Photo and video: Daniel Gajdamowicz
John Hackworth’s postgame press conference
Postgame locker room interviews with Ray Gaddis, Jack McInerney, Brian Carroll and Amobi Okugo.
Philadelphia Union postgame quotes
Team Manager John Hackworth
Thoughts on the game
We were due one of these games. Our coaching staff felt like it was going to happen one way or another, sooner or later. Glad it happened in a game as important as this one. You get a little bit of a break now and maybe that gets a little bit of pressure off us. We get a break and we roll into the next round of the cup.
On the importance of getting three goals
I’m careful in trying not to make too big of a deal out of a game one way or the other but I think this one was the kind of game that we needed and there were so many questions being asked of us, whether it was consistency, if we were fit. I think we answered a lot of those questions tonight and its nice for the guys because they certainly deserved it. I thought we really had a well rounded performance from everybody. I told the guys at halftime “this is the best team defense we have played” we were committed, everybody from Conor all the way to Amobi and Jeff and Zac did their job and did it well. So it was nice to see.
On Brian Carroll’s performance
For me Brian Carroll has played really well. In the last month I think he has turned his game up and up and we are now seeing results. Brian’s playing well, I think it’s great, he certainly deserves it. I’m happy for him because he certainly deserves it. I don’t like to throw out those kind of accolades because I think the team was really good, but Brian certainly deserved it.
On Le Toux playing in the midfield
We just wanted to be a little more attacking tonight and have a good balance on both sides of the midfield. It was something we have been lacking and trying to start Sebastien and Danny Cruz with Conor and Jack we felt like that would be an attacking mentality for sure and at home we felt like we could put it on our terms and we did. The ball that he played into Conor was a fantastic ball, but he did so much work, he always does that. I know that I have said that Sebastien is going to be so important to our club. In times when he wasn’t playing as much our coaching staff, locker room, everybody knew how important he had to be , the role he had to play for us to be successful. It’s great for him. He is kind of the guy in this building…he brings it and he certainly did tonight.
On getting the lead and the win
I can’t tell you how nice it was to be in the last 15 minutes of that game and not have it to be a drama show going on. We felt like finally, we deserve this, we have been working so hard and it was nice. It was a different change for sure. Well deserved.
On playing high pressure, high defense consistently
It’s hard because I think some of our road success this year has been the opposite. We have got results from being Philly tough. Just dropped our line a little bit and had success. At the same time when we are at home and we have been able to press people, we have shown opponents that we were really good. I think that we are taking that next step and I hope that we can play the same kind of style every game but tactics come into play when your opponent is either having a good day playing a certain style and you’re on the road, these kind of things.
On getting Aaron Wheeler and Roger Torres in the game
Well I think they were both good opportunities to get players who have been working and have not seen the field and deserve that opportunity for sure. Roger in particular. We have been talking what he needed to do to increase his playing time and I think he understands that and knows there some opportunities in the next couple weeks for him as well. Great to get him on field tonight. Aaron, same kind of situation. He has been really good in training. We sent him to play in Harrisburg last weekend, got two goals. They have earned that opportunity and it is really nice to be able to reward those guys. I think that is Aaron’s first appearance, that great. We signed a soccer ball and are giving it to him. so great for us all around.
On his teammates scoring three goals tonight
It’s definitely good. It gives the team a lot of confidence, and takes a lot of pressure off of me. Going into this break, it was exactly what we needed.
On not scoring a goal tonight
I was definitely bummed, and I think I was more disappointed I couldn’t get (Aaron) Wheeler an assist on his debut. (laughs) It’ll come.
On the total team effort tonight
I think everyone played well today. I don’t think there was one player who stood out and played badly. Like I said, it gives us a lot of confidence, and hopefully we can carry this over into our next games.
On the three goals
We put a lot of pressure on them early. (Sebastian Le Toux) played a great ball into Conor (Casey), and on the corner kick, we haven’t been too good on set pieces the past couple years, but we’ve really capitalized on them this year. On the other one, I told (Brian Carroll), if you don’t shoot from distance, you don’t have a chance. We caught a lucky deflection there, but we’ll take it.
On Sebastien Le Toux’s two assists tonight, and on the Union now having the league’s leading players in goals and assists
It really just says that we have a lot of talent on the team. We have to work together. Those kinds of things only come along when you’re playing well, and we’re not playing that well right now; so if we keep doing what we did today, just imagine what the numbers could be. I think it’s important for (Le Toux’s) confidence as well.
On controlling the game from the midfield
We knew that we needed, as a group, as a back four, and as a midfield, to close down their midfield—especially (Dominic) Oduro and (Federico) Higuain. We were able to do that tonight, and we were able to get on the scoreboard first, which I think helped us out a lot.
On his attitude and on being one of the hardest workers on the field
It’s just a commitment to get better every single day. If I do that, and if I do my job, in my role, hopefully it allows other guys to do their job better.
On the team’s upcoming break from MLS play
A lot of teams have an MLS break right now, but we still have an Open Cup game to focus on, and some affiliate games to play and get better at overall as a group. It’s a welcome opportunity, just because we’ve had so many games recently, for sure.
On the total team effort
If we’re going to be successful, it’s going to be a team effort. We took advantage of our opportunities tonight. A different person gets every single goal. We kept the pressure on them from the beginning, and we were able to actually get an early goal, which I think, psychologically, gave us a boost.
On his sharp play tonight
I felt comfortable. I trusted my guys, that they would do their job, and that allowed me to do mine to the best of my ability. I was happy for that, and hopefully I can keep that going.
On if his goal increases his confidence
Absolutely. I think it’s a boost for me individually, and it’s a boost for all of us. To get that goal at that point in time, I think it’s a confidence booster for everybody in the group.
On the upcoming break and the U.S. Open Cup match in between
Obviously we have the U.S. Open Cup game next week, but we also have two friendlies against Reading and Harrisburg, so I think the team will still be busy, and we’ll stay sharp in the short break that we have.
On Roger Torres’ substitution and ovation he received from the fans
It was great. Obviously, Roger has been working really hard in training, and this was a good game for him to come on, and he did well when he came on, which is good for his confidence, and it’s good for the team.
On what his team scoring the first three goals did for his comfort level
It’s great. Anytime you get the first goal, you just tell yourself that if you keep the shutout, you’re going to get the win. Obviously, getting that three-goal cushion early on in the game really helps you. Sometimes, the team drops back and lays off a little bit, but I thought the team did a really great job continuing to play for the full 90 minutes.
On what he thought was the most important aspect of the match tonight
Defense. Just the compactness between all 11 players, communicating and talking. We knew that (Federico) Higuain and (Dominic) Oduro were their main threats, and we kept tabs on them for 90 minutes. When you do that, you give yourself the best chance of keeping a shutout. Once you keep a shutout, goals will come, and they came plenty today.
On the team’s inconsistent effort of late and how this match helped stabilize it
Just play the way we did tonight. Tonight should be a model for how we want to play for the rest of the season. Defensively and offensively, I thought we did really well. If we continue to play this way for the whole season, we’ll definitely be in the playoffs.
On his attitude and if getting to play tonight will help him work harder
Yeah, of course. We have a good team, and we have good players that can play soccer when we want. This night was a good night for me. It was a good night for everybody—good night for the team, great night for all of the fans. It was a great night for me because I get an opportunity to be on the field, to play with my fans, and show them that I can be there like I say. The only thing that I can say now is to just keep working hard to get a chance.
On being involved on the field during a win
It’s kind of different. It’s always great to get three points, and it always feels good. I think tonight was a great night, and to be part of the three points that we get tonight is awesome. The only thing that I can say is thanks to everybody. Thanks for the support, thanks for being there for me.
On his feeling upon hearing the ovation for him
I think we were playing good, and when I went in, I felt so excited. Maybe, I thought that it was going to be my first game—it reminded me of the feeling that I felt in my first game. When I went in, everybody gave me confidence, all of the fans, and my teammates. Just inside, I said to myself, ‘I can play this. This is my role, I can do good, I just want to help the team.
Columbus Crew postgame quotes
Head Coach Robert Warzycha
Overall thoughts on the match
That was really lethargic performance especially in the first half. I think the first goal was a joke and then we couldn’t do anything more.
On wrapping up a busy stretch
We played some good games and today we obviously looked very lethargic. I don’t know if it was because the first game in 10 days but until the first gaol I think we did fine. Nothing really happens on the field and that goal definitely changed the game.
On changes going forward
Obviously we have some guys coming back from injuries and then we will see.
General thoughts on the game
Obviously we are very disappointed especially in the defensive end. We should have done better to try and keep the ball; we left go of the ball so easily. But again on the positive side I thought we played well in the second half; we kept the ball a little bit. I think this is a game where we want to get it over with right now and just forget about it and look forward to our next home game and hope we can make it right.
On the second half
Well we went down three- zero, so we had to make some adjustments to create a little bit of an attack. So I just had to move to the right as much as possible to gain and hold the ball and hopefully get some balls in behind. Like I said I thought we did well in the second half, we were able to create some chances but we just couldn’t put it away. Like I said we just want to get this over with, we are really disappointed about it, we just want to forget about it and get ready for the next one.
I just think it seemed like in the first minute of the game we had some control and then a lucky deflection off of BC’s [Brian Carroll] shot and after that it just seemed like we lost the momentum for the next 15-20 minutes. It seemed like that little bit killed us and we were never able to get back into it. We couldn’t stop the bleeding; they were all over us for that little bit.
On the second half
I think the intent was there; I thought we were more decisive going forward at times. Then again when you’re pushing forward you’re going to give up chances as well. Our intent was to just try and get one and climb back in, but you just got the sense that that wasn’t going to happen.
Summary of busy stretch
A couple of results on the road you can take away but this one hurts a little bit. We have to try and focus because there is a lot of soccer to be played. To pack it in at this point would just be stupid. We have to regroup and find our way again.
On what the Union did tonight
I think the overall team effort from them; from the leadership standpoint you can tell they really feed off guys and everybody works for everyone. I think that they out worked us—which can’t be the case, for us, that’s what we’re known for and we have to get back to that; out working other teams and out battling other teams. I think they just swarmed us, it’s a sign of a good team and good leadership and you can tell they’ve got it.