Head Coach Caleb Porter
On Crew SC not being able to score goals
Yeah, I mean, I told the guys I don’t know that I’ve been a part of a game - in all my years of coaching – where I’ve been coaching a game and we’ve had as much sustained pressure on a team and not get the goal. And so, in that statement, there’s a positive – an extreme positive, because I’m telling you guys that I don’t know that I’ve coached in a game where we dominated a team, especially in that second half, like we did. They [D.C. United] didn’t cross midfield and we had them [D.C. United] literally on the ropes. So, the positive of that is the attitude, commitment, the ability to execute and dominate, dictate and get in positions and get crosses and to get shots was there, more than maybe any other game I’ve seen. The negative is, we couldn’t find the goal. You can’t, you really can’t believe you didn’t find the goal with the amount of crosses and the amount of positions we got in and so, I think it is a little of the same old story in the last several games but I do think we were much, much better – even today, then we were last week and we gave up a goal again and it’s a play that you say ‘where did it come from?’ - set piece. We didn’t get broken down and similar to last week, it’s [a] similar time – [we] came out flying. [The] Energy was good, organization was good. Everything was there – then we gave up a goal but this week we didn’t buckle. [We] Rolled our sleeves up and picked ourselves up and kept punching. The only thing I know to do is keep going with this group.
There was a lot of stuff I am pleased with, but I’ll say it again like I said last week and the week prior – [you] can’t win unless you’re scoring goals and we’re there, we’re there to score the goals. We’re there to cross the ball and so we’ll keep going, keep working every single day like we have been, and I think there is lot of ingredients that weren’t there in the early in the year. The play overall, the attitude, the aggressiveness and obviously we don’t have a goal or win to show for it, but we don’t need to be top of the table nine games in. We’d like to be, it feels good – felt good when we were up there. We need to be the team we need to be at the end of the year and maybe it is going to take the group a little bit of time before we can - in that box – show the precision and the hunger we need to actually score the goal, because for me it comes down to those two things and that’s what we’re missing. It’s the precision to either finish or cross and then it’s the hunger to get on the end of a cross or the hunger in that moment to ruthlessly score the goal. But I can’t fault the guys for their effort, effort was there – their attitude. Like I said, they’re [D.C. United] a really good team and have really good players with the exception of the set piece. They [D.C. United] were pretty quiet on the day and that’s a credit to how aggressive we were in that second half.
On D.C. United being opportunistic
Yeah, but that’s this League, you know. I’m confident we have guys that could score goals, it’s just disappointing that we had so much of the game and so much like I said, sustained pressure. Way more chances and positions and crosses and set pieces. I think we had double the set pieces, I think we had maybe triple or quadruple the crosses, so that’s the good ad the bad. I’m telling you that we’re dominating, right? That’s the good. The bad is it doesn’t mean anything unless you score, to you. It means a lot to me because I do think the way we played is the way we want to play, but the most important thing is to get the goal, and that’s been an enigma for us the last three games.
On how many shots on goal he would have liked off the 44 crosses in tonight’s match
44. [laughter] I mean, right? You want every cross to go to someone. I think again we came up against a team that had guys on the day that were beasts. [Steven] Birnbaum and [Frederic] Brillant, Pines, they were beasts today and they needed to be because we had them on the ropes. So again, we got to look at it, you know are we missing the crosses, are we getting the cross right who’s in there. Obviously, we’re not creating enough shots out of those crosses with the ratio that you mentioned.
On facing the Houston Dynamo on short rest
Yeah, we got to keep going. Like I said this is a long season and there are going to be ups and downs, and we are in a down moment right now in terms of results. I think we’re still breaking through and becoming the team we want to be, it’s just not showing up in the results but in the play in a lot of ways it is. It’s just like I said, in that final third. We’re going to keep pushing, we’re [going to] keep working, we’re going to keep preparing the group, we’re going to keep believing in them and I’m excited to go on the next game. I’m not discouraged, I’m not frustrated. We are evolving, but you just can’t believe we can’t find the goal today; you can’t believe it.
On what he was looking for from his substitutes
Obviously, we got a lot of crosses in like you guys said, and you got to look at where’s Gyasi [Zardes]. Is it the cross that’s not finding him? Is he not finding the cross? Those are things last year he scored a lot of the share of the goals. If he didn’t score 19 goals, they wouldn’t have made the playoffs, and the goals weren’t coming anywhere else, where they. We know that, that’s the reality and in the last four games, he’s not getting enough looks, so to look at that, how we can help him get in positions because obviously is the past is an indicator of the future, the past has told us that he needs to score goals for this team to win games. Right now, we’re not getting that.
On the killer instinct that he had talked about would be with this team at this point in the year
I thought what was different today, is the hunger, that you could see the group was better than ever. I mean the way that Jonah [Jonathan Mensah] was throwing himself around, I mean you got [Wayne] Rooney, you got [Luciano] Acosta, you got [Paul] Arriola, those guys are very good players. They [D.C. United] had nothing in the second half, they barely crossed midfield. So I just thought from Jonah [Mensah] to Josh [Williams] to Hector to Waylon, on up through the team, the hunger, the commitment to push and to keep D.C., which is a good team, on the ropes and to keep going for 45 straight minutes, that was better than ever this year. We – even in one week – evolved, because if you remember last week we gave up the first goal and we gave up a second. We didn’t have the push we had in that second half last game, but we had it this game, and in so, I don’t know what to tell you, I mean you can go back to watch the film and I’ll go back and watch it. The guys are in positions to score goals, the crosses are there to score goals so that’s not the problem.
Midfielder Wil Trapp
On facing a lot of defenders inside D.C. United’s box.
I think varying the spots in which we’re trying to cross the ball from. I think the most joy we got was when we were getting in between the lines, and then being inside the box and crossing there. I think these deep crosses are easy to read, easy to head out, so bringing the ball interior wise, and then trying to penetrate again while they rotate into the middle is what we needed to do a little bit more.
On the importance of set pieces
Yeah, I mean how many corner kicks did we have? I think we had 44 crosses. So, from the statistic’s perspective it’s difficult to look at I think. But, yes, I mean quality sometimes is the trump card. Looking at one chance for the most part in the second half, they didn’t cross mid-field. So, like I said, I think the positives of this game are the facts that we were down a goal, and we didn’t panic like last week. We didn’t sit there and start trying to do things that we didn’t need to do. We kept moving the ball. We kept passing. We stayed engaged with each other. We kept connecting. And look, they defended well. Let’s give them credit as well. It’s not just our lack of production. They also defended extremely well. But were we clever enough- were we savvy enough to create different scenarios that put them in awkward positions? Maybe not.
On Hector Jimenez making his 100th regular-season start in MLS
Yeah, I’ve known Hector a long time. I think he’s a guy that everyday steps into the locker room to get better, to make his teammates better. It’s no coincidence that he’s been in the league 9 years and made 100 appearances with us. So, his attitude I know for me, has made me a better professional, and I think you could ask almost every guy in the locker room that would say the same.
On the importance of confidence when going through tough stretches
It’s the most important. It’s easy to break at times. This is a situation in which we can bend a little bit, and it’s frustrating in terms of the results if you look at it, but the idea that we bend but don’t break is very key at this moment.
Midfielder Pedro Santos
On whether he had ever played in a match where his team dominated but did not win
I’m not remembering games like this, to be honest. In the second half, I’m don’t remember one time they cross the half the field and, like I said, it’s hard to beat when they have 10 guys behind the ball. But we did everything to score a goal, created opportunities, sure. We need to think and the next time we don’t create like we create tonight, but we will score more for sure.
On how to deal with rivals packing defenders inside the box
It’s important to [have] patience and switch the ball – side by side – to try [to] open space and the box and run behind the line. Like I said, we create when we find this space, but unfortunately, we didn’t score.
On how to create chances when rivals pack defenders in the box
It’s always hard to create opportunities, but this has not happened tonight. We created and we had created a chance to score. I remember one in the first half to Pipa and in the second half and we had a lot of opportunities. I think we [were] just unlucky today. But we need to be proud [of] what we did tonight, we played very, very well. Just, we need to find the net.