Postgame Quotes - Crew vs. Chivas USA
Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha
Overall thoughts on the match:
I think we played against a team that has a lot of success on the road. [Chivas] is a good passing team and it‚s always difficult to play against them. In the first half the game didn‚t go our way and we were a little bit disconnected. We had some opportunities from flank play, but nothing that Chivas was worried about. The second half was a little different I thought the subs made a difference, they provided a spark. The entire second half I didn‚t think Chivas was dangerous. They had some set pieces, but other than that the defense played well and we were rewarded with a nice goal.
On tonight's substitutions:
Sometimes the game doesn't go your way and you have to change something. It doesn't mean that the guys aren't playing well, but you have players on the bench that can do something and you have to go with your feeling.
On his team's ability to score late goals:
You try to win every game, but in the end sometimes the guys we have on the bench can make a difference at the end [of games]. We are always dangerous with set pieces and pushing for the goal to try and win. In order to get in the Playoffs we have to score goals and win games and sometimes you need to push late. At the end [of tonight's game] the spacing was right and guys knew what they had to do. The through ball from Tony [Tchani] to [Federico] Higuain was just perfect. We found a way to push and win in the last minute.
On the race to the MLS Cup Playoffs:
There were six games left [heading into tonight's match]. Obviously we knew before the game that we had to win to get into the Playoffs. Chivas was a very important [game] and in this League anyone can win against anybody. You look at Kansas City going to New York and winning there, we lost in New England. There's no such thing as easy games and Chivas is a very good road team. It's not easy to play against them. Like you saw today, we had to push all the way to the end to be able to score a goal.
Crew Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum
Overall thoughts on the game:
We battled hard for most of the second half. The first half wasn‚t as strong and [Chivas] had a few chances, but at the same time we came out and really took it to them in the second half and finally got a goal in the end. It was a good result, a good shutout and a good win.
On the team's defensive effort:
It‚s a team effort top-to-bottom. The communication was really good tonight, guys were playing for each other and winning individual battles. It was something we have to keep going to stay in the [MLS Cup Playoffs] race.
On recovering from injury in the New York match:
I felt good. I was a little worried this morning, but as the day wore on I felt better and better to the point where I felt prepared to play. I came in, got ready, and now I feel good.
Crew Forward Justin Meram
On the winning goal:
I was off-balance and just wanted to get the ball on-frame and hit it with pace. Luckily that's what happened and we came away with the win.
On the importance of tonight's win:
We needed that tonight. Especially at home in front of a great crowd on a great night. We would have been disappointed with a tie, so we're very happy with the result and we'll need to keep going and build on this in Chicago.
On the club's knack for scoring late goals:
Our coaches probably don't like that we leave games so late. It makes them a bit edgy on the bench, but it seems to be working for us and people shouldn't sleep on us.
Chivas Head Coach Robin Fraser
On conceding the late winner:
Really, in the first half I thought we were very much in control of the game. We created some very good opportunities. In the second half, we didn’t control the game as well. We didn’t take care of the ball well enough in the second half like we did in the first half. Inevitably, that’s going to lead to you being under pressure more. Then obviously, the goal--the way it came and the time it came-- it was devastating.
On coaching from the stands:
It was difficult. Even on the bench, you feel like you don’t have a ton of control anyway once the game starts. That’s the great thing about soccer, it’s a game of improvisation. Sitting up in the stands, it was difficult. I guess I really didn’t appreciate how difficult it was going to be. Certainly from that high, you get a very good view and you can see little things that we stopped doing that we did very well in the first half that we didn’t do as well in the second half. As a result, we put ourselves under a lot of pressure.
Chivas USA Midfielder Nick LaBrocca
General thoughts on the match:
I thought it was a pretty even game. Defensively, both teams were pretty good. I think the game just went back and forth.
On the difficulty of playing without a head coach on the bench:
When it comes down to it, it’s 11 guys on the field and the guys that come on and help out. Everything has to come from the players on the field.
On pushing for a win to move out of last place in the Western Conference:
It’s all about momentum and building it. We could have gotten a win or a tie. That would’ve helped us get a little more confidence. Obviously, this isn’t going to help that, but it’s a better performance from us I think. We just need to get after on Sunday against D.C.
Chivas USA defender Danny Califf
On Justin Meram’s game-winning goal:
It was a good ball in. We were kind of all pulled up to the 18 and the it slipped in and got the ball across. Dan [Kennedy] made a really good first save. [Meram] struck it really well when it came out. It’s just one of those plays, and it was a good play by the Crew.
On Chivas’ current direction:
We’ve been going through a really rough stretch and I thought we played quite well throughout most of the game. I think we certainly dominated the first half and parts of the second half. This one hurt quite a bit.