Robert Warzycha
USA Today Sports

Postgame Quotes - Crew vs. Earthquakes


On the result:
I think we played against a very good team today. We have to remember that they won the Supporters’ Shield last year… that’s still the same team. I think it was very cold today and I think the players felt that. I think we scored a goal in the right time – I think it was the 68th minute – so we scored with 20 minutes to go. After that I thought [San Jose] created some chances. We’d be happy with three points, and the last 20 minutes were tough for us. [San Jose] could have scored a couple of goals, but you know what, we’ll take one point.
On San Jose’s momentum leading-up to the game’s second goal:
Yeah, [San Jose] were playing a little bit with the wind and they were playing with [Chris] Wondolowski who is a very good player. They created space between defenders and midfielder and were able to run at our defense.
On the Crew’s progress so far in 2013:
Overall I feel pretty good, but I think we need more games like today where teams are pushing us and I think we’re going to find our real identity – whether we can hold onto a lead or whether [other teams] are going to score more goals in the end. We have to show heart. I’m not disappointed that San Jose pushed us hard in the end because we’re going to learn from that, because they’re a very good team.
On the Crew’s attack:
I don’t know if anything was missing – maybe a final pass – we have to remember that [San Jose] is a very good team. [Victor] Bernardez is very good and so is [Justin] Morrow, and they didn’t give us a lot of space. As good as [Jairo] Arrieta is, as good as [Federico] Higuain is, they couldn’t find an open shot. You have to give [San Jose] credit.
On Federico Higuain and Ben Speas:
I think [Higuain] is a very good player and he needs to find the ball. Everybody knows him. Everybody knows he’s dangerous around the box, that’s why he’s trying to find space somewhere around the box … that’s why I think Ben Speas was very successful inside because they switched roles. Speas was more inside than outside and that’s why we found Ben instead of Higuain – we planned that before the game.
On Ethan Finlay’s first MLS appearance of 2013:
As dangerous as Dominic Oduro can be, we thought Ethan could provide some spark and he provided it with his first touch.
On Eddie Gaven:
Eddie ran yesterday and today, and today we decided he’s not going to be available. We’d rather have him for the next game


On the final result:

It would have been nice to hold on to the 1-0 lead but it was tough conditions out there especially in the second half going against the wind going against a good offensive team. So it was probably a fair result in the end.

On building off of tonight’s match:

I think so. Like every game, we’ll look at the tape and pick stuff that we need to improve on. Like I said, they’re a good team and we held our own so there’s a lot to look forward to.

On the weather conditions and the physicality of the match:

It was tough. It’s tough to hit long balls. It was very slow. With the wind it was hard to pick people out. It was freezing so you couldn’t feel your face, hands. Just tough conditions.


On chances in the first half:

I was just trying to find the spaces with Pipa [Higuain] just inside there. Trying to combine with him. Got on the end of some things; I had a shot and I tried to play a couple of guys in.

On his on-field relationship with Federico Higuain:

He’s a great player. He’s really fun to play with. When he gets out of somewhere I go in it and I’m just to be not in his way but find the open spots in our area. It’s fun to play with him. I feel like I connect well with him going forward and trying to find something in the attack.

On the weather affecting both teams:

It was freezing. I couldn’t feel my face. It didn’t matter. The other team, they’re cold too. I can’t use that as an excuse but in the end it’s all even.


On San Jose’s goal:

I did my best to try to keep [Ramiro] Corrales who’s a left footer who usually you want to come inside on that side and we knew that. I think he just slipped in behind me and Josh [Williams] made a split-second decision; very unfortunate that it went through his legs and [Justin] Morrow hit a good shot. I’ve been told it’s just a knuckleball and it’s the only place that Andy [Gruenebaum] wouldn’t have made the save. So it’s a little unfortunate that we played so well in that second half to have one breakdown for them to take advantage of.

On making his season debut in the third match of 2013:

It’s tough but it makes the competition throughout the week, preparing for each game, that much more important. You’ve got guys that can come in like Ben [Speas] who has and just take a starting role while Eddie’s [Gaven] out and he’s been playing fantastic. I know Justin [Meram] got in today, made his debut as well as I did so there’s a lot of competition. It makes us better and we go again and battle this week and we’ll see what the traveling 18 is to D.C.

On drawing the corner kick that led to the Crew goal:

I had just got in the game. A couple of little combination between Tony [Tchani] and I and then Tony plays to Pipa [Higuain] and Pipa puts me in behind. I took it off the head and I thought maybe I should have shot it at first, but slid, they made a nice defensive play and we got a corner. Pipa served a great ball in and Gláuber found himself in a great spot and that was a great header and just all around a solid play.


On tonight’s result:

I thought we played really well to be honest and it would have been very unlucky if we hadn’t got anything from today’s the game. But, I still think we really should have got three points. We’ll obviously settle for a tie, but I think the chances we created and the way we played was excellent tonight and I think we deserved to win the game, but we couldn’t quite get that last touch.

On Justin Morrow’s goal:

I felt, to be honest, that up until that point, I felt that their [Columbus] goal came out of the blue and really didn’t cause us too much danger. Until that point we were strong. I’ll tell you one thing about this group of guys in here [San Jose players in locker room] is that they don’t give up. We pressed forward right away after getting sucker-punched by a goal like that.  So I was very happy, great finish by Justin. We’ve been encouraging him to get forward more often. I thought he did a great job tonight of defending, but on both ends he was great.

On Gláuber’s goal:

[Gláuber] just kind of stutter-stepped and [Federico] Higuain’s ball was perfect; it was obviously a good finish.  We pride ourselves on not conceding goals on plays that are static - we don’t usually do that. I thought we did a great job against a team that’s good on set plays. They play in a good ball, they have some big boys coming in from the back, and they’re difficult to handle. But I thought we did a great job, other than the one play. But again, I think we should have had three points really.


On salvaging one point from today’s match:

I thought we played very well tonight. I think of both the teams, we had the better chances obviously.  As you can see from the last two games, our confidence is building. If we keep playing this way, we’re going to be in good shape this season. I was proud of the boys. I thought defensively we were quite organized.  We limited their chances and they’ve got some great players, but one corner kick was the difference.  I take my hat off to the boys in front of me.  They did a tremendous job tonight.

On Gláuber’s goal:

I think it was just a good service. There were a lot of bodies in front of me, some real big bodies in there, and whoever got there first hit a real good snap-back header. You know, it starts with the great service from Higuain; he plays a great dead ball. But other than that, I thought we defended real well tonight.

On coming back to Columbus:

It’s always nice, I love coming back here. My wife comes every time we play here. We’ve got friends here and we spent a lot of time here.  We come back every winter as well to see everybody. We love coming here and I love playing here. You know it was my first true place to play and I still have a very special place in my heart for it.

On the cold weather:

Yeah, it was cold. I’m turning into a [California] boy. I’m getting soft. I was good until the last ten minutes, but I prefer that good 70 degrees every day.


On his goal:

Ramiro did a very good job in finding me and the first half I had a similar chance and crossed it. So, I looked up and decided to shoot it at the last second. I knew I had a good chance when I hit it, but I think I threw the keeper off because he thought I was going to cross it.

On attacking from his defensive role:

The coaches have been really stressing to go forward, they know I’m an offensive player, they know I can help the team out by going forward.

On playing in Columbus and earning one point:

It’s our first away game of the season, so no matter where you're going you just want to pick up points.  For us to show the character that we did and get a goal at the end, I thought we played a great game. It’s a hostile environment and the team really battled, so it shows that we still have character and that we can always get some points.