Post-match quotes: Crew at D.C. United

Eric Gehrig

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

COLUMBUS CREW SPORTING DIRECTOR AND HEAD COACH GREGG BERHALTER

On impact of the Clark save

I think it was a fantastic point for the guys. For them to, you know, grind out that result was exceptional. And Steve, what can I say; it took a lot of guts by him. Pat has been working with him and telling him where the shooter goes. He gave him two options. When a goalie stands still it can go bad quickly, but he did it and he had the courage to do it. He came up with a great save.

On impact of the playing field

I think we didn’t get into our game, but nonetheless the guys really fought through it. And, you know, we still had enough chances to get a result. We are still happy with the point, especially considering that this is our third game in the week. I think it is a great point for us.

On having some time off

Well, I think we need to recover from this week. It has been a tough week, physically. And, you know, the guys have been grinding through it. I think the break is coming at a good time.

COLUMBUS CREW GOALKEEPER STEVE CLARK

On the penalty kick save

Yeah, we had pretty good intel from our goalkeeper trainer, Pat. He has done a great job all year, so I felt like I knew he was going to go there. And, I had my que, so I just waited him out. I didn’t care if he was going to score; I was going to wait up the middle.

On the team’s mentality heading into the break

I mean the team’s mentality is that we are at a good spot. You know, to look forward to the future and build on what we’ve done. Certainly, there’s things to be fixed, but my mentality is not to think about soccer. You know, I am going to take it off a couple runs and then enjoy life.

On the size of the field

Yeah, I mean we are a possession type team, so if it is a smaller field it is going to be harder to spread the ball. So it was a little bit challenging. We got the point on the road, three games in a week, so we are pretty tired. It was a good point.

COLUMBUS CREW DEFENDER ERIC GEHRIG

On the backline’s performance

Yeah, you know, we talked before the game. Stay together, stay compact and work as a unit, and I thought everyone did a good job of that all across the backline. I thought we did a good job of covering for each other.

On Steve Clark’s penalty kick save

You know, obviously I wasn’t too happy with the call, but it’s okay. Right when he called it, I had a feeling Steve was going to save it. I actually ran up to him and said ‘You’re going to save it Steve.’ Just shows Steve does his homework. He is a big-time player, he’s a gamer. You know, it takes a lot of guts to just stand there on a PK. He believed in himself and he made the save. It’s big for us.

D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH BEN OLSEN

On the result

The first 25 minutes I thought was really good. I don’t think it was the greatest night for us, as a whole, but the first half was pretty good. We did enough to get a couple of really good looks and we probably should have come [into the second half] with a goal or two. [Columbus] brought some juice in the second half and had a real stamp on the game. I think Silva started to tire, it was his first game in a while, and you saw that in the second half. I felt Jared [Jeffrey] came in and did a good job, which was nice to see. I felt [Steven] Birnbaum was fantastic and Lewis Neal came in and did a good job too. So overall, I’m not sure who deserves to win that game. [Columbus] had some good looks as well and they grinded out a point so overall we keep moving forward in the points department, which is good.

On how FedExField affected the game

It was slow and thick. It’s not built for soccer. It was built for big boys who run around and tackle each other. We thought it was a little slow but both teams had to deal with it. It didn’t make for the most attractive soccer, but we had our looks.

On the missed penalty by Fabian Espindola

I give the goalkeeper [Steve Clark] credit. A lot of guys go left or right but he stayed right in the middle. It’s a little disappointing in the end not to get points out of the PK late like that, but Fabi’s been the man for us this year so he certainly can take the next one.

On the World Cup break

We don’t really have a break. We have to turn around and go to Montreal, which is a very tough place to play, on Wednesday. Hopefully we can get something out of that and then exhale for a second. I think if you watch the league right now, there is a sense of just not the greatest stuff all around. There are guys missing for the World Cup and I think this first week or two of the heat hits everybody and slows the game down. It’s important to try to find ways to continue to get points here until the break. A couple of days off will be good for these guys.

D.C. UNITED DEFENDER BOBBY BOSWELL

On playing at FedExField

It kind of reminded me of a place I used to play. It feels a little more narrow [at FedExField]. It kind of made the game a little different. It took the outside guys out of it, kind of clogged the middle, but it’s fun to be a part of these kind of things. It would’ve been more fun with a win, obviously, but we got a point. It’s not the greatest night but we’ll take it.

On the injuries affecting the team, as well as the league

Yeah, for some teams. Not for all of them, but for some, definitely. I watched Houston and Kansas City last night and that was one of the more ridiculous games I’ve seen with injuries and people being out. Even Columbus, they’re missing some guys but that’s why the season is so long, though. You’re going to have parts throughout the season where guys are suspended or hurt or out for various reasons, everyone knows that. It’s just how the teams that are able to get points in those situations are the teams that usually are the ones staying around at the end of the year, so it’s nothing that’s new to anyone that’s been in this league for a while.

D.C. UNITED FORWARD EDDIE JOHNSON

On leaving the game early

If something doesn’t feel right out there, A: You don’t want to be out there and hurt your team in a meaningful game, in a conference game where we win this game and we can go to the top of the Eastern Conference. B: You just want to be smart. It’s a long season. We’ve got good players that come off the bench and make a difference in the game. I was just stuck in a difficult situation where I was just trying to be smart and do what’s best for the team and the outcome.

D.C. UNITED DEFENDER STEVE BIRNBAUM

On the result

We did a little better in possession, but it’s tough. They’re a good team. We thought we were a little bit unlucky not to get the win, but we’ll take the shutout.

On his teammates’ support in his first career MLS game

We found out I was starting a couple of days ago, so we went over a couple of tactics, especially how Columbus plays and everyone’s been great talking me through a bunch of things. Bobby was very nice to me today, just walking me through everything and talking the whole time and I felt comfortable out there, so I’m happy.