Rich Balchan

Postgame Quotes - Crew vs. Rapids - Playoffs 2011

Columbus Crew

Robert Warzchya, Columbus Crew Head Coach

On Omar Cummings’ goal in the 45th minute:

Obviously in the 45th minute, where there was turnover in front of the box and we give up a goal. Basically that’s the half. The game was pretty even, and I don’t want to call it a mistake but it was an unfortunate bounce and then we gave up a goal at the wrong time. Goals that come so close to half kill you because you don’t have time to respond to them. After 15 minutes you come back and it’s like a new game. It was the perfect time for Colorado.

On the game overall:

We started the game very well. We possessed the ball, we had some shots from outside, a couple of times Andres [Medonza] was offside, we had a couple good balls from Josh Gardner, but in the end we hit the crossbar and Josh had the shot that could have gone in too but luck was not on our side.

On Danny O’Rourke being taken out of the lineup after warmups:

He tried to go but obviously after warmups he decided that it’s better that he didn’t play. Danny is a starter on this team. In the game against New England and against D.C. he played good so it’s good to have him. We had to make adjustments and Rich Balchan had to step in and he did a very good job.

On the defensive mindset:

We knew what they could do. We were forcing them to give the ball to Marvell Wynne and sometimes he struggles with the ball. We got what we wanted and nothing really happened in the first half to be honest with you, and we knew that in the second half we were going to put some forwards in but unfortunately we gave up the goal.

On condition of field and weather:

The field was in perfect condition. It was much softer than usual, which was much better. The cold depends on how fast you run, so I do not think that has any effect on the players.

What did you say to the players as the season ends:

What can you say? Congratulations on the season and we are going to have a meeting in Columbus.

William Hesmer, Columbus Crew Goalkeeper

On the game:

I think that they had three or four pretty good chances and good looks. I think Jamie Smith had a pretty good look from about the penalty spot which was similar to the goal. He just didn’t put it away. There were some shots from distance. Mullen had a chance in the second half that he put up and out wide. It was a game of little chances. We hit the crossbar, Matt made a good save or two and that was the game.

On the defenders’ performance:

I think that we frustrated them for the most part but we just could not get anything going forward. We had two new guys basically playing in the middle, and [Dilly] Duka playing underneath. Once we seemed to win the ball it was a mess. We would turn the ball over and really never create dangerous chances off of winning the ball in a good spot.

Eddie Gaven, Columbus Crew Midfielder/Defender

On the game overall:

We were just trying to make it hard for the other team. Andres [Mendoza] did a very good job of that throughout the game, almost had that one that hit the crossbar midway through the second half. We did well. Every guy in here did well. We worked hard tonight. Sometimes even if you work hard you don’t win. It’s a shame but we should keep our heads up.

On Colorado intercepting so many passes:

It’s being able to choose the right pass more than anything. Sometimes someone is onside and we don’t see them and we play it to someone who is not on, he might have like two guys on him. At times we were not always choosing the right option, but having said that we were still able to create two or three good looks at goal. We were not able to score and they did score.

On the offense not finishing chances:

I thought in the first half that we did have any really good looks. We had shots from outside the eighteen, but it was not anything that was a real clear cut chance. They played hard as well and I thought they did a really good job making it hard for us to get clean looks at goal. So credit to them. I also thought we did well to it was just one lucky goal. They were able to put it in and that’s the way the game goes. These games are very tight games, sometimes it just takes one shot and it you can be out. That’s what happened to us.

Gary Smith, Colorado Rapids Head Coach

On his philosophy coming into the game:

My main thought was they probably weren't expecting an extra game. In two days, they've got to gather their thoughts, they've got to gather their senses, they've got to get on a plane and travel somewhere where I don't think a lot of people like coming. I mean not a lot of people like us, but I don't think a lot of people like coming here. They won't admit it, but I don't think they do. So the overall feeling in the group was to try and be as aggressive as we could be, but of course again making sure that we're getting bodies and being as creative as we can be and getting that amount of bodies on the field to do that.

On the creativity in the midfield:

I thought there were lots of spells where they did their job very well. They came here with a plan probably to frustrate and suffocate, which I thought they did a really good job of for a vast majority of the game. When you play that way, it only takes one moment to undo all of that good work. And for us it couldn't have come at a better time - right on the stroke of halftime. There's no doubt about it, goals change the mindset of people, and we came in at halftime feeling as though we'd taken the game to them and got some reward for it. They must have felt as though they put a lot of hard work and effort into it and come away with nothing in the first half. And now they've got to go and make something happen, and that's not as easy as it looks away from home, and it certainly makes the game a little bit more open and I thought we could have had two or three there at the end.

On Brian Mullan's play:

He never ceases to amaze you, does he? He's like a Duracell battery, he just keeps going. I think this is his favorite time of the year. He was telling me the other day this is his eleventh playoffs. I mean there's so much experience there, he's full of passion and he's got enough passion to drive himself and plenty of others on. On occasions like this where you're in or you're out, as simple as that, there's no coming back from a poor result or a bad mistake, you want guys like Brian on your team.

Omar Cummings, Colorado Rapids Forward

On scoring the game winner off of a pass from his roommate:

We’ve been talking about it today, even all week. We have to get to the next game. We give it all and move on to the next stage.

On Kosuke Kimura pushing forward:

He’s been a more attacking unit than usual. We were going for an attacking lineup this game.
On his lack of scoring personally:

That season’s done. You don’t pay attention to it. You’re in the playoffs. That’s all that counts. You try to make a run in the playoffs.

On the goal celebration:

That was the Tim Tebow pose. [Were you thanking god?] That, too, definitely.

On playing in the cold:

Halftime, coming in, my hands were freezing. I had to double up on my gloves. Good atmosphere. You don’t try to think about the cold too much. But it was there and it does play a part, especially for guys who aren’t used to it.

On the fans:

The fans have been great. They’ve supported us all year. The atmosphere was great. Thank you to the fans.

Kosuke Kimura, Colorado Rapids Defender

On his play:

I knew I had to do something to keep making those runs and get the energy going. Everybody worked hard, and it's a great result even though it's only one to nothing. All we've got to do is focus on the next game and keep going. Recover well in the next couple of days and on Sunday we bring that same intensity to the game and we'll do it.

On assisting Omar Cummings' goal:

When I get the ball I look up right away, and the defender moved because Caleb tried to go across the defender. And the two defenders dropped off so I look up and Omar is just standing there, chilling by himself so I just put the nice ball and it was a good finish.

On what Omar, his roommate, owes him for setting up the goal:

He's cooking for the next month, or at least during the playoffs. It's all good though, because we've been playing for a long, long time and Omar can finish goals, I knew it. So he did it and I was so glad that we won the game. That was a fine moment, and we've got the same thing on Sunday.

Brian Mullan, Colorado Rapids Midfielder

On whether this is his favorite time of the year, like Gary said:

This is when the body’s banged up, but this is when you can tell that everybody’s putting their heart into the game. That just makes the game so much more fun.



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