. I’m going to train hard regarding those things and come back better next year.

On becoming the first rookie in United history to lead the club in minutes played:

It’s definitely been fun this year. I’m always going to go out and play wherever the coaching staff puts me, and I’m going to do what I can to contribute to this team and this organization. I think I did my best at that this year.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY MANAGER PETER VERMES

On clinching first place in the Eastern Conference...
[I give] credit to the guys. They put us in this position. They worked hard. They believed in what we were trying to do and they stayed committed to each other and the organization. From that part, I’m extremely proud because sometimes it’s easy to lose your belief and spirit and I think it’s just the opposite with this group of guys. That really tells you something for the long term – it’s not just right now – and that’s the part of it I’m very proud of.

On the game...
I thought that the first half was good for us. We were putting a lot of balls in the box. [D.C. United] had one really good chance that kind of ricocheted and [Dwayne] De Rosario hit over the top. I thought we were very disciplined and organized. They had a few chances here and there, but I think it was very hard to break us down tonight and I’m really proud of the team defensively. It’s not easy to come on the road in this League and get a result. The guys did it and it’s a good confidence-builder here at the last game of the season going into the playoffs.

On containing Dwayne De Rosario...
I think it was a little hard for [Dwayne De Rosario] because he was a man on an island tonight playing as one up top. He’s a great player. He’s done so well in this League. We talked about how he was going to be somebody that was really going to be fighting to score. Obviously he wants his team to win and also has a chance to increase his numbers for the Golden Boot. But I thought we did a really good job containing him and he’s a great player.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY FORWARD KEI KAMARA

On clinching first place in the Eastern Conference...
[Clinching first place] is great. It’s been a long season. I’ve been with this club for two full seasons now and it’s been really, really great out here. The fact that we played our last game of the season knowing that we were going into the game already in the playoffs with a chance to clinch first place was big for us.

On the go-ahead goal...
[The goal] was very important. We kept pushing and pushing, but at the same time D.C. kept doing that counterattack that they’re very good at. We were very nervous about that, but Besler came up big and he’s had such a great year. Putting that goal in gave us the home field advantage.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY DEFENDER MATT BESLER

On containing Dwayne De Rosrario...
[Dwayne De Rosario] is a challenge. He’s probably the MVP of the League, but we kept him off the scoresheet and that was one of our goals.

On securing first place in the Conference...
It’s a great feeling to come back from where we were at [the beginning of the season]. It shows the character of this team and we never lost hope.

On his goal...
[The goal] was important. It was D.C.’s last goal in front of their home fans. Obviously they were out of the playoffs already, but they’re a prideful group and it was a tough match. We were away from home and once we got the first goal it was natural to sit back a bit. They threw a lot of numbers forward at the end, but we handled it pretty well.