Robert Warzycha– Head Coach, Columbus Crew
Thoughts on today’s game…
I thought it was a very physical game but fair. I’m happy with the win. I think we looked sharp today. It was a good performance in the first and second half. We gave them a couple of chances in the first half, most of them on second balls. The second half was very clean and I’m happy with the win.
Your thoughts on some of the lineup changes…
I think you don’t judge the team that just won. I thought that everyone performed well.
Your thoughts on the first half strike…
Well, he (Federico Higuain) hit the crossbar and the post but then made a very good through ball to Dominic (Oduro) and obviously he showed his speed and quality in front of the goal.
Thoughts on the play of (Federico) Higuain…
He has something that is special. He is always looking for the goal and his shots, one was from probably 30 yards and the second one from 25, and he didn’t even hesitate. He had the ball in front of him and he took the shot and almost scored twice.
Eric Gehrig – Defender, Columbus Crew
Thoughts on today’s game…
Well we knew it was going to be tough coming to Toronto, it’s never an easy place to play. They always battle and grind the whole game and that’s exactly what we got. We knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. We knew that they are a pretty direct team, we put out a game plan this week to deal with those and win the first and second balls and just basically battle for 90 minutes and that’s what we did. I think everyone defended well, all eleven. We had some chances and in the end we got the result and I’m happy.
Thoughts on playing your first game in the MLS season…
I was excited for the opportunity. This is my third year as a pro and I’ve worked really hard, along with a number of other guys in this locker room, and I was happy that I got the call. It’s hard not having other games here and there but you can’t have any excuses and we’re all professionals here. Overall I thought I did a good job, we got the shutout, we won so I must have done something right. Tonight we’ll enjoy it and we’ll look forward to New York next week.
Your thoughts on Toronto’s attack…
They are definitely dangerous. They’ve got some big boys in the back lumping the balls and like you’ve said, (Robert) Earnshaw, a busy, busy boy. He likes to play off the back shoulder, I used to walk that tightrope on that offside line, did a good job of that, but I thought the back four and the guys in front of us did a good job on communication and we limited most of their chances. Andy (Gruenebaum) made some saves but at the same time we stopped a lot of their chances and we’re happy. A shutout is a shutout, three points is good, you know we needed those three points. We’ll head back home, get some practice in and turn around for New York.
Dominic Oduro – Forward, Columbus Crew
Thoughts on the game…
We did ok, I don’t think it was one of our best games. We were on the road but at the end of the day we were able to grind it out and come away with the three points that we really needed especially playing on the road. We need those points and we were able to get it. We’ll take that as a positive obviously, and go home and get ready for New York.
Thoughts on the goal…
It was a great ball by (Federico) Higuain, I’ll give him that. We were able to make that eye contact, it was a great run from me on the spot. I saw an opening, the goalie tried to narrow the angle for me, but I saw the opening once the ball was in front of me and I was able to lace it right there.
Talk about your progress in the 2013 season…
At the end of the day, like I said, I’m here to try and help my team win games, and we just did that. I’m really happy, I’m excited. I’m happy that I’m keeping my confidence up by scoring goals but at the end of the day we really worked hard. It’s all about the team right now but it’s also motivation for me to keep scoring and hopefully it will keep going that way.
Fran O’Leary – Assistant Coach, Toronto FC
What was the game plan with to combat Federico Higuain:
“First of all he a quality player, probably one of the best players in the league. He does a fantastic job of finding the pockets. He had one shot and one off the cross bar. I think over the course of the whole game our two central midfielders did a good job overall in containing him. You have to remember top class players in any league are going to have chances. By and large over the course of ninety minutes if you look at what he produced today against us in contrast to what he’s done to several teams in the league I think we have handled him as well as most teams.”
How did Steven Caldwell do:
“I thought he did very well. I think he will be a big addition to us. He’s an experienced player, solid. When you bring in an experienced central defender you’re looking for A if he can play B what does he do with the young lads. The impact this week has already been seen around the club. He’s a very intelligent man, a very humble man and he’s been a great mentor already to our young players. I think we will see big value with Steven both on the pitch but also with helping out the young guys.”
What’s the schedule to have Danny Koevermans come back:
“That is the first question that has brought a smile to my face. He looked good in training. He’s about two or three weeks away. We had a closed door game for him which he came through in and scored. He is a quality player, a fantastic player. When you look at other DPs in the league some have come in with a bigger name than Danny Koevermans but few have produced as much as him. His goal scoring rate in this league is prolific. He has worked his tail off to get back into shape.”
Matias Laba – Midfield, Toronto FC
How did you feel today:
“I was looking forward to playing at home and wanted to leave everything on the field. It was an exciting moment for me.”
Federico Higuain showed how much a quality player can change a game, is that someone he knows at all and is it someone he aspires to be:
“He is someone I have known from before and definitely have a lot of respect for him. I also know Matias Sanchez from the other side as well. With respect getting to where Higuain is, I have to be a player that always leaves everything on the pitch for the club.”
Do you comfortable with what your role is here:
“Luckily for me it has been a group that has accepted me from the get go and feel very comfortable with them. I felt that as a group today we put in a good performance but unfortunately didn’t get the result and will continue to build on that.”
Darren O’Dea – Defender, Toronto FC
Thoughts on the match:
“Obviously we have come out the wrong end of it. Seems like it’s a lot of games this season where we can win games. Play better than teams but not come out on the right side of the score line. We just need to keep working and be more clinical on both ends. That’s the story of the season so far. We need to be clinical in both boxes.”
You had your chances this game to score:
“So did they. In the first half they could have been up 3 nil and likewise we could have been up 3 nil. They finished one of their chances and it just changes the game. It’s been clinical in both ends and if we can clear that up we’re a match for any team in the league. Which is what we wanted to be at the start at the season, we got there quicker than we thought and now it’s time we step on and improve because we will never come out the right end of the score lines.”
Thoughts on the back line and how you defended as a group:
“Fine, for one goal, we were there nine times out of ten but you need to be there ten times out of ten. The reason there is changes obviously because of injuries and because we are not winning games. You can’t complain that the team is changing and the managers need to keep trying to improve the team and it’s quite obvious we need to improve the team. If you are winning games week in and week out you can complain if the team is getting chopped and changed but when you are losing games you have to live with that and we need to get together and stick together and believe in what we are doing. We’ve got a good base now and we are competing every week but it’s time we step up to the next level.”
Robert Warzycha– Head Coach, Columbus Crew